Arts for Oakland Kids

Arts for Oakland Kids Arts for Oakland Kids awards grants for hands-on arts education programs in Oakland, California’s most financially oppressed public schools.
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Operating as usual

Meet the stellar talents performing in our Made In Oakland Art-a-Thon on Feb. 6! Theater artist and Indie-Folk sensation...
01/16/2021

Meet the stellar talents performing in our Made In Oakland Art-a-Thon on Feb. 6! Theater artist and Indie-Folk sensation, Akaina Ghosh, will perform the original song Fire, written by 9-year-old Naffisatou. Akaina has released two solo albums, is a Resident Artist with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and is one of the Bay Area's superhero Teaching Artists!

Learn more about Akaina: artsforoaklandkids.org/made-in-oakland-art-a-thon
Get your tickets here: http://bit.ly/AOKArtaThon

#theartsadvantage #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #Oakland #Oaklandart #Oaklandarts #Oaklandartists #MadeinOakland #artseducation #artsaveslives #artathon2021 #BayAreaArts #TeachingArtists #partyforjustice #oaklandthrives

Children’s Fairyland PlayGround

Meet the stellar talents who are performing in the February 6 Made In Oakland Art-a-Thon to raise urgently needed funds ...
01/15/2021

Meet the stellar talents who are performing in the February 6 Made In Oakland Art-a-Thon to raise urgently needed funds for local artists and arts organizations!

Announcing:

Skyler Cooper: Award-winning filmmaker, actor, and activist
Kiaza Malonga: Master Congolese Drummer and Music Director of Fuo Dia Congo (Malonga Music)
Carlos Aguirre aka Emcee Infinite: Actor, emcee and Hip-Hop artist
Portsha Jefferson: Renowned dancer and Artistic Director of Rara Tou Limen Haitian Dance & Drum Performing Company
Paunika Jones: Former principal ballerina with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Oakland Ballet
Akaina Ghosh: Award-winning theater artist and musician
Regina Morones: Award-winning actress

Created by Kids, Performed by Pros!
Help raise funds for a great cause while enjoying these Bay Area superstars performing 5 delightful works by the Oakland kids who won AOK's citywide Youth Arts Contest. HipHop, Dance, Poetry, Music, Visual Art—this evening has it all!

100% of the event costs and proceeds are directly funding artists and arts organizations.

Tickets on sale now: www.artsforoaklandkids.org

#artsforoaklandkids #artsadvantage #BayAreaArts #TeachingArtists #artathon2021 #partyforjustice #artsjustice #oaklandthrives #oaklandartists

The Crucible, Reel Stories, Attitudinal Healing Connection, Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe, Children’s Fairyland, Oakland Ballet Company, Cantare Con Vivo, The Junior Center of Art and Science, Living Jazz, Prescott Circus Theatre, The People's Conservatory, The TOaG Quartet

You're invited to a fun evening you can feel great attending! This one-night-only, online event will raise urgently need...
01/13/2021

You're invited to a fun evening you can feel great attending!

This one-night-only, online event will raise urgently needed funds for Bay Area artists and arts organizations who have all been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

Created by Kids, Performed by Pros!
Help raise funds for a great cause while enjoying Bay Area superstars performing 5 delightful works that won AOK's citywide Youth Arts Contest.
HipHop, Dance, Poetry, Music, Visual Art—this evening has it all!

We’re not spending a dime on overhead for this event. 100% of the event costs and proceeds are directly funding the artists and arts organizations who work tirelessly to give Oakland students the advantage of an arts education.

Tickets on sale now: www.artsforoaklandkids.org

#artsforoaklandkids #artsadvantage #BayAreaArts #TeachingArtists #artathon2021 #partyforjustice #artsjustice #oaklandthrives #oaklandartists

The Crucible, Reel Stories, Attitudinal Healing Connection, Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe, Children’s Fairyland, Oakland Ballet Company, Cantare Con Vivo, The Junior Center of Art and Science, Living Jazz, Prescott Circus Theatre, The People's Conservatory, The TOaG Quartet

It’s 2021 and AOK is turning 25! To celebrate, we’re doing what we do best: gathering our friends together for a fabulou...
01/04/2021

It’s 2021 and AOK is turning 25! To celebrate, we’re doing what we do best: gathering our friends together for a fabulous party to raise funds for Arts Justice in Oakland public schools!

