Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Asian and Pacific Islander arts and culture

The Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) was founded in 1984 to address the need for a strong artistic and cultural force in Oakland’s Chinatown district.  Since opening its own facility in 1996 in the heart of Chinatown, OACC has presented countless high-quality cultural programs including performances, workshops, festivals, school tours, classes, exhibitions, and oral histories.  The OACC’s mission is to build vibrant communities through Asian and Pacific Islander arts and culture programs that foster intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue, cultural identity, collaborations, and social justice.

In 2011, OACC received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support traditional Mongolian folk dance classes which met twice a week for ninety minutes, providing 14 Mongolian youth, ages 6-12, with opportunities to learn a repertoire of dances.  The ongoing classes culminated in a public performance for community members.  The partnership between the OACC and the Mongolian community provided a venue for the community’s cultural offerings and increased visibility for this fairly new community to the Bay Area.

In 2008, 2009, and 2010, OACC received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support it’s annual National Dishes series of culinary workshops which celebrates and preserves the culinary, social, and cultural traditions of dishes representing Asian and Pacific Islander communities.  National Dishes emphasizes a traditional diet and its relationship to cultural identity, health, and well-being.  Different from traditional culinary classes, the series’ aim is to keep traditional culinary practice and food culture alive and thriving, focusing on the oral passing of knowledge and personal story telling, fostering the kind of dialogue that only happens in the kitchen.

As a participant in ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program in 2009 and 2010, OACC received support to work with consultant Ernest Mark to prepare OACC’s first strategic plan and facilitate planning for OACC’s grassroot fundraising.

In 2007, a contract from ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program hired graphic designer Natalie Sanchez to assist in the production of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center’s first general organizational brochure.