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Foundation Awards Grants to Local Groups

At the Foundation's Annual Meeting on September 9th, the Foundation awarded two $500 grants to two local groups: Lake Merritt Weed Warriors, and to Alethia Walker, the Program Director for Studio One Art Center in East Oakland. 

Lake Merritt Weed Warriors has been cleaning up spots around the lake every month for seven years now. They plan to use the money to get some new, specialized tools to make their work easier, new signage to help expand the program, and some snacks to keep volunteers energized! If you want to join Weed Warriors, visit them on their Facebook page, and come out on the last Saturday of each month.

Alethia Walker has been delivering art programming at the City of Oakland Parks Recreation and Youth Development since 2003.  She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in bilingual, multicultural Education in 1994.  With the itch to discover and follow her passion, she returned to school and received a Merit Scholarship to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a second B.A. in studio arts Painting and Drawing in 1999. 

Faced with the choice of joining the Peace Corp or moving back to California, she decided to take the chance on the unknown and became feather in the wind back home to explore her passion in Arts Education. The passion she has towards obtaining personal growth, through arts explorations is what she focuses on most times. She strongly believes; “Art is about choice, every act that you make while creating you are exploring and affirming choices.   You know you are successful leading art if you set up a series of choices for the students to make and no two pieces look the same.   By making successful choices one gains self esteem.  Having confidence as you are making choices helps you make confident decisions in life. You can find her most days in North Oakland creating a safe space for Artist to express and explore choices at Studio One Art Center where they are “Growing a new arts community”.  

To view our Annual Report, that was handed out at our Annual Meeting, click here.