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


"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

Elementary Schools

Cabrillo School


Melrose Leadership Academy


Ocean Shore School

Sunset Ridge​​

Vincent Academy

Vallemar School

Middle Schools

Anthony Ochoa

Bret Harte 

Cesar Chavez


Ingrid B. Lacey


High Schools

Black Diamond



Luis Valdez Leadership

Middle College

Sylvester Greenwood Academy


Summer Camps

Camp Achieve

Camp Glide

Camp Pride

Stemulate Academy

Upward Bound

All Ages 

The Berkeley Slam

The Oakland Slam

Rich Oak Alchemy Slam

partners & funders


our team

Mike Taylor

BAC Executive Director 
SPARC Poetry Program Director
Teaching Artist


Patrick Ohslund

BAC Deputy Director,
Digital Storytellers Program Director

 Teaching Artist


Jamey Williams

Board Treasurer,

Teaching Artist

Jenna Robinson

Program Director, Director

 Teaching Artist


Collin Edmonds

Teaching Artist

Bri Blu

Teaching Artist

Jarvis Subia

 Board Member

Teaching Artist

Nazilah Jamison

Teaching Artist

Kevin (Prophet) Wright

Teaching Artist

Jordan Wilson

Teaching Artist

Community Partnerships Manager

Abe Becker

Teaching Artist

Timothy McClain

Teaching Artist

Jamie DeWolf


Teaching Artist



 Teaching Artist

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


Casey Gardner


Charles Ekabumi Elik


Dre Johnson


Jason Bayani

Jonathan Harris

Kaitlyn Lucas

Ken Arkind

Marcus Taylor

Maureen Benson

Mike Ting


Robert Bunce


Tongo Eisen- Marte


our staff

Mike Taylor

Executive Director

Patrick Ohslund

Program Director

Beth Wright


Melissa Vo

Development Director

Jordan Wilson-Dalzell

Community Partnerships Manager

Marcus Scott

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.

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© 2020. Bay Area Creative is a registered 501(c)(3)

tax-exempt nonprofit organization, EIN 83-2011288.