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Semany Gashaw

Gritty City Repertory Theater creates a 1970’s-style Shakespeare for young Oakland performers

For Oakland’s artists, The Flight Deck, an arts and performance venue, is an open home. But for one theater group in particular, the space means much more than that. Tucked away in the back of The Flight Deck, Gritty City Repertory Theater prepares for their newest play, while its founder, Lindsay Krumbein, is preparing to play the role of company manager, ticket seller and costume designer. Krumbein founded the group in 2012 after an 11-year career as an English and…

Horn of Africa Human Rights Network offers its community a hand

In the corner of the Ethiopian Community Center in Oakland sits a young lawyer, waiting for his clients to arrive. It’s past lunchtime, and the delicious aroma of Ethiopian food still lingers in the air. With a gust of wind, the door swings open and in walks a client, seeking Tadios Belay’s help. And so starts his day. “We provide free immigration services and legal representation for African immigrants,” said Belay, the founder of the Horn of Africa Human Rights…

West African dance takes over Oakland

For one night, dancers at Oakland’s Skyline High School transported the auditorium’s occupants to the shores of West Africa with rhythmic drumming that reverberated through the room. Dancers stomped and moved rapidly across the stage, their energy captivating their audience. Then came the mystical sounds of the Kura, a West African 21-string instrument, which when plucked makes sounds similar to those of a harp and a guitar. This was the 20th Annual Collage des Cultures Africaines (Collage of African Cultures),…

International antique book fair finds a new home in Oakland

The lines started early. One man asks if this is the queue for ticket holders, hoping that he is in the wrong one. To his disappointment, it’s the right line, so he waits, his anticipation growing to get a glimpse of the trophies inside. This is the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. For three days, the Marriott Convention Center in downtown Oakland is transforming itself into a treasure trove for some of the most rare books in the world….

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