If you didn’t score free tickets to Hiero Day this year, don’t fret! There are still some VIP tickets available, a daytime pre-party and an afterparty, both taking place at CryBaby. Besides Hiero Day, now in its 11th year, many other events are happening around town, including those we’re featuring below, starting this Thursday.

If there’s an event 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 on our events page.

Bad Art Fundraiser for Friends of Oakland Animal Services

Some of the “bad art” created to help FOAS. Credit: Friends of Oakland Animal Services

Since 2020, the nonprofit Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS) has been asking “marginally talented” artists to lend their skills for this fundraiser to support its critical work with the city’s only open-admission animal shelter. FOAS was founded by volunteers in 2005 and has since grown into a full-fledged organization that helps fund a myriad of activities at the shelter, such as emergency and specialized medical care and its pet adoption and fostering programs. For a donation of $50 or more, one of the participating artists will create a unique portrait of your fur baby. Last year, FOAS raised over $38,000 with around 800 pet portrait requests. Around 370 artists are helping FOAS this year in its effort to break last year’s fundraising goal. The artwork will be delivered in mid-October.

Through Aug. 31, purchase your pet portrait here.

International Overdose Awareness Day

At a previous awareness event, paper flowers represent all of the people lost to overdose. Credit: HEPPAC

Since 2015, the HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda Couty (HEPPAC) has hosted an event to bring awareness about overdose prevention. It also serves as a celebration of life for families, friends, and others who have lost a loved one due to an overdose. The event will include free Narcan distribution and demos on administering it, HIV and HCV (hepatitis C) testing, and referrals for treatment. There will be free food, live music, and a candlelight vigil to remember those lost to an overdose.

Thursday, Aug. 31, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., free to attend, 100th Avenue and Pearmain Street (location of HEPPAC’s weekly Thursday-night syringe access program)

‘Change in Color’ art show at Make Westing

Artwork by TC Moore. Credit: courtesy of the artist

About a dozen local artists, including TC Moore, DaDaDoodles, Math 1PTV, T1ffany, and Seesha Takagashi are part of this exhibit that’s creating a space for and showcasing underrepresented voices in the visual arts. Moore describes the exhibit as “a celebration of our shared experiences, cultural heritage, and the transformative power of art.” The artwork will be displayed at the downtown bar Make Westing throughout the month of September. The exhibit includes paintings, graffiti, collages, and digital art. 

Friday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., free to attend, Make Westing, 1741 Telegraph Ave.

Afrobeats at the Lake

Afrobeats Oakland co-founder DJ Juan G. Credit: Afrobeats

This Saturday, Afrobeats will transform Snow Park into a vendor village with 40 merchants selling clothing, food, and more, plus live music and dancing, all celebrating the African diaspora. AfroBeats Oakland was co-founded by DJ Juan G and model and event curator Asaba Kugonza in 2019. Enjoy the rhythms of Afro-pop and Afro-fusion while giving yourself a chance to support local vendors. 

Saturday, Sept. 2, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., $10, 16 and under are free, Snow Park, Lakeside Drive

Unveiling of the third ‘Love Letter to Oakland’ mural

A view of the newest “Love Letter to Oakland” mural in East Oakland. Credit: David Burke

Artists David Burke, Pancho Pescador, Joevic Yeban, and photographer Steve Babuljak will unveil the latest piece of their “Love Letter to Oakland” mural series. The third of what is planned to be five murals spread across Oakland depicts members of the older generation of Oakland creatives “passing the torch” to a younger generation they’ve inspired and influenced. The mural being unveiled this weekend also honors the 30th anniversary of the hip-hop group Souls of Mischief, part of the collective Hieroglyphics, and coincides with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

Sunday, Sept. 3, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., free to attend, 850 42nd Ave. (off High Street between San Leandro Boulevard and I-880)

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.