Art + Soul, Marketing Tools, Coding for Kids & Architecture Awards: Oakland Economy Now's August Issue

Oakland Economy Now Masthead Volume 23 August

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Art and Soul section heading

Art + Soul: Two Sensational Days of Music, Art, Food and Fun in Downtown

Save the weekend of August 20-21 for the 16th annual Art + Soul festival on the streets and plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. This year’s festival is headlined by Oakland’s own Tony Toni Toné and the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, celebrating their tenth year of offering high-caliber music education to Oakland youth. The City-sponsored festival also includes gospel, blues, circus and dance stages, an artisan marketplace, an instrument petting zoo hosted by the Oakland Symphony, Family Fun Zone and the Oaktown Throwdown BBQ competition. Art + Soul is produced by the City’s Cultural Arts & Marketing Divison.

Art and Soul shot

Resources Section heading

Oakland Digital Offering Design and Marketing Help to Small Businesses

Starting this month, the Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center is offering very low cost, fast turnaround design and marketing services for small businesses. Oakland Digital has joined with the City’s Business Assistance Center, Google and the Warriors Community Foundation to launch BRIDGEGOOD, a platform that connects talented early-stage creative designers to small businesses. Oakland Digital’s local designers will provide up to 150 small businesses with a range of business marketing services, including brochures, logos, stationary, videos and other graphic design services within a seven day period. For more information or to sign up, go to or contact Juno Thomas and Susana Villarreal at the Oakland Business Assistance Center.

Oakland Digital Photo of Inspire Oakland campaign

BMOC Career Summit Yields 350 New Hires

Nearly 1,000 young adults attended the Boys and Men of Color Career Summit in Oakland on July 21, along with U.S. Secretary of Education John King, former NFL superstar Marshawn Lynch, and My Brother's Keeper Alliance CEO, Blair Taylor. Thirty employers helped young adults explore career pathways at their organizations and conducted 600 job interviews. Congratulations to the nearly 350 new hires who were offered jobs on the spot!

GoldieBlox, Oakland Maker of Engineering Toys for Girls, Creates Kids' Coding App

Oakland toymaker GoldieBlox is on a mission to get girls passionate about engineering. Launched by a Stanford Engineering graduate in 2012, the local toy line is now carried worldwide by over 6,000 retailers. Goldieblox has now created a GoldieBlox mobile app that teaches the fundamentals of computer science, featuring hero GoldieBlox and Princess-turned-Engineer Ruby Rails. Oakland families looking for even more STEM activities for girls should check out this resource guide from local nonprofit TechBridge, which provides after-school and summer programs at Oakland public schools. 

Section HEading HOnors and Awards

Lake Merritt Affordable Housing Wins Design Award

One of Oakland’s newest buildings, the 92-unit Lakeside Senior Apartment building, has won the prestigious AIA-HUD Secretary's 2016 Design Award. Designed by David Baker Architects, the new building provides homes for seniors, including formerly homeless seniors, just one block from the renovated Lake Merritt waterfront and within walking range of parks, playgrounds, restaurants, and shops. The building is topped by a fifth-floor suite of community spaces, including garden plots for residents, a community room, kitchen, outdoor decks and a wellness studio—all with spectacular lake and city views.

Lake Merritt senior housing building photo

Section Heading: Transportation

Latham Square Grand Opening a Big Success

Hundreds of people came out on July 28th to celebrate the grand opening of Latham Square, where Uptown and Downtown meet. "This is a magical space," declared Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Latham Square is the most recent example of Oakland’s commitment to building public spaces that encourage social connection and support neighborhoods, mobility, economic development and healthy living.”

Aerial photo of Latham Square

Interim Director Named for New Department of Transportation

The City of Oakland has recently established a new Department of Transportation (DOT) with responsibility for transportation planning and design, repaving, street and sidewalk maintenance, safety and parking. Jeffrey Tumlin, Principal and Director of Strategy at the transportation consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard, is serving as Interim Director, bringing more than 20 years of experience helping cities across the world achieve economic development, quality of life, social equity and ecological sustainability goals. Describing transportation’s value to the local economy, Tumlin says, “Movement in itself is value neutral. But the opportunity for movement creates or accelerates economic opportunities.”


Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permits

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 

KivaZip Oakland

Foreign Trade Zone


Philomena Pizza 
Izzy’s Steaks
The Port Bar
True Pops


Small Business Exporter Financing And Resources Forum
August 3 @ City Hall

How Should We Use Public Land?
August 17 @ SPUR

Art + Soul
August 20 & 21 @ Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Umoja Festival
August 20@ Lowell Park


Exclusive: Uber Oakland office developer to build second creative office hub
SF Business Times, Jul 6

In push to diversify tech, Kapor Center opening in Uptown Oakland
SF Business Times Jul 6

Oakland port's new rail yard likely to boost local economy
East Bay Times, Jul 7 

East Bay Business is Booming
KTVU, Jul 7

Southwest announces first direct international flights from Oakland
San Jose Mercury News, Jul 13 

Visit Our Newsletter Archive

City of Oakland Logo - Black