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Inspire Oakland Design Contest Goes Public at Whole Foods Market
On Tuesday, April 6th, Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC) was at Whole Foods Market Oakland, CA, to raise funds and promote the work of local graphic designers.
Earlier this year, ODALC asked participants to submit a billboard design conveying something inspirational about the City of Oakland. The top twelve submissions will be featured in three of Oakland’s most prominent art galleries; the top four submissions will be displayed on a digital billboard on Highway 80 (donated by CBS Outdoor). Finally, one lucky winner will have his or her work posted on a commercial billboard (donated by the City of Oakland).
In an unexpected twist, ODALC asked community members at Whole Foods Market to select their favorite billboard designs from the top twelve, ultimately letting the public choose the images that will be displayed in their collective environment. Over 320 people submitted ballots.
“ODALC is one of the greatest examples of the kind of organization we want to support,” said Perri Kramer, Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market Oakland. “We look for organizations with fresh ideas -- with the passion, the drive, and the people who can make a big impact very quickly with a relatively small amount.”
Four times a year, Whole Foods Market Oakland holds a 5% Community Support Day, in which the store donates 5% of that day’s sales to a local nonprofit. In addition to receiving monetary support, the organization chosen for this day is given a promotional table in the store’s front lobby.
“Whole Foods gets 4,000 customers a day – that’s 4,000 people who donated to ODALC. With 5% Day we’re creating a place where people can get involved in the community without having to look too far.”
Several of the artists responsible for the twelve featured designs were in attendance that day. Yancie Davis (who came wearing a tuxedo) and Ryan Harijanto (who without prompt took on the task of greeting shoppers with free cookies and an infectious cheer) were particularly involved in the event.
“I really appreciate the setup of this event,” Davis commented. “I see it as a chance to have a part in the community, to get people interested in learning digital arts and digital media... and also a chance for designers like myself to get themselves out there, by providing opportunities for networking and such. I really like the openness of it.”
Contest participants and ODALC volunteers showed solidarity by the regal purple of their commemorative t-shirts, provided courtesy of Cool Duck Screen Printing (all other printed materials were donated by Piedmont Copy).
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ODALC’s mission is Inspire, Train, Innovate. We provide hands-on digital media workshops to underserved young people and small business owners from low-income communities.