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Oakland celebrates 10 years of Art & Soul

on August 23, 2010

Written across the “Why I love Oakland” canvas, put up at the Art & Soul festival, were testimonials like “I love Oakland because it’s diverse,” “Because of our rich culture,” “I love Oakland because the people here are amazing and welcoming” and “cuz it’s real!” So many people had written on the canvas that by the afternoon of the second day of the festival, there was no more free space to write.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the organizers of Art & Soul pulled out all of the stops for this year’s festival and thousands of people came to enjoy. Part music festival, part street fair, part educational outreach, dozens of vendors and information booths were set up in downtown Oakland. There were amusement rides, balloon tying, all sorts of food, a wine garden, local artisans selling jewelry, hats, and paintings. And then there was the music line-up—MC Hammer and CAKE headlined Saturday while Sheila E., John Handy and Lenny Williams headlined Sunday.

“The focus was all on Oakland around music,” said Harry Hamilton, the associate producer of the festival. “All of the artists currently live in Oakland or have an Oakland home.” Art & Soul is put on by the City of Oakland and Hamilton said what matters to him most is that people are having fun and celebrating the city’s music, heritage and art. “I wish we could capture the spirit and keep it with us all year round,” he said.

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  1. Bob on August 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I put a couple of photos up here:

    I hope Art & Soul remains a viable festival for Oakland and people continue to turn out. A nice way to get all of Oakland together for a party, something to look forward if only but once a year.

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