So many events this week are about finding out about something, or finding out more. We dare you to try not to find out anything new this week, Oakland! OK, we don’t. Just go right ahead. Here are a few events to get you started. Enjoy!

Friday, January 24

The Gathering Place, In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Mosswood Recreation Center, 3612 Webster Street

Enjoy poetry, music and art, created by all ages to inspire and encourage reflection, at this family-friendly event. A drumming circle will begin at 5:30 p.m. Poetry must be submitted before the day of event. For more information, click here.

Ceasefire Oakland/LifeLines to Healing Night Walk
6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

At Thy Word, 8915 International Boulevard

The City of Oakland and local faith-based organizations are continuing neighborhood night walks on Fridays as a way community members can get involved in Operation Ceasefire. These walks are organized by residents and faith leaders in areas where Ceasefire is focused. Volunteers are trained in advance and are accompanied by other volunteers for the duration of the walk. The purpose of the Night Walk is to reach out to communities affected by violence. For more information, email fridaycommunitynightwalks@gmail.com.

Oakland East Bay Symphony: “Enigma Variations”
8 – 10 p.m.

The Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway

Oakland East Bay Symphony and Music Director Michael Morgan continue their 25th anniversary with cellist David Requiro in a program featuring a host of evocative music. The young cellist will perform Kabalevsky’s “Second Cello Concerto” on a program with Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” overture, late Bay Area composer Conrad Susa’s “The Blue Hour” and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” The concert will be preceded by a 7 p.m. talk by music historian John Kendall Bailey and is free to all ticket-holders. Click here for tickets. For more information, visit http://www.oebs.org.

57th Street Gallery Presents Jacquie Cole and Company
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)

57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

Jacqui Cole. noted jazz/blues/R&B vocalist, is from New Orleans, the very heart of jazz and celebratory soul. Having performed there, and all over the Bay Area, her energy is captivating. Musicians are Jacquie Cole, vocals; Larry Chinn, piano; Joe McKinley, bass; Poh Soon Teng, drums. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Saturday, January 25

KONO Neighborhood Cleanup
9 a.m. – noon

Meet at KONO office, 2633 Telegraph Avenue

Councilmember Lynette McElhaney and KONO are co-hosting a neighborhood cleanup. Volunteers will meet for breakfast at the KONO office. The focus area of the cleanup is West Grand to 34th Streets along Telegraph. Teams will pick up supplies and hit the streets for some “grime fighting” so that they are able to clean Telegraph and the side streets that are also significantly impacted by graffiti, litter, weeds, and illegal dumping. To volunteer, contact Casey Farmer at (510) 238-7003 or at CFarmer@oaklandnet.com.

Black College Expo
Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The 15th Annual Black College Expo offers new information and resources to help students succeed. Black College Expo features a very informative and exciting college fair, known as an “infotainment college fair,” showcasing well over 50 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and educational organizations and programs. Its mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and/or certificate enrollment among under-served and under-represented youth. The goal is to get students excited about education and provide the pathways and resources for students to make positive career choices. Black College Expo:

Connects students and student athletes directly to colleges, including historically black colleges and universities

Students can get accepted on the spot, application fees waived, and scholarships on the spot

Exposes students to available scholarships and helps students access scholarships

Assists with college preparation and readiness

Assists student athletes with NCAA eligibility requirements and recruitment opportunities

Connects students to career, internship, and vocational opportunities

Offers incredible “life changing” seminars, which provide valuable platforms to connect students to college, careers & beyond

Covered California Affordable Health Care Act Town Hall and Free Enrollment Event
10 a.m. – noon

Faith Presbyterian Church, 430 49th Street

Council Member Kalb and State Assembly member Nancy Skinner are hosting this event, where the community can come out to learn more about Covered California. California residents can sign up for health insurance on-site. Please bring social security numbers for you and your dependents, and naturalized citizens should bring proof of immigration status.

