OAKLAND FUND FOR THE ARTS

Rating: 5 stars   5 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Philanthropy, Economic Development

Location: PO Box 29022 Oakland CA 94604 USA

Mission: The mission of Oakland Fund for the Arts is to raise money in order to encourage, develop, and fund arts education programs for K-12 kids in economically disadvantaged Oakland, California, public schools. We believe that every child''s education is enhanced by exposure to the arts.
Results: In 2010 we were able to provide six programs with small grants for their art education programs.
Target demographics: underserved youth in Oakland public schools 4-18 years old
Geographic areas served: Oakland, CA
Programs: Varies by funding cycle, but includes visual, musical, literary and performing arts.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

We have such a need in Oakland for arts education. I've been on the Board of Directors of Oakland Fund for the Arts for almost two years, and it has opened my eyes. Kids who participate in the arts are much better students in other areas such as math and science. Yet, art programs are the first to go in school budgets. Each funding season our board struggles to choose which programs will receive funding because there are so many worthy programs and never enough money.

My challenge to you is to be part of the solution -- either by serving on the board, donating your time to mentor a child or teach the arts, or by giving money to fund school art programs. Come join us!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been with this organization one year. I love the simplicity and clarity of it's mission: to fund artists to take their programs to Oakland Public School kids in underserved communities.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am a new board member

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more volunteers

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Rating: 5 stars  

It was an honor and a privilege to have worked for this organization for over 3 years. The all-volunteer board is the best, most giving, and kindest group of individuals, and all are committed to the cause of promoting arts access for all.
Art IS education, and the underserved youth of Oakland are already at risk on so many levels. Oakland Fund for the Arts is a treasure for the community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

One of the most gratifying projects was to oversee a program where OFFTA partnered with the Academy of Art University to send 10 Oakland high school juniors to their pre-college summer scholarship program over the past two years. This was a life-changing experience for the students who participated, and one that would not have been possible for them without OFFTA-provided funds.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Seek out sources for major funding for this deserving organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Oakland Fund for the Arts provides funding so our underserved youth have a chance to find their creative voice while building their self esteem. I've had the pleasure of witnessing first hand these programs in action and have been thrilled to see how the arts can engage even the most challenging young students.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See the progress of the students

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand it to reach a wider population

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with OFFTA since 2006. This tiny volunteer organization does a wonderful amount of work in bringing arts education to Oakland school kids. As a very low-budget organization, our median donation is $35/yr. Out of that, OFFTA has (in the past 14 years) managed to raise almost $350,000 to fund about 200 arts-education programs, serving over 100,000 kids in the most economically challenged parts of Oakland. THAT'S a success story. OFFTA doesn't take any state or local money; all of the funds are raised privately. OFFTA has made a huge difference in so many kids lives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The 5th-6th graders who learned how to make a claymation movie. The sr-high students who put on a Shakespeare production. The 1st-generation-immigrant 3rd graders who documented their own personal Ancestor Project, with photos and stories. The pre-school blind kids who learned to move without inhibition for the first time in their lives in Capoeira dance. The last-chance high-schoolers who learned about art and communication through a mural project. The stories are endless, and all equally inspiring.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more great volunteer board members!

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