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Art Matters

Alameda public art

Alameda’s burgeoning arts and cultural scene directly impacts its economy by drawing tourism and generating jobs and tax revenue, while also breathing culture and creativity into the community. With its numerous studios and galleries, as well as innovative arts and cultural organizations, Alameda has a wealth of existing local art to experience.  Dedicated artists and organizations are also growing the local arts movement by expanding awareness through interactive and exciting community events, helping Alameda to become a leading destination for the arts.

Feel the Rhythm(ix)

Onstage performers at Rhythmix

From Brazilian percussion workshops to flamenco and bubble performances (yes, bubbles), Rhythmix Cultural Works (RCW) is a unique Alameda organization bringing an eclectic array of offerings in cultural performance, music, dance, theater, art exhibits, and arts education to audiences and participants of all ages.  Not only does RCW expose Alamedans and the region to artistic and cultural experiences not easily found elsewhere in the Bay Area, they also partner with international organizations –bringing awareness of the City and its arts scene to a wide audience. RCW has created strong connections with local businesses and agencies over the past seven years, increasing awareness of arts and culture through various community events and programs, including its Performance Art and Learning Program which provides thousands of elementary students within the Alameda Unified School District exciting cultural experiences.  RCW also lends itself as an affordable space where professional and emerging artists can gather, rehearse, and perform.

Alameda’s Winning Bette

Frank Bette gallery

Since 2003, the Frank Bette Center for the Arts has promoted and grown local arts and invited artists and art lovers worldwide to experience Alameda through creative expression. The volunteer-run center is named for the late furniture restorer, artist, and poet, whom upon his death in 1999, designated his charming Victorian at 1601 Paru Street, “a place for meetings, readings, showings, and other creative doings.” Through exhibitions at its two onsite galleries (and additional satellite galleries), various workshops and classes in the arts and creative writing, and forums for arts discussions and events –the Frank Bette Center stays true to that vision.  The Center is also a champion of the community, calling artists locally and around the globe to participate in its annual juried events (“Alameda on Camera” and “Plein Air Paintout”) that highlight the existing and sometimes hidden beauty of Alameda and its residents. Works from this year’s Plein Art Paintout will be available for viewing and purchase August 2nd at South Shore Shopping Center, and will move to an exhibition at Frank Bette August 8th through September 7th.

Take A Walk

2nd Friday Art Walk map

The 2nd Friday Art Walk is an interactive way to experience Alameda’s arts scene. Twenty-one participating venues (seven of which are located in Oakland’s Jingletown district) open their doors for this free event each month, inviting participants to meet local artists, view original works, and watch art in the making. The next art walk will take place August 8th. September 12th will mark the unveiling of the Power Box Art Project, which will then go on display at Rhythmix at that night’s 2nd Friday Art Walk. The Power Box Art project evolved through collaboration between the Park Street Business Association (PSBA), Rhythmix, and Alameda Municipal Power (AMP). All ten works selected to beautify utility boxes along the PSBA district were created by Alameda residents and reflect an environmentally “green” theme. The power boxes will infuse the PSBA district with vibrancy and encourage walking the district to explore the various art works, unique retail stores, and local restaurants.


PINC Solutions

PINC logo

As part of the Mayor’s Business Visitation Program, in July, Mayor Marie Gilmore and Economic Development Manager Darrell Doan paid a visit to local shipping logistics software company PINC Solutions.  PINC is located at the Harbor Bay Business Park on Alameda’s Bay Farm Island.  PINC has developed an innovative software suite that allows large shipping and logistics companies to track freight in real time, track truck traffic, and streamline operations at the loading dock.  PINC calls companies such as Unilever and Federal Express its clients, and continues to thrive and grow in Alameda.


Penumbra logo

Also as part of the Mayor’s Business Visitation Program, Community Development Director Debbie Potter, Building Official Greg McFann, and Mr. Doan met with another successful Alameda business in July, Penumbra.  Similarly located at the Harbor Bay Business Park, and founded in 2004 with 19 employees, Penumbra is an advanced medical device manufacturer now with over 500 employees on the Island.  Penumbra makes state-of-the art catheters used by doctors and hospitals around the world—setting the gold standard for medical devices. Penumbra saves lives every day and is a key member of the Island’s business community.

Development Impact Fee Program Renewed


Supporting new development and managing growth is the focus of the City’s newly updated Development Impact Fee Program. In July, with support from the business community, the City Council replaced the Citywide Development Fee (CDF) with the Development Impact Fee (DIF). Through this process, the City took great care to develop a fee schedule that is cost-competitive with those of surrounding cities and in most cases at, or below, the average fees charged.  Fees collected are used to expand the City’s supply of public infrastructure in order to manage the impacts of new development on roads, sewers, storm drains, and public safety.

West Alameda Landscape Assessment District Renewed

Shoppers on Webster Street

Enhanced maintenance and landscape improvements are coming to Webster Street due to the joint effort of the City’s Department of Public Works and the West Alameda Business Association (WABA). Property owners along Webster Street recently completed a successful balloting for their landscape and lighting district. Property owners voted to double their assessments over the next five years—the first increase in fees since 2002 –to expand existing maintenance and landscaping services on and around Webster Street, such as sidewalk pressure washing, trash and recycling pickup, and tree trimming. These efforts will beautify the district and make for a more pleasing experience for shoppers and residents. Stay tuned for similar efforts to enhance the landscape and lighting district on Park Street in the spring.

Town Center Plan Approved by Council

SOM rendering of developed waterfont

The City of Alameda is one step closer to creating a transit-oriented community with extensive public waterfront parks and promenades at Alameda Point. Last month, the City Council approved the Waterfront Town Center Plan for Alameda Point, passing the final major planning hurdle necessary for development of the waterfront land centered around the Seaplane Lagoon.  The Plan’s primary goals are to create a vibrant and active public waterfront with an extensive system of parks and promenades and facilitate development of a mixed-use neighborhood or houses and shops that will be an economic driver for the island for decades.