St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School Open House
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

1516 33rd Avenue

St. Elizabeth invites prospective students, their families and community residents to an open house to learn about the school’s educational programs and extracurricular activities. According to Pope Francis, “We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data — all treated as being of equal importance — which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values.” St. Elizabeth School educates children by developing both their minds and hearts, and providing students the tools and attention they need to excel. Click here.

St. Martin de Porres Catholic Elementary School Open House
2 – 4 p.m.

675 41st Street

St. Martin de Porres School serves families in West Oakland by providing a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural K-through-8 educational experience. As a faith-based community grounded in the Roman Catholic tradition, the school welcomes and includes all, regardless of means or religious affiliation, who are committed to bettering our children, our families, our community, and our world. Click here.

Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir Winter Concert
3 – 5 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 2619 Broadway

It’s the winter of the animals! If your family loves cats, tortoises, mammoths, and funky chickens, and is looking for a fun Saturday afternoon outing, then the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir‘s Winter Concert is just the ticket. Boys and girls of all ages will show their musical achievements from the fall semester in animal-themed songs, and the advanced group, Ensemble, will premiere several works they will tour with this summer when they join around 100,000 world voices at The Estonian Song Festival, Laulupidu. Click here for tickets.

The Octopus Literary Salon: “Transformations and a Trek for Love”
8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)

817 East 24th Street

It’s time once again for everyone’s favorite pop-up literary salon! This month’s edition features storytellers Cassie Cushing and Ruth Halpern, the magic of Christian Cagigal, and music by The New Tenants. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, visit www.kaleidoscopecoffee.com.

57th Street Gallery Presents The Ways & Means Committee
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)

57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

The Ways and Means Committee is a “boppish” collective that embraces the new and less-familiar stories of the jazz idiom. Influenced by the voices of Miles, Wayne, Herbie, Mulgrew, Kenny, Jerry and Roy, the Ways and Means Committee (the most important committee in either house), fashions contemporary tunes through a cohesive self-styled voice. Musicians are Terence Elliott, keyboards; David Ferrazares, tenor saxophone; Michael Bush, alto saxophone; Gary Bean, trumpet/brass; Joe McKinley; bass; and Ajayi Jackson, drums. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Sunday, January 26

White Elephant Preview Sale
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

333 Lancaster Street

Serious shoppers take note: the biggest and best rummage sale in Northern California is returning for its 55th year! The Preview Sale, a one-day event, offers an early chance to take home great finds, including clothing, jewelry, books, tools, art, sports equipment, furniture, household items, and more. The sale offers first dibs on great merchandise before the public sale on March 1 and 2. Organized and presented by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, all sale proceeds benefit the Oakland Museum of California. Preview Sale tickets are on sale now in person at OMCA, or through downloadable mail-order form. To learn more, visit WhiteElephantSale.org.

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Oakland Convention Center, 550 10th Street

You’re invited to attend the first ever CompostCon at the Oakland Convention Center. It is a full day event for Bay Area home gardeners, teachers, and composters of all ages. There will be workshops, vendors, community organizations, a kids’ corner, and live entertainment! Register here.

Happy Birthday, Oakland City Hall!
2 p.m.

Oakland Main Library, 125 14th Street ,Bradley Walters Community Room

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Oakland’s beautiful City Hall. See the Oakland History Room’s newly-digitized collection of City Hall photographs. Learn about City Hall’s fascinating history, all sponsored by the Friends of the Oakland History Room.

Poetry Flash in Honor of William Stafford
3 p.m.

Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland, 5433 College Avenue

William Stafford was one of the twentieth century’s greatest American poets, and in honor of the release of his new collection, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems, Poetry Flash will host a reading of his poetry. Guest readers will be: Tiffany Higgins, translator and author of the prize-winning And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet; Maxine Hong Kingston, whose latest book is the memoir-in-verse I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, and whose numerous prose works of fiction and nonfiction have won her both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; actor Earll Kingston, who has appeared in many literary-themed productions; and Joseph Lease, whose latest book of poems, his fourth, is Testify and whose poetry has been featured on NPR and anthologized in Best American Poetry. For more information, visit http://www.dieselbookstore.com.

