June Arts and Music Calendar

We’re almost halfway done with 2018 — how is this possible? With the arrival of June means summer’s around the corner, so don’t be shy about hanging outside this month. Outdoor comedy and theater, art walks and a San Francisco tradition featuring a huge parade are all coming up these next few weeks — so get excited for some summer vibes! There’s no shortage of great indoor events as well, so read on to find out what our friends are offering this month:


Clusterfest in San Francisco.

Photo of performers at Clusterfest. Provided by Another Planet Entertainment.

Clusterfest (June 1-3) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The second annual Clusterfest is coming back to San Francisco, and the star-studded lineup includes Jon Stewart, Amy Schumer, The Lonely Island, Trevor Noah and many more. There'll be three days of comedy, music (what's up Third Eye Blind and Wu Tang Clan!), attractions like the South Park County Fair, live podcast recordings and performances from drag queens. Tickets range from $99-$290 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk four minutes to Civic Center and Bill Graham Auditorium.


Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival (June 2-3) at Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek's Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau present the city's Art & Wine Festival, which is celebrating its 37th year this year. There will be family-friendly Bay Area music and entertainment, a premium wine tent, a craft beer garden, a sports lounge, food vendors and works of art from over 200 local artisans. Some of the art that will be on display includes fine art, photography, mixed media and metal art. The festival's hours on June 2 are from 11am to 6pm, and on June 3 are 11am to 6pm. Admission is free. Take BART to Walnut Creek and take a free shuttle ride to and from the festival.


San Leandro Cherry Festival (June 2) at Bay Fair (San Leandro)

San Leandro was once the cherry-growing capital of the region, and the city’s annual Cherry Festival has been honoring that heritage since 1909. There is a parade that begins at 10am on San Leandro Boulevard and the festival will last until 6pm. Visitors can expect music and entertainment on the main stage, along with food vendors and a Kids Zone at other areas of the festival. Admission is free. Take BART to Bay Fair (San Leandro) and walk to 320 West Estudillo Ave.


Oakland Art Murmur.
Photo courtesy of Oakland Art Murmur Facebook page.
Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) is a nonprofit that has connected thousands of artists to over a million visitors through its various local programs. Two of its most famous programs are the “First Friday Art Walk” and “Saturday Stroll.” First Friday Art Walks are held every first Friday of the month, so in June it will fall on June 1. OAM Galleries across Oakland are open from 6 to 9pm, rain or shine. For Saturday Stroll, OAM member galleries are collectively open from 1 to 5pm every Saturday. During Saturday Stroll many galleries hold artists talks, receptions, film screenings and more. You can find OAM’s list of venues here. Admission to both events are free.
SF Jazz Festival (June 5-17) at Civic Center/UN Plaza
SFJAZZ’s globally renowned jazz festival is celebrating its 36th year this month. Over the span of 13 days there will be 43 different shows at five various venues around Hayes Valley in San Francisco. The festival will kick off with a free block party on June 5 at the outdoor Proxy space in Hayes Valley with live music from Beso Negro and Howard Wiley & Extra Nappy, as well as videos, a beer garden and food trucks. The lineup for the two week festival features artists like Sergio Mendes, Amadou & Miriam and Monsieur Perine. Ticket prices vary for each show. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk to one of the venues in Hayes Valley, depending on the show.
First Wednesday (June 6) at Walnut Creek
On every First Wednesday of the Month from 5:30 to 8:30pm through September, Walnut Creek Downtown is throwing a street fest filled with live music, dancing, outdoor eats, wine and beer, art, shopping and a Kids Fun Zone for families. This year First Wednesdays is partnering with the Contra Costa Certified Farmers Market to show a Chef’s Demo, so visitors can stop by and enjoy some yummy recipes. Admission is free. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 13 minutes to Cypress Street.
Temescal Street Fair (June 10) at MacArthur (Oakland)
The 15th annual Temescal Street Fair will feature live music and entertainment on three stages, food from popular food trucks and Temescal eateries, craft beer and business and community booths. There will be a Kinetic Arts Center Circus stage, Salsa in the Street live music and local musicians at the 45th St. Jazz Stage, among other entertainment. The family-friendly fair will have a Fun Zone and Carnival rides for kids. Enjoy the festival from noon to 6pm. Admission is free. Take BART to MacArthur (Oakland) and walk 9 minutes to 4430 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. There will also be free Valet Bike parking for those arriving on two wheels!
Quixote at Cal Shakes.
Photo courtesy of the California Shakespeare Theater's Facebook page.
Visit the California Shakespeare Theater and take a journey to the fictional modern-day border town of La Mancha, Texas, where Don Quixote embarks on chivalrous escapades and a quest of imagination, adventure and Tejano music. Celebrated Latino playwright Octavio Solis has created this new version of Don Quixote, which will be played by Sesame Street’s Emilio Delgado. Opening night is on June 16 at 8pm, and the remaining shows will be playing every day for the rest of the month besides Sundays, so grab some tickets and support local theater. Tickets range from $20-$62 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Orinda and catch the free shuttle to the Cal Shakes amphitheater. 
The Alameda County fair has no shortage of activities and things to check out: concerts, horse racing, shopping, contests, a carnival and an action sports arena, to name a few. On the music lineup are some legends like Blue Oyster Cult and Sir Mix-A-Lot. Tickets are $5-$40, and can be bought online. There are various discounts and deals available, so check the website for further details. Festival hours are 11am to 11pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Take BART to Dublin/Pleasanton and catch the WHEELS Fair Shuttle (Route 52) to the Fairgrounds.
SF Juneteenth (June 16) at Civic Center/UN Plaza
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery in the U.S., dating all the way back to June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the enslaved were now free. African-Americans have celebrated the abolition of slavery in San Francisco since 1855 however -- starting when a nephew of abolitionist Rev. Samuel Ringgold Ward spoke at the annual celebration of Emancipation in the British West Indies in the city. San Francisco’s Juneteenth is one of the largest African-American celebrations in California, bringing historical awareness to the public, helping build self esteem for local African-American youth and providing ways for local vendors to showcase their craft. Admission is free. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 19 minutes to 762 Fulton St.
Berkeley Juneteenth celebration.

