why we  exist

        Bay Area Creative provides opportunities for creative expression and the study of the cultural impacts of famous and contemporary works of spoken word poetry that empower individuals to develop empathic communication skills and foster positive change in themselves and their communities. We work predominantly with families of color in under-served neighborhoods in the geographic areas of San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Berkeley, Pittsburgh, Hayward, Daly City, Pacifica and San Jose.

 

     We envision a world where people listen courageously, speak thoughtfully and act equitably in times of conflict and in times of joy.

An image of a collapsed building. In the center of the photo in white letters says "I want my children to kneel and pray without the weight of a thousand crumbling buildings on their shoulders". -Deema A 7th Grade

"I want my children to be able to kneel and pray without the weight of a thousand crumbling buildings on their shoulders" 
- Deema A   7th Grade

what is slam poetry?

     Slam Poetry is a fusion of traditional poetry, hip-hop, story-telling, and theater. Students are given the tools to express emotions, challenge ideas, and educate audiences in a creative way. The performances are interactive and entertaining. Slams (performance poetry competitions) are held at city, regional, and national levels.

services provided

Poet Visits and Residencies: Local professional poets go out to school sites to run writing and performance workshops

After School Clubs: Local professional poets start after school clubs that learn advanced poetry techniques

Camps: Kids get to spend summers working on larger performance projects with other activities integrated

Poetry And Mixed Art Events: Local and youth poets share the stage for a few hours of creativity amplified

 

Professional Development: Professional poets work with teachers to offer strategies on bringing out student voice

Team Building:  Professional poets corporate team building workshops to boost morale, inclusion, and teamwork.

Therapeutic Arts: Professional poets hold workshops to promote individual and family healing through spoken word

SPARC Ink Anthology: Youth writers and Bay Area Artists have their work published in annual book

Filmmaking:  Professional film makers work with students to create short videos based on their poetry

A playground. In white letters in the center is the poem quote, "My soul was bornon a playground. My heart came from the seasaw; it never stops teetering."

"My soul was born on a playground.
My heart came from the seasaw; it never stops teetering"
Daphne Y    7th Grade

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"Imagine women have always been in a box. Imagine the sound of fists against metal walls slowly expanding the cramped space so we can make more room for our girls to escape"
Shelby B & Amanda E 6th Grade

 
 

 school sites & camps

Map of BAC sites

Elementary Schools

Cabrillo School

Cox

Melrose Leadership Academy

Ortega 

Ocean Shore School

Sunset Ridge​​

Vincent Academy

Vallemar School

Middle Schools

Anthony Ochoa

Bret Harte 

Cesar Chavez

Fischer

Ingrid B. Lacey

Monroe​​

High Schools

Black Diamond

Jefferson

Kennedy

Luis Valdez Leadership

Middle College

Sylvester Greenwood Academy

Richmond 

Summer Camps

Camp Achieve

Camp Glide

Camp Pride

Stemulate Academy

Upward Bound

All Ages 

The Berkeley Slam

The Oakland Slam

Rich Oak Alchemy Slam

 
 

our team

Mike Taylor teaches spoken word to kids of all ages. He has performed on stages from San Francisco to London and he's led national poetry teams in competition. He founded the SPARC Poetry organization and continues to create workshops that connect to the youth from all walks of life.

mike.taylor@sparcpoetry.org

Mike Taylor

BAC Executive Director 
SPARC Poetry Program Director
Teaching Artist

mike.taylor@sparcpoetry.org

performance mike.jpg

     Patrick Ohslund has been a teaching artist and professional spoken word poet for over ten years. He has toured across the nation as well as internationally and has opened for renowned musical groups such as The Wailers. Patrick currently leads spoken word workshops for students ages five to 25, and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University.  

 

director@bayareacreative.org 

Patrick Ohslund

BAC Deputy Director,
Digital Storytellers Program Director

 Teaching Artist

director@bayareacreative.org

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Jamey Williams is a professional spoken word poet, actor, rapper, and educator. He has taught poetry at a multitude of institutions including: college universities, juvenile detention centers, public schools, and community events. He makes sure that students experience a fun and safe community during his lessons.

JameyW6@gmail.com

Jamey Williams

Board Treasurer,

Teaching Artist

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Jenna Robinson

Program Director, Director

 Teaching Artist

jennalr90@gmail.com 

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Jenna Robinson a two-time grand slam champion of Hawaii Slam and has performed across the U.S. as a street musician and as a part of 6 national slam poetry teams, taking second place nationally in 2015. She has an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies and works as a therapist with survivors of domestic violence and their children. She specializes in strengths-based, postmodern and intermodal approaches.

Collin Edmonds

Teaching Artist

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Collin Edmonds, is an activist, singer, and poet hailing from Richmond, Ca. He is an organizer of the Rich Oak Alchemy Slam and Oakland Poetry Slam. He enjoys writing poetry, critiquing societal norms, and shattering expectations of black men in America.