Petty Troubles Album Release
4 – 6 p.m.

Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street

The album release event will feature Matt Montgomery with Brian McCune and special guest Van Dyke Parks with Orchestra. Petty Troubles is a live orchestral pop album featuring the songs of Matt Montgomery, orchestrated by Brian Adam McCune and produced by Brendan West. Petty Troubles is also the title of the companion documentary, directed by Isaac Pingree, that chronicles the process, perks and pitfalls of recording an independent album live in one day with 30 Bay Area musicians. To purchase tickets, please visit the Malonga Box Office at 1428 Alice Street or visit www.pettytroubles.com. For more information, contact Mercedes Ervin, Recreation Leader PPT, at mdervin@oaklandnet.com.

Tuesday, January 28

Oakland City Council Committee Meetings
times listed below

Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Oakland, and consists of eight members who are elected directly by the citizens of Oakland: one representative from each of seven districts, and one at-large representative. The Council sets goals and priorities for the City, as well as approving the City budget, adopting ordinances to help the City serve its citizens, and appointing members to various boards and commissions. Most of the Committees of the City Council (such as this one) usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available here.

10:30 a.m.: Public Works Committee

noon: Finance and Management Committee

2 p.m.: Community & Economic Development Committee

4 p.m.: Life Enrichment Committee

5:30 p.m.: Public Safety Committee

For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Making Meaningful Shifts Towards a Better World
5:30 – 8 p.m.

One PacificCoast Bank, 1438 Webster Street

Inspired by the new year, there is a dual focus to this event: learning how some of our successful local businesses are fighting for good and winning against the mainstream — and get some tips for your own business; and learning how we, as individuals, can make big long-term shifts toward a better world this year with just a few decisions (change your internet service provider, your bank / credit card, your cellphone). Key speakers are Kat Taylor, Founder and CEO, One PacificCoast Bank; and Dan Callaway, Co-Founder, LMI.net. For more information, visit http://locallyinspired.eventbrite.com.

Wednesday, January 29

Growing Your Own Vegetables from Seed
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Pollinate Farm and Garden, 2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Starting vegetables from seed can save money and give you access to thousands of vegetable varieties not available as transplants. We will start with a discussion of the history of seed saving and learn which seeds are best sown directly in the ground and which are best started indoors. The class will also cover cleanliness, seed starting mixes, containers, planting techniques, watering and fertilizing, and sources of light and heat. We will also learn how to “harden off” seedlings before transplanting out into the garden. Students will practice what they learned by planting several 6-packs of seeds to take home. A resource list will be provided. Register online.

Thursday, January 30

Forge’s 1-Year Anniversary
all day

66 Franklin Street

Come celebrate on of Oakland’s favorite new pizza restaurants! Enjoy happy hour all day long with DJ party music, and free Margherita pizzas from 4 – 6 p.m.!

King Tides Walk along the Waterfront
10 a.m. – noon

Fruitvale Bridge Park, Fruitvale and Alameda

Join local historian Dennis Evanosky for this walking tour and learn the history of the waterway along the shoreline where Sausal Creek now flows into the estuary via a culvert. This event takes places during one of the king tides of 2014, and participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and help document what our daily tides may look like in the future as a result of sea level rise. For more information, call (510) 501-3672, email coordinator@sausalcreek.org, or click here.

Oakland City Council Rules & Legislation Committee
10:45 a.m.

Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available here. For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Latham Square Community Meeting
6 – 8 p.m.

American Institute of Architects (AIA) – East Bay, 1405 Clay Street

The City of Oakland wants your input on the design features for Latham Square. For more information, please contact Iris Starr, Division Manager of Transportation Planning and Funding, at istarr@oaklandnet.com.

To list an event for January 31 – February 6, send the details to meg@oaklandlocal.com by noon on Tuesday, January 28.

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