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Arts Education &
Creative Community Engagement



The Alameda County Arts Commission is dedicated to cultivating meaningful experiences and educational opportunities in the arts for Alameda County residents. The Arts Commission implements this broad-based approach through the following partnerships and services:

  • Art IS Education: Promoting public support for arts education for all youth

    Founded in 2000 by the Alameda County Office of Education and the Arts Commission, Art IS Education is an annual showcase of arts learning in Alameda County schools and community sites in March during national Arts Education Month. Each year, Art IS Education serves as a vehicle for students to share with their community what they are learning through the arts and for communities to advocate for the arts as part of an essential component to a meaningful education. Since 2011, the Alameda County Library has joined the Art IS Education partnership by presenting over 300 free art opportunities for all ages during March. 145,000 community members participate in the art events each year at the Alameda County Library locations which include Albany Library, Castro Valley Library, Centerville Library, Dublin Library, Fremont Library, Irvington Library, Newark Library, Niles Library, San Lorenzo Library, Union City Library as well as the Bookmobile and REACH Ashland Youth Center.

  • 100 Families Alameda County: Art and Social Change

    In 2010, 100 Families Alameda County became an official service of the Alameda County Arts Commission. The goal of 100 Families Alameda County is to enliven, celebrate, and strengthen the power and health of families and their communities through the inspiring and transformative process of making art. 100 Families Alameda County brings together diverse and intergenerational families with the purpose of enhancing the well-being of the family unit. Through the collective experience of creating art together, the family circle is nurtured while families also build relationships with their neighbors and strengthen the larger community. Since 2010, program sites have included Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA; REACH Ashland Youth Center, San Leandro, CA; and Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, San Leandro, CA; all 12 Alameda County Library locations; and a partnership project with Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA.

  • Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership of the San Francisco Bay Area

    The Alameda County Arts Commission is a leading partner with the Alameda County Office of Education in the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership of the San Francisco Bay Area, a network of artists, arts providers, advocates, educators and arts funders that works with schools and districts throughout Alameda County. The work of the Alliance supports arts education as an integral part of a complete and meaningful education to which all students have the right. The Alliance promotes, supports, and develops arts education resources and opportunities for districts in Alameda County to improve the quality of arts based teaching and enable schools and teachers to deliver arts instruction and support arts based learning. The Arts Commission Executive Director is an active participant on the Alliance Steering Committee, Leadership Council and Governance Committee. Each year the Alliance and the Arts Commission partner on Art IS Education, Integrated Learning Summer Institute and Creative Impact.

  • Annual Alameda County Poetry Out Loud

    Poetry Out Loud is an annual program that celebrates youth and poetry. Recitation and performance are exciting current trends in poetry. There has been a resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of hip-hop music. All Alameda County High School students, grades 9-12, are invited to enter Alameda County’s Poetry Out Loud. Poetry Out Loud is an important part of the Alameda County Arts Commission’s creative community engagement programs and Art IS Education partnership. Annually, school sites conduct the program in November – January, and the County Event is held in mid-February. One youth is selected to advance to the state competition.

  • Veterans Initiative in the Arts: Veterans Art Project

    The Veterans Art Project program partners with Veterans service agencies to provide veterans with a series of art workshops. The goals are to provide Veterans with opportunities to express themselves in a supportive environment, strengthen partner and family bonds, develop art skills, and engage in community building. This program is funded by the California Arts Council.


Sequoia Elementary School, Oakland Unified School District. Image courtesy of the Alameda County Office of Education's Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership.
Sequoia Elementary School, Oakland Unified School District.
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