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This week’s roundup features live music (we’ve all missed live shows and dancing), another virtual town hall to get you ready for the upcoming elections, the return of the Mills College Pow Wow, and one of many events at the Oakland Museum of California.

As always, keep a mask handy (some businesses require them, others don’t) and continue carrying hand sanitizer, so you can safely enjoy being out now that spring is officially here!

Also remember to bring a paper or digital copy of your vaccination card, as the city of Oakland is still requiring proof of vaccination for many indoor establishments. 

As we continue to navigate the changing requirements, you can assess your level of risk by checking local COVID-19 transmission levels on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  Alameda County’s transmission level remains “low.”

Is there an event that you think we should highlight? Email your questions and comments to azucena@oaklandside.org

What’s Up With Our Jail? A virtual town hall

Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail holds roughly 2000 detainees on any given day and is one of the largest jails in the country. Credit: Pete Rosos

Santa Rita Jail in the city of Dublin is Alameda County’s main jail and one the largest in the country, housing roughly 2,000 people on any given day. It’s also been widely accused over the years of treating prisoners inhumanely and was placed under external oversight by a judge this past February with orders to reform how it provides mental health care. With election season upon us (starting with the primary election on June 7), Faith in Action East Bay and the Interfaith Coalition for Justice in our Jails are hosting a virtual town hall to discuss how the races for County Sheriff and District Attorney could impact the reform efforts at Santa Rita. If you’re interested in learning more about what the Sheriff and District Attorney do, and who is currently on the ballot, then this is the virtual town hall to attend. You’ll hear from Brendon Woods, chief public defender, Kimberley Graves, an advocate whose son is currently incarcerated, Rudy Howell, from Rubicon Programs, a non-profit that helps people navigate reentry after incarceration, and Loni Hancock, former mayor of Berkeley, state legislator, and social justice advocate. You can learn more about Oakland and Alameda County’s 2022 elections here.

Wednesday, March 30, 6:30 p.m., register online, virtual via Zoom

Favela Soul presents: Brazil Vox and DJ Fausto Sousa at Elbo Room Jack London

The outside of Elbo Room Jack London. Credit: Facebook

If you are looking for something to do this Friday but not quite ready to make it to the First Fridays celebration over on Telegraph, then you can head in the opposite direction to Jack London Square for a night of live samba, funk, and Brazilian pop courtesy of the band Brazil Vox and DJ Fausto Sousa. With the safety of its patrons and staff in mind, the Elbo Room Jack London has installed an air purification system and air filters inside the venue, which has two floors, plenty of sitting, and delicious cocktails.

Friday, April 1, 9 p.m., 21 and up, $12, Elbo Room Jack London, 311 Broadway

Selena Tribute Party at The New Parish

It’s been almost three decades since Selena Quintanilla, the “queen of Tejano music” was shot and killed outside of a hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. But her popularity has been kept alive by posthumous albums, a makeup line, and the biopic that catapulted Jennifer Lopez to stardom for playing the late music superstar. The New Parish’s tribute parties to musical artists who are no longer with us took a hiatus during the pandemic, but are now back. Bay Area native Marina Aragon, better known as Dj Inez, and DJ Marroquin will be behind the turntables. So get your favorite red lipstick, your studded belt, and bustier, and get ready to belt out some of Selena’s greatest hits. 

Saturday, April 2, 9 p.m., all ages, $15, The New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave.

Mills College Biennial Pow Wow and Indigenous Red Market

The monthly Indigenous Red Market. Credit: Amir Aziz

After Mills College merges with Northeastern University, several majors will no longer be offered, including ethnic studies. One person who was instrumental in developing that department at Mills was Dr. Melinda Micco (Muskogee Creek, Seminole), the school’s first tenured faculty in Native studies. This weekend’s Biennial Pow Wow, which will again take place in person after a hiatus last year, will honor Dr. Micco, who passed away last December. It will be the eighth Pow Wow at Mills College and organizers want to lift their voices to ensure the event continues beyond the merger. This year’s Pow Wow will also feature the Indigenous Red Market, which usually takes place on the first Sunday of the month in Fruitvale. There will be vendors, a raffle, and other live entertainment. All are welcome. Don’t miss your chance to check out this beloved community event.

Sunday, April 3, 10:45 a.m., free to attend, register online, The Oval, Mills College Campus, 5000 MacArthur Blvd.

What Does It Mean to Endure? A Conversation with Bay Area Potters at OMCA

Rosa Dorantes is the head of ceramics at The Crucible in West Oakland. Credit: OMCA

This weekend, you can check out the Oakland Museum of California’s current exhibit, Edith Heath: A Life in Clay, the story of Edith Heath, founder, and designer of Heath Ceramics, which is currently on display until Oct. 30, 2022. Then stick around for a live in-person conversation with Bay Area potters, moderated by Rosa Dorantes, head of ceramics at The Crucible. The discussion will feature other local artists too, including Chinzalée Sonami of Pala Ceramics in Oakland, and Viviana Matsuda of Mud Witch in San Francisco.

Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., $5-$20, Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street

Azucena Rasilla is an East Oakland native, a bilingual journalist reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.