$480,000 in Cultural Grants Awarded to Local Artists, Arts Nonprofits to Bring Oaklanders Together
Oakland – The Oakland City Council approved $480,000 in fiscal year 2020-21 grants to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations and individual artists through the City’s Cultural Funding Program, Neighborhood Voices (VOICES). The arts grants range from $7,000 for individual artist projects to $20,000 for organization projects and have been awarded to 37 recipients. The grants will support 772 distinct arts events and activities that will expose more than 110,000 participants to cultural programming.
The VOICES grant program seeks to bring Oaklanders together to create and support a sense of belonging within a community, foster social connections that lift our spirts, feed our community well-being and offer visions for our collective future. It affirms the voices of Oaklanders by supporting the expression, recognition and understanding of the array of diverse communities that make Oakland unique, vibrant and resilient.
“Neighborhood Voices was designed to highlight and support the community-based cultural expressions, stories, histories and heritage of the many communities in Oakland’s neighborhoods,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “During a time when we have seen a collapse in our social networks, there is a great need to rebuild our community resiliency and reaffirm our neighborhoods and sense of belonging – Neighborhood Voices seeks to support just that.”
The grants support a wide range of Oakland-based artists and nonprofit organizations providing arts and cultural services in Oakland. The goal of the VOICES program is to infuse Oakland’s neighborhood with arts and cultural activities that increase exposure to, understanding of and respect for diverse cultural heritages; engage the community through arts activities; and support arts education in Oakland’s schools.
The grants support a variety of activities, with a focus on virtual programming, storytelling and arts education. For example, organization grantee Chapter 510 will provide time and space for Oakland youth to write and publish their thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic and the current racial justice movement. Led by Oakland BIPOC teaching artists, 325 youth will participate in 6-to-20-week-long poetry, fiction and memoir classes with an opportunity to publicly (virtually) perform.
Individual Artist Fernando Santos will execute The Laurel Civil Rights Mural Project – a multi-media outreach project that includes a civil rights mural, youth outreach, and web page highlighting Laurel District street art and artists. The mural will feature a multi-cultural representation of civil rights leaders that represent the diverse spirit of Oakland’s social justice movements.
Grant Application Review Process
Following the grant application deadline, panels comprised of Bay Area professional artists and arts administrators reviewed 179 eligible applications to prepare for public review panels held in November 2020. In December 2020, the panels’ rankings were forwarded to the Funding Advisory Committee (FAC) which oversaw the allocation of funds. The FAC recommended 37 grants in this round to support the arts and cultural activities in the local community and public schools.
Funding for the VOICES grants comes from a General Purpose Fund allocation as outlined in the City’s FY 2020-21 Biennial Budget, voter-approved Measure C which added a Transient Occupancy Tax surcharge, and carryforward Public Art funds.
Grant Recipients by Funding Category
Individual Artist Project
|Frederick Alvarado||?$ 7,000|
|Karla Brundage||?$ 7,000|
|Darren Lee Colston||[$$-7,000]7,000|
|Maria De La Rosa||?$ 7,000|
|Elizabeth D. Foggie||?$ 7,000|
|Kweku Kumi Rauf||[$$-7,000]7,000|
|Teofanny Octavia Saragi||[$$-7,000]7,000|
|Ja Ronn Thompson||[$$-7,000]7,000|
Total: $ 140,000
Neighborhood Voices Organization Project
|Asian Health Services for Banteay Srei||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Beats Rhymes and Life||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Chapter 510 INK||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Dancers Group for dNaga GIRL Project||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Dancers Group for Dohee Lee Puri Arts||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Dancers Group for Grown Women Dance Collective||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|East Oakland Youth Development Center||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Higher Gliffs for Endangered Ideas||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Hip Hop for Change||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Junior Center of Art and Science||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Mycelium Youth Network||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Oakland Education Fund for Youth Beat||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Oakland Theater Project, Inc.||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|The Intersection for Alphabet Rockers||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Women's Audio Mission||[$$-20,000]20,000|
|Youth Radio/YR Media||[$$-20,000]20,000|
Total: $ 340,000
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