The Octopus Literary Salon Oakland

Octopus Literary Salon Oakland
Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland

ARTS & CULTURE

www.oaklandoctopus.org

The Octopus Literary Salon is a café/bookstore/performance space with delicious homemade salads and sandwiches, superb espresso drinks, uplifting house sodas, draft beer and wine. We support local musicians, writers, and performers of all kinds by offering open, nightly local bookings. We are an excellent space to rent for private parties too.

Q. What inspired you to start your business?
We wanted the combination: café/bookstore/intimate performance space– because there wasn’t one.

Q. Tell us in one sentence why your customers love your business?
We genuinely and uniquely support creative expression in Oakland.

Q. What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
The people!

Q. What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
Plum Bar, Era Art Bar & Lounge , Vamp Records, Starline Social Club.

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?
The people!

Viscera

Viscera shopping in Downtown Oakland

SHOPPING

viscerastudio.com
1542 Broadway
Number of years in Oakland <1

Viscera curates a collection of American-made men’s and women’s clothing. We also design and produce a line of 3D printed jewelry in a range of materials.

Q. What inspired you to start your business?
My background is in architecture and city planning but really what drives me is a love for design. There weren’t any jobs that I felt could give me all the creative outlets I wanted–so I made one. At Viscera, the store design, photography and graphics are all done in-house and creativity always comes first. We’re even designing a parklet in-front of the shop.

Q. Tell us in one sentence why your customers love your business.
They love our commitment to American-made quality.

Q. What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
Other business-owners! They are all fun, spunky (and a little bit stubborn) people who love what they do.

Q. What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
I love to eat so all my favorites are food related. Sobo Ramen in Chinatown is a weekly must-have. Donut Savant makes some slamming cro-nuts (that’s right a croissant donut hybrid). Aburaya makes the BEST karage and always has interesting takes on Japanese classic dishes. Adachi doesn’t play when it comes to making great food.

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?
People. Oakland’s vibe is like no other. I’m from Hawaii where everyone is very friendly and I get that here too. On my walk to the shop I’m greeted with pleasant ‘good mornings’ and people are always willing to strike up conversation.

Betti Ono

Betti Ono Art Gallery in Downtown Oakland
camera_iconPhoto Credit: Cicely Day

ARTS & CULTURE

1427 Broadway, bettiono.com
Betti Ono is an award winning, experimentally minded art space, gallery and retail store that features work by local, national, and international artists, both emerging and established, with monthly displays of multidisciplinary arts, performance and media exhibitions, and special events.

Number of years in Oakland: 5

From Anyka Barber, owner of Betti Ono

Q: What inspired you to start your business?
A: I had to! I’m an Oakland native, born and raised with the knowledge that everyday people can create change in their neighborhood and communities and in their world. Growing up in Oakland for me meant going to the ALICE Arts center, movies at the Grand Lake theatre and free popcorn, it meant participating in music, dance and theatre classes as a student in Oakland Unified, it was about the beautiful Calvin Simmons/Grand Performance murals under the 580 FWY. Art was an everyday experience. All of this really cemented for me how important it was to be creative and to be a champion of the Arts. With Betti Ono, we wanted to create an open, accepting and participatory art and commercial gallery space that flipped the traditional approach on its head. We strive to be a welcoming, inspiring and people friendly space that is really about what IS possible, what IS good and creative about Oakland. We wanted to make visible the many, many voices, ideas, experiences and cultures that make this City so dynamic AND we wanted to prove that an art space not only creates positive social impact but economic impact as well.

Q: Tell us in one sentence why your customers love your business.
A: “Wonderful, inspiring place.” “I love this gallery, very alternative and shows emerging artists ….love it thanks for being here in Oakland …”

Q:What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
A: The people!

Q: What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
A: Oh my, there are sooo many to name. Just a few local business we adore Show and Tell Concept Shop, Owl N Wood, Crown Nine, Alamar Oakland, Donut Savant

Q: What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?
A: The people!

