December 2015 | ARTS AND CULTURE
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.