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Arts and Culture

Black Owned Fashion Brand Launches During COVID-19

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While many businesses are shuttering during the double pandemic, PSK Collective, launched online in August.  

Founded by legendary World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight, PSK Collective is a “size-inclusive” (up to 3XL) activewear brand:  sweatshirts, tops, jerseys, dresses, jackets, and 

The PSK Collective is donating 15% of its profits to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) a non-profit founded by Billie Jean King to help women and girl athletes. Knight also sits on the Board of Trustees of WSF.

The PSK Collective is all about “recognition, equity, and unity” for women in sports and through fashion in pursuit of sports and leisure.  

Born on the Fourth of July in 1974, Knight played basketball and tennis in her youth before going to college an HBCU, Alabama State University.  Later, while she was attending law school at the University of Wisconsin that she was introduced to rough and tumble sport of rugby. 

Eventually, she would play and coach the running game from 1999 to 2019, making three appearances in 2002, 2006 and 2010 when she was named USA Rugby’s Player of the Decade.  

In 2016, Knight became the first, and so far, the only, Black person inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Knight came out as a lesbian in 1997.  

She practiced law after graduation but wanted to give back to women in sports. Her strong and athletic build meant Knight — and other women like her — were challenged by what to wear during their athletic endeavors.

Her work with WSF, the need for inclusivity and equality inspired her to create the PSK Collective, which is also affordable. 

The brand is geared for Gen Z/millennials and accessible to all. Its ambassadors are diverse and include Akira Armstrong, dancer/choreographer; Naya Tapper, also a rugby player, and Aja Evans, a bobsledder. The clothing line is also meant to appeal to wrestlers, BMX athletes and para-olympians.

In addition to the PSK Collective, Knight, a New Yorker, is pursuing mixed martial arts, broadcasting, and acting.  

Knight will be featured in Halle Berry’s directorial debut, “Bruised”.

For more information and on the PSK Collective, log onto psk-collective.com.

Art

Student Work – Nayzeth Vargas

There is freedom with the Zentangle; there is no expected visual outcome and students are less prone to creative blocks and self-criticism. 

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This piece was created by Nayzeth Vargas, a senior at Oakland Technical High School. The Zentangle Method is a therapeutic technique which uses combinations of contrasting patterns and values to create an image. Students were introduced to the Zentangle Method to offset the mental stress they were experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social isolation.  

There is freedom with the Zentangle; there is no expected visual outcome and students are less prone to creative blocks and self-criticism. 

Nayzeth is enrolled in the West Oakland Legacy and Leadership Project, an integrated arts program that supports youth in developing thoughtful, educated voices for their communities. Though art, youth practice mindfulness and boundless creativity. Enrollment for the West Oakland Legacy and Leadership Project is open to youth ages 13-18 through AHC, for more information visit ahc-oakland.org/legacy.

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Arts and Culture

APPLICATIONS FOR SAN FRANCISCO’S $3 MILLION MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT VENUE FUND TO OPEN APRIL 21

The Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will offer grants of at least $10,000 to every eligible entertainment venue in San Francisco, which have been struggling to remain in business as a result of COVID-19

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San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the City’s Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will begin accepting applications for grants on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The fund was established to provide financial support to San Francisco-based live music and entertainment venues in order to prevent their permanent closure due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Venue Fund advances the Economic Recovery Task Force’s recommendations to support the arts, culture, hospitality, and entertainment sector. The fund is also aligned with San Francisco’s other efforts to support entertainment venues, including Mayor Breed’s $2.5 million in fee and tax relief for entertainment venues and the proposals to support arts and culture in the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Act legislation.
“These music and entertainment venues are part of what makes San Francisco such a special place to live and visit,” said Mayor Breed. “This past year has been devastating for the entertainment sector, and these local funds will help these businesses hang on until they can start operating again.”
In March 2021, Mayor Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney agreed to allocate $3 million to the fund as part of $24.8 million for small business loans and grants in the current year surplus spending plan. The first round of grants will expend all $3 million in equal amounts to every venue eligible to receive funding. Grants will be at least $10,000 for each venue, although that amount will vary based on how many venues qualify for the program.
“Our independent music and nightlife venues have been hit hard over the last year, and desperately need the support that this fund will provide,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “Nightlife and entertainment are cornerstones of our city’s economy and culture. As we reopen and recover, we need our city’s venues to not only survive, but to be even stronger.”
The fund is administered by San Francisco’s Office of Small Business, and was developed in consultation with stakeholders from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Entertainment Commission, the Small Business Commission, the San Francisco Venue Coalition, and the Independent Venue Alliance.
The fund is also available to receive donations from the public. Any private donations received before the first round of grants is issued will be distributed as part of that round. If additional money is added to the fund by the City or through donations after the first round of grants is issued, that money will be awarded in subsequent rounds of grants. Members of the public interested in donating may find out more information at sfosb.org/venuefund
“San Francisco’s storied live music venues bring more than just economic activity to our City; they are the beating heart of our shared culture, diversity, and sense of identity,” said Ben Bleiman, President of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission. “But due to the pandemic, many of them are teetering on the edge of permanent closure. We applaud Mayor Breed, Supervisor Haney, and our San Francisco leaders for swift, decisive action to establish the Music & Entertainment Venue Fund. These grants will play a crucial role in saving our live music venues before it’s too late.”
“Live music venues have not been able to be open for even a single day, at any capacity, for over a year. They have been among the hardest hit businesses in San Francisco, and as a result are hanging on by a thread,” said Sharky Laguana, President of the San Francisco Small Business Commission. “Many have been forced to permanently close. Music is a central part of San Francisco’s identity and history, and speaking as a musician, I don’t want to even think about our City without our beloved venues. This aid will make a big difference, and help keep music alive in San Francisco. Thank you Mayor Breed and Supervisor Haney for creating the Music & Entertainment Venue Fund.”
Applications open on April 21 and the deadline is May 5, 2021. Venues eligible to receive funding must have held a Place of Entertainment permit from the Entertainment Commission prior to the start of the pandemic and must be able to demonstrate a track record of substantial live entertainment programming, among other eligibility criteria.
Venues interested in applying and members of the public interested in donating to the fund can learn more at sfosb.org/venuefund
 

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Activism

Oakland Mural- Zero Hunger

Six murals, curated by SAM, are aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing support to combat rising U.S. and global food insecurity, especially in the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic.

