Tag Archives: pro arts

East Bay Open Studios – don’t let a little rain stop you…

Despite the weather yesterday, we decided to take a little stroll around our neighborhood to check out the local artists participating in East Bay Open Studios. We didn’t make a big production out of it, and you don’t have to either…

It’s easy to focus on a small area, even walkable, with the maps and guides included in the Pro Arts Directory. We just zoomed in on our little stretch of Oaktown and realized if we did a short 10 block loop near our house, we could visit nearly 10 different artists… practically one per block!  Fantastic.  This is why I love Oakland.

oakland map, east bay open studios

We had a lovely stroll… got rained on a bit, but also saw the sun come out and steam the water right off the rooftops.  Gorgeous.

We saw stunningly beautiful ceramics (see Andrea Ciak), wonderful mixed media pieces (Peter Gee), textiles, paintings, and drawings at the nearby church which converted its old Sunday school classrooms into Art studios… brilliant! (See Traci Boya, Angie Wilson, Abby King-Kaiser, Jacqueline Palacios, and Suzanne Yee – creator of Mona Lisa in chalk below).

Suzanne Yee, portrait artist

On our way looping back home, we made one last stop at the studio of half of the team producing the Dimond Farmer Joes’ Murals… Hidden Jewels. (Amanda Lockwood) It was fascinating to see her personal work, so much more complex and intricate than the translations of children’s imagery used in the murals. Her co-artist displayed incredibly whimsical doll creations fashioned out of re-purposed materials as well as beautiful constructions of paper (Barbra MacNair).

I didn’t take many photos of the art so you’ll just have to go see for yourselves. Or better yet, discover the artists in your own neighborhood.  Or explore a new part of town you haven’t been to before.  Meet your fellow Oaklanders.  Have an adventure!

You can also check out studios next weekend, but not all artists are showing all days, so be sure to check Pro Arts’ Guide (available in the recent East Bay Express, at participating artists’ studios, or online).

Save Oakland Arts… Strategy Meeting Tonight!

SAVE OAKLAND ARTS NOW! Stop the 50% Arts Cut!

Strategy & Info Meeting, Tuesday, March 30, 6:30 pm at Pro Arts, 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza at Oakland Art Gallery

Learn about public comment at Council, sign-up for a speaker card, review talking points, and get your message to Oakland’s City Council!

oakland cultural trust, save oakland arts

A message from the Oakland Cultural Trust:

The Council needs to hear from us again! The community prevailed when we raised our voices against similar cuts in October 2008. WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!

The Oakland City Council considers a 50% Cut to Oakland Arts at a special budget session on Thursday, April 1, 2010, 7pm. This is one move closer towards the elimination of the Cultural Funding Program, the long-established, competitive City program to provide arts and cultural services with attendance over 1.4 million.


1. Get the Word Out! FORWARD this alert to constituents, colleagues, students, friends, families, neighbors, friends-of-friends– or Share Arts Action Facebook Alert

2. CALL, EMAIL or WRITE your Council Member NOW! You can make the difference- Cut & Paste sample text or write your own message (See Sample below); Remain Positive and Respectful in your communications. We need the Council’s support!

3. Be There April 1 at 7 pm! TAKE ACTION & MAKE A DIFFERENCE during the special City Council BUDGET MEETING at City Hall, Sign-up for speaker cards at the meeting or in advance online -Agenda Item tba.

What’s at Stake: The City Council faces an unprecedented budget challenge. The additional proposed 50% cut to the Arts 1) is disproportionate to other City program cuts, 2) stands to cripple the arts sector, and 3) significantly reduces City tax revenues. Oakland is currently 13th in the nation for Arts Businesses per capita.

For every $1 the City invests in arts and culture, the City gets back $4 in fees, licenses and taxes. Nonprofit Arts in Oakland generate over $103 million in total gross annual economic activity and provide more than 5,000 jobs. The proposed cut means less revenue, more arts organizations closing their doors, loss of jobs and irreversible damage to the sector’s infrastructure. The Arts are a means of economic investment and renewal for Oakland! STOP THE 50% ARTS CUT!

Supporting Documentation & Resources:

A. SAMPLE Letter/Email:
Dear Council Member ________________,
Oakland Arts are the means to Oakland’s economic renewal and are fundamental to our quality of life. It has come to my attention that the City Council is considering a disastrous and disproportionate 50% cut to the Cultural Funding Program.
As a concerned citizen, I understand that difficult choices need to be made to ensure that essential services and infrastructure remain in place. I also understand that there are no easy solutions to our budget crisis. However, I believe a disproportionate cut to the arts exacerbates the crisis, cripples Oakland’s nationally ranked arts sector, and undermines our economic competitiveness, the compassion within our communities, and our investment in our future. I call upon you to mitigate the Arts cuts through a lens of equity and proportionality. Thank you for your leadership in investing in a better Oakland.

B. Council Contacts:
District 1, Jane Brunner, jbrunner@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7001;
District 2, Pat Kernighan,pkernighan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7002;
District 3, Nancy Nadel, nnadel@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7003;
District 4, Jean Quan, jquan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7004;
District 5, Ignacio de la Fuente. idelafuente@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7005;
District 6, Desley Brooks, dbrooks@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7006;
District 7, Larry Reid, lreid@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7007
At-Large, Rebecca Kaplan, rkaplan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7008

Not sure who your council member is? Click here to find out: http://gismaps.oaklandnet.com/councils/

C. Key Talking Points – Nonprofit Arts in Oakland:

  • 13th in the nation for Arts Businesses per capita.
  • Generates over $103 million in economic activity
  • Provides more than 5,000 jobs.
  • Produces more than $ 4 million in revenue to local government
  • Arts funding is a Low Cost Investment with High Economic and Cultural Return
  • Arts are a means of community and cultural development
  • Art serves public safety, violence prevention and saves lives
  • Arts education contributes to academic success and increased skill development for youth
  • Art generates revenue; If the arts decline then other businesses decline in a ripple effect.
  • Oakland benefits from one of the largest artist populations in the country
  • Art Cuts = Bad press for the City and undermine national and regional marketing campaigns

Additional Resources and References available online: http://www.proartsgallery.org/oaklandCulturalTrust/artsAction20100401.php

Community Organizing is our best option for ensuring the survival and sustainability of Oakland Arts. Please forward this email to friends, colleagues and mailing lists; the arts have strength in numbers.

Thank you for your support,
Chair, Oakland Cultural Trust

Mission: The Oakland Cultural Trust advocates for a vibrant, safe and sustainable Oakland by policies and action that support and nurture the vitality of Oakland artists and cultural organizations. More Info: http://proartsgallery.org/oaklandCulturalTrust

Margo Dunlap
Executive Director
Pro Arts
New Gallery Location- 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA 94612 (at Oakland Art Gallery)