Oakland First Fridays is an immersive art and community experience on the first Friday of each month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Telegraph Avenue from West Grand to 27th Street. Oakland's KONO District springs to life with for this event, with galleries, artist collectives, street artists, local culinary artisans, performers, musicians, dancers, DJ’s, and poets gathering for Oakland First Friday events.
Thousands of people come from across the Bay Area and beyond to see and experience art, be inspired, eat great food, enjoy live music, and stroll through the amazing, eclectic city of Oakland. An economic impact report shows that the Oakland First Fridays has a major, positive economic impact on the KONO community. See feedback from attendees, vendors, and KONO business here.
Oakland First Fridays’ is produced by the Koreatown Oakland Community Benefit District (KONO), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
True to its mission, Oakland First Fridays continues to seek ways to support Oakland entrepreneurs and artists through training programs. Oakland First Fridays has received several grants, including one from the California Arts Council to fund an artist incubator.
Here at Oakland First Fridays, we take the word "community" to heart. We try to find ways to give back to the individuals of the KONO district and the City of Oakland all year round. In collaboration with the KONO Community Benefit District, we also engage with the community to collect feedback on civic matters such as transportation and infrastructure in the Oakland neighborhood where we're based, and make recommendations to city organizations for improvements.
We work closely Rotation Community Services that offers intersectional equity-focused zero waste guidance, education, and resources to our event. We make sure we advise our patrons on how to properly separate trash and place discards in appropriate receptacles.
At the end of every First Friday, food recovery volunteers collect surplus meals from our food vendors and pack them to be redistributed for hungry community members. We have since donated to East Oakland Collective, Homies Community Center, Oakland Elizabeth House, and more.
During back to school season, we promote vendors who collect and donate free school supplies to children who attend our event. Supplies from backpacks to crayons, pencils and more are available.
Every winter, we host a Toys & Coats Drive to spread some extra warmth and joy to those who need it. We partner with other brick and mortar businesses in the district as drop off locations for the community. All coats, clothes, and toys donations find a new owner to an unhoused neighbor in KONO.