Please join us on February 6 at 7pm for the Made In Oakland Art-a-Thon!

This one-night only, online extravaganza will raise urgently needed funds for Oakland's public school students and arts community, who have all been hit especially hard by this pandemic.

This special evening will showcase:
Messages from Oakland luminaries,
Original works created by 5 stellar Oakland public school students who won AOK’s city wide Youth Arts Contest
Performances of the winning works by Stars of Oakland!

Tickets on sale now: $40 household/$20 individual/$5 student.

https://artsforoaklandkids.networkforgood.com/events/25881-aok-s-made-in-oakland-art-a-thon

#theartsadvantage #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #Oakland #Oaklandart #Oaklandarts #Oaklandartists #MadeinOakland #artseducation #artsaveslives

Happy New Year from all of us at Arts for Oakland Kids! We wish you a year of joy, peace, health, and togetherness. This...
01/01/2021

Happy New Year from all of us at Arts for Oakland Kids! We wish you a year of joy, peace, health, and togetherness.

This year is a special turning point for AOK: we are turning 25! We are endlessly grateful to have spent 25 years as part of the vibrant and loving Oakland community.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you who has joined our community effort to bring the arts advantage to Oakland students. We can't wait to update you in the coming months on all of the wonderful kids and artists who will be benefiting from your support.

Thank you all, and happiest of New Years to you!

Please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org.If making a singl...
12/31/2020

Please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org.

If making a single, large gift is not within your budget, please consider pledging for later or spreading your support over smaller, monthly gifts.

However you give, please give generously.

On behalf of the Oakland kids, artists, and arts organizations that we serve, thank you!

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity #whenweworktogether

When students receive a consistent Arts education, it removes barriers and opens doors sothey can be anything they want ...
12/30/2020

When students receive a consistent Arts education, it removes barriers and opens doors so
they can be anything they want to be!

Together, let's bring that Arts advantage to 30,000 Oakland students this year!

As a community and for our community, we can accomplish this by raising $100,000

That’s 30 grants,
supporting 30 artists so they can stay in our community,
teaching 30,000 students of color,
who get to be anything they want to be.

Please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.When kids cons...
12/29/2020

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.

When kids consistently participate in any form of Art, it helps their brains synthesize information and emotions, radically improves academic performance, builds empathy, fosters connections, and opens them to new ideas and possibilities.

Consistent arts education is a major advantage; it fundamentally changes who kids become.

Please help us ensure that all Oakland students receive the Arts advantage by giving to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.To provide Oak...
12/28/2020

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.

To provide Oakland's kids with Arts education, AOK funds expert teaching-artists and organizations. A single teaching-artist can reach 1,000 or more students per year! Yet, the pandemic has left our expert artists and organizations facing food scarcity, eviction, and closure—many of our best and brightest are leaving for less expensive parts of the country.

We need our artists, and our artists need AOK grants.

Please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity #artistsareessential

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.Studies show t...
12/27/2020

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.

Studies show that creating Art unlocks the sections of our brains that hold pain, helping us to develop coping skills, heal, and find joy. Over the next few years, our kids will need the healing help of the Arts more than ever. Whether on Zoom or in person, Oakland’s kids need and deserve the support of consistent Arts education.

Together, our grants are nurturing joy.

Please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity #arteducationnurturesjoy

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.Currently, the...
12/26/2020

AOK’s grants are a community effort with life-changing, multiplying impacts. Together, this is what we do.

Currently, the only OUSD students receiving consistent Arts education
are those with access to generational wealth—which is directly connected to structural racism. That’s why White students are only 10% of the OUSD student population, but they are 60% of the students receiving Arts classes every week.
Students of color have a right to a complete education.

