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We’re so close to celebrating the holidays that I can practically taste all of the delicious dishes that will soon be served on tables across Oakland. But before we all settle down to celebrate with our loved ones, here’s one more roundup of events to check out. 

This week’s list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that The Oaklandside’s final live event of the year, Culture Makers, is happening this Thursday, Dec. 15, at the New Parkway Theater. If you love movies and documentaries, are a filmmaker yourself,  or are just curious about what it takes to make a film in Oakland, then this event is for you. I’ll be in conversation with local filmmakers Peter Nicks, Laura Wagner, and Benjamin Mulholland. Tickets are still available

Next week’s roundup will be all about New Year’s Eve parties, so if you have an event that you’d like me to consider, 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. 

Kola: An Afro-Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker

A previous performance of Kola: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker. Credit: courtesy

Oakland non-profit The People’s Conservatory (TPC), in collaboration with local artists Jennifer Johns, Ryan Nicole, Kev Choice, and the OSA Concert Choir, is bringing back its popular reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. Kola: An Afro Diasporic Remix of The Nutcracker transforms the tale by incorporating African and Afro-Latinx music, dance, and culture to reflect the lives of Black and brown children in modern-day Oakland. Over 500 students from over a dozen Oakland and East Bay schools are involved as performers, composers, and costume and set designers.

Thursday, Dec. 15 through Sunday, Dec. 18, $15-$20, Agency Oakland, 2150 Livingston St.

Panther Skate Plaza’s 1-year anniversary party

A group of roller skaters during the “Panther Skate Plaza” project kick-off party. Credit: David Meza

The rollerskating collective that has been hosting skate parties at West Oakland’s DeFremery Park is celebrating its first year with friends and supporters. The event is free to attend, but the group will accept donations to help cover the cost of construction and materials needed for Panther Skate Plaza, an outdoor skate rink the group is hoping to build at the park. The event will feature a rollerskating showcase, a raffle, and music by DJs Andrew J., Kev FF, Ignacia, and Black Woman. 

Thursday, Dec. 15, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., free to attend (donations accepted), Continental Club 1658 12th St.

Kitka at St. Paul’s church

Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Credit: Vincent Louis Carrella

The Oakland-based women’s vocal ensemble is currently on tour around the Bay Area, presenting its annual holiday concert, Wintersongs. This year the group is performing seasonal music from Ukraine. The theme of the program is “Shchedry Vechir,” a common refrain in Ukrainian winter holiday carols that translates as “a generous evening.” Proceeds from the shows will support a variety of organizations addressing the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Friday, Dec. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 17, 8 p.m., $25-$50, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Ave. 

Rock the Ridge at McNally’s Irish Bar

Amoeba the Jesus. Credit: Heather Slingerland

Every year, this annual live music and arts event featuring local bands and artists raises money for a different local organization. This year’s recipient is East Bay Depot for Creative Re-Use, which repurposes waste as low-cost art supplies. The event will feature live sets from Amoeba the Jesus, Loveslaughter, and The Prince of Rockridge, as well as art from jewelry and zine-maker Sara Levine, photographer Heather Slingerland, artist Helena Sorus, and fresh juices by Catherine Gracedust

Saturday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m to 10 p.m., free to attend, McNally’s Irish Bar, 5352 College Ave. 

Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker

Ramona Kelley as Marie, Richard Link as the Rat King, and Seyong Kim as the Nutcracker in Graham Lustig’s Nutcracker. Credit: Dan Dion

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the Oakland Ballet executive director Graham Lustig’s rendition of The Nutcracker. Join Marie and her soldiers on an adventure to free the Nutcracker Prince from the clutches of the Rat King. Don’t miss the Oakland Ballet’s dancers roaming around the Land of the Sweets. The Oakland Symphony, along with the Piedmont Eastbay Children’s Choir, bring Tchaikovsky’s beloved score to life.

The Oakland Ballet Company presents Graham Lustig’s “The Nutcracker” Saturday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m., ticket prices vary, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway

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.