Tag Archives: Black Rock Arts Foundation

The Uptown art park Bike Bridge sculpture on the horizon

28 Sep

This guest blog post was written by Josie Schimke, the Program Development Associate for the Black Rock Arts Foundation. Through her administrative and program support over the last five years for BRAF, Josie has had the privilege of watching promising art proposals mature into exceptional achievements of public art.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) is close to fulfilling a dream and needs the community’s help. We have art. We have a place to put it. We have 12 extraordinary young artists worth celebrating. All we need now is a few more dollars to make it happen!

Donate to the Kickstarter campaign for The Bike Bridge!

If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ve heard mention of The Bike Bridge. We can’t say enough about this project, and it’s so close to becoming a reality. The City of Oakland has approved the installation of the sculpture in a new park on Telegraph Avenue, between 19th and 20th Streets, adjacent to the beautifully renovated Fox Theater. Continue reading

Uptown art park to open this fall, City puts out call for art

7 Sep

Throughout my blogging hiatus this year, I’ve many times been tempted to blog about things happening in Oakland (particularly upcoming decisions at the Planning Commission and City Council). I’ve stopped myself because I just don’t have the time to start blogging again while I’m campaigning for BART Board and maintaining my full-time job. But I came across news on Facebook yesterday that was far too exciting not to share, since this blog, other Oakland blogs, and dozens of blog readers made this news possible.

The Uptown lot that we saved from becoming a parking lot back in 2009 is finally becoming a public arts space!

I know, I know, I’ve shared this news a couple of times here already. Unfortunately there were major delays due to funding issues after the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency. But now it really is happening. And by now I mean that construction should start this month, and if construction stays on schedule, the art could be installed as early as mid-late October.

The City of Oakland Public Art Program has put out a call for art, with applications due on September 18th. With such a short timeline for submission, acceptance, and installation, they’re currently looking for existing artwork, to be displayed for 6-12 months. After that, they might commission some new artwork. From the call for art: Continue reading

Bike Bridge – Gateway to the Uptown sculpture garden

27 Jul

You might have read earlier this month that the opening date of the Uptown sculpture garden has been delayed from December 2011 to March 2012, but have you heard about the centerpiece sculpture chosen for the space? Because I’m often a month behind on blogs (except for a few), I was ecstatic this morning to read a Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) blog post written a month ago about this piece.

From the beginning of this fight – when advocates including myself convinced the City Council to approve an arts space instead of a surface parking lot in the lot between the Uptown apartments and the Fox Theater – I dreamed about Burning Man style art being featured there. I’m often frustrated that San Francisco gets to publicly display so many East Bay Burning Man art pieces, like Ecstasy and the Raygun Rocket Ship, and I thought this was the perfect space for Oakland to showcase East Bay art. Well, my dreams have come true.

Actually, this art piece is even better than what I imagined. The project is being led by one of my favorite Burning Man artists, Michael Christian, but it’s being created by 12 young Oakland women. Also, it’s made of reclaimed bike parts. Here are the details from BRAF’s blog: Continue reading

Our dream of an Uptown sculpture garden is becoming a reality

16 Mar

Last month I went to a special presentation about Parcel 4, the large Uptown lot we saved two years ago from becoming a parking lot and that Cultural Arts and Redevelopment staff are now working to turn into a public arts space. I promised afterward that I’d follow up with some images, and since Cultural Arts Manager Steven Huss was kind enough to send me images that were visible (unlike the ones in the staff report), I can now deliver on that promise.

First, I’d like to detour a bit and say that I think the Oakland Cultural Arts department is awesome. While certain other city departments seem to be stuck in the 80s (or worse), Cultural Arts is on the cutting edge, sponsoring events like Uptown Unveiled and art projects like the light based art piece planned for the 18th Street alleyway entrance to the 19th Street BART station. And their plans for Parcel 4 are equally exciting. Continue reading

Zoning, TOD & art planning decisions at Oakland CED meeting tomorrow

21 Feb Internatonal TOD Map

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of Council committee meetings and explained what each of the committees do. I also mentioned that some committees are very powerful and their new membership could change the balance of power on important policy decisions. Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 22nd will be a good chance to see this in action at the Community and Economic Development (CED) committee meeting, as the committee discusses three important and exciting issues – one very controversial and two less so. Continue reading

March 15-21 Oakland Political & Community Events

15 Mar

Tuesday, March 16th – AC Transit Service Change Information Table

As you may already know, on Sunday, March 28, AC Transit will be implementing major service changes that affect almost every bus line in its service area. To give you an opportunity to pick up helpful materials about the changes and to ask questions, AC Transit has set up a series of Community Information Tables at public locations from Richmond to Fremont. This Tuesday, there will be an information table set up from 4-7pm at the Asian Branch Public Library, 388 9th St. It’s accessible by lines 1, 1R, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 51, 62, 63, 72, 72M, 72R, and 88.

