Monthly Archives: August 2010

Oakland has been doing it’s best to keep Jack London Square from becoming a ghost town complete with tumble weeds. A few weeks ago was the tremendously successful “Best of the East Bay” Party. This past weekend another awesome event “eat real” was hosted. Jack London Square has also been hosting Waterfront Flicks which are on thursday evenings and totally free. fiftyseven-thirtythree teamed up with the East Bay Express, Spoke Art and to bring you Express Gallery, Located @ 54 washington st. The current Show “A decade with no name” has been a huge success. We’d like to thank everyone who came through the gallery and viewed the exhibition. This Friday we will be hosting a first friday After party. So when you’re finished with art murmur and it’s only 9:30 Come on down to the gallery we’ll be open Hella late.
Express Gallery is proud to present a First Friday After Party.
Come join us this Friday, Sept. 3rd for a celebration of the best of the greater East Bay’s established and emerging art. Featuring the music of Dj Platurn of the Oakland Faders and Marc Stretch of Foreign Legion as well as live art by Ras Terms, Brett Amory, Safety First and Eon75. The Express Gallery opens it’s doors at 6PM
and will go late into the night with beverages provided by Trumer Pils. The Express Gallery and the current “Decade With No Name” showcase are proudly sponsored by: fiftyseven-thirtythree, East Bay Express, Spoke Art and

Our friends at the Oakbook have a great show up with local artist Daniel Healey just down the way from Express Gallery, they’re open on Friday from 6PM-9PM, so be sure to check them out as well!

Participating Artists:
Mike Shine
Brett Amory
Aaron Nagel
Amanda Lopez
Annie Vought
Eddie Colla
Scott Hove
Lea Bruno
Owen Cook
Alika Cooper
Ras Terms
Monica Canilao
Dave Correia
Jason Vivona
Deth P. Sun
John Felix Arnold
Brenda Monroe
James Swinson
John Coyne
Meagan Donegan
Emory Douglas
& Hangar 18 Print Showcase


We did outside lands again this year, for the third time. It was very cool as usual, and when I say cool I mean temperature. A summer day in Golden Gate Park is colder than a pissed off girlfriend. Despite the weather it was a pretty good time. People under the stairs and Gogol Bordello were tight on Saturday. Sergey Ryabstev from Gogol Bordello even bought a hoodie from us. I love that crazy Russian. Saturday night the Polo fields sank into a pit of bad weather and BORING music. My Morning Jacket and Further could’ve cured the worst case of insomnia. Sunday had some better weather and much better acts. Phoenix pretty much outshined everyone on Sunday, but there was great stuff from Al Green and Social Distortion as well. The night finished up with Kings of Leon, and they were, well, the Kings of Leon for whatever that’s worth. We had great neighbors and met lots of cool people and reveled in the discovery of Tante’s new HOT LINK CORNDOG!!! Ya you heard me right. Fuckin DEEEEE LISH.

Three years ago, Loretta Nguyen took a business training class and scraped together several thousand dollars to start silk screening T-shirts and hoodies that she initially sold at street fairs and over the Web.

Recently Nguyen moved her firm, Fiftyseven-thirtythree, into a storefront on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, illustrating how microlending and training programs deliver great bang-per-buck when it comes to job creation, advocates say.

“I learned so much about how to put my plan into action,” said Nguyen, 33, who took a training course through the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment, a Bay Area nonprofit that is one of a network of microfinance organizations that help people start businesses.

The Women’s Initiative recently looked back at 2,600 clients who took 10 or more hours of business training between 2004 and 2008, and discovered that they had created 2,244 jobs – for themselves or for others – at a cost of a little over $4,000 per job.

Hard work

About 15 percent of Women’s Initiative clients also take out small loans in addition to training, but many graduates, like Nguyen, choose businesses that can grow through hard work.

At a time when job creation is a national priority, microfinance organizations are being recognized for the efficiency with which they channel expertise and funds toward individuals with the self-discipline to become self-employed.

“We’ve been around for 20 or 30 years, but I think our time has emerged,” said Claudia Viek, chief executive of the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity, the San Francisco umbrella group representing 92 training and financing organizations statewide.

Viek said that for every 100 clients who take entrepreneurial training classes, a little over half actually start businesses and, of these, 80 percent make it through the first three to five years.