Photo provided by Berkeley Juneteenth.

Berkeley Juneteenth (June 17) at Ashby (Berkeley)

June 19, 1865 marked a historic day for U.S. slaves -- it was the day when news reached Galveston, Texas that President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. After news broke, slaves flooded the streets and rejoiced in newly discovered freedom. Berkeley is one of many communities across the country that has adopted Juneteenth as a celebration of African-American culture and traditions. On Sunday, June 17 from 11am to 7pm, visitors can come listen to live music which will include some of the best of the African-American experience: drumming, jazz, blues and much more. There will also be specialty performances like dance and spoken word, along with historical exhibits and art for children. Admission is free. Take BART to Ashby (Berkeley) and walk 4 minutes south of Martin Luther King Jr Way, toward Alcatraz Avenue and Adeline Street.


What the Constitution Means to Me (May 10-June 17) at Downtown Berkeley

Heidi Schreck used to deliver speeches about the Constitution in American Legion Halls all across the U.S. back in high school to help pay for college. Now the Obie Award-winning performer has reinvented her speech she gave at 15 to a new audience and explores the effect the document has had on four generations of women in her family. The piece also includes a debate between Schreck and a local high-school debater over the future of citizens’ inalienable rights. Head over to Berkeley Rep Theatre and go watch what New York Magazine called one of the 10 best shows of 2017. Tickets range from $30-$97 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Berkeley Rep.


Walnut Creek Uncorked (June 20) at Walnut Creek

Head over to Walnut Creek Uncorked on June 20 for an evening of strolling through downtown Walnut Creek and exploring the city’s unique artisan shops from 6 to 9pm. There will be a variety of wines to sip and tasty bites to savor. The event will also include hydration stations and live entertainment. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 on the event day, and can be purchased online. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Walnut Creek Education Foundation — cheers to that! Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 11 minutes to the event’s starting location, which is at City Hall Plaza.

Soft Power (June 20-July 8) at Powell Street

"Soft Power" is a first time collaboration between Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang ("M. Butterfly") and Jeanine Tesori ("Fun Home"). It is an East-meets-West musical based on the story of a Chinese executive in America, circa 2016, who falls in love with a U.S. leader. Their romance starts to shift the power balance between the two countries, with a potential new order in the future. The piece is inspired by inauthentic portrayals of Asia that are often put forth by the West, and is what the LA Times describes as "smart, splashy and wonderfully funny." Go see what The Hollywood Reporter calls “the most creatively ambitious new musical of the year!” and what Entertainment Weekly says is a "form-busting examination of the American dream." Tickets range from $29-$165 and can be bought online. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 8 minutes to the Curran Theater. 