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Tallest Mural of Oakland spotlights the U.S. and global food insecurity and injustice in support of the United Nations World Food Programme’s mission to end global hunger. Photo credit: @StreetArtMankind #ZeroHungerMurals About Street Art for Mankind.
Oakland, CA (April 5, 2021) – World Food Program USA, in support of the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is teaming up with Street Art for Mankind (SAM) and Kellogg Company to create a series of murals around the United States dedicated to “Zero Hunger,” the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2). Six murals, curated by SAM, are aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing support to combat rising U.S. and global food insecurity, especially in the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic. The first large mural was created by artists Axel Void and Reginald O’Neal in New Orleans, Louisiana, in February. The second mural, created in downtown Houston by artist Dragon76 on the Hampton Inn by Hilton In March, is now the biggest mural of the city with its 13,000 square feet. The third one will be completed by Thursday, April 15th in Oakland on the Marriott City Center 21-story wall by the International artist Victor Ash. When finished, it will be the tallest mural in Oakland. More murals will be created in Washington, DC, Detroit, and Battle Creek, Mich. “At this critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to our partners for helping to raise the visibility of food insecurity both globally and domestically as well as activate citizens to mobilize around this important issue. While our programs feed people living on less than $2 a day in the most impoverished countries, we understand the severity of the American hunger crisis and support the efforts of both non-profits and corporate partners to feed those in need” said Barron Segar, president, and CEO, World Food Program USA. We are facing the greatest hunger crisis of our time. Hunger is on the rise, with more than a quarter of a billion people marching toward starvation. In fact, famine is looming in four countries: Yemen, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, and northeast Nigeria. It is only the U.N. World Food Programme intervention supporting national governments and partners that has so far prevented famine. The U.N. World Food Programme has launched the biggest operation in its nearly 60-year history, with plans to feed up to 138 million people this year.
The United States has been hit with an unprecedented hunger crisis as well, as the pandemic’s fallout triggers unemployment, income loss, and widespread food insecurity. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture1 , African-Americans are twice as likely to face hunger as non-Hispanic, Caucasian households. To give back to local minority communities, Kellogg Company is donating cash to support local food justice programs in each of the six cities. “To raise further awareness about the importance of food justice, Kellogg is making a $10,000 donation to organizations in each of the six communities that are working to provide sustainable and equitable access to food,” said Stephanie Slingerland, Kellogg’s Senior Director of Philanthropy & Social Impact. Kellogg has long been committed to addressing food insecurity in North America – and across the globe — through its Better Days purpose platform, through which we’ve donated 2.4 billion servings of food worldwide.” The mural series is a continuity of the “Zero Hunger” mural created in New York for the United Nation’s 75th anniversary. Visitors to the murals can use Street Art for Mankind’s free “Behind the Wall” app to scan or photograph the mural, instantly accessing more details about the mural, the hunger crisis, and how to take action globally and locally. 1 USDA, Economic Research Service, Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement, Jernigan et al. (2017) “We are honored to expand our Zero Hunger series around the United States with the World Food Program USA and Kellogg. We hope our gigantic murals, created by an incredibly diverse group of talented street artists, will inspire the public to reflect on the current situation and do their share to support the fight against hunger within their communities and beyond.
Together we can see bigger and create a hunger-free world,” said Audrey and Thibault Decker, Co-founders of Street Art for Mankind. Mural Pictures https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pg8kus6la6e2bgz/AAA3VCk-s5wFhQS9ZDXE6-9ma?dl=0 The link is updated every day with new pictures. Photo credit: @StreetArtMankind #ZeroHungerMurals About Street Art for Mankind (SAM) SAM is a 501c(3), non-profit organization working with prominent street artists from all around the world to raise awareness on SDG’s and child trafficking through the power of art. SAM has collaborated with the United Nations since 2017. This new “Zero Hunger” series is a continuity of the “Zero Hunger” mural created for the 75th anniversary of the UN at the UN General Assembly in New York. For more information about SAM Mural in Oakland contact us at:
 Email – Audrey Decker: adecker@streetartmankind.org
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter #ZeroHungerMurals About World Food Program USA , The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change. World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit wfpusa.org/about-us. About Kellogg Company: At Kellogg Company, we strive to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. Our beloved brands include Pringles®, Cheez-It®, Special K®, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats®, Kashi®, RXBAR®, MorningStar Farms® and more. Kellogg brands are beloved in markets around the world. We are also a company with Heart & Soul, committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 through our Kellogg’s® Better Days global purpose platform.
About Kellogg Company: At Kellogg Company, we strive to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. Our beloved brands include Pringles®, Cheez-It®, Special K®, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats®, Kashi®, RXBAR®, MorningStar Farms® and more. Kellogg brands are beloved in markets around the world. We are also a company with Heart & Soul, committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 through our Kellogg’s® Better Days global purpose platform. Visit www.KelloggCompany.com or www.OpenforBreakfast.com

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