Juneteenth5
A two-on-two basketball tournament is one of the many activities happening at Berkeley Juneteenth on Sunday June 19. Photo: Nancy Rubin

BERKELEY JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL Family entertainment is the focus of the annual Berkeley Juneteenth Festival which this year takes place Sunday, June 19, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The RD Bonds main stage will be showcasing the best of the African-American experience: upcoming acts in African drumming, jazz, blues, neo-soul, gospel, rhythm and blues, and reggae. The Lothario Lotho stage will feature specialty performances like dance, spoken word, fashion, and community performers. Alameda County health agencies will be on hand to offer informational workshops and health screenings. There’s a two-on-two basketball tournament; historical exhibits; art for children; and of course, delicious food. Pick up a copy of Vision Magazine when you’re there — a Berkeley Juneteenth souvenir publication featuring highlights about the performers and artists, and stories pertinent to the community. For more details visit the Juneteenth website.

‘OTHELLO’ BY UBUNTU AT A PERSIAN RUG STORE Ubuntu Theater Project has returned to Berkeley with its sixth show, Othello by William Shakespeare, re-imagined in a powerful site-specific venue  — namely Emmett Eiland’s Oriental Rug Company in West Berkeley. The play has “haunting relevancy for today’s society,” according to Ubuntu, who were looking to put on a play that “would deal with the domestic side of threatened homes.” Directed by Co-Artistic Director Michael Moran, the production looks at Othello as Shakespeare’s conversion of a morality play into a  a story that challenges our pre-conceived notions; and inspires a more complex outlook upon what we consider Good and Evil. Othello runs through Sunday Jun 26 at Oriental Rug Co., 1326 Ninth Street, Berkeley 94710. Visit Ubuntu Theater Project online for full details.

SUFI GROUP PLAYS BERKELEY SYNAGOGUE In this time of religious intolerance, it’s heartening to see that on Sunday at 7 p.m. Sufi ensemble Fanna-Fi-Allah will perform traditional Qawwali music at Berkeley synagogue Chochmat Halev. Sufism is a branch of mystical Islam and Qawwali music celebrates the great Sufi mystics of old and expounds on the love of the Divine through poetry. With their deep rhythmic grooves, soaring vocal melodies and the bright intensity of their live performances, Fanna-Fi-Allah ignites hearts and encourage people to remember the depth of devotion that music stirs. For details visit the Chochmat Halev website.

BREWFEST TO BENEFIT CYCLISTS On Saturday June 18, 3-6pm, Sports Basement in Berkeley holds its third annual BrewFest. Participating breweries include Black Diamond Brewery, Drakes Brewing, Headlands Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, SufferFest Beer Company and Triple Rock Brewery. $5 donations goes directly to Bike East Bay and gets you unlimited tastings. Sports Basement is also planning on food trucks being on hand to satisfy any hunger pains. Like to ride bikes? Meet up at 1:30 p.m. for a casual ride led by Sports Basement staffers. They’re thinking a one-hour ride up and down the Bay Bridge might be the perfect way to start the afternoon. All riders welcomed. Must bring your own bike, water, and gear. Sports Basement, 2727 Milvia St., Berkeley, 94703.

KPFA SUMMER CRAFTS FAIR: Not in Berkeley (so sue us!) but lots of Berkeley crafters taking part in the free KPFA Summer Crafts Fair on June 18 and 19, 10am to 5pm, at the Craneway Pavilion, Richmond. The fair benefits KPFA 94.1 FM Public Radio, and more than 170 jury-selected artists will display and sell their handmade, one-of-a-kind, and limited edition goods in a wide variety of media. This year, for the first time, there will be a Quilts & Quilters exhibit within the fair featuring the works of exceptional quilters. Admission is free, free parking and free shuttle to/from Richmond BART. Craneway Pavilion on the Waterfront, 1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond, CA 94804. Details on the Crafts Fair website.

Don’t miss these other events featured on Berkeleyside:

Frameline40: The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival in the East Bay
She’s the boss: Ojai at Berkeley celebrates amazing women
‘Sara’s Song’ captures era when there were two Berkeleys
World renowned poets gather in Berkeley to raise funds for Squaw Valley writing program 

To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, be sure to check out Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events: it’s self-serve and free. 

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...