AC Transit is moving forward with its efforts to build a new 9.5-mile East Bay Bus Rapid Transit system — and now the agency has a group of artist on board to help with the project. Officials announced today that the AC Transit Board of Directors has approved the selection of lead artists Johanna Poethig and Mildred Howard, supported by Joyce Hsu and Peter Richards, to integrate art into the architecture of the 34 planned stations.
The legal fight between the Beastie Boys and the Oakland-based toy company GoldieBlox has come to a close, according to a filing posted yesterday by the Shades of Gray copyright blog. The filing does not include any details of the settlement, but in a statement to the Express, a GoldieBlox spokesperson said that as part of the agreement, the company will post an apology on its website and will pay a percentage of its revenues to one or more charities selected by the Beastie Boys that support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education for girls.
The news comes four months after GoldieBlox — which manufactures toys for girls that emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math — first posted its ad parodying the Beastie Boys song "Girls" (swapping out lyrics like Girls - to do the dishes/Girls - to clean up my room with Girls - to build the spaceship/Girls - to code the new app). The video went viral, receiving more than 8 million views on YouTube in just ten days.
The Beastie Boys noted that they did not give permission for the company to use their song in its advertisement, and said they decided long ago they would not allow their music to be used in any product ads.
Last month, organizers of Oakland First Fridays preemptively canceled the monthly street festival due to rain. Oakland Art Murmur, the open-house art gallery portion of First Fridays, did not cancel its events, but because of the bad weather and the somewhat confusing cancellation announcement from the festival team, the art venues saw a low turnout.
That might be why the Art Murmur organizers have sent out a press release today stating that the galleries will be open this Friday, rain or shine.
When Hatch Gallery first opened its doors on 23rd Street seven years ago, Oakland Art Murmur had just begun. These days, as the popularity of the First Fridays street festival makes clear, nightlife is booming in Uptown. The impact on art galleries, however, has been questionable, and next week, the local art scene will lose one of its first members. Hatch Gallery, located at 492 23rd Street, will have its last show on Friday after the landlord, Mardikian Enterprises, decided it had other plans for the site.
"It's pretty shocking. I didn't process it immediately," said gallery owner Adam Hatch, who said he received a short letter in January from property manager Robin Levitt, informing him that the company was "terminating [his] tenancy."
Hatch made the news public in a post on his website, where the homepage now reads "EVICTED!"
Berkeley is now home to the nation's only accredited, independent music conservatory dedicated to the study and performance of jazz. The National Association of Schools of Music has granted accreditation to the Jazzschool, a downtown Berkeley institution which officials have renamed the California Jazz Conservatory.
With its new certification, the school will house both a four-year bachelor of music degree in jazz studies and a non-degree-granting academy called the Jazzschool Community Music School.
“It’s enormously gratifying to have reached this important milestone,” Susan Muscarella, founding president of the Jazzschool, said in a statement.
The good news is that it's finally raining! The bad news is there will be no Oakland First Fridays tomorrow due to the weather. Organizers just announced that they are officially canceling the street festival: "We will miss you, but are happy for the rain." Indeed.
But you should still come to downtown tomorrow — Oakland Art Murmur, the open-house gallery portion of the first Friday activities, is scheduled to happen as usual.
The Oakland First Fridays street festival attracts thousands of people to downtown and offers an economic boost to restaurants, bars, and participating vendors. For art galleries, it's a different story. This is according to a new report released today by the Koreatown-Northgate (KONO) community benefit district, the financial sponsor of the popular festival. As the Express has chronicled, the monthly event has gone through a complex evolution in recent years, most notably when Oakland Art Murmur, the nonprofit entity that represents dozens of art venues, stopped overseeing and paying for the closure of 23rd Street in 2012. The street party, however, did not stop. As a result, the massive event has continued without consistent leadership and without stable funding, prompting regular threats from city officials of a potential shutdown.
Supporters argue that the event has improved Oakland's image and economic development — and now they have some survey data to support these claims. (We've reported on the early findings of this study before, most recently in an article on a new fundraising campaign for First Fridays).