BIRDS AND NESTS When the trees lose their leaves, we know that winter is here. While it may signal a turn in the weather, it also means that we can better see birds’ nests perched in their bare homes. In this Zoom family event by the UC Botanical Garden, “Birds of the Garden and Their Nests,” garden staff will show you a collection of real nests that they have saved from tree trimmings. You’ll learn about how different birds build their unique nests with specific materials and listen to six bird calls from winged creatures that live in the Garden. After this event, you’ll be inspired to fly around your living room while cawing with your family. Saturday, Jan. 30. 10-10:45 a.m. $5 per family.
WOMEN COMPOSERS Listen to some of the greatest women composers of our era at an online concert organized by Ensemble for the Times (E4TT). In “Rhapsody: Music by Women Composers,” you’ll listen to performances of works by 10 composers from around the world. You’ll hear compositions by Pulitzer Prize winners, Guggenheim fellows, and Grammy winners. You’ll even hear a locally grown work: a reprise of “Matrix” by Bay Area composer Ursula Le Guin and Rella Lossy. The concert will have a pre-performance composer talk with Elinor Armer and an introduction video by Jesse Montgomery. Bring your ears and be inspired by these talented women composers. Broadcast on YouTube Live. Saturday, Jan. 30. 7 p.m. Free and donations encouraged.
FACT OR FICTION We witnessed the precariousness of truth during the Trump administration. As a country, we learned lessons that we’ll hopefully use to prevent future violations. In “Fact or Fiction: Disinformation and Freedom of Speech,” a talk put on by Cal Performances, experts will discuss the proliferation of disinformation in today’s public sphere and its relationship to the fundamental right of freedom of speech. Janet Napolitano will moderate a discussion with thought leaders from Berkeley Law, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Graduate School of Journalism. Consider the question: how can a country founded on the cornerstone of freedom of speech move forward in an era of disinformation? Sunday, Jan. 31. 2 p.m. Free. Streamed on their website.
FLOWER ART As we wade through this rainy season with our raincoats and boots, we know that spring is just around the corner. Join Fourth Street Fine Art to get ready for the approaching blossom season in their show, “Art is the Flower.” In this intimate show, featuring artists Cindy Podren and Sally Petru, you’ll contemplate aestheticized renderings of fecund nature. In “Rose ‘Blaze,’” Sally Petru paints a vibrant fuchsia upright rose with floating green leaves that is based on a flower found on Alcatraz. Cindy Podren’s “Daisy Daisy” is an impressionistic watercolor splashed with sunny yellow and inky black. Stop by the artist reception and meet the artists behind these vivid works. Virtual artist reception on Jan. 31 from 1-3 p.m. On display until February 28.
OPTIONS Artists, accustomed to working in physical spaces, pivoted during the pandemic to produce works that can be shown online. In “The Option To…,” a series of commissioned pieces by Berkeley Art Center, curators put out a call for projects of any theme that could be presented online. The show worked in tandem with the Feminist Art Coalition to support projects that were informed by various feminisms. The diverse array of projects include Feral Fabric’s Community Snake Banner displayed across the length of the wood bridge leading to BAC and Adia Miller’s video performance project in which she explored her personal relationship to gender and femininity by wearing a dress every day for a month. Observe and be inspired by these thought-provoking works. On display online until the end of February. Free.