Oakland Arts Unveiled

So last friday night was another of the First Fridays series in Oakland… I have to admit I was feeling a bit under the weather, so it wasn’t a big night out for me.  But there was some interesting stuff going on and I was able to hit a little bit of it before retiring home to a cat on my lap and a bowl of chicken soup.

First, I was surprised to discover, during my research for Friday night plans, a relatively new website called OaklandArts.org.  Seems that they launched back in June of 2009 as the first-ever centrally located website for all things art related in the city of Oakland… and I thought that’s what my site was going to be!  Well they may have beaten me to the punch, but I think there is room for both of us, don’t you?

Their site still seems a bit buggy to me (ran into some broken links and had trouble sending them a message) but I’m sure they’ll get these things straightened out in due time.

They’ve got a wealth of information about Artists and Art Organizations, Events, Funding Opportunities, and more.  If you are an artist or part of an Arts Organization, you should definitely enter  your info into their growing database: http://www.oaklandarts.org/register.php Be sure to include a photo for best visibility.

This website and a related site 510arts.com, were both highlighted during a party at Frank Ogawa Plaza early Friday evening. The 510arts website is a collaborative effort between the neighboring cities of Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland, geared towards promoting the greater East Bay as a world class art & cultural destination. Woo hoo!

There was live jazz, a wonderful performance by the Oakland Youth Choir, numerous speakers including our relatively new City Councilperson at large (meaning she is the only councilperson who represents the entire city), Rebecca Kaplan, and installations of various sculptural art pieces on loan courtesy of NIMBY.  Here’s one of Michael Christian‘s Fire Flowers… I didn’t stay late enough to see if it was set up to shoot flames.

The biggest thing I took away from this party was a quote issued by Rebecca Kaplan. She said, “The Oakland Renaissance has begun!!” More on this, and the galleries I hit after the party in my next couple posts…