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Cultural Affairs Commission

The Cultural Affairs Commission is an advisory body to the Mayor, City Council, and City Administrator on matters affecting cultural development in Oakland.


Jul 20, 2022

Nonprofit Applications for City Grants to Hire Teaching Artists Available starting July 25

The City of Oakland announced that applications will be available on Monday, July 25, for the Creative Economies of Belonging: Jobs, Networks, Catalysts grant program. This one-time program will distribute grants to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations to restore teaching-artist jobs cut during the pandemic. The program guidelines and grant application will be posted at https://bit.ly/3P4dBUg on Monday, July 25, when the application portal opens. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, 2022.

Jun 02, 2022

City of Oakland Announces 10 New Cultural Strategists-in-Government

Today, the City of Oakland announced a new cohort of 10 Cultural Strategists-in-Government (CSIG) that will embed in seven different entities in the City. The program is a partnership between the City’s Cultural Affairs Division and the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation, with funding for 7 of the 10 individuals provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Calendar of Meetings

After February 28, 2023, all City of Oakland boards and commissions will begin to conduct in-person meetings. Please check www.oaklandca.gov for the latest news and important information about the City’s return to in-person meetings.

Cultural Affairs Commission - 2023 Meeting Calendar

January 23, 2023 5:30-8:30 PM

March 27, 2023 5:30-8:30 PM

May 22, 2023 5:30-8:30 PM

July 24, 2023 5:30-8:30 PM

September 25, 2023 5:30-8:30 PM

November 27, 2023 5:30-8:30 PM

There are two opportunities to make a comment during meetings -Public Comment and Open Forum.

How to Make a Comment:

There are two opportunities for the public to address the Cultural Affairs Commission and City staff. The first opportunity is at the beginning of the meeting during the "Public Comment" period. The second opportunity is during the "Open Forum" period toward the end of the meeting. Open dialogue during the meeting with Commissioners, City staff, or its guest speakers is not permitted outside of the two comment periods.


All Commission meetings will be conducted in-person. The City is no longer accepting public comments via Zoom or phone. Therefore, live comments must be made in-person. Your other option is to submit a written comment BEFORE the meeting start time (5:30 PM) to NBalram@oaklandca.gov. Any comments received via email during the duration or after the meeting may not be entered into record, but will be shared with the Commission at a later time.


The Cultural Affairs Commission is an advisory body to the Mayor, City Council, and City Administrator on matters affecting cultural development in Oakland. The Commission acts as ambassadors and advocates for arts and culture in the city.

Membership: 11 commissioners; 10 regular appointments and 1 appointment selected from the Public Art Advisory Committee

No person shall be appointed to serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.

Time Commitment: Significant time commitment anticipated for both meeting preparation and attendance. Regular meetings in 2022 will be held in February, March, May, July, September, and November at 4:30 - 7:30 PM. Additional "Special Meetings" may be called and members are expected to participate on an ad hoc team. Note: Commissioners are unpaid volunteers.

Current Members

Diane Sanchez (Chair)

Kev Choice (Vice Chair)

Jennifer Easton

Michelle Mush Lee

Ilana Lipsett

Jim Santi Owen

Shannon Price

Vanessa Whang

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