1998 - 2023
The OSA community and Oakland at large are mourning as we remember Angus. Angus was known as Conor Hickey while a student at OSA and was a member of the graduating class of 2016. Conor will be forever remembered at OSA as a multifaceted and talented artist in Instrumental Music, Digital Media and Production Design. He had a huge presence at our school and will have a lasting impact on our school community.
Cloud Park at Telegraph Avenue and 19th Street will be activated as a core part of the OSA Uptown Art Park. Our vision is for Cloud Park to serve as a daily reminder of the importance of our youth and their right to safety and self-expression.
Despite his early career success, Angus grappled with many of the same issues as his peers and youth nationwide. Cloud Park will be a vehicle to not only acknowledge the mental health challenges and substance use disorders that youth often face, but also be a place to uplift OSA students and the positivity of Oakland youth culture.
Uplifting Oakland Youth
As noted in the City of Oakland’s Cultural Development Plan, Belonging in Oakland:
Oaklanders are full of pride for their city. They have a powerful counter-narrative to headlines, and many can recite chapter and verse of its social and political history, and its long-standing penchant for gritty innovation of all kinds—through blues, jazz, funk, and hip hop music, in street murals and tagging, skate culture, turning food deserts to urban farms, and building a new economy that has people’s well-being as its bottom line.
We Celebrate this Spirit with Cloud Park
Skateboarding, visual art, and music were Conor’s cornerstones. They provided him with creative outlets and a supportive community. Cloud Park will combine these activities by offering a skate park, performance stage, and mural wall.
We are developing Cloud Park as a tribute to Conor and other members of the OSA community whom we have lost. This memorial will serve as a daily reminder that our youth need safe spaces for creativity and self-expression. In Downtown Oakland, outdoor spaces that meet the needs of youth are far too limited. We hope this project can provide a template for what it looks like to transform an otherwise unused public space into a hub for positive youth culture.
Supporting Student Wellness
The past several years have taken a heavy toll on student wellness in communities across the country, and OSA has been no exception. In 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Data Summary and Trends Report, summarizing a decade’s worth of data. It found that the percentage of high school teens reporting persistent feelings of sadness to a point that they couldn’t participate in regular activities rose 50% from 2011 to 2021 with a reported 42% of youth now experiencing this level of hopelessness.
In 2023, OSA increased efforts to address student mental health with additional student support services, including an OSA Wellness Center. By adding counselors and dedicating space for students to access resources, OSA is working to address the unprecedented level of anxiety today’s youth are experiencing. The OSA Uptown Arts Park is an extension of this work as it will provide a recreational outlet and artistic space for our students to safely gather outside of their classrooms to regroup, to engage with their peers, and to enjoy the outdoors in the heart of Oakland.
We are seeking your financial support to uplift OSA students and Oakland youth culture with the creation of an outdoor performance space, skate plaza, and mural wall in the heart of Uptown Oakland.
OSA, Oakland Roots and Soul Sports Club and Skate Like a Girl will constitute the Anchor Partners of the project.
For more information about OSA go to www.oakarts.org