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Activate Oakland Event Sponsorship Grant Program

The Activate Oakland Event Sponsorship Program is a new program launched in 2023, administered by Visit Oakland in partnership with the City of Oakland Economic and Workforce Development Department, intended to activate public spaces and support community events in Oakland’s downtown, neighborhoods, and commercial areas. The program provides funding, marketing and technical assistance for events and activations that support Oakland’s commercial districts, small businesses, and arts and culture community.

Start date:
Nov 1, 2023
Completion date:
Aug 31, 2024


In December 2023, 38 Activate Oakland event sponsorship awardees were selected to produce over 120 free community events in commercial corridors throughout Oakland through August 31, 2024. Sponsorship recipients receive marketing assistance and up to $15,000 in financial assistance to help realize their activations. The events are occurring in 18 of Oakland’s commercial districts, supporting hundreds of small businesses, artists, and arts and culture organizations.

Some of the proposals that received funding include:

  • Beat Cypher OAK | 11am-5pm, Sunday December 17th | Lovely Day - 4629 MLK Jr Way
  • Our Youth Matter Toy Giveaway | 12-3pm, Saturday, December 23rd | Rainbow Recreation Center - 5800 International Blvd.
  • Foothill Fiestas | 11am-3pm, Second Saturdays starting May 2024 | Foothill Blvd. b/t 35th and Fruitvale
  • Chinatown’s AAPI Heritage Night Market | Sunday, May 5th, 2024 | Oakland Chinatown
  • Prescott Night Market | 4-8pm, First Tuesdays, May - September 2024 | 1620 18th St.

A complete list of grant recipients and a map of funded Activate Oakland event proposals can be found at For more information about the Activate Oakland program please visit

Activate Oakland Program Goals
  • Activate a variety of commercial districts with a focus on events in or involving participants from priority neighborhoods.
  • Provide opportunities for Oakland-based small businesses, artists, cultural groups and especially commercial districts in priority neighborhoods for direct economic and marketing benefits.
  • Build social cohesion and support shared positive experiences for community in Oakland; Showcase Oakland’s unique arts, culture, and identity.
  • Create new free community events and/or expand size/attendance of existing free community events.
Visit Oakland Partnership

Visit Oakland was elected by the City of Oakland to manage the Activate Oakland Event Sponsorship Program and provide marketing assistance to events that receive sponsorships. In collaboration with Mayor Sheng Thao, Oakland’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development, citywide business associations and arts communities, Visit Oakland extensive outreach to spotlight this funding opportunity and provide support to potential program applicants, particularly community members who have previously been ineligible for city event and cultural funding.