Change It 

A workshop for black women

WED 6/9

Black women, like other women of color, often find themselves saddled with the twin social burdens of race and gender. However, for Lillie P. Allen, founder of Be Present, Inc. (BPI) -- a multicultural, intergenerational organizing network of women working for "gender justice, social equality, and community empowerment" -- whining is not an option. Allen is quoted as saying, "It is not acceptable that we say that we 'believe' in changing the systems around us but are unable to change ourselves." It's that kind of get-off-your-butt-and-do-something sentiment that serves as the backbone of the National Black & Female: What Is the Reality? Leadership Training Workshop. First held in 1983, the annual weekend retreat for black women and girls combines coalition building with feel-good self-empowerment to promote participation in social change movements at grassroots, regional, and national levels. Still, like the very goal of social change itself, Wednesday's community benefit, held at the Oakland Box Theater (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) is for everyone. Hosted by the Bay Area Sister & Allies Leadership Training Project, the evening includes performances from dancers, poets, musicians, and blues singer Gwen Avery, as well as an address from Allen. All proceeds from benefit will go a scholarship fund to support local attendance of this October's "Black and Female" workshop. Suggested donations: $15-$50. Doors 7 p.m., program at 8. 510-536-2260 or visit BePresent.org -- Joy White

FRI 6/11

Big, Fat

The live 25 (or so)

Two very different musical representatives of the five boroughs invade Mountain View this Friday when the Beastie Boys and the Strokes occupy the top two slots of Live 105's BFD at Shoreline. Okay, okay, so they're all white sons of privilege, but the two groups' approaches -- and ripple effects -- vary immensely. Their fellow main stagers are the Violent Femmes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and you can get your dance on in the Subsonic tent with the Rapture, the Streets, Dizzee Rascal, and DJs such as Davey Havok (AFI) and Dyloot and Tom Slik (Skills). The Budweiser stage hosts punkish stuff from Bad Religion, Death Cab for Cutie, coed punk-blues stooges the Von Bondies, Jeremy Enigk's new bag, the Fire Theft, and much more. The local stage hosts Communique and the Matches, among others. Tickets: $55 reserved, $28.50 general admission. 415-421-8497, Ticketmaster.com. -- Stefanie Kalem

6/7-6/26

Artists and Models

For every piece of figurative art, there's a model relating to an artist. That's the setup for the Bay Area Figurative Art Exhibit -- A Tribute to the Artist Model , an exhibition through June 26 at Worth Ryder Gallery in Kroeber Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. The juried show features nudes, portraits, and other figurative work in a variety of media, with the emphasis on the creative alliance between the artist and model. The exhibition is curated by Nona Rafi, an artist model and coordinator of the Bay Area Models Guild, and features work by Nathan Oliveira, among others. BayAreaModelsGuild.org -- Kelly Vance

FRI 6/11

Bad-Ass Lilt

Yee-freakin'-haw at the Plough

She's been a Vinaigrette, a Corn Sister, and a Roommate, but now Carolyn Mark has some new best friends -- her latest record, The Pros and Cons of Collaboration, is credited to Carolyn Mark and the New Best Friends. Vancouver's Mark is one-third of the great alt-country chanteuse triad that also includes Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, and she's the most consistently bad-ass, despite her silken lilt. Friday she hits the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave.) with the mellow, ambient Bermuda Triangle Service and Bay Area duo the Pickin' Trix, who'll make you smile a lot and sob some, too, often all in the same song (try "Tuaca" on for size). 9:30 p.m., $8, 510-841-2082. -- Stefanie Kalem

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