a Fruitvale job fair, tea at Cohen Bray House, and Art Route

For this week’s roundup, we are straying from our usual five-event format to highlight seven local events that offer a little bit for everyone.

Looking for a gift for the mom in your life? We have two pop-up events: the Cósmica pop-up inside Fire Wings, and the Free Oakland UP 8th anniversary. There’s also a tour and tea time at the historic Cohen Bray House.

Need a job? Head over to Fruitvale for Thursday’s job fair. Want to run for a good cause? You can do so this weekend. Looking to explore Oakland’s galleries? We got you! Prefer to kick back and listen to stories by local Black writers? There’s a virtual event you should check out.

If you’ve been out and about socializing with friends and strangers, don’t forget to get tested. We recently updated our COVID testing guide.

Know of an event that should be featured? Email me at: [email protected] 

Raise Your Voice Spring Showcase

Alie Jones is a local writer and the host of Chit Chat With Aliecat, a podcast exploring personal journeys of self-care and love. Jones also hosts a free monthly workshop aimed at empowering other local Black writers through storytelling and self-expression, and participants will be presenting their recent works at this showcase and celebration. One of this month’s guests is none other than local writer and frequent Oaklandside contributor, Brandy Collins. Over 200 people have attended Jones’ workshops either in person or virtually since she started doing them three years ago. 

Wednesday, May 4, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., free, register online 

Fruitvale Village Job Fair

Fruitvale Village as seen from leaving Fruitvale Bart Station

Out of work or looking for a better job? Head down to Fruitvale Village this Thursday and meet with representatives from more than 50 different local and national organizations. BART and the Oakland Zoo are just two of the employers seeking applicants for a variety of positions. Bring a few resumes, enjoy the mariachi music, and stick around afterward to have a bite at one of the neighborhood’s many restaurants. 

Thursday, May 5, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Fruitvale Transit Village Plaza, 3301 E12th St.

Art Route Oakland

Starting this Friday, residents are being invited to take self-guided tours of art galleries located all around Oakland—from downtown to North Oakland to the Laurel. Pick up a map at one of the participating Oakland Art Murmur venues, collect stamps for every gallery you visit, and enter the competition to win up to $2,000 towards the purchase of artwork, among other prizes. Entries must be submitted no later than May 14. 

Friday, May 6 to Saturday, May 14, see the website for a list of participating galleries and complete instructions 

Cósmica pop-up 

Some of the handcrafted products by Iluminar. Credit: Iluminar

Hailing from East Oakland, Debbie Giron started her online business, Iluminar, which she runs entirely from Instagram, two years ago. The virtual shop carries handcrafted products like herb-infused oils, candles, and smudge wands. Giron, who has participated in pop-ups all around the Bay Area, is now teaming up with her friends at the Oakland restaurant franchise, Fire Wings, to host this pop-up to support lesser-known local vendors who can benefit from having a space to showcase their products. There will be sweets, candles, jewelry, apparel, artwork, crystals, and other locally made products that will make great Mother’s Day gifts. You can even get food while you’re shopping and supporting local entrepreneurs. 

Saturday, May 7, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Bar 203 (inside Fire Wings), 203 E18th St.

Healing Hearts FunRUN and Fitness Walk for Suicide Prevention at Laney College

This Friday, Laney College is hosting a one-mile walk/run to raise money for Alameda Crisis Support Services. Ready to go on a run to support the cause of suicide prevention? Sign up online and meet at 9 a.m. at the field. Prefer to run solo? Then register to complete a 5k on your own by May 6. Registration donations are pay-what-you-can. Come out and help support a cause that affects millions of Americans each year. 

Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m., donation-based, register online, Laney College field, 900 Fallon St.

Free Oakland UP 8th Anniversary 

The outside of the Free Oakland UP store in the Dimond. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

Last summer, we wrote about Oakland artist Jocelyn Meggait and her Free Oakland UP store in the Dimond district. Her free shop aims to discourage unnecessary waste and challenge the culture of excessive consumerism. To offset rent and other costs associated with running the free store, Meggait hosts a plant sale every second Sunday of the month. To celebrate the store’s 8th anniversary, which coincides with the shop’s monthly plant sale, she’s hosting a street fair in the parking lot. If you’re still looking for a gift for mom, or want to bring her along to pick a new plant, this is the event to go to. There will be grilled cheese sandwiches by Cheese Please, clay pieces by Studio Caliari, a craft table for attendees, and much more. 

Sunday, May 8, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Free Oakland UP, 2809 MacArthur Blvd. 

Annual Cohen Bray House Mother’s Day tour and tea

The inside of the house has all of the original furniture that the Cohen Bray family furnished the Victorian with.
Credit: Azucena Rasilla

Don’t miss the opportunity to tour the inside of this historic Victorian, built in 1882 and located on 29th Avenue in Fruitvale. It was the home of two prominent Gold Rush-era families, the Cohens, and the Brays, and was designated an Oakland Historic Landmark in 1975. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home still has original keepsakes from the families who have lived in the house, and it is still under the care of the great-granddaughters of the original owners. A COVID vaccination card and a mask are required to attend. 

Sunday, May 8, 1 p.m., $20-$40, Cohen Bray House, 1440 29th Ave.