Oakland has a prolific population of creative, cross cultural artisans that specialize in everything from music to food to graffiti and street art. Every month thousands of people gather for the city’s high-spirited art peek and street revelry on Telegraph Ave in Uptown Oakland.
The Oakland Art Murmur, an evening of art and culture, started six years ago, as a small once-a- month gallery walk. Today, city officials say it has exploded into a giant event, bringing close to 20,000 people to this town every month.
Though there has been a growing concern and distress over the size of the event, people here are generally happy that so many locals and tourists enjoy the creative energy every month without much hassle. It is in sharp contrast to the often stormy streets where the irritation of tear gas and the sound of police helicopters were a common sight during the Occupy Movement.
Mayor Jean Quan, who was criticized for the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ clashes, is extremely happy with the Oakland First Friday Art Murmur project. Being a regular, Ms. Quan stated that Oakland “reinvents itself” every few years, and she has taken steps to promote and suport the movement.
A group of galleries in 2006 created a monthly art crawl, in an area that was known for auto body works, empty commercial buildings and manufacturing spaces. It quickly blew up into the hottest new grass roots art venue in the Bay Area. Very soon the news of the event spread, and there was an influx of visitors, food trucks, vendors and galleries vying for permits. In 2010 streets were closed, guards were hired and the event got national exposure in the New York Times.
Come and see for yourself what the Oakland First Friday Art Murmur is all about. Its exciting, energizing, inspiring, colorful and with a down home grunge that only Oakland can bring. Clearly one of Oakland’s most amazing new cultural events in First Friday’s Art Murmur.