ASIAN CELEBRATION After a joyous digital Lunar New Year celebration, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center will continue celebrating the diversity of Asian experiences with a spotlight on South and South East Asia. Learn about the cultures of Thailand, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Singapore and more. Join virtual story times with colorful books like Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers, Tan and the Blooming Hearts, and Mela and the Elephant. Don’t miss their workshop hosted by Leena Lim from the Malaya Tea Room that will teach you how to create an afternoon tea experience. Join and get a recipe for a cucumber sandwich, a Quarantine Tea box that includes 3 types of tea sachets, 2 scones, clotted cream, and lemon curd, and a raffle ticket. Make sure to check out their Virtual Community Night Market, which closes April 19. Drink up these rich and complex Asian cultures. Afternoon Tea tickets start at $28. Story times and other events are free. April 12-19.
BAY MUSIC Do you hear the music in the air? Bay Area Music Consortium (BAMC) is putting on a virtual showcase to celebrate the talent and diversity of local musicians. Listen to Quinteto Latino, a wind quintet focusing on the music of Latin American composers, and Astor Piazzolla Alam Khan, a sarod master who will perform a raga in the Indian classical tradition. You’ll also appreciate Friction Quartet, a cutting-edge string quartet, and Stars Aligned Siblings, an award-winning string quartet of young talent. BAMC writes, “This concert is an opportunity to gather together from all corners of the Bay Area and celebrate these trailblazing performers and composers whom we miss experiencing live!” April 10 at 7 p.m. Recording available until April 18. General admission $25.
BUTTERFLY WALK Spring has sprung and there’s no better way to celebrate the new growth than a virtual butterfly walk from the UC Botanical Garden. Created for all ages, and perfect for the whole family, the digital butterfly walk will be lead by “resident caterpillar lady” Sal Levinson and “butterfly guy” Sarab Seth. They will present an illustrated slideshow of rare butterflies that are seen in the garden. After the presentation, consider a safe in-person visit to the garden. Make a reservation to see the 12,000 different kinds of plants that sprout there. Explore and appreciate local nature. Virtual butterfly walk starts at $5. In-person visits to the garden are $15 for adults and free for children 6 and under.
FREE PRESS As social media platforms have become popular sources of information, the news industry has faced decline, defunding, and discrediting. In “A Clear and Present Danger: The Wild West of the Web, the First Amendment, and Saving the News,” Professor Martha Minow of Harvard Law School will talk about the ongoing crisis of the press and the necessity of government regulation of social media platforms. She will be in conversation with Dean of Berkeley Law Erwin Chemerinsky, with veteran journalist and Berkeley emeritus professor Lowell Bergman moderating. Together, they will help us explore “what role—if any—government regulation and action can, and should, play in taming the forces that now threaten the very existence of a free press and our democracy.” April 12 at 5 p.m. Free.
FEEL THE SPIRIT The pandemic has changed everything about the way we live including how we eat, work, and even worship. Shotgun Players is treating us to a dose of dramatic realism with Feel the Spirit, a story about queerness, spirituality, and adjusting to a new normal. In the story, a young queer pastor navigates her congregation’s shift to online worship. The participatory play is presented as a Zoom meeting in the style of an online church gathering. During the show, you’ll be invited to speak or chat in the main or breakout room. Participation is not mandatory and viewers do not have to share audio or video. Come out and feel the spirit. April 9 at 7 p.m., April 10 at 7 p.m., and April 11 at 5 p.m. Pay-what-you-can, starting at $8.