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Saturday, October 8th
deFremery Park “Little Bobby Hutton Park”
1651 Adeline Street, West Oakland, CA


The 8th Annual Life is Living Festival Presents: Oakland is Fly

In honor of how music and dance have helped sustain life in our city, this year Life is Living will feature many of the best DJ’s, dancers, dance companies, and music happening in Oakland. Included in this exhibition will be interactive opportunities for attendees of all ages to engage and participate ranging from a World Record Soul Train Line (visit for details), live Dance classes, Health and Beauty Zones, Childrens Activities, Karl Watson Skate Day at Town Park, live Hip Hop Performances and a dance battle featuring some of Oakland’s top street dancers against dancers from other cities entitled OakTown vs. the World.  Also included will be live theater from Cal Shakes, Poetry from Youth Speaks and our renowned Free Breakfast Program featuring the Bigger Picture Project and other special guests.


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Featuring Bethanie Hines, Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi and Nick James

Bethanie Hines and Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi have documented this historic Festival for the past 8 years and Nick James has produced the marketing materials to promote the festival. All three artists have produced impactful and influential work that has become the standard for similar festivals across the country.

Oct 2 – Nov 27
OMI Gallery at Impact Hub Oakland
2323 Broadway Blvd., Oakland, CA.

Featured Festival Zones

Free Breakfast
Kids Zone
Africa in Oakland
Oakland is Fly
Black Joy
Yak Films Presents

Oaktown vs. The World

Wellness Zone
Karl Watson
I Want To Live
Jose Marquez
Oakland is Fly Stage
Town Futurist
Youth Speaks All Day

OAKTRAIN ft. Soul Train Line and The Oakland is Fly Stage

In partnership with Oakland Parks and Recreation and the Friends of deFremery and Life is Living, we will attempt to break the world record for the longest Soul Train Line in history. Guinness Book of World Records will be on deck to count the number of participants, and the length of the line as we dance to a variety of different soul and dance music played by some of the Bay’s best DJ’s including DJ Lady Ryan, DJ Yaddos

and DJ Abeldee.

Karl Watson Skate Day

For the 8th year in a row, Town Park will be turned up with skate contests, exhibitions and activities designed to showcase the best of Oakland’s skate community. In partnership with Positive Youth Movement, activities will include live skating and competition, but also DJ Workshops, live music, a soccer Exhibition, a Bicycle Obstacle Course, a Graffitii Battle and other Skate related activities.  Karl Watson Skate Day is a program of Town Park founded by the Bay Area legendary artist and skate advocate KDUB.


Emily Butterfly’s Kids Zone

Presenting many dynamic activities for youth including learning stations, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, action sports, live performances, and other fun activities for youth under the age of 12.  Participating partners include Youth Speaks, OMCA, Young Gifted and Black, Georgia the Bunny Lady, Oakland’s Reading Rainbow, Folkmanis, Lotus Bloom, DeeDee Ogawa and clay from Brett Cook.

Oakland is Fly Marketplace and Beauty Zone

This year over 70 vendors will offer goods, services and food to the Life is Living Community, with an unlimited selection of hand crafted items. The Beauty Zone, sponsored by Concept 47 and Antique Edutainment will provide space for vendors with natural beauty products and services including spa treatments, pedicures, and natural hair grooming.  The Cowrie Village will merge with the marketplace to provide products and services available for barter or purchase with currency other than money.


The Bigger Picture Project Free Breakfast Program: Featuring Peoples Kitchen

The Bigger Picture Project is aimed at ending the Type 2 Diabetes crisis impacting young people across the state of California. This program at Life is Living is designed to provide participants with a healthy meal, performances dedicated to highlighting the crisis, and opportunities for attendees to engage interventions being used to combat the epidemic. Among the featured performers will be The Bigger Picture Poets, Tassianna Willis, and Luke Tailor.

