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The Kuumbaa After School Art program was developed to provide artistic and cultural programs to the youth and young adults of Oakland. The Art Department provides youth with the opportunity to explore their personal creative expression through various art mediums and experiment with new forms of communication. Our goal is to promote the Arts and the human spirit. Guided by professional visual and performing artists from the Bay Area, participants are provided with basic and advanced training in painting, drawing, ceramics, culinary arts, photography, printmaking, sculpture, West African dance and steel pan drumming. We also offer opportunities for participants to develop performing skills in music and dance. After school art courses and workshops are offered year round.
The staff consists of professional artist, both Visual and Performing who have extensive experience working with youth and young adults. Artists are chosen from a pool of Bay Area exhibiting and performing artist. We have artists who are Artist In-Residence sponsored by the California Arts Council, City of Oakland Community Promotions Grant, and the Alameda County Arts Commission.
Over the past few years the Arts and Crafts Department has enjoyed great success. The “Home Alone Cooking” program has been given national and international media coverage through feature pieces on the Cable News Network (CNN) and in Parenting Magazine. Our performing groups, Imhotep Children Dance Ensemble (West African Dance) and the Lay Down the Beat Steelpan Band (steelpan) have been showcased at community events throughout the Bay Area. The Imhotep Children Dance Ensemble has performed at the Festival of the Lake, the Oakland Zoo, the California State Fair, various Oakland Public Schools, Warrior Half Time Shows, Bay Cable Vision and KTVU television stations. The Lay Down the Beat Steelpan Band has performed at the Oakland A’s Opening Day Ceremonies, the United Nations at 50 Celebration, PG&E Diversity Day and the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration among others. EOYDC student art pieces have been on display at the Oakland Museum, the Oakland Airport and Windows on the Waterfront as well as the State Capitol Building.
In addition to the regular classes and workshops, guest artists are invited to lead special sessions throughout the year. Nationally syndicated cartoonist, Morrie Turner, renowned artist Paul Goodnight and songstress Regina Belle are but a few of the guest artists to visit the Center. Moreover, regular field trips to galleries, museums, cultural centers, and artist studios provide stimulating and creative enlightenment for program participants, thereby creating a cultural exchange between the participants and the larger art community. We have designed a program that enlightens participants in different cultural backgrounds thus expanding their understanding of the world around them.
This class is designed to give teens individual instruction in various mediums. Teens get to work on special projects of their choosing. They can also work on school projects. Participants learn to work with watercolors, pastels, acrylic and oil paints. They also participate in group projects in papermaking, printmaking, silkscreen printing and other mediums that are chosen as a group.
Throughout the year special workshops are held in various mediums. These workshops are designed to introduce participants to divergent mediums. Workshops can be one session or a number of sessions. Prior workshops have been in stone carving, mask making, screen printing, jewelry making, Paper Mache and mural painting. Professional artists conduct these classes with an eye on materials, technique, education and participants having fun during the session(s).