click to enlarge omni_building_4_.jpg

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Omni Wants to Open its Doors

By Sarah Burke
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The Omni Commons is a little bit like a utopian club house for radical creators and thinkers. The 22,000-square-foot previous rock venue located on 47th and Shattuck is communally run by several bay area collectives with the goal of providing free resources and fostering collaboration outside of interest in profit. The space holds a library, a "public school," a science lab, a hacker space, a print shop, multi-use performance spaces, a kitchen, and a cooperatively-owned cafe. See the video below for a better idea. 

Currently, the facilities are open to members of the collectives who run it (with the possibility of new collectives joining based on vote), and anyone attending a public event, but they dream of fully opening the space up to the public. As the video above mentions, that would require a bunch of funds for permits, renovations, etc. to make sure the place is accessible and up to par. To raise the money, the Omni is running an Indiegogo campaign with the hopes of raising $80,000. At the time of this writing, the campaign has reached nearly $24,000, with one week left to go. But on December 29, a post on the Omni Commons Facebook Page pointed out that other means of fundraising have actually boosted its total to just $17,000 shy of its goal. 

With space at such a high premium currently in the Bay Area, the Omni has already proved itself as a valuable asset for the communities involved, and successfully opening it to the public could be a real game-changer for non-profits, collectives, creatives, and all community members in Oakland who are willing to share. As stated on the Omni's Indiegogo page, "We see a real need for projects that provide space and resources in a manner more befitting of Oakland’s radical history of creativity, cooperation and social justice organizing. More than a physical space, the communities served by the Omni enable those struggling with the violence and injustice of our city to come together in solidarity and mutual aid."

See Also: Newly Formed Multi-Disciplinary Collective Omni Oakland Eyes Former Omni Building

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