- What is the Betti Ono Foundation – mission, vision and values?
We are The Betti Ono Foundation. A bold manifestation of liberation and power. A new hybrid entity of nonprofit foundation and social enterprise. We are Black women and survivor-led. Our mission is to build power through culture. We amplify the voices and lives of artists, and celebrate the culture of everyday people. Our vision and creative practice embodies the bold, curious, and unapologetic spirit of our namesakes Betty Mabry Davis and Yoko Ono. We value art making as a form and function of activism, self-determination, community transformation, and cultural resilience. We are dedicated to amplifying the work and lives of Black, Brown, Immigrant, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ artists and communities.
- Why is Betti Ono leaving the space at 1427 Broadway?
Autonomy. We have stewarded this space for more than 10 years and are letting go of the lease to prepare for and activate our strategic plan for permanent real estate acquisition and ownership. We are keenly aware of the changes happening across Oakland, and on 14th and Broadway, exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past 2 years have changed us as an organization. We’ve been anchored in a bigger vision of space, belonging & sovereignty and this is the right time for our organization to take a bold step into fully owning a cultural home.
- Why the change from ‘Betti Ono’ to ‘The Betti Ono Foundation’?
Expansion. From its founding, Betti Ono has been committed to the cultural, social, political, and economic emancipation and development of low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities of color. We have spent the past 10 years providing a platform to amplify the voices and work of artists and cultural workers, and an active space and hub for the broader community. The space we have held, both physically and figuratively, has been impactful, but is not the final goal or vision of Betti Ono. The Betti Ono Foundation will expand the work of providing artists with opportunities and resources, leading cultural change initiatives, and addressing the material conditions of our neighborhoods through community well being and permanent space.
- What will be the new entity structure of Betti Ono?
Community. Betti Ono will now be a hybrid entity with two parts;
- LLC social enterprise.
- Non-profit foundation.
The Council on Foundations defines a foundation as an entity that supports or engages in its own direct charitable activities or programs. The Betti Ono Foundation is a non-grantmaking, public charity that exists to strengthen our community. The Betti Ono Foundation focuses on three artistic and community-based strategies centered on cultural permanence, community well-being, and ending gender-based violence. Betti Ono, LLC is a creative social enterprise that uses art, enterprise and social impact strategy to leverage creative capital, cultural products, and networks for good.
You will still be able to make tax deductible donations through our fiscal sponsor for now, and in the near future, directly to the Betti Ono Foundation. Both entities will help us move forward with our outstanding mission of building power through culture, and our move towards permanence.
- How is Betti Ono moving towards cultural permanence? What does cultural permanence mean to Betti Ono?
Ownership. In releasing the long-term lease, Betti Ono is directing its energy towards permanent real estate acquisition. Betti Ono is working with the emerging BlacSpace Cooperative to design cooperative business models for shared space acquisitions in partnership with other Black-led, Oakland-based cultural organizations. We are currently working on a feasibility study, cooperative business model, and design process for a multi-unit cultural hub. We will focus on Betti Ono gaining cultural permanence and ensuring our communities have permanent cultural homes for arts practice, institutions of knowledge, and communal well-being.
- What will 2022 look like for Betti Ono as an organization?
Evolution. In 2022, Betti Ono is taking time to navigate this evolution of our organization and focus on three key strategies:
- Cultural Permanence: Creating wealth building and cooperative ownership opportunities through land and real estate purchases for BIPOC artists, cultural workers, organizations and businesses.
- Community Wellbeing: Creating autonomous spaces that deepen community connection, foster civic engagement, and extend arts and culture into the fabric of public life.
- Ending Gender-Based Violence: Implementing survivor-led cultural change initiatives, such as our current work with BART on the Not One More Girl campaigns.
The pandemic taught us how necessary a multitude of safe and accessible resources are for our community. While our team works remotely, we still plan to hold space digitally, virtually, and in physical locations throughout Oakland. As we work towards securing a permanent venue, our programs and operations will operate through what we produce publicly with our partners and fellow community organizations.
- How can I support Betti Ono during this transition?
Support. There are three ways you can support Betti Ono right now: