October has five weekends this year, so get ready for a lot more great events to check out between now and Halloween. And don’t forget that I’m still looking for Halloween events to highlight—so if you know of one or have something else that you’d like me to consider for this roundup, email me at azucena@oaklandside.org. If there’s an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar, you can use the self-submission form anytime by clicking on our homepage’s “Events” tab. 

Teatro Jornalero (2 nights only)

A group of Central American and Mexican day laborers in Fruitvale formed the Teatro Jornalero/Day Laborers Theater, breaking through the safety of silence to share their stories with the wider public. Credit: Oakland Theater Project

Peralta Hacienda Historical Park and the Oakland Theater Project are teaming up to present Teatro Jornalero, a live production featuring day laborers from Street Level Health Project, telling and acting out their stories of migration, hard work, and resilience. Both organizations have previously produced narrative works that convey the complexity of the immigrant experience. Peralta Hacienda has a permanent outdoor exhibition called Undocumented Heart: Oakland Day Laborers Tell Their Stories, which features the stories of 13 day labor workers, and the Oakland Theater Project’s production of American Jornalero was featured as part of its 2018 season. Some of the same-day laborers who participated in the Undocumented Hearts exhibit were enlisted by both organizations for this two-day-only production to bring their migration stories to a larger audience. 

Saturday, Oc. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., $15-$35, FLAX art and design, 1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

‘Press Play’ at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center

A visitor attends Press Play: Exhibition at Oakland Asian Cultural Center, taking place during October’s Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 3-9) and World Mental Health Day (Oct 10). Credit: Edward Gunawan

How has the pandemic affected people already struggling with mental health challenges, and what does it mean to cope? Writer and filmmaker Edward Gunawan’s new exhibit at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Press Play, examines these questions in the form of a comic illustrated by Elbert Lim. The story by award-winning comic Gunawan follows one individual’s journey and mental health struggles. The exhibit is being co-presented by ARTogether and Asian Health Services

On display through Oct. 31, Wed. to Sat. from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., free to attend, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St. Suite 290

Make your own Halloween piñata

The Halloween decor at this home in Laurel is part of a collection worth around $15,000. Credit: David Meza

Have a teen at home who is keen on doing arts and crafts? The Oakland Public Library (Asian Branch) is hosting a workshop to teach youth ages 13-18 how to create and decorate a Frankenstein, jack-o’-lantern, or ghost piñata. No need to bring any supplies, the folks at the library will provide everything needed for these spooky creations. There will also be snacks on site. 

Friday, Oct. 14, 1:30 p.m to 2:30 p.m., free to attend, OPL Asian Branch, 388 9th St. 

Community document ‘shred day’

Shredding documents with personal information helps prevent identity theft. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Local insurance agent Ruth Stroup is hosting a “community shred day” at her office located on Grand Avenue. Oakland residents can stop by with their stack of paperwork that may contain personal information that, if lost or mishandled, can result in identity theft. There’s no limit to how much paperwork you can bring. All of it will be destroyed and disposed of by the company, Shred-It

Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., free to attend, register online, Farmers Insurance, 3560 Grand Ave.

Town Up Sunday Funday: Silent Party at the Lake

A previous ‘Town Up’ event organized by Urban Peace Movement. Credit: Urban Peace Movement Facebook page.

With no rain on the horizon, enjoying the outdoors is something we can still do for the foreseeable future. This weekend, Urban Peace Movement is hosting a civic-minded party at Lake Merritt’s Eastshore Park (adjacent to the Astro Park playground). Attendees will be able to check out headphones to participate in a silent disco, with sounds by DJs Slowpoke and Clo Money, as well as have an opportunity to learn about what’s on the November election ballot——from who’s running for Mayor to the Alameda County District Attorney’s race. There won’t be food onsite, so be sure to bring your own snacks. Bring a blanket, too, as sitting will be limited. 

Sunday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., free to attend, register online, Eastshore Park, 550 El Embarcadero

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland 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.