Whale’s Wake at Flight Deck

APRIL 2016 | EVENTS

www.raggedwing.org/shows/201516-season-kin/whales-wake-april-16-may-7-2016/

Whale’s Wake is an original play by Amy Sass produced by Ragged Wing Ensemble at The Flight Deck. Funny, sexy, incantatory, Whale’s Wake follows one family’s struggle to honor the difficult dead. This ambitious dark comedy about a family dealing with the sudden death of their patriarch engages the audience in a sweeping story that moves from slapstick and religious satire to haunting, abstract, poetic images to explore major themes about the meaning of life, death, and family.

Q. What was the inspiration behind the event?
In 2013, Amy Sass lost her father at the age of 61 and witnessed a beached whale at Stinson Beach. Whale’s Wake was born. This 3-year journey to bring this show to audiences involved dozens of drafts, dozens of artists, and the birth of a truly unique theatrical world on stage.

Q Tell us in one sentence why attendees love the event.
It combines tragedy, comedy, surreal imagery and emotional grit, and explores onstage a topic (the death of a loved one) with humor, whimsy and gravity all at once.

Q What’s the best thing about holding the event in Oakland?
There are lots of great restaurants to get dinner at before the show and lots of great bars to get a drink after the show all in walking distance.

Q Does your event partner with local businesses in Oakland?
The Flight Deck is a shared space for dozens of small arts organizations and artists.

Q What’s the one thing Oakland offers that makes it the best place for your event?
It is home.

Q What is the one thing you want everyone to know about this event?
This show is really good you guys. Audience members are leaving saying it’s better than what they’re seeing at Berkeley Rep and other big theaters. Just saying.

Comedy Oakland

thursdays and saturdays

www.comedyoakland.com
Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm
The Washington Inn
495 10th Street
Saturdays at 7 and 9:30 pm
Spice Monkey
1628 Webster Street

Number of years in Oakland? 7
Comedy Oakland produces live standup comedy shows at venues in Oakland. The shows feature up-and-coming comedians alongside industry pros, from around the USA and world. Our comedians have been featured on TV, Radio, Comedy Festivals, Late Night Talk Shows, Competition Winners, and have performed on every habitable continent!

Oakland provides diverse, smart and sophisticated crowds that appreciate smart, poignant humor along with silly and outrageous jokes. We produce great comedy shows with a cheap ticket price, & provide food and drinks without enforcing any drink minimums like other big clubs. Being in BART accessible locations in Oakland saves patrons a lot of time (driving in and out of the SF) and money (parking, tolls etc).

Q. What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
Oakland provides diverse, smart and sophisticated crowds that appreciate smart, poignant humor along with silly and outrageous jokes.

Q. What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
Spice Monkey, The Washington Inn, Shift Local, The Sound Room, Marhaba restaurant, The New Parish, and Pan Theater

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?
A home for my comedy shows!

January 2016 | ENTERTAINMENT

NBA Art Show Opening Party

NBA Art Show

February 2016 | EVENTS

www.oaklandera.com
Era Art Bar & Lounge
19 Grand Ave, Oakland
February 20th

This amazing art show features the work of 25 artists and benefits the Warriors Community Foundation, which is dedicated to making a significant and lasting impact on the lives of underserved youth here in the Bay Area. This is a curated showcase of NBA-themed art prints, paintings, and drawings.

Come meet the artists, view their works, get down to beats provided by KMEL DJ DCisChillin, enjoy NBA-themed drink specials, and watch the Warriors vs Clippers game (starts 5:30pm) on our 8 huge screens.

Event is for ages 21 and over only and is free to attend!

Q. What was the inspiration behind the event?
Providing an opportunity for our Oakland community to see the amazing artwork inspired by the NBA and our own Golden State Warriors and raising funds for the Oakland Community Foundation which directly helps our fellow Oaklanders.