Together, our grants are building equity.

Please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity #buildinganequitableoakland

Looking for a great gift with no shipping required? Give an Arts for Oakland Kids Gift Card! Your Holiday gift will give...
12/24/2020

Looking for a great gift with no shipping required?

Give an Arts for Oakland Kids Gift Card!

Your Holiday gift will give Oakland students the Arts advantage, keep artists employed in this difficult time, and help address racial inequities in Oakland's public schools!

Not only that, your gift will bring tremendous JOY to classrooms – both online and in person!

You can buy your gift on our website at www.ArtsforOaklandkids.org. You can find the link in our bio.

#lastminutegifts #givingbackfortheholidays #givingbackforchristmas

We talk a lot about the 80% of Oakland kids who don't receive consistent arts education. We thought it might be nice to ...
12/24/2020

We talk a lot about the 80% of Oakland kids who don't receive consistent arts education. We thought it might be nice to take a moment to talk about some kids from the Bay Area who do get consistent arts participation and the impact it has had on them. During the fall of 2019, while AOK was in the midst of reviewing national studies on the impacts of arts education, AOK’s Executive Director, Gwen Loeb, had the great pleasure of being a chaperone for a long weekend at a Jump Start Music retreat at @Cazadero Music Camp, this is her story. (3/3)

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The 200 middle-schoolers and 20 High School students that I met came from every race and socio-economic status, but they had one thing in common: they had all participated in the Arts throughout their schooling, and they all had big plans for their future.

In this group was a young woman who plays the tuba and plans to join the diplomatic foreign service; a straight-As singer that plans to be an architect; a kid whose bass is taller than he is who’s getting his International Baccalaureate and wants to revolutionize biotech.

The arts are an incredible social, emotional, and intellectual advantage. How on earth can we deny this advantage to 80% of kids in Oakland? Oakland kids deserve the arts every bit as much as the kids who happen to live a few streets over in the next town.

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This is the arts advantage. Together, our grants for kids are growing great adults. Please help us give this same advantage to Oakland students by giving to the fullest extent of your capacity.

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity

We talk a lot about the 80% of Oakland kids who don't receive consistent arts education. We thought it might be nice to ...
12/22/2020

We talk a lot about the 80% of Oakland kids who don't receive consistent arts education. We thought it might be nice to take a moment to talk about some kids from the Bay Area who do get consistent arts participation and the impact it has had on them. During the fall of 2019, while AOK was in the midst of reviewing national studies on the impacts of arts education, AOK’s Executive Director, Gwen Loeb, had the great pleasure of being a chaperone for a long weekend at a Jump Start Music retreat at @Cazadero Music Camp, this is her story. (2/3)

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As I sat reading studies on the effects of consistent arts participation on the brain, I overheard casual chats between the students. Their conversations were centered around principles of elasticity, string theory, and political science — including reeling off names of state and national leaders, right down to our cabinet members.

These are the students who have high arts participation. These are the ones that the studies say will end up a full year ahead of their peers academically. The ones five times more likely to graduate. The ones who will be lifelong voters. The ones least likely to hit the school-to-prison pipeline.

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This is the arts advantage. Together, our grants for kids are growing great adults. Please help us give this same advantage to Oakland students by giving to the fullest extent of your capacity.

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity

We talk a lot about the 80% of Oakland kids who don't receive consistent arts education. We thought it might be nice to ...
12/21/2020

We talk a lot about the 80% of Oakland kids who don't receive consistent arts education. We thought it might be nice to take a moment to talk about some kids from the Bay Area who do get consistent arts participation and the impact it has had on them. During the fall of 2019, while AOK was in the midst of reviewing national studies on the impacts of arts education, AOK’s Executive Director, Gwen Loeb, had the great pleasure of being a chaperone for a long weekend at a Jump Start Music retreat at @Cazadero Music Camp, this is her story. (1/3)

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There is no internet at Caz, and we were told that chaperones would have most days to ourselves while the kids rehearsed, so I downloaded reams of studies to read offline. One rainy day, as I sat in a freezing cafeteria ingesting statistics, I realized that the real story was all around me. I shut down my computer and just listened. Bouncing off the redwoods, I could hear the simultaneous rehearsals of the middle school orchestra, band, and choir.

