The Fire Next Time: A Call & Response


“It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.” – James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time


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 featuring 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 Winter 2019 and experienced in dialogue with the public in the Spring and Summer of 2019.