Skip to main content.
Submit or edit an event >
Advanced search >
Critics Choice

Sign up to receive the coming week's event highlights emailed to you each Monday morning.


Panel discussion: Big money politics after Citizens United
Saturday, April 18 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 145 Dwinelle Hall

Supreme Court buildingBipartisan campaign-finance reform was dealt a serious blow in 2010 with the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and subsequent decisions. Five years later, questions loom. Are all campaign contributions now protected "speech" under the Constitution? How can elections work best when "deep-pockets" secretly attempt to control the results and often drown out civil discussion? In this new environment, policymakers are exploring how to keep our democracy healthy and strong. It is important that we reengage voters who understandably have lost faith in our system. Join a groundbreaking civil rights leader, a nationally recognized constitutional law expert and political scientist, and a civic-engagement expert and politician for a provocative panel discussion addressing these important questions.

Lecture: Alex Filippenko, frontier research at Lick Observatory
Saturday, April 18 | 3-4:30 p.m. | 155 Dwinelle Hall

Alex FilippenkoLick Observatory is a vibrant research facility and the primary base for UC's astronomy education and outreach efforts. Cutting-edge fields include stellar explosions, Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and technology development. Come learn about the cutting-edge research and intensive student training being done at Lick.

Special event: Cal Day
Saturday, April 18 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Sproul Plaza

Old photo of jazz band with new photo of jazz musicianUC Berkeley throws open its doors and offers over 300 lectures, tours, performances, demonstrations and discussions. Many events are tailored for kids & families, prospective students, and the just plain curious. Come experience a day in the life of UC Berkeley!

Dance: Berkeley Dance Project 2015
April 16 – 18, 2015 every day | 8-9:30 p.m. | Zellerbach Playhouse

Berkeley Dance Project dancers on stageEnjoy a night of three very distinct styles of dance: Jo Kreiter leads students in her award-winning style of apparatus-based dance, combining devised dance with skillful maneuvers on a semi-elevated apparatus; Ann Carlson re-stages Flag, her 1990 canonical piece that asks the performers to engage in highly physical and emotional actions exploring the role of the body in the performance of nationhood; and TDPS professor Lisa Wymore explores intricate movement patterns that phase between hyper-unison and dis-order to reveal unexpected compositional patterns and human connections.

Exhibit: Geographies of Innovation
March 30 – April 24, 2015 every day | 121 Wurster Hall

Graphic of the exhibit Geographies of InnovationGeographies of Innovation reveals a history of design innovation at the intersection of landscape, technology, infrastructure, and ecology as represented by patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office from the late 19th through the mid 20thcentury. The exhibition presents new perspectives and historical research on ecological technology, landscape systems, and green infrastructure across a range of scales, from the invention of the vertical garden in the 1930’s, to living and dynamic levees systems prototyped in the late 19th century.

Theater: Hair
April 10 – 26, 2015 every Sunday, Friday & Saturday | Choral Rehearsal Hall César E. Chávez Student Center

Graphic for the play HairSince its ground-breaking Broadway premiere in 1968, Hair has defined the American rock musical. It follows the story of a tribe of young hippies living in New York City, exuberantly celebrating the counterculture, anti-war movement, and sexual revolution of the 1960s. Amidst the national fight for Civil Rights and horrendous bloodshed in Vietnam, Claude and the rest of the tribe search for clarity and purpose; conflicted, they struggle to balance their rebellious lifestyle with the demands of conservative society and the increasingly menacing threat of the draft.

 $15 General Admission- At the Door,  $12 Students- At the Door,  $13 General Admission- Presale,  $10 Students- Presale
Buy your tickets before arriving at the theatre to receive a discount!. Buy tickets online, or by calling Angela Kim at 510-643-1347, or by emailing Angela Kim at

April 8 – 29, 2015 every day | 108 Wurster Hall

Exhibition graphicUrban Infrastructure Goes Soft. This interdisciplinary design initiative was the work of visiting professor Sheila Kennedy. The HERE THERE exhibit will include recent projects by KVA Matx, and full scale design prototypes by Berkeley students for pop-up solar streetlights, portable vaccine carriers and dispensary kits. New materials, fabrication techniques and project delivery methods for urban infrastructure in energy, global health and water will be explored.

