The interior of the Berkeley Art Museum, which will have a goodbye party on Saturday. Photo: Joe Fletcher/BAMPFA
The interior of the Berkeley Art Museum, which will have a goodbye party on Saturday. Photo: Joe Fletcher/BAMPFA

GOODBYE TO THE OLD BERKELEY ART MUSEUM For 44 years, the Berkeley Art Museum at 2626 Bancroft Ave. has been a galvanizing force for culture in Berkeley and beyond. Many of the world’s greatest artists have performed or displayed their work there. But the Brutalist building designed by Mario Ciampi, and opened in 1970, is not seismically safe. It will close at the end of 2014 as BAM prepares for its move in early 2016 into a new 82,000-square foot home on Center Street designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. To celebrate the transition, BAM/PFA is throwing itself a goodbye party on Sunday called Let’s Go! A Farewell Revel. Starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m., the free celebration includes a create-your-own-museum art workshop, a dance battle by TURFinc, “vibrant vocals” from the women’s group, Kitka, a performance by pianist/composer Sarah Cahill of Gyorgy Ligeti’s 1962 composition “Poème symphonique” for 100 metronomes, and more. (Be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign in progress to record the acoustics of the building.) The day will end with a procession from the Bancroft building through the campus to the new structure at 2155 Center St. Luckily, the forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds. During the year it is closed, BAM/PFA will put on mobile exhibits around town. The PFA will continue to show films at its current site on Bancroft, across the street from the art museum.

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MUST RELIGION AND CLIMATE CHANGE CLASH?  Katharine Hayhoe, named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people for 2014, defies expectations. An evangelical Christian living in Texas, Hayhoe is also one of the world’s experts on climate change. The director of the Climate Change Center at Texas Tech University will join other environmental experts for a panel discussion titled “Science, Religion, and the Climate Crisis,” Friday Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave. Hayhoe will talk with Ron Amundson, a former professor of the Environmental Science, Policy and Management department at UC Berkeley and Richard Norgaard, a professor of Energy and Resources at Cal, about why science and religion need not clash. A $10 donation is recommended.

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THE NUTCRACKER, A HOLIDAY FAVORITE  What would the holiday season be like without taking in a show of The Nutcracker? This year, leave the adult productions behind and enjoy the breathtaking performances of the Youth Company of the Berkeley Ballet Theater. New York Times Dance called BBT’s production, “touching.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec, 19, 20, 21, at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Ave.

Gingerbread house at the Claremont Hotel

BUILD AN ENORMOUS GINGERBREAD HOUSE All hands on deck at Habitot Children’s Museum on Saturday Dec. 20. Starting at 9:30 a.m., and continuing until 4:30 p.m., toddlers, kids, parents and caregivers can work together to decorate a huge gingerbread house. Habitot will provide the candy for the decorations (but if you bring your own bag you get a free guest pass), and participants will provide the creativity. Habitot will donate the finished gingerbread house to a local homeless shelter for families there to enjoy. Habitot is located at 2065 Kittredge St.

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FOOD, FOOD, AND MORE FOOD AT THE HOLIDAY MART The North Berkeley Holiday Mart is a chance for shoppers to find great food-oriented gifts for the holidays. Hosted by the new restaurant Mission Heirloom, the mart will bring together “an array of people selling everything from hand-crafted jewelry to luxe massages to vocal lessons to locally made hot sauce and more.” Mission Heirloom will also be previewing its gluten-free dinner service. The event will be both in the restaurant and in a repurposed greenhouse centered in a zen-like garden. The Holiday Mart will be held Saturday, Dec. 20 from 5 to 10 p.m. at 2085 Vine St. Register for tickets.

Don’t miss these other great events happening this weekend:

Chiura Obata: A story of resilience, a passion for Yosemite 
Our Town by Shotgun Players is a winner
The Babadook — an Australian thriller

Check out Berkeleyside’s event calendar for many more events, and make sure to post your own community happenings.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...