That joyful cacophony was created by 200 middle-schoolers of every race and socioeconomic status. These kids had the great fortune to be part of a school system that had included music instruction in their weekly education since Kindergarten.

The high school mentors, who also served as counselors and section leaders, were diligently completing college applications in their free moments; they were applying to places like MIT, Yale, and Cal Tech.

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This is the arts advantage. Together, our grants for kids are growing great adults. Please help us give this same advantage to Oakland students by giving at the link in our bio, to the fullest extent of your capacity.

#theartsadvantage #arteducationsiseducations #arteducationmatters #arteducationforall #artsjustice #artsforoaklandkids #forourcommunity

Our grantees are reporting that academic distance learning has left some of their students completely tuned out and adri...
12/18/2020

Our grantees are reporting that academic distance learning has left some of their students completely tuned out and adrift; the Arts are giving these students hope and a connection to their education.

Some students have completely stopped attending their online academic classes but they're attending every single online session with their Arts program!

As a community, we need to increase our funding to help Oakland’s kids.

Sadly, even with the vaccine on the horizon, regardless of whether school is in person or online, students are going to continue to need the Arts more than ever to help them learn and process the trauma of this pandemic.

We are working hard to give at least $100,000 of community-funded AOK grants to our arts partners and teaching artists this year.

If you haven’t given a year-end gift yet, please join our community effort to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org

#artsjustice #artseducationmatters #artseducationiseducation #theartsadvantage #oaklandthrives

Do you ever wonder how your donations have impacted Oakland's kids and artists?One of our grantees recently remarked tha...
12/17/2020

Do you ever wonder how your donations have impacted Oakland's kids and artists?

One of our grantees recently remarked that their teaching artists have been really struggling with the loss of employment in the Arts; they were considering whether they should move out of the Bay Area. Instead, a community-funded AOK grant kept them employed through the semester and they were able to reach Oakland students every week.

AOK's community-funded grants are keeping artists in the Bay Area.

Teaching artists have been reporting that their students are especially eager for their arts classes this year. The students need the support and renewal that comes from making art. One teaching artist said that her class was the only thing keeping several of her students coming to school.

AOK's community-funded grants are helping students through distance learning.

When you join the community effort at Arts for Oakland Kids, you accomplish a lot.

If you haven’t given a year-end gift yet, please join us to the greatest extent of your capacity at www.ArtsforOaklandKids.org.

#artsjustice #artseducationmatters #artseducationiseducation #theartsadvantage #oaklandthrives

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Our Story

Founded in 1996, Arts for Oakland Kids (AOK) is a 501(c)(3) arts justice fund. AOK raises funds to provide grants to arts organizations, independent teaching artists, and classroom teachers for hands-on arts education in Oakland’s most financially oppressed public schools.

During the budget crisis in the 1990s, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) cut all arts funding from its schools. That action created a two-tiered public education in Oakland and educational barriers for the majority of Oakland's students of color.

Numerous national studies show that consistent participation in the arts is key to successful educational outcomes. Students with consistent participation in the arts are 5 times more likely to graduate and 3.5 times more likely to earn a bachelor's degree. Consistent participation in the arts has such a powerful impact on social, emotional, and intellectual development that it significantly narrows or eliminates the academic achievement gap. While arts participation is important for all students, the outcomes are especially powerful for students from marginalized or oppressed communities.

White students are only 10% of the OUSD population but are now 60% of the population that receives consistent, in-school arts participation. White families utilize their disproportionate access to generational wealth to fund as much as $800,000+ per year for arts education through their PTAs.

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