Q. Tell us in one sentence why attendees love the event.
Amazing artwork, great music, and the Warriors vs Clippers game all in one comfortable and sophisticated location.

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that makes it the best place for your event?
The best community of people in the Bay Area and beyond.

52 Letters: A One-Woman Poetic Stage Play on the Fight Against Sex Trafficking

January 2016 | EVENTS

www.reginasdoor.com
Regina’s Door
352 17th Street
February 5th
How long has this event been in Oakland? This showing launches the Eliza’s Pearl Performance Series for Women of Color

52 Letters is a one-woman poetic stage play, written and performed by Oakland Native Regina Y. Evans, which brings awareness to the issue of sex trafficking in America. Additionally, there will be a panel and community discussion following the presentation.

Q. What was the inspiration behind the event?
Regina’s Door is a social enterprise vintage boutique which supports survivors of sex trafficking, in partnership with the anti-trafficking organization, Love Never Fails. I cannot think of a more appropriate space to perform a play which bring awareness to this blistering social justice issue.

Q. Tell us in one sentence why attendees love the event.
People want to join in the fight against trafficking. The play will provide them with information on human trafficking and the follow up discussion will provide them with accessible solutions.

Q. What’s the best thing about holding the event in Oakland?
Oakland is the number one spot in America for underage sex trafficking. The play brings about awareness. Awareness leads to action. Action results in saving a beautiful soul out of the clutches of the evil known as slavery.

Q. Does your event partner with local businesses in Oakland?
Regina’s Door is the sponsoring business.

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that makes it the best place for your event?
People with hearts of compassion and a spirit for social justice.

Q. What is the one thing you want everyone to know about this event?
Come with a compassionate and open heart. For the sake of love. For the sake of the sex trafficked beloveds.

In The Name of Love, the 14th Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 2016 | EVENTS

www.livingjazz.org
January 17th
Oakland Scottish Rite Center
1547 Lakeside Drive
How long has this event been in Oakland? 14 years

In the Name of Love, Oakland’s Annual Musical Tribute to Dr. King, is proud to honor “The Civil Rights Movement through the Music of Nina Simone” highlighting four outstanding vocalists including Paula West, Patti Cathcart (Tuck and Patti), Terrance Kelly, and Rhiannon with Glen Pearson, piano; Marcus Shelby, bass; and Leon Joyce, Jr., drums. The powerful 65-voice Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and the 300-voice Living Jazz Children’s Project will also perform. The Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award will be presented by Mayor Libby Schaaf to an outstanding Oakland citizen.

Q. What was the inspiration behind the event?
In the Name of Love supports the Living Jazz Children’s Project (a free music education project for Oakland public elementary schools) and promises to be a profound celebration of civil rights and an amazing evening of music.

Q. Tell us in one sentence why attendees love the event.
The tribute includes the 65-voice Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; and the 300-voice Living Jazz Children’s Project backed up by the Oaktown Jazz Workshops. Archival footage of Dr. King’s will be interspersed throughout the evening, and the Oakland Citizen Humanitarian Award will be presented by Mayor Libby Schaaf to an Oakland citizen working tirelessly to make a difference. All these elements help to make this one of Oakland’s most significant events of the year.

Q. What’s the best thing about holding the event in Oakland?
The artists, performers, speakers and award recipient all reflect the amazing diversity, talent and dynamic energy of Oakland.

Q. Does your event partner with local businesses in Oakland?
“In the Name of Love” has been made possible through the generosity of
City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Walter and Elise Haas Fund; National Endowment for the Arts; California Arts Council; Alameda County Arts Commission; Clorox Company Foundation; Thomas J. Long Foundation; Zellerbach Family Foundation; See’s Candies; KRON 4; and KBLX.

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that makes it the best place for your event?
The beautiful spirit & diversity of the people of Oakland.

Q. What is the one thing you want everyone to know about this event?
All proceeds from the 14th Annual Tribute will support the Living Jazz Children’s Project a free music education program provided by Living Jazz for Oakland public elementary schools with little or no access to the arts. Living Jazz believes that access to music education is a profound and necessary component of every child’s education and development.

