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Oakland Public Library Announces Limited Edition Library Card Contest Celebrating African Americans and the Arts in Oakland

Oakland has a rich history of artistic innovation by African Americans that has shaped the culture, political landscape, and social justice movements in the city.  This contest celebrates these contributions in the arts highlighting literature, poetry, visual arts, music, theatre, and the performing arts.

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Special Library Card Contest celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the arts in Oakland.
Special Library Card Contest celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the arts in Oakland.

Oakland Media Office

The Oakland Public Library is thrilled to announce the special limited-edition Library Card Contest, a creative initiative celebrating the contributions of African Americans to the arts in Oakland. Courtesy image created by Nikolitsa Paranomos for Oakland Public Library.

This contest will run from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, with the winning designs featured on library cards available to patrons on Feb. 1, 2024, to celebrate Black History Month.

Oakland has a rich history of artistic innovation by African Americans that has shaped the culture, political landscape, and social justice movements in the city.  This contest celebrates these contributions to the arts, highlighting literature, poetry, visual arts, music, theatre, and the performing arts.

Additionally, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, a special category is dedicated to this groundbreaking art form.

“We are excited to provide a platform for artists of all ages to celebrate the cultural heritage and artistic contributions of African Americans in Oakland,” said Library Director Jamie Turbak.

“This contest allows OPL to showcase the incredible talent and creativity of Oaklanders of all ages; I hope people will collect all six cards,”  she said.

The contest is open to visual artists of all ages (children, teens, and adults). There will be six winners, two selected from each age group. Artists are encouraged to submit original, digital, or traditional artwork that represents their chosen category and reflects the theme.

A panel of judges, including representatives from the Oakland Public Library and local artists, will evaluate submissions based on creativity, relevance to the theme, and artistic skill.

The winners will be officially notified on Dec. 5, and their art will be featured in an exhibit installation during Black History Month 2024. Additionally, winners will receive special recognition and prizes.

For more information, official rules, and submission guidelines, please visit: www.oaklandlibrary.org/artcontest 

#OakLibraryArtContest @OakLibrary

Art

Mayor Breed, Actor Morris Chestnut Attend S.F.’s Indie Night Film Festival

On June 1, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Indie Night Film Festival arrived at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco. San Francisco native Dave Brown, Founder and CEO of the Indie Night Film Festival, has a vision for the film industry that is squarely focused on promoting the many talented producers, actors, and designers contributing to this billion-dollar industry. The festival has been running for 12 years and it’s only up from here, he says.

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(Left to Right) Dave Brown, CEO, Indie Night Festival, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and actor Morris Chestnut. Photo by Y’Anad Burrell
(Left to Right) Dave Brown, CEO, Indie Night Festival, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, and actor Morris Chestnut. Photo by Y’Anad Burrell

By Y’Anad Burrell

On June 1, the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Indie Night Film Festival arrived at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco.

San Francisco native Dave Brown, Founder and CEO of the Indie Night Film Festival, has a vision for the film industry that is squarely focused on promoting the many talented producers, actors, and designers contributing to this billion-dollar industry.  The festival has been running for 12 years and it’s only up from here, he says.

A weekly celebration of cinematic artistry designed to elevate emerging talent while providing a platform for networking and collaboration, entrepreneur Dave Brown created Indie Night to bridge gaps within the filmmaking community by fostering connections between like-minded individuals worldwide. The Indie Film Festival currently has over 450 film submissions worldwide, and its cinematic vault only continues to grow.

The festival showcased over 10 short films and trailers, and featured Faces of the “City: Fighting for the Soul of America,” produced by veteran actor Tisha Campbell.  This film is about the vibrancy and legacy of San Francisco. The festival also previewed “When It Reigns,” a trailer by Oakland’s burgeoning filmmaker Jamaica René.

