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Brianna Mills
David Graves
Dafina Kuficha
Myron Potier

It's time to pick up some gifts for the holidays!

Give the gift of unique, original fine art made by Oakland artists. Specialty gifts, mixed media, photography, and paintings ranging from affordable prints to original investment pieces. We will feature our member artists: Brianna Mills, Orlonda Uffre, Rishabh Singh and Jerry Solomon, as well as work by David Graves, Dafina Kuficha and Myron Potier. Give one of a kind art to those people who are one of a kind in your life. These pieces will spark conversation, memories, wonderment or just make you feel good!



On October 27th, we hosted a Voter Forum on the Arts and Economic Development where we discussed the development of a comprehensive platform of policy, programmatic and organizational recommendations for the arts communities to promote, including in how they vote for and evaluate elected officials. Although the voters forum was designed to speak broadly about a regional electorate and how the arts communities can galvanize to build political strength, the conversations centered around specific actions that could be pursued by those working and residing in Oakland.

Everyone was in agreement that a sustained and focused approach would be required to achieve the successes imagined.

The Agenda for the forum follows, along with notes for a path moving forward.

October 27, 2018- Voters Forum Agenda

Accountability of elected officials

  • Qualify “support” for the arts?

  • Need to decipher the rhetoric

  • I support world peace, but...

What can our elected officials do?

  • Policy >

  • Programmatic >

  • Organizational efficiency >

What is the most effective way to affect sustainable change

  • Information > review existing policies, programs, staffing levels, funding levels, initiatives,
      resources, efforts, organizational chart, interdepartmental opportunities, etc.

  • Organize > sustained call to action, form or join coalitions, share information, mobilize, show up and do something

Assess realm of possibility and likelihood > political will, viability and sustainability, levels of
exhibited support

Forum Goals:

  • Identify practical strategies for support of the arts community  

  • Assess key indicators to best select candidates based on their record

  • Develop accountability measures for elected officials

  • Empower ourselves to take action with our vote and through political organization

  • Develop Comprehensive platform

  • Understand Regional strategy

Understanding the priority of the arts in relation to other issues:

  • Housing Affordability, Homelessness, Public Safety, propositions or initiatives, Potholes

    • Where does support for the arts rank

    • How likely are electeds to focus on the arts

    • The arts community is largely useless to a politician except to provide cover

      • Work for free, insignificant contributors, no voting block

What is support for the arts? Everything is an economic development issue

  • Incentives for arts related businesses?

  • Funding for artists and nonprofit arts organizations?

  • Arts education?

  • Accessible arts programming?

  • Public art?

Notes from October 27, 2018 Voters Forum

Arts Strategies

  • Develop Creative ways to funnel money into the arts through earned income and dedicated revenue streams

    • City-sanctioned Concessions and Art vending zones

    • Large-scale economic development initiatives i.e. Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center

    • Taxes and impact fees on housing, hotels, AirBNB, etc.Comprehensive and sustained marketing

    • Ballot measure

  • Messaging around what the arts are and what the contribute

    • “Language of Power” contributed by Barbara Kaplan

    • Art Murmur has just launched a campaign featuring individual artists

    • Downtown/Uptown CBD launched a street banner campaign

    • No significant efforts by City of Oakland

    • Science of art and creativity

    • Inventory of impact and results of arts integration

  • Create individual relationships with businesses and corporations

  • Identify institutional partners

  • Develop and promote an “Implementation Plan” like the one developed by Support Oakland Artists

  • Re-launch Oakland Art-Census and Art Community Action Network (ART-CAN)

    • Need for better data and plans that more accurately assess the economic and community impact of the arts and captures the needs and characteristics of the Creative Economy

  • Develop Political Action Committee

  • Develop Arts Council- non-governmental and cross-sectoral body

  • Pursue Social Impact Bonds- contributed by Nichole Talbett

Review Existing and Historical Arts Plans and Initiatives (not a complete list)

October 27, 2018 - Voters Forum on Arts and Economic Development
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Support Oakland Artists

The arts fuel a tremendous amount of economic activity in the region through employment in the nonprofit sector, business attraction and retention, cultural tourism, musical and performing arts attendance, and the broader creative economy. Additionally, arts education provides a powerful teaching and learning tool that serves to foster critical thinking skills.

Artists and creative professionals are a significant segment of the electorate and this forum is organized to explore the factors of how our government leaders steward the issues of most importance to us.

Forum goals:

  • Identify practical strategies for support of the arts community  

  • Assess key indicators to best select candidates based on their record

  • Develop accountability measures for elected officials

  • Empower ourselves to take action with our vote and through political organization


The arts fuel the economy, builds strong, vibrant neighborhoods, improves educational outcomes and enriches society. SOA is a nonprofit organization that works to enhance local artists’ ability to thrive, increase citizens’ participation in cultural activities, and establish the region as a world-class destination for the multi-cultural arts.