May Is Oakland Art Month

Events spanning the whole month include concerts, food fests, film fests, a car show, and more.


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Image: Visit Oakland

May is Oakland Art Month.

Organized by Visit Oakland and now in its second year, the entire month is studded with events and activities promoting Oakland-based artists, activities, food, and fun.

"Our vibrant city reflects the mosaic of cultures and people who live and work here, which contributes to an abundance of art forms and experiences here in Oakland,” said Visit Oakland CEO Mark Everton.

“We’re excited to highlight Oakland’s diverse art scene and the city’s creative community to visitors and locals alike.”

This year's events include:

• Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Jack London Square, featuring forty-plus vendors as well as live music and a car show; 

• The Queer California Film series at the Oakland Museum of California;

• The Indigenous Red Market at the Oakland Native American Health Center, featuring a market and large-scale mural unveiling;

• The Art & Wine Festival in Jack ondon Square featuring over forty Northern California wineries as well as craft beer, cider, live music, and more;

• An Armenian Food Festival at St. Vartan Church;

• The annual Oakland Greek Festival at the Oakland Orthodox Cathedral, featuring food, drinks, dancing, and more;

• The Asian American Media Film Festival (CAAMFest) with screenings at the Piedmont Theatre;

... and much more, including a hip-hop conference, open artist's studios, ballet performances, a Temescal Neighborhood Art Walk, and Oakland Symphony concerts. 

Oakland Art Month's 2019 theme is "Belonging." 

“Belonging invokes a sense of home,” said Oakland-based spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

“I’m not originally from this city, but I have found myself here because Oakland welcomes outcasts, transplants, forward-thinking, the little 'off,' the little weird, and also the middle-of-the-road. It’s a place that invites us all to come together in pursuit of something greater.

"Art belongs in Oakland because people have made it so," Joseph said.

Festival organizers created a video detailing other Oakland artists' ideas about belonging. 

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