Youth Speaks all Day

Youth Speaks is the sponsoring organization behind the Life is Living Festival. For over 19 years Youth Speaks has been the leading youth spoken word organization in the world, having twice been featured on HBO and organized the largest youth poetry festivals and events in the country during that time.  This year at Life is Living, Youth Speaks will host two stages, providing opportunities for teens and young adults to engage in writing and performance activities.  At Oakland Public Library, Youth Speaks will offer a writing workshop and an Open Mic for young people.  In the Victorian, Youth Speaks will present the Bigger Picture Project to fight Type 2 Diabetes in partnership with Peoples Kitchen, City Slicker Farms and other Food Justice advocates.  Youth Speaks will also present a Spoken Word showcase and Open Mic called I Want To Live, to provide a space for young poets to speak directly to the issues of racial profiling and police violence.


“Black Joy in the Hour of Chaos”

Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Black Joy In The Hour of Chaos is a cycle of musical, dance, and spoken word poetry performances that evoke “Black Joy” under a parachute-turned-performance space. Invoking the history of Central Park, the legacy of hip-hop, the Great Migration, New Orleans ‘second line’ parades and contemporary racial politics, Marc Bamuthi Joseph has composed a vibrant and participatory performance of music, dance, and spoken word.


Coordinated in partnership with DelinaDreamProductions and Drianke Entertainment, the dance zone will feature drummers and dancers playing rhythms from Africa and its diaspora to support the all day dance classes which are FREE to the community! Through classes and a special performance, this year’s “Africa in Oakland” highlights the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, its teachers and residing dance companies, its cultural presence within the tapestry of our community, and its use as a central tool for the self-preservation and life of dancers and non-dancers alike, in Oakland, CA. Come move with us!

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LIL-2015-Cal-Shakes (1)

Cal Shakes Theater Stage

For the first time ever, we will be presenting theater in the park at Life is Living.  We are excited to host a Cal Shakes stage which will include groundbreaking works by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Dalak Brathwaite, Josh Healey, Campo Santo and of course – Cal Shakes! Life is Living celebrates cultural diversity and it’s essential that we create a multidisciplinary arts experience to reflect the many ways in which our communities express themselves. Join us and enjoy free theater from some of the best in the field.

Wellness Zone

Each year at Life is Living we engage the community in conversation, art and around sustaining life and health. The Wellness Zone is a center for this activity and includes holistic healing practices, a water station, and practitioners of eastern and western medicine providing information and service in the park. Activities include acupressure, movement workshops, light yoga, and practical activities dedicated to healthy living and wellness, and a first aid station.

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YAK Films Presents:  OakTown vs. The World

In partnership with YAK Films Life is Living will feature a dance exhibition and battle featuring three of the Bay Area’s best dancers against dancers from national and international cities. iDummy, Kidd Strobe and Krow will represent the Town with their unique Turfing styles in an epic battle for dance supremacy against Prime Tyme from Memphis, BONES the Machine from Brooklyn and Neguin from Brazil. Also featuring dance showcases by Lil’ Kida and Phoenix Lil’ Mini.  This never before seen bookend to the historic Soul Train Line will cap off our day of dancing and serve as inspiration for the entire Life is Living community to get down.

Town Futurist Hip Hop Dance Party

Town Futurist and The DJ Project partner with Youth Speaks to offer another area for dance and celebration. This Hip-Hop Zone will feature local artists, a DJ Exhibition, and a special performance from some of the best in the Bay Area. The Annual Life is Living Cipher will feature many of The Bay’s top youth MC’s including the two time MC Olympics Champion A-MC, as well as a feature performance from Fego, Honey Tinted of Town Futurist.  International Bay Area Hip Hop star MAD lines will host a special Fem Cee hour called Life Lines.  Feature performers include Golden Age, Alia Sharieff, and Ras Ceylon.  The stage will be hosted all day by Youth Speaks Poet Mentor and all around Mic Beast, Dro Flo.



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