Tuesday, March 16th – Oakland City Council Meeting (Note new time)

At this week’s meeting, the Council will continue its budget discussions, considering reducing the general fund budgets of all elected officials by 15%. They’ll also be discussing delinquent taxes and fees, a report on the Rockridge Business Improvement District, instant runoff voting education, and providing loans to affordable housing developments. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Thursday, March 18th Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting

Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets monthly to discusses bicycle and pedestrian issues. This month’s agenda includes discussions of improving bicycle locker security, recommended bike/ped improvement projects for 2010-2011, E 12th St/38th  Ave Bikeway Design Review, and voting for BPAC Chair and Vice-Chair. The BPAC is extremely inclusive – any Oakland resident who attends three consecutive meetings becomes a voting member of the committee – so if you’re interested in bike and ped issues, you should consider attending. The BPAC will be meeting from 5:30-7:30pm in Hearing Room 4 of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Thursday, March 18th – Oakland Food Policy Council Meeting

The mission of the Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) is to establish an equitable and sustainable food system in Oakland, California. OFPC will discuss and finalized our chosen priorities, review the outline of our first Strategic Plan for Transforming the Oakland Food System, hear reports from each Work Group, hear about a few upcoming opportunities, then hear a presentation from an outside speaker, and take public comments. The meeting will be held from 5:00 – 7:30 pm at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor, Mayor’s Large Conference Room. Find out more about OFPC at their website.

Friday, March 19th – Ecstasy Reception (San Francisco)

It’s rare that I promote San Francisco events here, but this Friday there will be a reception for Ecstasy, the incredible sculpture created by Oakland artists Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito, who I’ve written about here several times before. Join the community in celebration with live music by IGBA MMOH African Drummers and Gaucho Gypsy Jazz, light refreshments and more! The reception takes place from 4-7pm at Patricia’s Green, at Octavia and Hayes St, San Francisco. If you can’t make it on Friday, you can check out the Black Rock Arts Foundation funded sculpture anytime between now and June 18th. Here’s a photo from a collection of photos of the installation of Ecstasy:

Friday, March 19th – 3rd Annual We LOVE Old Oakland Fundraiser

Come out, support and celebrate Old Oakland’s amazing live/work neighborhood, multi-generational families, local businesses and community partners! Meet the founders of 10,000 Steps, an urban parks stewardship & history project including Lafayette Square & Jefferson Square Parks. Purchase food & drink specials sponsored by Linden Street Brewery, Metro Bay Realty & La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen benefiting Old Oakland Neighbors, a grassroots community group. Early Bird attendees will receive a packet of It’s a Grind French Roast coffee (makes 40oz). This event takes place from 5:00pm – 9:00pm at La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen, 582 7th Street @ Jefferson. For more info and to RSVP, see the Facebook event page.

Friday, March 19th-Sunday, March 21st – Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company production of Asylum

The internationally regarded model of youth arts and violence prevention organizations, Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, marks the beginning of its third decade as a creative community epicenter with the world premiere of Asylum, a movement/theater work created by the young artists of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. Created in collaboration with Artistic Directors Sarah Crowell and Rashidi Omari and acclaimed Bay Area performing arts professionals, the full-length work features hip-hop dance and music, theater, spoken word, modern dance, aerial dance, video backdrop art, rap and a cast of over 40 talented youth ages 7 to 18. Asylum frames the current state of world affairs as a circus turned inside out, where heroes are questionable and villains run free. It is a powerful glimpse into how young Americans see  the state of the world and what can be done about it. Shows start at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 2pm on Sunday at Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon St, Oakland. For more info and to buy tickets, visit the Destiny Arts website.

Saturday, March 20th – AC Transit Service Change Information Table

As you may already know, on Sunday, March 28, AC Transit will be implementing major service changes that affect almost every bus line in its service area. To give you an opportunity to pick up helpful materials about the changes and to ask questions, AC Transit has set up a series of Community Information Tables at public locations from Richmond to Fremont. This Tuesday, there will be an information table set up from 9am-2pm at the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market at the corner of Grand & Lake Park Aves. It’s accessible by lines 12, 13, 57, and NL.