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.
"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.
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
"My soul was born on a playground.
My heart came from the seasaw; it never stops teetering"
Daphne Y 7th Grade
"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
Melrose Leadership Academy
Ocean Shore School
Ingrid B. Lacey
Luis Valdez Leadership
Sylvester Greenwood Academy
The Berkeley Slam
The Oakland Slam
Rich Oak Alchemy Slam
partners & funders
Charles Ekabumi Elik
Tongo Eisen- Marte
Community Partnerships Manager
Solicitor, Legal Advisor
Racial equity Statement
Bay Area Creative programs, projects and staff adhere to an understanding of equity where systemic racism, cultural bias, colonialism and predatory capitalism have impacted BIPOC and low income communities by limiting and providing barriers to access of individual and cultural support in the form of: education, occupational advancement, mental health and political representation. We believe that systemic racism is motivated by cultural erasure where those who do not identify and align with white supremacy are taught to deny their culture and adopt the dominant culture.
Bay Area Creative commits to responding to these issues by providing a platform and tools for BIPOC and low income communities to announce individual and cultural strengths, to be heard within in public dialog, to celebrate their strengths and to affirm the challenges of living in colonial culture. 85% of those we serve hail from BIPOC and low income communities, 100% of our partnerships are with organizations that share this mission. Our board of directors is composed of 50% BIPOC individuals hailing from underserved communities. All but two of our staff hail from these same communities and two of our past students from these communities currently sit on our board of directors. We believe that in order to respond to systemic racism, the effects of colonialism and white supremacy we need a staff who hails from communities affected by these issues. All of our programs and projects serving these communities are offered at no cost to participants. Our outreach and development of new projects and programs are focused on serving this population.