Once filled with auto body shops, Addison Street now rolls as the engine of Berkeley’s Downtown Arts District, with award-winning live theatre, live music, and performing arts education. In 2016, Downtown Berkeley welcomed the new home of the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, which joined Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theater Company, California Jazz Conservatory, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, and the UC Theatre in the Arts District as well as forming a bridge to the UC Berkeley campus.
Berkeley’s architectural wonders build the city’s status as one of the American West’s best-designed small cities. Starting with the University of California campus at its heart and continuing outward with architectural aplomb, Berkeley’s buildings stand not only as masterworks of design but portals into the city’s rich historic legacy. Stop by the Berkeley Visitor Information Center at 2030 Addison Street downtown for the Berkeley Walks, 41 Berkeley Walking Tours, and Berkeley and its Pathways guides to time-travel through Berkeley.
The list of Berkeley artists is long, but thanks to the organization Berkeley Artisans, a festive tradition began 27 years ago when Holiday Open Studios was curated to connect shoppers and art lovers to local artists over four festive weekends at the end of the year. The event was started by painter and jewelry maker Susan Brooks and her studio mate, clothing designer Carol Lee Shanks.