City of Oakland | Cultural strategists in the government cohort…
Date posted: February 18, 2022 at 10:47 am
Last update: February 18, 2022 at 10:50 am
Following a call for applications in November, the Cultural Strategists-in-Government (CSIG) program announced the first cohort of artists and cultural practitioners who will bring fresh perspectives and creative thinking to help city staff solve some of Oakland’s biggest problems with the city’s diverse communities. Four strategists have been selected and the application deadline for six additional project slots has been extended to Monday, February 28 at 5 p.m. Those interested can apply at: https://bit.ly/3F1H5wH
“The new perspectives these cultural strategists bring to city government will lead to creative solutions to pressing challenges across Oakland,” Oakland said. Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Engaging these creative thinkers who are rooted in a wide range of communities will help us build a sense of belonging among all Oaklanders.”
Continuing to advance its “Belong in Oakland” cultural development plan, the city’s Cultural Affairs Division has partnered with the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation to secure a multi-year grant from the Andrew W Foundation. Mellon to promote equity, belonging and well-being. for all Oakland communities. These grant funds will support the Cultural Strategist-in-Government (CSIG) program. The CSIG program seeks to discover new ways to realize city aspirations by working with strategists from communities most affected by inequality and who can bring a fresh perspective to the work of building a just city.
Four cultural strategists selected
Choice Kev and Citywide Communications/Office of the City Administrator
Classically trained hip-hop musician with varied skills and tastes, Choice Kev shared the stage with Michael Franti and Michael Morgan. He is at ease both in the studio and at the opera. As an educator, activist and advocate for youth and art as a vehicle for social justice, Choice will partner with the Citywide Communications Team to broaden understanding of the City’s motto, “Love Life”, adopted in 2016 in memory of 16-year-old Lo’Eshe Lacy, as a mantra against violence and an affirmation of the value of life. Since the motto must be rooted in the community to be embraced and meaningful, those familiar with Choice and its heartfelt music know that it would be hard to find a better person to liven up the Oakland motto.
Celia C. Peters and AAMLO
Celia C. Peters is a filmmaker and storyteller who works with a range of audiovisual media to create captivating narrative experiences. She has created installations and taught film and screenwriting and engages with communities with access to new technologies, such as immersive media (virtual and augmented reality). An experienced educator and teaching artist, Peters will partner with the Oakland African American Museum and Library (AAMLO), a branch of the Oakland Public Library, to refresh and enliven its presence in the community by redesigning its long-term exposure, Visions of Tomorrow: The African-American Community of Oakland, 1890-1990and developing new educational materials to enhance it – strengthening the role of black Americans in building Oakland.
David Peters and Planning and Building Department
A third-generation Hoover-Foster resident with a passion for Oakland stories and histories, David Peters launched the Black Liberation Walking Tour, a nationally recognized community-led, self-guided virtual walking tour using oral histories to tell the story of the neighborhood. Peters is also very civic-engaged in other ways – regularly attending meetings of the city council, council committees, planning commission, redistricting commission and other city agencies. Through the CSIG program, Department of Urban Planning and Construction will partner with Peters to gain a deeper understanding of the history, environment and people of the diverse communities they serve in order to advance equity and strengthen relationships across Oakland through the process of update of the general plan at the scale of the city.
Candice Wicks-Davis and Department of Race and Equity
Artist, entrepreneur and activist Candice Wicks Davis combines song, performance and media as a catalyst for social transformation and believes the intersection of art, humility, strategy and politics is an effective way to transform systems of inequality. In the pilot phase of the Cultural Strategists-in-Government program in 2019-2020, the Department of Race and Equity (DRE) began a collaboration with Wicks-Davis to create inclusive programming and processes to better understand and fight against anti-black prejudice. in the city of Oakland. Interrupted by the pandemic lockdown, DRE’s project will be completed in this new iteration of the CSIG program as Wicks-Davis creates a song cycle based on themes that emerged from DRE’s 2018 Racial Equity Report which will be performed and recorded.
Cultural strategists are expected to play different roles from typical artists-in-residence. CSIGs are not expected to create artistic product. CSIGs can be artists or people who see themselves as cultural workers, creative entrepreneurs, traditional culture bearers, community historians or others with knowledge of culturally specific practices, history or heritage relevant to Oakland communities. CSIGs should be interested in serving the community and believe that city government can and should work effectively for all Oaklanders.
Application deadline extended
The deadline to apply for six additional City CSIG projects is Monday, February 28, 2022, at 5 p.m. The six Strategist opportunities are:
- AssistHub, Mayor’s Office
- Homeless Community Services, Department of Social Services
- Violence Prevention Department
- Environmental Services Division, Oakland Department of Public Works
- Public Art Program – Cultural Affairs Division, Department of Economic Development and Workforce
- The Office of the President of the City Council
Interested individuals can access the guidelines, project case statements and application at: https://bit.ly/3F1H5wH
Applicants for this program must be residents of Oakland.
Applicants who have previously submitted applications to the city entities listed are invited to revise their application or withdraw it and submit a new application to another city project.
New and revised Cultural Strategist applications received by 5 p.m. on February 28 will be reviewed by City and CSIG program staff and finalists will be interviewed in late March 2022. Up to six professional services contracts, not to exceed 48 $000 each will be awarded. Notification of awards is expected in early April 2022. Most CSIG internships are expected to last 12 months, however, applicants may suggest a different timeline in their responses to the award request.
For more information on this opportunity, visit https://bit.ly/3F1H5wH or contact Vanessa Whang at [email protected]
About the Cultural Affairs Division
The Cultural Affairs Division is part of the city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department. The division includes the city’s Cultural Funding Program, which provides approximately $1.5 million in grants to support the arts in Oakland; the Public Art Program, which has over $1 million in funds currently dedicated to public art installations across Oakland and staff working on special events and film production permitting.
The Cultural Funding Program relies on a competitive jury process to determine award recipients and funding allocations. Grant recommendations must be approved by the Funding Advisory Committee and City Council before contracts are awarded.
About the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation
The Oakland Fund for Public Innovation spans the entire city, engaging private partners to innovate, test and scale ideas that improve Oakland. The Fund strives to improve the prosperity, safety and quality of life for all Oaklanders with projects that:
- Building a more reliable and responsive government
- Allowing Oaklanders to stay rooted and thrive in our city
- Create a more vibrant and connected Oakland for everyone who lives, works and plays here.
About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest support for the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its fundamental belief that the humanities and the arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence and freedom that is found there. Through their grants, they seek to build just communities enriched with meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.
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