• John King; Ximena Natera

Berkeleyside Idea Makers: Place & Relationship to Space in a Changing City

Presented by Berkeleyside in partnership with BAMPFA

BAMPFA is delighted to continue our partnership with Berkeleyside on the Idea Makers series, which celebrates Berkeley’s stature in the world of ideas through unscripted, informative, and thought-provoking conversations.

A building boom is fueling the most dramatic change Berkeley's cityscape has seen in generations. Berkeleyside Idea Makers will offer two conversations that will dive into what this means for all of us who live or work in Berkeley. First, Berkeleyside photojournalist Ximena Natera will talk with Tina Jones Williams, award-winning author of several books that pay homage to the rich traditions in the African American community. Williams also leads Berkeley’s Black History Walking Tour.

Then, Berkeleyside City Hall reporter Nico Savidge will sit down with San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King to explore the significance of architecture and design in the midst of a housing crisis. The discussion will delve into the ways in which a city can preserve its heritage while embracing a progressive future.

Natera will also present a captivating visual journey through Berkeley's changing cityscape, focusing on iconic moments in People's Park and the evolving history and transformation of various neighborhoods over the course of a year.

Don't miss the opportunity to snag a copy of John King's new book, Portal: San Francisco’s Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities, and Tina Jones Williams’ It Happened on our Watch, available for purchase at the event. The authors will host a book-signing session immediately following the program.

About the Speakers

Nico Savidge joined Berkeleyside in 2021 as a senior reporter covering City Hall. Born and raised in Berkeley, he got his start in journalism at Youth Radio as a high-schooler in the mid-2000s. Since then, he has covered transportation, law enforcement, education and college sports for the San Jose Mercury News, EdSource, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Janesville Gazette and The Daily Cardinal. A graduate of Berkeley High School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he now lives in Oakland with his wife and dog.

John King is the San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic, a post that extends beyond architecture to take in such aspects of the urban environment as the changing nature of public spaces and the rethinking of how cities like Berkeley should grow. An honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, John is also the author of the new book Portal: San Francisco’s Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities, published by W.W. Norton.

Ximena Natera is Berkeleyside’s photojournalist. Her position is a partnership with Report for America and CatchLight. Born and raised in Mexico City, Natera is a founding member of Pie de Pagina, an award-winning news site in Mexico City. She graduated from the Documentary Program at the International Center of Photography in New York, and her photographs have been published in newspapers and magazines across the U.S., Mexico and Latin America.

Award-winning author Tina Jones Williams has written eight books which pay homage to the rich traditions in the African American community. Born and raised in the all-black neighborhood on Julia Street in South Berkeley, Tina attended neighborhood schools until seventh grade when she was bussed out of her area to become a member of the first desegregated junior high school in Berkeley. Tina attended Berkeley High, the only public high school in town.

Since publishing her Julia Street Series, Tina has led bi-annual neighborhood walks which begin and end on Julia Street where the four books are set. During the walks, Tina shares anecdotes, folklore, and history about times, places, and people she feels should not be forgotten. As a result of her books and neighborhood walks, Tina is pictured on a South Berkeley mural reflecting the city’s history. Julia Street is also depicted on the mural and is listed among ten streets considered the “heart of South Berkeley.”

Event Accessibility

If you have any questions about accessibility or require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us at bampfa@berkeley.edu or call us at (510) 642-1412 (during open hours) with as much advance notice as possible. More information on accessibility services.