Arts for Oakland Kids

Bringing the Arts Back to School

Oakland, CA   |  http://www.artsforoaklandkids.org/

Mission

Arts for Oakland Kids is a 501(c)(3) fund with a mission to advance arts justice by ensuring that all students in financially oppressed Oakland public schools receive a comprehensive arts education in order to improve learning and promote achievement. We envision a world in which the power of arts education is fully recognized, and every public school student – regardless of race, background, or wealth – is given equitable access to the advantages of a comprehensive arts education, enabling them to reach their intellectual, social, and emotional potential.

Ruling year info

1996

President

Ms Diane Dunwoodie

Main address

3871 Piedmont Ave #11

Oakland, CA 94611 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Oakland Fund for the Arts

EIN

94-3246554

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Urban, Community (S31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 1996, Oakland cut all arts funding to its public schools and created a two-tiered education. White students are 10% of the Oakland school district; yet, due to their disproportionate access to wealth, they are 60% of the students who receive weekly, in school arts education. 80% of OUSD students--98% of whom are students of color--receive little or no arts education. Arts education in Oakland is a social justice issue and Arts for Oakland Kids is an Arts Justice funder that works to address this inequity with grants for hands-on arts education in financially oppressed Oakland public schools.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Attitudinal Healing Connection: ArtEsteem at Frick Academy

Attitudinal Healing's ArtEsteem program introduces students to the concept of the "Self As Superhero," encouraging them to view themselves as positive change-makers in their community. The students are introduced to environmental justice and notable environmental activists while learning visual art techniques not ordinarily available at Frick Academy, including illustration, fundamentals of color theory, shapes, patterns, and symmetry. This art and social justice program provides students with a physical medium to gain emotional literacy and re-imagine the word 'hero' to include everyday people advocating for positive change.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children
Economically disadvantaged people
People of Latin American descent
People of African descent

During weekly, in-school, choral music classes, Cantare Con Vivo's students learn songs from around the world, develop their singing voices, read and write music, and engage in non-competitive teamwork. Cantare believes it is crucial for every child to have the opportunity to find, develop, and share their unique voice, particularly during their early developmental years. Cantare's partnership with AOK began two years ago and has allowed them to reach students in younger grades with the life-changing power of music education.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
People of Latin American descent
People of African descent

Chapter 510's Young Authors program provides poetry writing, bookmaking, and publishing instruction. Each book project kicks off with an educational experience that students use to inform their writing. Students then write individual or group-written poetry with support from trained writing mentors. They are then supported through the process of revisions, bookbinding, and cover art creation. Students translate their writing into languages spoken at home, receive public speaking coaching, and then proudly present and read their books aloud at the final showcase event.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Creative Connections is a partnership between Sankofa United and Peralta Elementary that is designed to: (a) address the glaring disparities in access to arts education between the two schools, and (b) build community and leadership between the two school communities. Creative Connections, which is co-funded by the Peralta Parent Teacher Association, will hire a Dance Instructor (Sankofa), and a Visual Arts & Music Instructor (Peralta) to teach weekly, 90-minute classes to each 2nd-5th grade classroom in their school. Similar to “reading buddy programs” the two campuses will create an “arts buddy” model, pairing older classrooms with younger classrooms (ex. 3rd graders will teach Kindergarteners), and students will walk to their buddy school weekly to spend 45 minutes sharing what they’ve learned, and creating new work with their younger buddies. The program will culminate in permanent visual art installations between both schools, showcases at Rockridge and Temescal Libraries, and 3 dance performances throughout the year.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Children

The Destiny Art Center (DAC) is establishing a new year-long program of African dance and music programming at Madison Park Academy, creating the school's only consistent arts program. Through Zimbabwean dance and music, DAC will support students' sense of grounding, empathy, community, respect, responsibility and self-expression while directly connecting to the history and cultural resources of the neighborhood. The program culminates in a year-end showcase of the students' learning and development.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

During DreamSong's 12 week program, students will learn to play chords on the ukulele and collaborate as a class to write lyrics for an original song based on their dreams for the future. The DreamSongs program will reach students who have limited access to private lessons or OUSD-funded music education programs. Along with an end of program performance, students will create keepsake illustrated songbooks that contain their artwork and lyrics.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

EBAC's Visual Arts Project will provide visual arts therapy twice weekly as part of the after-school programs offered jointly to students from RISE and New Highland. The Visual Arts Project will help students address the traumas of the last year through painting, sculpture, collage, mandalas, nature-inspired art, self-portraits, and collaborative projects. RISE and New Highland will be merging in the 2022-2023 school year; this program is also designed to help the students forge community bonds prior to the merger.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Led by conservatory-trained musicians, Harmony Project is an intensive, multi-year program of instrumental classes and performances. The program provides musical ensemble training through direct instruction and musical mentorship. Students receive 4 hours of weekly, after-school instruction on violin or cello, including peer-led, teacher-mediated practice time as part of this. The program includes 3 public performances throughout the year.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children

