LUNAR NEW YEAR A holiday celebrated by many Asian countries and diasporic people of Asian descent, Lunar New Year is celebrating the year of the Ox. Tune into a digital Lunar New Year celebration with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. They will host a kick-off party on the first day of Lunar New Year, as well as days dedicated to how different countries celebrate, including China and Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Tibet. They will also host a special event on the food and drink of Lunar New Year, with a wonton-making workshop with Chef Tu David Phu accompanied by a mixology class. Don’t miss the virtual community night market featuring AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander)-owned and AAPI-ally businesses and restaurants. In a harrowing time for the Asian community with pandemic-fueled violence, Lunar New Year is a chance to celebrate our roots and join in community. Kick-off party is Friday, Feb. 12 at 12 p.m. Check schedule for other programming.
WORLD LITERATURE One good thing about the digital lifestyle is the opportunity to connect different parts of the world together at the same time. “Literature Live Around the World,” a 12-hour festival conducted online, brings together notable literary festivals from 12 nations, like the United States, India, Nigeria, Argentina, and Jamaica. Each country will present a one-hour segment that showcases the region’s literary scene and prominent authors. None other than the Bay Area Book Fest will represent the U.S. Award-winning authors Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida will present “Books, magazines, and pirate stores: writing and activism in California and beyond.” Come cheer on the the Bay Area’s own in this diverse literary fest. Friday, Feb. 12 from 12-1 p.m.
BLACK ARTISTS Last October, Acci Gallery organized a show, “The Art of Resilience,” that featured Black artists who are surviving and thriving in the Bay Area. For Black History Month, the gallery is bringing back some of these artists to dive deeper in their work and art practice. For this special spotlight, you can check out the work of artists LE Bohemian Muse, Ron Moultrie-Saunders, Nyya Lark, TheArthur Wright, and Suzane Beaubrun. Be inspired by the work of San Francisco-based photographic artist, landscape architect, and teacher, Ron Moultrie Saunders, who is creating public art for BART. Explore the interesting work of TheArthur Wright, a writer and painter who has traveled the world. Keep a eye out for Acci Gallery’s social media for weekly Black History Month content. Support Black artists now and always.
SHARKY DATE Ever dream of going on a date with a shark? The creatives over at Shotgun Players certainly do. Just tune into their latest surreal drama, “Swimming in the Shallows.” Watch a saga of complicated relationships, including the one between Nick and an aquarium shark who go on a date to the beach while trying not to move too fast. Meanwhile on dry land, Donna wants Carla Carla to marry her, but Carla Carla can’t stand Donna’s smoking habit. On the other side of normal, Barb desires an ascetic lifestyle but her husband keeps indulging her with material goods. Join in to see how this riveting tale unwinds. Streaming on-demand until Feb. 15. $20 to rent.
PUPPY KISSES Whatever your feelings about Valentine’s Day, we can find joy in giving adorable pups our love. East Bay SPCA is hosting a drive-thru event, “Smooches for Pooches,” where you can send some socially distanced love to the animals. Wear your masks in your car and say hello to the doggies from afar. Kids can pick up some candy and non-food goodies, and the whole family can enjoy a East Bay SPCA activity book to take home. Donations are welcome to support their humane education programs. Bring the whole family and join in on this sweet Valentine’s Day adventure. Sunday, Feb. 14, 12-2 p.m at the Oakland (8323 Baldwin Street) and Dublin locations (4651 Gleason Drive). Free.