His poetry is a reflection of the Hood and the identities it holds within its palms. Collin teaches spoken word, and inspires students to rise above their situations.

cornrowcollin@gmail.com

Bri Blu

Teaching Artist

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Brianni “Bri” Blue is a published author, spoken word artist and motivational speaker from Berkeley, CA. Bri’s passionate and emotionally-charged performances allow her to connect with audiences through empathy, relatability and inspiration. She was the Founder and Host of the weekly “Speak Easy” open mic series, and created the 'Unapologetically You' Awareness Campaign with a mission to uplift and empower women.

mrsbriblue@gmail.com

Jarvis Subia

 Board Member

Teaching Artist

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Born and raised in the San José, CA, Jarvis’ work delves into his relationship with his communities, sexuality, masculinity, national/global politics, lineage, race, gardening, mental health, personal growth, love, love, and love. Jarvis is a 2019 Poetry Foundation Incubator fellow, the 2019 Silicon Valley Creates and Content Magazines Emerging Artist Award recipient, and the San José Poetry Slam’s 2018 Grand Slam Champion.

jarvis.subia@gmail.com

Nazilah Jamison

Teaching Artist

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Nazelah Jamison is a performance poet, actor, vocalist, and emcee. She is an East Coast transplant, former organizer of the Oakland Poetry Slam and sometimes reluctant superhero. Her first book of poetry, Evolutionary Heart, was released in Fall of 2016 on Nomadic Press. Nazelah gives the best hugs in the Bay Area.

Kevin (Prophet) Wright

Teaching Artist

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Kevin Wright is an MC, Spoken Word Poet and Arts Educator from Richmond, CA. He was a member of the 2016 Oakland Poetry Slam team and is one of the organizers for the Rich Oak Alchemy Open Mic, the Oakland Poetry Slam and the Berkeley Poetry Slam. Kevin was a founding youth advisory council member of the RYSE Center in Richmond where he later taught Spoken Word Poetry.

Jordan Wilson

Teaching Artist

Community Partnerships Manager

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Jordan’s philosophy on education ties together hands-on learning, intersectional feminism, and the amplification of youth voices. She has performed with and mentored slam poetry teams nationwide. Jordan also works as a community leader facilitating strong relationships between grassroots organizations and the Bay Area women.

Jordan.wilsondalzell@bayareacreative.org

Abe Becker

Teaching Artist

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Abe Becker has been grand slam champion of the Berkeley Poetry Slam and Cal Slam. He has been a finalist of the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational as poet and coach, and he’s led workshops with every age level in schools and various community spaces. He loves the way poetry builds bridges both between people and within yourself.

bridgeinclouds@gmail.com

Timothy McClain

Teaching Artist

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Tim McClain believes every person has an individual uniqueness when dancing. Hip hop allows one to find their identity through the art of “freestyling”. Tim teaches kids to listen to the different tempos and rhythms in all types of music while testing out their skills and their creativity to make new moves. Through positive encouragement and peer support many students step out of their comfort zone to enjoy break dancing.

 timmcclainb@gmail.com 

Jamie DeWolf’s diverse career as a performer and filmmaker has taken him from the lyrical brawls of the National Poetry Slam scene and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam to filming dangerous documentaries in the militarized streets of Kashmir. He’s written and performed with inmates at San Quentin Penitentiary and won “Performance of the Year” by NPR’s Snap Judgment.

Jamie DeWolf

Filmmaker

Teaching Artist

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Colin Johnson is a multi-hyphenate production artist working in the Bay Area since 2008.

His work has been produced or featured at Playground, Z Space, Pianofight, The Circus Center Cabaret, San Diego Comic-Con, Image Comics, Pint-Sized Plays, The Olympians Festival, Shotz, Shotgun Players, The Curran, and various film venues throughout the country.

Colin

Filmmaker

 Teaching Artist

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our board

Seana Condit-Gordon

Board Chair

 

Jamey Williams

Board Treasurer

 

Anne Trickey

Board Secretary

 

Reggie Edmonds

Board Member

Jenna Robinson

Board Member

Erika Pappas

Board Member
 

Jarvis Subia 

Board Member
 

Patti Ohslund

Board Member
 

Natalie Ashodian

Board Member

our advisors

 

Katie Whitcraft

Casey Gardner

 

Charles Ekabumi Elik

 

Dre Johnson

 

Jason Bayani

Jonathan Harris

Kaitlyn Lucas

Ken Arkind

Maureen Benson

Mike Ting

 

Robert Bunce

 

Tongo Eisen- Marte

 

our staff

Mike Taylor

Executive Director

Patrick Ohslund

Program Director

Beth Wright

Accountant

Melissa Vo

Development Director

Jordan Wilson-Dalzell

Community Partnerships Manager

Marcus Scott

Solicitor, Legal Advisor