Film: Wildest Weather in the solar system 3D
February 7 – June 12, 2015 every day | 10:30 a.m. | National Geographic 3D Theater Lawrence Hall of Science

Wildest Weather in the Solar System film stillWitness the most beautiful, powerful, and mysterious weather phenomena in the solar system, shown in 3D at the Lawrence Hall of Science. From a storm the size of a 100-megaton hydrogen bomb, to a 400-year-old hurricane, to a dust tempest that could engulf entire planets, you'll be glad you live on Earth! Fly through the thick atmosphere of Venus, magnetic storms on the sun, liquid methane showers on Titan, and anticyclones whirling at hundreds of miles per hour on Jupiter.

 $4 plus admission

Exhibit: Close to home yet far away
March 2 – June 12, 2015 every day | 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | 220 Stephens Hall Stephens Hall

Emiko goes to College painting by Craig NagasawaA painting can reside simultaneously in its material presence—physical, colored minerals, their arrangements on paper or silk—and its illusory presence—the evocation of illusion, forming in the viewer a convincing belief in the presence of space and time. The exchange between the real and the imagined is a perceptual experience where the personal and the public, the local and the foreign can exist simultaneously. Artist Craig Nagasawa uses the techniques of ancient Japanese painting in his work. He reconstructed these time-consuming processes as both a form of resistance to cultural erasure and an acknowledgement of the existence of a space where the personal and the public, the local and the foreign can coexist.

Exhibit: Berkeley's Ivory Tower, the Campanile at 100
February 16 – November 2, 2015 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday | Rowell Cases Bancroft Library

Campanile under constructionSather Tower, also known as the Campanile, looms large both as a physical structure and as the most widely recognized symbol of the Berkeley campus. This exhibition celebrates the centennial of the landmark through holdings from the University Archives and The Bancroft Library's manuscript and pictorial collections.

SundayBack to top

Film: Six Fois Deux / Sur et Sous La Communication, Parts V-VI
Sunday, April 19 | 2 p.m. | PFA Theater

Jean Luc GodardGodard and Miéville’s concern throughout this television series is to explore the production and consumption of images in modern society, so that we the audience can better understand the construction of images of ourselves. As the title suggests, Six fois deux is composed of six programs, each consisting of two fifty-minute segments. The first segment of each program presents a video essay on some aspect of contemporary life (work, images, photography, television, childhood, love), which is followed by a prolonged interview with one or more individuals—a structure that serves to relate the theoretical concerns of the first half to the experiences of a person. Although each two-part program stands on its own, the experience of viewing the entire series is a rich and rewarding one, as the programs relate to and comment on one another.

 $5.50 BAM/PFA Members; UC Berkeley Students,  $6.50 UC Berkeley Faculty, Staff, and Retirees; Non-UC Berkeley Students; Senior citizens (65 & over); Disabled Persons; Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General Admission
Buy tickets by calling 510-642-5249.

Music: Gamelan Sari Raras
Sunday, April 19 | 3 p.m. | Hertz Concert Hall

Photo of Gamelan Sari RarasEnjoy a performance of Javanese gamelan music featuring singer Heni Savitri and dancers Lestari Indonesia. Directed by Midiyanto and Ben Brinner.

 $16 general admission (all seats unreserved),  $12 non-UCB students, seniors, current & retired Berkeley staff & faculty, groups of ten or more,  $5 UC Berkeley students (student ID required),  $free for music majors, music graduate students (with UCB student ID card)
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-9988, or by emailing

Special event: Earth Week 2015
April 19 – 26, 2015 every day | UC Berkeley Campus

Earth Week logoCelebrate Earth Week with a series of special events across the Berkeley campus. Enjoy lectures, music, games and more. Browse the calendar for a complete schedule.

