Oakland, CA – Today, the City of Oakland's Cultural Funding Program announced the recipients of more than $1.3 million in grants to support Oakland’s arts and cultural organizations. The program awarded grants from $5,000 to $20,000 to 33 Oakland festivals, and $15,000 to $35,000 in general operating support grants to 27 Oakland-based arts and cultural organizations.
The grant funds will support more than 10,000 individual arts events and activities, most of them free or low-cost to the public, and will expose nearly 800,000 participants (80% Oakland-based) to cultural arts services and programming. The grants support a wide range of Oakland-based nonprofit organizations that provide arts and cultural services and infuse Oakland’s neighborhoods with arts and cultural activities that increase exposure to, understanding of, and respect for diverse cultural heritages. Additionally, the grants support arts activities that actively engage the community.
This year’s Neighborhood Voices for Festivals grant recipients include the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI (cerieastbay.org), which will present a Khmer New Year Festival in April at Peralta Hacienda Park, featuring traditional live music, delicious Khmer food, visual arts, and dance performances celebrating and reaffirming the traditions, language, and heritage of Cambodia. Another example is SAMBAFUNK!’s 10th Annual Oakland Carnaval and Community Wellness Festival, held on June 1st in Mosswood Park. This festival features world class local artists, culture bearers, community partners and residents, celebrating the collective cultural heritage of the African Diaspora in Oakland (Sambafunk.com). Grant recipients include annual festivals as well as first-time festivals.
The Cultural Organization Assistance grantees include DANCE ELIXIR, (danceelixirlive.org) which, under the vision of artist Leyya Mona Tawil, presents experimental performance works from an Arab-American perspective with a local and international reach. Another grantee is the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (squarespace.com), dedicated to providing access to affordable musical education, concerts, and workshops for under-served and under-resourced populations in Oakland. These events are centered in the African American experience and its role in the development of American music and culture. The Cultural Organization Assistance grant program supports Oakland-based 501(c)3 non-profit arts and culture organizations deeply rooted in Oakland with general operating support.
The full list of grantees can be found on the City’s website: https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/fy23-24-cultural-funding-program-grantees-2
The Cultural Funding Program relies on a competitive panel process to determine award recipients and funding allocations. Among the criteria considered by the selection panel is a racial equity category that seeks to encourage grants that create cultural opportunities for communities impacted by racial disparities and help reimagine pathways for a more equitable society. The category includes consideration of whether the programs are led by, and serve, groups and communities impacted by racial disparities. Grant recommendations from the review panel must be reviewed by the City Council’s Life Enrichment Committee and approved by the full City Council before contracts are awarded.
Last December, the Oakland City Council approved $1,327,000 in fiscal year 2023-24 grants to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations through the City’s Cultural Funding Program.
Applications Now Open - Networks of Care: Teaching Artist Support Grants
Today the City also announced that applications are now open for the 2023-2024 Cultural Funding Program’s new Networks of Care: Teaching Artist Support grant opportunity. The program will award grants up to $10,000 to Oakland-based non-profit organizations conducting arts instruction for Oakland youth to supplement current teaching artist salaries, and/or provide professional development opportunities. Interested nonprofit organizations may access the grant guidelines and applications at www.oaklandculturalarts.org.
The submission deadline for applications is Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 5 p.m.
“This grant opportunity seeks to support the ways our community imagines our lives together as Oaklanders. Teaching artists are key to this undertaking, as they prompt how the visual arts, letters, movements, lyrics and design show us how to care for ourselves and one another.” said Oakland Cultural Affairs Manager Roberto Bedoya. “This creativity is central to our city’s vitality and civic well-being.”
To assist applicants, informational webinars will be presented on January 31st and February 6th. Details on the webinars are posted on City of Oakland | Networks of Care: Teaching Artist Grants (oaklandca.gov)
About the Cultural Affairs Division
The Cultural Affairs Division is housed in the City’s Economic & Workforce Development Department. The division includes the City’s Cultural Funding Program, which provides approximately $1 million annually in grants to support the arts; the Public Art Program, which commissions and supports public art across Oakland; professional development programs for artists and arts organizations; and volunteer advisory bodies of the City.
The Cultural Funding Program is administered by the City’s Cultural Affairs Division. For more information, please visit www.oaklandculturalarts.org