Defying, Trailblazing & Creating

These emerging artists are redefining Bay Area culture through their unstoppable creativity.

Funded by the California Arts Council and our incredible sponsors, the Spark Oakland Accelerator program aims to empower local artists with the technology tools & skills they need to thrive in the COVID era.

We invited 24 local Bay Area artists to participate, and we’re excited to share their work with you over the next few months.

Click to read more about each artist and see how you can support them!

Our Generous Sponsors


Visit our Sponsor page to help make an Oakland First Fridays event or program happen!

We're currently accepting donations for the next Spark Accelerator cohort. Our programming allows you to support your community in highly actionable ways: by funding programs that directly reach individuals in the Bay Area community.

About The Spark Oakland Program

Applications for 2020 are now closed. Check back to join our next session.

Why should I apply?

Spark aims to empower local artists with the technology tools & practical skills they need to thrive in the digital age. Along with workshops, artists in the program will have their work marketed & promoted via Oakland First Fridays' social and web channels for a period of 6 months. Help with infrastructure costs may be provided to artists on a case by case basis.

The program includes:

✅    Mentorship
✅    Lectures from industry experts
✅    Hands-on (remote) training workshops
✅    Demo Day (Virtual Art Show)
✅    Marketing & Promotion via Oakland First Fridays

Talking About Your Art
Learn about content creation, producing artist statements, doing virtual studio visits, and creating a brand for your business.
Social Media Marketing
Learn how to promote your art work like an influencer. This is the single most important skillset artists need to be commercially successful.
E-commerce & Web Marketing
Learn about setting up and managing an online store and the basics of web marketing for promoting your work.
Packaging & Shipping Art
Learn how to safely and efficiently package and ship your art work to your customers.

Who can apply to participate?

Any artists actively producing work are welcome to apply. Artists must be interested in growing their business and must be open to sharing sales and social media metrics with program constituents.

Who can apply to be a mentor?

Established, revenue-generating artists are invited to apply as mentors. Responsibilities include hosting online meetings to discuss practical matters like engaging with an audience, setting up an online store, using social media and fulfilling orders. This is a paid position (and mentors can choose to additionally volunteer their time).

Oakland First Fridays is a program of the KONO Community Benefit District, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Oakland, CA.

Office Location: 2633 Telegraph Ave Suite 109, Oakland, CA 94612
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:30am-3:30pm
Office Phone:
(510) 361-0615
EVENT DAY: We do not check phone calls and emails on the day of the event.

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