Oakland Celebrates Local Businesses and Artists with the Indie Awards!
On May 15th, Oaklanders and Oakland supporters from all over turned out for OneCalifornia Foundation’s 3rd Annual Oakland Indie Awards, celebrating Oakland’s innovative, socially- and environmentally-responsible businesses and artists. The evening was full of Oakland food, drinks, goods, artists, authors, and music, exhibiting all that Oakland has to offer. And, of course, there were the awards themselves!
Inside the Crucible, an industrial arts training center with a warehouse that can be transformed from classrooms to party central over the course of a few hours, local Oakland businesses and restaurateurs set out samples of their wares and tastes of their food and drink for attendees. Goods included eco-friendly and fair trade clothing; handmade jewelry; children’s toys and clothes; all-natural bath and beauty products; and crafty, unique gifts. Food and drink were just as creative as the goods, ranging from southern-inspired fried chicken to vegan Filipino cuisine; Mexican tamales to Ethiopian sambosas; cakes to hand-dipped chocolates; Mexican hand-churned ice cream to Italian ice; organic tea to fresh roasted coffee; and organic, locally brewed beer and wine. Check out the Indie Awards Website to see a list of the businesses and food vendors that were present at the event.
The evening started with business proprietors and guests mingling and enjoying good local Oakland food, drink, and music. The growing crowd was welcomed by both Kat Taylor, founder of OneCalifornia Bank and Foundation, and Jeff Cheung, President of OneCalifornia Bank. As the evening finally cooled down outside, things began to heat up inside with a fire performance by Crucible students. With the fire performance as an introduction, Erin Kilmer Neel and Andrea Walker of the OneCalifornia Foundation held the audience’s attention with the evening’s main event: the awards presentation. In the style of the most recent Academy Awards, past Indie Award winners stood up to announce this year’s Indie Award winners. This year’s winners were: Awaken Café for the Greenie Award; Hip Learning for the Youth Empowerment Award; Catered to You for the Newbie Award; Grand Lake Theatre for the Pillar Award; Girl With a Truck for the Innovator Award; Margo Rivera Weiss for the Ripple Effect Award; Cynthia Elliott of Rough and Ready Repairs and Steve Ma of Woody’s Drapery & Laundromat for the Neighborhood Dynamo Awards; and Khalil Shaheed for the Oakland Soul Award. For more information on the winners and to see pictures, check out the Indie Awards website: oaklandunwrapped.org/indies.
While the evening’s primary focus was to recognize and celebrate Oakland-grown businesses, artists, and community leaders for their contributions to the Oakland community, the event also showcased these Oakland businesses in an effort to encourage people to shop locally in Oakland and to support independent businesses, artists, and restaurants. By supporting local, independent businesses, we keep our money circulating within our local economy. This money helps support our neighborhood businesses, and, in turn, helps our community to grow and thrive.