Industry Sectors Arts
Berkeley has more arts organizations per capita than any other city in California. This vibrant, cutting edge community of visual and performing artists creates an exciting atmosphere for residents and visitors alike. On any given day there are a multitude of cultural things to enjoy. With 45 festivals a year, 40 theatre companies, 40 dance companies, 20 musical venues, 30 art galleries, 20 movie screens, 10 museums and much, much more, there is something do every hour. Never a dull moment!
The Downtown Arts District hosts the nationally recognized Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Freight and Salvage Music Club, Aurora Theatre, the Jazzschool, the Addison Street Window Gallery, the East Bay Media Center, and will soon be the home of the new UC Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive designed by contemporary architect, Toyo Ito.
West Berkeley is the home to almost 800 artisans whose studios and galleries are open to the public during June and December including the Berkeley Potters Guild and Kala Art Institute. And the film industry is alive and well here at the Saul Zaentz Film Center.
The nascent Ashby Arts District is home to the Shotgun Players Ashby Stage, Black Repertory Theatre, La Peña Cultural Center, The Starry Plow Irish Pub, Expressions Gallery, and Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles.
With a rainy season of only 4-5 months, festivals occur almost every weekend. The Solano Avenue Stroll which takes place on the second Sunday in September was designated a ‘National Local Legacy’ and is archived in the Library of Congress. The Berkeley Kite Festival fills the wind-swept marina with a sky full of color the last weekend in July. In June the Live Oak Park Crafts Fair draws high-end arts and crafts persons. Sidewalks in the Gourmet Ghetto become a canvas for all during the Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival near Memorial Day, and in October, the Spice of Life fills the area with delicious food, wine, and art. Making sure there is something for everyone, Berkeley is host to the Himalayan Fair, the Pagan Festival, Juneteenth, Indigenous People’s Day Festival, Satsuki Arts Bazaar, and the Telegraph World Music Festival. The coalescing of art and community make Berkeley a colorful, wondrous place.
The East Bay Culture Corridor is a collaboration between the cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Richmond. The forward-thinking partnership reinforces the role of the arts in each community as both a proven catalyst for economic development and as a model for improving quality of life and community sustainability. A chief goal of the four cities if to increase the visibility, accessibility and sustainability of arts communities. The EBCC will foster relationships between the diverse arts communities of each city by leveraging new audiences and resources for the arts as well as new resources for each partner city. Local business will also benefit locally through partnerships with the arts.