The coronavirus pandemic has been a major disruption in all of our lives. To minimize its spread, the Oakland First Fridays community festival on Telegraph Avenue has been suspended indefinitely, and our team has been furloughed.
While we're all hoping life will get back to normal soon, right now there's just no telling when it will be safe for a large public festival will be able to resume celebrating art, food, culture and community. For us and the team, it's heartbreaking...we're proud of how we've grown the festival with more live performance, interactive art and family fun, and we had so much planned for the summer and beyond.
Since 2013 Oakland First Fridays has been produced by the nonprofit Korea Town Oakland aka KONO (Koreatown Northgate) Community Benefit District to foster community, incubate small businesses and drive economic activity. Historically just breaking even on the cost of putting the event on has been a challenge and under these circumstances it's not clear that Oakland First Fridays will be able to return when this crisis is past.
We need to raise funds to ensure the event can be relaunched when community gatherings are allowed again. The funds raised would give us the necessary seed money to bring back our furloughed staff, to stay connected with our community via social media, website and newsletters, and to explore ways which we can support our vendors and performers with virtual events, promotions and other projects. The future is uncertain but we're going to do everything we can to make sure this event doesn't vanish.
Oakland First Fridays is a critical part of Oakland. It’s a place where our diverse and beautiful community comes together to celebrate art, culture, food, performance and Oakland itself. And, your contribution is tax-deductible.
Please help us make sure Oakland First Fridays comes back! And thank you.
Greg, Sara, Mike, Venessa, Shari, & Shellae
- Susan Miller
- Heather Arnett
- Michael Spigler
- Jeanette Carneglia
- Phil Porter