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.

The Fire Next Time: A Call and Response (#TFNTOakland) objectives:

  • To strengthen networks + build the leadership capacity of Oakland’s arts and activism ecosystem
  • Create a transformative model of engagement where artists, cultural workers and creatives play a critical role in movement building efforts
  • Design and activate a collective vision to advance a sustainable future for Black, Brown and Indigenous people in Oakland.

We invite you to  partner with us  to bring this collective vision to life by making an individual contribution.

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.

We were recently awarded a curatorial research grant from the French American Consulate/French Cultural Arts Society in support of this project to collect threads of life, legacy and critical theory as propagated by Black American and African Diasporic revolutionaries like Baldwin.  We intend to take full advantage of the opportunity to bring this conversation to the international stage.

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.

Calendar of  Fall 2018 Project Activations and Happenings