Akonadi Foundation Supports KQED’s Oakland Arts and Culture Coverage with $50,000 grant

By: Renee Geesler

July 9, 2019

Akonadi Foundation has awarded $50,000 over 12 months to support KQED’s Oakland Arts coverage. The grant will support KQED’s radio show ‘Rightnowish’, hosted by Pendarvis Harshaw, as well as his web-based column. Harshaw will also highlight stories of the “Oakland Diaspora,” tales of African American artists and activists who have moved from Oakland and San Francisco to the far reaches of the East Bay, as well as the Northern Central Valley.

“I’m excited to embark on this next chapter of reporting, as it will benefit the community I live in Oakland, as well as the community that has been pushed beyond the city’s limits due to the cost of housing and overall living expenses in the Bay Area,” said Harshaw. “For years, I’ve looked at Oakland as the end of the line for African Americans who left the south in search of brighter pastures, and that’s why telling their stories was so important– these Oaklanders exemplified generations of people overcoming oppression in pursuit of the American dream. After realizing how many people have and continue to relocate to the far reaches of the East Bay and California’s Northern Central Valley, I’ve realized that the pursuit of the American dream has pivoted, and that story needs to be told. I’m grateful that KQED has provided a platform, and that Akonadi Foundation has offered its support.”

As a weekly radio show on KQED, ‘Rightnowish’ takes listeners inside Bay Area artists’ home turf, speaking to them about their passions and inspirations and linking their work to larger societal issues. Through the project, Pendarvis uses journalism, community voice and narrative change to take back the story of Oakland for Black communities—and reminds us that creativity lives not just in museums and theatres, but on street corners, in classrooms, and during the civic protest. 

KQED’s Oakland arts coverage aims to inspire listeners to deepen their understanding of Oakland’s Black Cultural Diaspora and lift up new artistic narratives from arts organizations of all sizes around the Bay Area, profiling artists, cultural activists of color, grassroots arts organizations and trans artists. The Arts and Culture Department has featured artists like Sol Development, Lisa Marie Rollins, and Anyka Barber of Betti Ono gallery, and honored outstanding artists each year who are making significant contributions to our communities.

“At Akonadi Foundation, it is our vision to transform the climate in Oakland to one of compassion, respect, and dignity for youth and young people of color,” said Quinn Delaney, founder of Akonadi Foundation “We believe in the power of Oakland’s critical cultural and art organizations to advance understanding and spur collective action on urgent issues, and we are honored to partner with KQED to support its focus on the communities that continue to make Oakland a vibrant cultural hub of the region.”

Launched in 2014, KQED Arts continues to be the leading arts media organization in the Bay Area, committed to bringing arts and culture across different communities into the daily drumbeat of the news. The Arts and Culture department focuses on the people behind the art, their work and their voice, prioritizing the intersection of arts and social justice.