Indie films have not just challenged traditional cinematic norms; they’ve shattered them. These films offer unique storytelling perspectives and push creative boundaries in truly inspiring ways. With their smaller budgets and independent spirit, they often tackle unconventional subjects and portray diverse characters, providing a refreshing alternative to mainstream cinema. As a result, indie films have resonated with audiences seeking an escape from formulaic blockbusters and are increasingly celebrated for their authenticity and originality.

Organizers say the mission of Indie Night is to elevate the craft of independent artists and creators. It also provides a venue for them to showcase their work, network, and exchange information with new and established creatives. It creates a community that values and supports independent art.

For more about the Indie Night Film Festival, visit www.indienightfilmfestival.com.

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Art

El Cerrito Calls for Artists to Transform Its Utility Boxes

The City of El Cerrito’s Arts & Culture Commission is seeking individual artists, teams of artists or community groups to apply for its “2024 Utility Box Public Art Program.” The project is a beautification initiative designed to add to the vibrancy of the San Pablo Avenue corridor by having community artists transform unsightly utility boxes into attractive works of art, according to the City.

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An artist stands by their work that transformed the utility box from drab to fab. Photo courtesy of the City of El Cerrito.
An artist stands by their work that transformed the utility box from drab to fab. Photo courtesy of the City of El Cerrito.

By Kathy Chouteau

The Richmond Standard

Do you have an idea for beautifying urban public spaces with your art? If so, this initiative might be perfect for you.

The City of El Cerrito’s Arts & Culture Commission is seeking individual artists, teams of artists or community groups to apply for its “2024 Utility Box Public Art Program.” The project is a beautification initiative designed to add to the vibrancy of the San Pablo Avenue corridor by having community artists transform unsightly utility boxes into attractive works of art, according to the City.

This program’s theme is “Artwork that Celebrates El Cerrito’s Natural Beauty and Environment,” and any artist/team/community group residing in Contra Costa County can apply. The boxes, including one main utility box and a smaller traffic signal box adjacent to each other, are located at Ashbury and Fairmount Avenues, next to Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito.

A $2,500 stipend is offered for each utility box completed and the application is due Friday, June 14, at 4 p.m. Work on the boxes begins Aug. 5, with work to be completed by Sept. 6.

To date, eight utility boxes have been painted by local artists as part of the initiative throughout 2021 to 2023. Artists including Adaleyd DeLeon, Kristen Kong, Shanna Strauss, Martial Yapo, Jesse White and Ricardo Cerezo have been selected by the city to beautify utility boxes with their art since the program’s inception.

Questions? Contact Will Provost at 510-215-4318 or wprovost@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us. Applications can be submitted online https://el-cerrito.org/1522/Utility-Box-Public-Art-Program

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Mario Van Peebles’ ‘Outlaw Posse’ Screened at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre

The Oakland International Film Festival hosted a screening of “Outlaw Posse” at the Grand Lake Theatre on Monday. Special guests included director/actor Mario Van Peebles and his co-star, Oakland native Scytorya Rhodes. The film is Peebles’ second western, the first being ‘Posse,’ 13 years ago.

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Film director Mario Van Peebles, who also stars in “Outlaw Posse,” appeared at a press conference held at RBA Creative on MacArthur Boulevard hosted by the Oakland International Film Festival. Photo By Carla Thomas.
Film director Mario Van Peebles, who also stars in “Outlaw Posse,” appeared at a press conference held at RBA Creative on MacArthur Boulevard hosted by the Oakland International Film Festival. Photo By Carla Thomas.

By Carla Thomas

The Oakland International Film Festival hosted a screening of “Outlaw Posse” at the Grand Lake Theatre on Monday. Special guests included director/actor Mario Van Peebles and his co-star, Oakland native Scytorya Rhodes. The film is Peebles’ second western, the first being ‘Posse,’ 13 years ago. Filmmaker Van Peebles shared his passion for independent artistry and producing projects with his son, Mandela, who also starred in the film, along with Whoopi Goldberg and Cedric the Entertainer. Next week, The Post will publish an in-depth interview featuring Peebles’ reflections on his work, future projects, and continuing his father’s legacy and Rhodes on her grandfather, a real-life cowboy.

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