MondayBack to top

Lecture: Paul Goldberger, the generic city
Monday, April 20 | 4:10 p.m. | Chevron Auditorium International House

Paul GoldbergerPaul Goldberger professor of design and architecture at The New School in New York City, has been called “the leading figure in architecture criticism” by the Huffington Post. In this lecture he will discuss whether cities are becoming more and more the same, and why, and what the implications for this are. Goldberger is also a celebrated author and winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

Lecture: Sexual assault, consent and criminal law
Monday, April 20 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 134 Boalt Hall, School of Law

Berkeley Law logoConsent, in Canadian criminal law, is the legal dividing line between sexual contact which is criminal (when consent is absent or can not be given) and all other sexual engagement. As such, it is a critically important legal term of art. The legal definition of consent plays a crucial role in establishing the elements of the crime of sexual assault. Yet despite statutory and judicial attempts to determine its boundaries, the meaning of consent remains fraught, complex and inextricably bound up with social attitudes and expectations about gender and sexual relationships. This lecture will examine some of the key and leading sexual assault cases decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, situating them within their broader contexts.

Lecture: Congo, war(s) without end?
Monday, April 20 | 12-2 p.m. | 219 Dwinelle Hall

Soldiers in the CongoDaniel Fahey, a UC Berkeley alum and former investigator for the UN Security Council, will share insights about armed conflicts, natural resources, and the role of the United Nations in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Fahey was coordinator and finance expert on the UN Group of Experts on DRC, which is mandated by the Security Council to study armed groups, grave human rights violations, and the illicit trade in natural resources. He is currently an independent consultant and a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for African Studies.

Course: The rise and future of the food movement
January 26 – April 27, 2015 every Monday with exceptions | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Live streaming

Mark BittmanA UC Berkeley course with live streaming open to the public.

The food system is multi-disciplinary and complex, involving agroecology, agronomy, anthropology, economics, nutrition, sociology, and the arts. In this course, experts on organic agriculture, school lunch reform, food safety, hunger and food security, farm bill reform, farm-to-school efforts, urban agriculture, food sovereignty, and local food economies will offer perspectives making the food system more sustainable and equitable. Instructor: Garrison Sposito; co-hosts: food writer Mark Bittman and poet Robert Hass.

TuesdayBack to top

Dance: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Tuesday, April 21 | 8 p.m. | Zellerbach Hall

Alvin Ailey dancersIn modern masterpieces like Revelations and in new works by next-generation choreographers, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater conveys the panorama of American cultural experience through powerful movement and graceful fluidity. Artistic director Robert Battle has been praised for invigorating the company's repertoire, bringing in energetic young choreographers and mounting compelling works that stimulate the imaginations of its dynamic dancers. The company returns to UC Berkeley for its annual residency.

Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-9988, or by emailing

Information session: Alameda County District Attorney, engaging communities and empowering victims
Tuesday, April 21 | 12-2:30 p.m. | Sproul Plaza

Graphic for National Crime Victims' rights weekThe Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and the Alameda County Family Justice Center are hosting forums in your community to listen to you, answer your questions and provide important information about victims’ rights and resources.

Lecture: The antibiotics crisis, healthcare and human costs of drug resistance
Tuesday, April 21 | 1:30-3 p.m. | Banatao Audtitorium Sutardja Dai Hall

Michael Pollan, Lee Riley, Maryn McKenna and Piero GarzaroThis provocative panel will discuss the antibiotics crisis, its roots in our methods of industrialized livestock production, and the associated costs to the health care system. This event will be webcast live and posted afterwards for later viewing. Panelists include Maryn McKenna, science journalist and author; Dr. Lee Riley, UC Berkeley professor of infectious diseases; Michael Pollan, author and UC Berkeley professor of journalism; Dr. Piero Garzaro, regional infectious diseases chair from the Permanente Medical Group Northern California.

RSVP by April 17 online.

ONGOING: Exhibits around campus >

View Critic's Choice on your mobile device or sign up to receive the coming week's event highlights emailed to you each Monday morning.

Notify the calendar editor of a correction to Critic's Choice or the campuswide calendar.