As the cultural, economic, racial, social, and political landscape of Oakland has radically shifted, Betti Ono has filled a critical need as one of only a handful of anchor cultural spaces committed to addressing and responding to local and national issues disproportionately impacting communities of color.
Our latest project The Fire Next Time: A Call & Response (#TFNTOakland) is a year long, Oakland led international arts and culture initiative designed to be part cultural think- tank + exhibition + instigation. TFNT: A Call and Response takes its name and inspiration from the life and legacy of James Baldwin and the band of artists, actors, instigators and agitators who worked together to advance freedom, human rights, racial + social justice all over the world.
Co-created by dance artist & curator Sheena Johnson and Betti Ono founder & curator Anyka Barber, #TFNTOakland, creates a conceptual and site-specific container for the expression of cultural radicalism through creative instigations, agitations and inquiries organized by lead artists Zakiya Harris + Tongo Eisen-Martin and 5 commissioned Bay Area based artists working across disciplines in poetry/spoken-word, visual arts, performance, dance, and media.
Through a collaborative, intergenerational and participatory model, these activations will be designed in the Fall 2018 and experienced in dialogue with the public in the Spring and Summer of 2019.