It’s hard to believe that June is almost over. But before you all begin thinking about Fourth of July plans, there are some great cultural events taking place this weekend.

Two festivals on Saturday offer a chance to celebrate Indigenous cultures—the inaugural Native American Summer Music and Culture Festival, and the Oakland Maya Mam Festival. For Oakland history enthusiasts, there’s a virtual event being hosted by local historian and podcaster Liam O’Donoghue. There’s also a new exhibit at Camron-Stanford House and a screening at The New Parkway Theater of a powerful documentary showcasing how immigrants navigate the healthcare system.

Last but not least, while not part of our roundup, The Oaklanside’s own event, Culture Makers, is taking place this Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m. We’ll be talking about food justice and immigrants’ contributions in kitchens across the country, regenerative agriculture, and much more! Tickets are still available. Here’s a preview of what our last Culture Makers event was like. 

Don’t forget to put on extra sunscreen if venturing outdoors and carry a mask, as the indoor mask mandate continues to be in place. 

Have an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar? You can use the self-submission form. Is there something you’d like me to consider highlighting in this weekly roundup? Email me at azucena@oaklandside.org

Gadgets Galore! Transforming the American Household exhibit at Camron-Stanford House

Credit: Camron-Stanford House

Possers, stereoscopes, and graphophones aren’t gadgets that most are familiar with. But in the 19th century, every household wanted them. These now-strange devices led to the invention of many common household items that today we can’t live without, like coffee makers and washing machines. The antiquated items are part of a traveling exhibit curated by Exhibit Envoy, which is now on display at Camron-Stanford. Visitors will also be able to view items used by the people who once lived and worked as servants at Camron-Stanford House, and learn how they used the technology of the time. 

Every Sunday and by appointment, now through the last weekend in September.

A Journey through Long Lost Oakland

An illustrated map of Oakland highlights extinct flora, fauna, and landmarks. Credit: illustration courtesy of East Bay Yesterday

Liam O’Donoghue is best known for his work as the host and producer of the podcast East Bay Yesterday. His Oakland waterfront history boat tour often sells out, fast. A few years ago, O’Donoghue worked with artist T.L Simons on a collaborative project called Long Lost Oakland. The project drew from the history that O’Donoghue has documented about the places, plants, and animals from an Oakland long gone. This week, you can learn more about Long Lost Oakland and how our often-forgotten past relates to the city we live in today, by attending this virtual event.

Thursday, June 23, 3:30 p.m., virtual, register to attend 

Many Nations on One Land: Native American Summer Music and Cultural Festival

A scene from the monthly Indigenous Red Market in Fruitvale. Credit: Amir Aziz

A day-long Native American music and culture festival will be held at La Escuelita this weekend. The festivities will include Native American musicians, food vendors, artisans, dancers, and other entertainers from across the country. The performers include Oakland’s own All Nations Singers, one of the oldest pow wow singing groups in northern California; Oakland-based Native American rapper C-Log, who will be making his stage debut; and Oakland resident Doug Duncan and the Sonoma County Pomo dance group, who will share tribal dances and songs of the Pomo tribe. The event will be hosted by comedian Jackie Kelliaa. Stop by to learn more about the tribes and their vast cultural contributions.

Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free to attend, La Escuelita Elementary School, 1050 2nd Ave. 

Oakland Maya Mam Festival

Members of the local Guatemalan community perform a traditional Mam dance. Credit: Bonnie Burt

In the past decade, Oakland has seen an increase in the number of Mam people migrating from Guatemala as a result of poverty and violence in that country, with many taking up residence in Fruitvale and other parts of East Oakland. These Guatemalans are now finding ways to keep their culture and traditions alive, even while living in another country. The first Oakland Mam cultural festival was held back in 2018. This year, the Mam community will host a day-long celebration at Peralta Hacienda in East Oakland. There will be live music featuring the marimba, Guatemala’s national instrument, traditional dance performances by Maya Mam Cultural Exchange, homemade Guatemalan food and drinks, and more. Attendees will also have the chance to learn about indigenous Mam tribes from Todos Santos Cuchumatán, San Juan Atitán, Santiago Chimaltenango, and San Pedro Necta.

Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free to attend, Peralta Hacienda, 2465 34th Avenue

A Place to Breathe screening at The New Parkway

Street Level Health Project staffers Norma Calmo and Edgar Salazar-Velazquez as shown in the film. Credit: Underexposed Films

Local filmmakers Michelle Grace Steinberg and Robyn Bykofsky follow the work of Oakland’s Street Level Health Project in their new documentary, which they began filming back in 2016. The duo finished production of the doc in July 2020 and, next week, audiences will get the chance to watch a screening followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and representatives from Street Level Health Project. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to the organization, which serves immigrant day laborers by assisting them with food, work, and health aid. 

Monday, June 27, 7 p.m., $12-$15, The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St.

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.