Island Arts

The Alameda Free Library will host animal visitors this Saturday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Children’s Department of the Main Library, 1550 Oak St. Families will have the opportunity to meet animals from the Oakland Zoo at 11 a.m., Wild Things, Inc. at 1 p.m., and Tracy the Animal Guy at 3 p.m. In between each event, the library will have supplies available for children to make animal-themed crafts.

Friends of the Alameda Free Library sponsors this free event. Seating is first-come, first-served, and a full room is expected.

Straight from India via San Jose, Rhythmix Cultural Works (RCW) presents Aki Kumar’s Bollywood Blues on Saturday, March 24. Kumar’s band demonstrates that down-home Chicago and Mississippi blues and Bollywood music have a lot in common and complement each other well. The evening will be further enhanced by delicious barbecue provided by Oakland Smoke Shack starting at 7 p.m.

Island City Opera has crowned its highly successful season with what is indisputably Vincenzo Bellini’s most accomplished opera, La Sonnambula. For nearly 200 years, La Sonnambula has enjoyed sustained success and popularity since its triumphal opening in Milan in 1831. In its premier performance, during the second act, the singers themselves wept. Although this is not tragic opera, you may find yourself dabbing your eyes.

This Saturday, Feb. 3, marks the fourth year of the Alameda Spelling Bee. The contest to prove the best student speller in town takes place at 9 a.m. at Otis Elementary School, 3010 Fillmore St., and is open to Alameda students in grades 4 through 9.

The top spellers receive trophies courtesy of Alameda Awards & Recognition and sponsorship to county-level competition courtesy of the Alameda Elks Lodge. 

Alameda Island Poets’ monthly free reading Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m., will celebrate Black History Month with local poets Amos White and Wanda Sabir. 

White is an award-winning American haiku poet, author, producer, director and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. He has been published in several national and international reviews and anthologies. 

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