The Flight Deck

ARTS AND CULTURE

www.theflightdeck.org
1540 Broadway
Number of years in Oakland: 1

The Flight Deck is a shared arts space and performance venue that offers performances, workshops, office & meeting space, and rentals for special events. The space features a 99-seat black box theater, a rehearsal studio, and a co-working office. Created by host company Ragged Wing Ensemble, The Flight Deck is home to ten local arts organizations and dozens of local performing and visual artists.

Q. What inspired you to start your business?
After running a theater company in the East Bay for a decade, we got frustrated with the lack of performance space in Oakland. There were so many great performing arts groups that had nowhere to present in Downtown. So we created a share model whereby several small organizations share the space and contribute to a lively creative environment. Also, as the landscape of Oakland changes, it is essential to maintain a place where diverse, local voices can be heard and artists can participate in the positive transformation of our city while connecting us to our roots. The Flight Deck is a place where the arts can thrive in Downtown.

Q. Tell us in one sentence why your customers love your business.
People love The Flight Deck because of its location, and because it’s the only place to produce a play in Downtown Oakland! Also, the friendly and collaborative environment is welcoming to all.

Q. What’s the best thing about doing business in Oakland?
The diversity of people and art that come through our doors. We will have Turf dancing one day, a classical piano concert the next, a Shakespeare play and then an August Wilson play, a filipino film festival and then the National Poetry Slam, a teen-produced musical and avant garde, immersive performance art. Each event brings a different set of artists and a different audience, and it is so exciting that they are all coming together at The Flight Deck.

Q. What are some of your favorite local businesses in Oakland?
Our neighbors – Viscera, Jimmy’s Deli, Oakstop, SoleSpace, Awaken, Bittersweet, Oaklandish, Garden House, Liba Falafel.

Q. What’s the one thing Oakland offers that you couldn’t live without?
The ability to live in an urban environment that has vast diversity of people & culture and all the features of a world-class city, while having quick and easy access to nature and the outdoors.

Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker

November 2015 | EVENTS

oaklandballet.org
Oakland Ballet Company, The East Bay’s premiere professional dance company, returns to the Paramount Theatre this December with three performances of Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker.

December 19 | 1pm
December 19 | 5pm
December 20 | 2pm

Introduced to Bay Area audiences in 2010 with the arrival of Graham Lustig as Artistic Director, this energetic and witty version of a world-wide classic tells the enchanting story of a young girl’s wintry dream through clever storytelling, thrilling choreography, and vivid costumes.

Truly a production of and for the community it serves, Oakland Ballet’s Nutcracker features more than 40 young student dancers ages 7-17, in the roles of adorable snowballs, mice, soldiers and candies, performing alongside the company’s dynamic dancers. Tchaikovsky’s score is performed live by the Oakland Symphony, under the direction of Michael Morgan. In addition, local choral group the Mt. Eden Women’s Ensemble, singing from the wings of the theater, adds its vocal talent to the magical Snow Scene.

Tickets for Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker are on sale now and can be purchased at www.OaklandBallet.org or at the theater box office.

Several related events offer opportunities to support the company and interact with Oakland Ballet dancers in a festive holiday setting:

Land of the Sweets Tea Party
Saturday, December 12, 1-4:30pm
The Bellevue Club, Oakland
This “high tea” Nutcracker fundraiser features finger sandwiches, treats, teas and champagne, as well as Nutcracker performance excerpts, live music, and holiday carols.

Sweet Dreams Parties
Saturday, December 19, 3pm
Sunday, December 20, 4pm
This post-performance reception is great for children and families – meet the characters from the ballet and enjoy sweets and refreshments in the beautiful Paramount Theatre lobby.

Encore Reception
Saturday, December 19, 7pm performance
Celebrate the season at our evening reception including champagne, hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the company of Oakland Ballet dancers.