“Oaktown is kickin’ it” tonight! The Oakland Indie Award ceremony and after party is happening this very evening Friday, May 3oth at 7 pm. Get ready for an evening of dancing, munching on delicious food from local eateries, partying, shopping and getting to know the fabulous people of Oakland, all looking their very best. Make sure to check out Wear Your Voice’s live photo shoot and strike a pose against our fancy red carpet backdrop.

I visited with Rare Bird, an Oakland Soul nominee and a couple of SambaFunk! Carnival Explosion Funkquarians taking a rest after their Oakland Carnival performance at Mosswood Park.

RARE BIRD

Erica Skone-Rees and Pam Consear, the owners of Rare Bird are two powerful and fiercely creative women of Oakland. In 2011 Erica created, organized and ran the Third Thursday Piedmont Avenue Art Walk until last year when she handed the reins to another Piedmont Ave store owner. She is the sole buyer for this fantastic gift shop and it is filled with all manner of clothing, jewelry, local art and handmade designs from right here in Oakland. Her semi-precious collection called Metaphor is an inspirational line.  Each of the little discs here are stamped with a letter and together the discs spell out positive words and actions. Made with peridot, red jade and other colorful natural gemstones, they are sure to turn that frown upside down.

This beautiful lariat necklace that Erica is wearing is meant to align her chakra's. Made in only three hours! She's a crafting master...

This beautiful lariat necklace that Erica is wearing is meant to align her chakra’s. Made in only three hours! She’s a crafting master…

All of Erica's piece focus on positive messages. Each of the little discs here are stamped with a letter. Together the discs spell out inspirational words and actions. Made with peridot, red jade and other colorful natural gemstones.

All of Erica’s pieces focus on positive messages. Made with peridot, red jade and other colorful natural gemstones.

 

Pam, taught art for 15 years and now has time to oversee the Rare Bird’s offering of summer art classes and work on her own mosaic collection. She uses materials that would otherwise end up in our landfill to make beautifully themed mosaics. Some are sold there in the store, but they can also be seen around Oakland (Rockridge & Allendale Elementary among others). Just looking at these brightens my day!

Pam's mosaics can be used to brighten up a room, your garden/front lawn, your kitchen...You name it!

Pam’s mosaics can be used to brighten up a room, your garden/front lawn, your kitchen…You name it!

This year their store has been nominated for the Oakland Indie Award: Oakland Soul which “Represents the soul, essence and spirit of Oakland. This business or artist appreciates diversity and creativity, is confident in their individuality and humbly supports their brothers and sisters. “

Try an art class or five this summer at Rare Bird! Learn everything from how to work with clay, wax, wood and how to do a plethora of extra crafty things that you never thought your awkward hands could do!

 

SAMBAFUNK! CARNIVAL EXPLOSION 

This year we will again be graced with the presence of SambaFunk! Carnival Explosion, an Oakland-based cultural and dance group that also performs at different events throughout the year. They are huge at SF Carnaval each year and are the brain child of Theo Aytchan Williams AKA King Theo who was formerly the SF Carnaval King!

Everyone is welcome to take SambaFunk! classes and participate in events, but its regular participants “The Funkquarians” will be showing us how to get down at the Oakland Indie Awards this year. I can’t wait! You cannot help but to smile and dance as they groove past.

oakland carnival

Photo by Alonzo Young

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Handsome Dutchman, Jay Hormes. He is always dancing and boy does he put my little ole two-step to shame! Got him to stay still long enough for this photo 🙂

Oakland Carnival SambaFunk! Carnival Explosion

L to R Funkquarians: Halima, Jay and Avani.

 

See you tonight? Get tickets now! Don’t forget to dress your best and come show us your Oakland style.

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