SFJAZZ performers and musicians are working with 40 very lucky, talented instrumentalists at Westlake Middle School's well-known jazz ensemble program, in performance skills and master classes.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The Living Jazz Children's Project begins the year by introducing ensemble singing concurrently with information about civil rights leaders; this gets students singing and thinking about music as a force for social change. The students perform in school assemblies and have the opportunity to perform as the opening act at the Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Scottish Rite Center, alongside professional musicians. During the second semester, students move from choral music to rhythm classes. The rhythm curriculum was created at the request of OUSD teachers and emphasizes complex polyrhythms alongside the historical context of African Diaspora cultures, geography, and history.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children

The MOCHA Artists in Residency program provides weekly, hands-on visual arts education for all TK-5 students at RISE Community School. Through partnerships between teaching-artists and classroom teachers, this year-long program is integrated with the topics being taught in the classroom. By planning the lessons with the classroom teachers, the visual art lesson plan is tied to the core curriculum, integrating the arts education into the school's science, social studies and language arts curricula– encouraging visual art as a teaching tool. MOCHA works to provide students with a comprehensive experience of visual arts mediums and maximum opportunities for hands-on art-making.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Oakland Ballet Company's You Can Dance program is an in-school dance residency designed to help fill the void in dance education. Students will begin with a performance from OBC's professional dancers at an assembly where they will also receive an interactive choreography lesson. From there, students will receive 10 lessons over 5 weeks that include dance warm-ups, movement games tied to the classroom curriculum, and the creation of their own dance that will be performed at the final presentation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who receive arts education through AOK programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our population served varies from year to year, depending on the programs funded. Some small programs can have a great impact.

Number of programs we are able to grant each year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of programs at schools we have never funded before

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2019, we are targeting schools without arts education where we've never funded a program in our ArtStart Initiative.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Founded in 1996, Arts for Oakland Kids (AOK) is a 501(c)(3) arts justice fund with a mission to advance educational equity by ensuring that all students in financially oppressed Oakland public schools receive a comprehensive arts education. We envision a world in which the power of arts education is fully recognized, and every public school student -- regardless of race, background, or wealth -- is given equitable access to the advantages of a comprehensive arts education, enabling them to reach their intellectual, social, and emotional potential.

Arts for Oakland Kids has three grantmaking programs: (1) Project Mini-Grants of $5,000, chosen through an RFP process open to all arts organizations and independent teaching artists; (2) the Laurie Pitman Award of $5,000, given to exceptional current or past Project Mini-Grant applicants/grantees that otherwise would not qualify for
funding in a given year; and (3) the Arts Justice Initiative, launching in FYE22, which will convene diverse stakeholders and arts providers to change the system of arts education inequities in Oakland public schools. The Arts Justice Initiative will launch with a pilot Oakland elementary school. Under the Initiative, AOK will fund $400,000 per school site for coalition work, evaluation, and direct grants to arts education providers to provide weekly, in-school classes throughout the school year for every student in every grade.

Since 1996, AOK has awarded $908,609 to 279 arts programs reaching 29,000 students in 93 under-served Oakland public schools.

Each year we strive to broaden our donor base so we can fund more arts education programs. The need is great. In 2016, we received 31 applications for grants, many of which were worthy programs that met our criteria for funding. We were only able to fund 12 programs.

In the long-term, we continue to collaborate with art-related institutions, like SFPerformances, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, SFJAZZ, Berkeley Rep, CalShakes, ProArts, and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

In 2016 we welcomed our first executive director.

We continue to grow our Board and our Advisory Board with a good deal of talent. We have developed an active volunteer base, and our events both large and small attract a loyal clientele. We have garnered our first significant endowment and are beginning to emphasize similar estate-based gifts to build a long-term endowment for our mission.

Our major short-term goal as we turned 20 was to break $100,000 in annual income, which we accomplished in 2017. We continue to give an increasing percentage of our income toward grants, and we hope to change that percentage significantly over the next 2-4 years.

In 2019, we anticipate the receipt of a generous endowment gift that will cover a large percentage of our administrative overhead. This level of financial security will make almost all of our fundraising dollars available for grants.

Financials

Arts for Oakland Kids
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Arts for Oakland Kids

Board of directors
as of 12/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Diane Dunwoodie

Sally Landis

Artist

Christine Scrivani

Wells Fargo Bank

Jeff Hall

Retired, Univ of California Berkeley

Kathy Neal

Businesswoman

Dwight Jackson

Metro Contract Group

Diane Dunwoodie

Artist

Lauran Weinmann

Blank Page Studio

Genni Low

Nonprofit Youth Program Director

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.