Apply by July 31st!



“And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.”- James Baldwin

Our multi-year initiative, The Fire Next Time: A Call and Response, is designed to incite conversation, spark introspection, and mobilize Black artists in the interests of discovering truths. As Baldwin did, we seek to interrogate the routine in our reality and design a set of collective actions that respond to the most critical issues impacting our lives. 

We are currently accepting proposals from artists who are also interested in critical questioning. We welcome innovative proposals to present small scale activations and public engagements that respond to the above themes and can include but aren’t limited to :

Critical themes issued in Baldwin’s call that we invite exploration around: Identity and Body Politic, Power and Oppression, Fear and Love, Liberation and Confinement, Religion and Spiritual Resilience, Now and Future.

  • Visual art in all media and forms
  • Written word in the form of poetry, prose, essays, speculative fiction, readings
  • Immersive installations on-site, online on social platforms and in public space
  • Panels, workshops, maker space or skillshares
  • Film screenings, listening sessions or performances
  • Work that bridges art x technology

The activations will take place in Betti Ono’s Annex, or within the main gallery space if appropriate throughout our  2019-2020 season. Submissions are rolling and will be reviewed by curatorial staff. Applicants will be notified of acceptance within 30-days of submission.


The Fire Next Time: A Call & Response is a multi-year,  Oakland led international arts and culture initiative. 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 and social justice. As a site-specific container for this exploration, this first call seeks submissions from artists geographically linked to the Oakland, Bay Area and call this region home. We will give priority and preference to submissions from Black artists and artists collectives, but welcome all to apply.

APPLY HERE! 1ST Round Deadline is due July 31st! 

Betti Ono is an active cultural arts venue, gallery and community meeting space located in downtown Oakland, California. Our vision and creative practice embody the bold, curious, and unapologetic spirit of our namesakes: Betti Mabry Davis and Yoko Ono. We value art-making as a function of activism, community transformation, and cultural resilience. As a Black women-led and operated organization, we are dedicated to amplifying the work and lives of Black, Brown, Immigrant, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ artists and communities.