The First Friday Shorts series at the New Parkway is getting interactive this month. Organizer Jillian Sandell started the film series in March 2013 and has now worked with thirteen different community organizations on short film programs, drawing about one hundred people to the theater each month. This Friday, she is working with the Bay Area Youth Media Network (BAYMN), a consortium of eight different youth organizations, to showcase a variety of youth-made films, covering topics such as public education and perception of violence in schools. But unlike most film screenings, the audience is invited to participate as well as watch. One of the films will be a preview of an upcoming art project examining the idea of belonging among various communities in the Bay Area. An interview booth will be set up at the theater where attendees will be asked to respond to the question “Where you do belong?” The responses will then be incorporated into the project, which will premiere at BAYMN Fest at the San Francisco Main Library in October.
It’s the heart of summer-harvest season around here. But even the best backyard gardeners can’t grow everything. Stuck with too many squash but not enough kale? A bumper crop of butter beans but no roses and not even one tiny tomato? Trade your edible extras and raised-bed adventure stories with those of your neighbors at the Albany Local Garden Swap (1249 Marin Ave., Albany). Nothing’s for sale here: Homegrown fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs, and seeds are all free as long as you bring something to trade. — Anneli Rufus
Oakland failed to attract competitive bids for its garbage franchise and is now pushing a proposal that critics say includes exorbitant rate hikes, weak local job protections, and an inadequate composting plan.