The U.S. microfinance movement earned kudos in March when the Aspen Institute, a think tank in Washington, released a study of 240 clients who had received loans and training from 35 groups nationwide between 2002 and 2007.

Study coordinator Elaine Edgcomb said Aspen found that the average client more than doubled their revenue – from $103,000 to $243,000 – while the average number of employees went from 2.1 to 5.6 within five years.

Many microfinance groups are also federally designated community development finance institutions – not banks, but nonprofit organizations chartered to lend money to borrowers without enough profit to support bank lending, such as making small-business loans of less than $50,000.

Eric Weaver, chief executive of Opportunity Fund, a community development lender in San Jose, said microfinance groups have been hit hard by the recession. Banks – which enjoy federal incentives to work with community development lenders – have been more reluctant to put money into risky loans to new businesses, at a time when most firms are struggling to stay afloat.

“We had defaults in the high teens,” Weaver said. “We’ve never been there before.”

Capital infusion

At this crucial juncture, Bank of America has stepped in to give microfinance lenders a capital infusion.

Dan Letendre, who runs Bank of America’s nationwide community development lending operation from his office in San Francisco, said eligible microlenders can borrow extremely cheap money from the Small Business Administration and, in rural areas, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They can use these federal funds to make microloans and provide the training that can make a big difference in outcomes.

But to access that federal cash, many microlenders must post a 15 percent loss reserve – setting aside $150,000 of their own funds to borrow $1 million from the feds.

Realizing that microlenders were leaving badly needed funds unused because they couldn’t meet this requirement, Bank of America is awarding up to $10 million in grants that qualified groups can use as a loss reserve. Letendre said the grants will enable microlenders to borrow and loan up to $100 million from the federal agencies.

‘Big help’

“This is going to be a big help,” said Jacob Singer, chief executive of Oakland Business Development Corp., which made about 60 loans last year averaging $33,000.

The impact of this microfinance and training movement is evidenced by the success of entrepreneurs like Nguyen, who now works with her boyfriend and two part-time employees who do sales and sewing.

Bank of America estimates that its $10 million grant could end up drawing enough money into microfinancing groups to help roughly 8,000 businesses create as many as 28,000 jobs over the next several years.

-Tom Abate

For online link to SF Chronicle go to:

fiftyseven-thirtythree and the East Bay Express are Proud to present 2 major art exhibits at this year’s “Best of the East Bay” Party; “A Decade With No Name”: Bay Area art from the first 10 years of a new century, and “If These Walls Could Talk”: a live aerosol art showcase.

As the aughts come to a close and we approach the dawn of a new decade we are collectively faced yet again with a challenge we may have not even originally completed these last ten years. As the scope, breadth and reach of technology and information expand at exponential proportions with every passing day, their affects on one of the country’s most ethnically and culturally diverse areas cannot go unnoticed… especially amongst the state’s highest percentage of people per capita who list their occupation as “artist”.

A multi-disciplinary look into the works currently being created in our collective backyard, “The Decade With No Name” serves as a celebration of the sculptors, painters, photographers and street artists who call Oakland, Berkeley and the greater East Bay their home.

From the the three-dimensional monstrous cake sculptures of Scott Hove, to Brett Amory’s figurative paintings, Amanda Lopez’ Dia de los Muertos photographs, the politically and socially inspired street art of Eddie Colla, Monica Canilao’s found object installations and Emory Douglas’ historic Black Panther graphic agitation, this showcase serves as a veritable who’s-who of the East Bay’s emerging and established artist community.

Occurring simultaneously outdoors, “If These Walls Could Talk” will feature a live showcase of aerosol art by Bay Area legends Chor Boogie, Apex and Eon75 with additional support from Los Angeles’ Dabs/Myla and Surge. All six artists will be working on live graffiti murals during the event, so be sure to check it out, and check back as the night, and the murals, progress!

Join us during the East Bay Express’ “Best of the East Bay” party, Friday, August 6th as we celebrate the arts in Oakland’s historic Jack London Square. With a massive gallery space located right across from the concert’s main stage, as well as a sixty foot-long wall of live aerosol murals by Bay Area legends Chor Boogie, Apex and Eon75 occurring during the event, this is one party, and an art show, that you’re not going to want to miss.