Metropolis of Oakland Introduced Grant to Promote Artistic Options in Oakland Metropolis Council

Grant Award Announced to Foster Creative Solutions in Oakland City Council, US $ 900,000 grant will embed 12 cultural strategists in city councils

Oakland – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the New Venture Fund a $ 900,000 grant, in partnership with the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation and the city’s Department of Culture. The grant will support the placement of 12 cultural strategists within the Oakland City government. These commitments contribute to creative problem solving in the participating city departments. This new grant funding extends the Cultural Strategist in Government (CSIG) program beyond a 2019 pilot.

“These creative minds, working with our dedicated city staff, will help develop new solutions to old problems,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Bringing in the range of creative talent from our communities will strengthen the bonds between residents and government while solving real-world challenges.”

The cultural strategist’s first pilot coincided with the release of the city’s cultural plan, “Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan,” to embody the plan’s slogan – “Justice is the driving force, culture is the framework, and belonging is the goal”. The artistic thought partners supported by the Mellon Foundation Scholarship will work with individual city departments to serve the Oaklanders in ways that promote civic belonging and community wellbeing. Two of the 12 cultural strategists are hired for up to two years, the other 10 embedded for up to a year.

“The Oakland Fund for Public Innovation is excited to support the expansion of the Cultural Strategist in Government program,” said Juma Crawford, chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization. “We believe innovation comes from the inherent talent and people who are native to and live in the Oakland communities. This program will fuel the vital work of ensuring that we as a city continue to put people first and strive for equality and belonging for all Oaklanders. “

Cultural strategists are individuals who work in the fields of culture, art creation, and aesthetic practices who bring unique skills and perspectives to solving delicate problems. These can be artists, artist activists, creative entrepreneurs, traditional cultureists, community historians, or others who are familiar with culture-specific practices, history, or heritage that are relevant to Oakland residents and who are interested in serving the community.

As thought partners of government agencies, the CSIG scholarship holders do not just create “objects”. Instead, they make political arguments about strategies for cultural change that are critical to working towards achieving a just city and civic belonging. The CSIG program is an investment in creative thinkers who envision and test new ways of working from a position within government that advances how dialogue, advice, risk, and innovation can impact government systems as we work towards civic affiliation realize.

Preliminary project schedule

August 5th – CSIG call for proposals on

August 26th – CSIG suggestions from interested parties due

September 21 – Announcement of selected cultural strategists

October 4th – Strategists begin the services of the city administration

About New Venture Fund

The New Venture Fund works with change leaders to create a fair, healthy and sustainable world for all people. We help implement a range of public interest projects on topics such as conservation, global health, public order, international development, education, disaster relief and the arts.

Through the Oakland City Department of Cultural Affairs

The Department of Cultural Affairs is housed in the City’s Economic and Personnel Development Department. The division includes the city’s cultural sponsorship program, which provides approximately $ 1 million in grants to support the arts in Oakland; the public arts program, which currently has more than $ 1 million in funding for public art installations in Oakland and staff working on special events and film productions.

About the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation

The Oakland Fund for Public Innovation spans the city and engages private partners to develop, test, and scale ideas that improve Oakland. The Fund seeks to improve the prosperity, safety and quality of life of all Oaklanders through projects that:

Build a more trustworthy and responsive government
Enable the Oaklanders to stay rooted and thrive in our city
Create a livelier, more connected Oakland for everyone who lives, works and plays here.

Via the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest arts and humanities sponsor. Since 1969, the foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and the arts are essential to human understanding. The foundation believes that the arts and the humanities are where we express our complex humanity and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence and freedom found there. Through our fellowships, we seek to build equitable communities, enriched with meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can flourish.

Article based on a press release from City of Oakland to Zennie62Media, Inc.


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