Music and Market series

Photo courtesy of Visit Concord.

Music & Market Series (June 21 and June 28) at Concord

On every Thursday evening until September, Visit Concord is hosting its 30th annual Music & Market Series at Todos Santos Plaza. There will be free concerts in the park, along with a farmers' market to shop from. On June 21, LUMBERYARD will be performing favorite covers from the 60's and 70's, and on June 28 there will be a performance from The Highway Poets, whose music is new retro soul. Hours are 6:30pm to 8pm. Admission is free. Smoking, dogs and alcohol are not permitted in the Plaza, but feel free to bring picnic supplies and lawn chairs. Take BART to Concord and walk 8 minutes to Todos Santos Plaza. 


Dry Powder (June 22-July 22) at Downtown Berkeley

Does a play centered around the topic of high finance have you intrigued? If so, “Dry Powder” may be the show you need to see. After his private equity firm forced job cuts at a national retailer, Rick is facing some harsh backlash. He must decide between two very different solutions  -- one from his Managing Director that’s more ideal, or one from a firm partner that is more controversial. “Dry Powder” — which Time Out New York calls “...lacerating...nuanced...extraordinarily timely” — is celebrating its Bay Area premiere at Aurora Theatre. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to the theater.


San Francisco Pride.

Photo provided by SF Pride.

San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade (June 23-24) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

San Francisco Pride has been an annual celebration since 1972, and it’s the largest gathering of the LGBT community and allies in the nation. There are over 200 parade contingents and contributors, and more than 20 community-run stages and venues. Celebrations begin on Saturday in Civic Center Plaza, and the parade takes place on Sunday morning at 10:30am, kicking off from Beale Street along Market and ends at Market and 8th streets. Keep your eyes peeled for the BARTmobile that will be driving down the parade! There will be plenty of speakers, performers and exhibitors to check out both days. Come celebrate equality with thousands of other attendees at one of the most famous events in San Francisco. Admission is free. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and the festivities will be right there!


The Contemporary Jewish Museum exhibitions (Ends July 8, 29) at Powell Street

The Contemporary Jewish Museum hopes to show the diversity of the Jewish experience to a modern audience through exhibitions and educational programs. Some of its current exhibitions are:

"Kutiman: Offgrid Online" runs through July 8. It focuses on Kutiman, a young Israeli musician and composer, who utilizes audio and video from the web to focus on themes of assemblage, cut-up literary technique, appropriation and found art into the realm of music and sound composition.

"The Art of Rube Goldberg" also runs through July 8. It explores the career of the celebrated cartoonist and is the first retrospective exhibition of his work since 1970. Visitors can see never-before-exhibited original drawings, sketches, rare photographs, films, letters and memorabilia from his family archives.

"Contraption: Rediscovering California Jewish Artists" runs through July 29. It is a group show from 16 California-identified artists of Jewish descent that are both historical and living. From the living artists there will be large-scale mechanical installations, as well as ceramics, drawings, sculpture and paintings.

Tickets range from $5-$14. Admission is free for members and visitors age 18 and younger. There is also free admission on every first Tuesday of each month. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 6 minutes to the museum.

Angels in America (Ends July 22) at Downtown Berkeley

Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play, “Angels in America,” is at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Tony Taccone is the artistic director of the play in his 20th anniversary season. The play was first staged 26 years ago, and originally commissioned by the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco. It’s a two-part drama that explores subjects like American politics and gay identity, along with love and loyalty. Tickets range from $40-$100 and can be purchased online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Berkeley Rep.


Divine Bodies at the Asian Art Museum.

Photo courtesy of Asian Art Museum.

Divine Bodies (Ends July 29) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Asian Art Museum houses one of the largest collections of Asian art in the world with 18,00 objects — some pieces dating back 6,000 years.

Its current feature exhibition, Divine Bodies, showcases more than 40 traditional Hindu and Buddhist paintings and sculptures, along with some modern photo-based work. Divine Bodies encourages attendees to ponder themes of transformation, transcendence and the relationship of the bodies to the cosmos. Tickets range from $10-$25, and there will be free admission on May 6. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 4 minutes to the museum.


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