Local Billboard Contest Inspires City

The Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC) is teaming up with Whole Foods Market and the City of Oakland to hold a contest that calls upon local artists to design a billboard poster conveying what it is about Oakland that inspires them.

Oakland, CA, February 12, 2010 --(PR.com)-- The top ten designs submitted to the “Inspire Oakland” billboard contest will be featured in three of the city’s most prominent art galleries, while one lucky artist will have his or her design displayed on a commercial billboard.

“The purpose of this contest is twofold,” said Shaun Tai, Executive Director of the ODALC. “First off, we want to direct fresh, young talent in Oakland towards graphic design and information technologies … these are lucrative fields that will create jobs and reenergize our city’s economy. Secondly, we want to promote a positive image of Oakland that counters negative stereotypes sometimes associated with the city. By giving a highly-visible, public platform to the talent and optimism of our young people, we can instill a sense of pride and hope in the Oakland community.”

The Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center is a newly formed nonprofit organization founded with the purpose of training, mentoring, and inspiring Oakland’s underemployed youth to achieve higher career goals. In this increasingly digital economy, business-computing skills are more essential than ever to finding work, yet many young people in Oakland don’t have the resources to develop these skills. ODALC seeks to address this problem by offering free access to computer training courses, keynote speakers from Silicon Valley, professional network referrals, business consultations, and one-on-one career counseling.

The “Inspire Oakland” billboard contest marks the Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center’s first major public event. Founded on July 31st, 2009, ODALC has been forced to operate on limited resources in the short time they’ve been active. Yet even with limited funding, ODALC is able to help individuals in one-on-one sessions by appointment. One such individual, ElTyna McCree, owner and operator of “Underground Treasures” on Webster Street, had been unable to promote her business effectively due to posttraumatic stress suffered from a violent hate crime. With the help of ODALC, McCree learned the importance of online tools and is now using Yelp.com to successfully promote her business online.

“All we’re asking is for people to believe and give us the chance to prove that our organization can fill a real gap here in Oakland,” said Tai. “If you believe as we do, that Oakland can prosper into a 21st Century city for the rest of America to emulate, then volunteer, spread the word, and donate to the ODALC.” He added with chuckle, “And participate in our billboard contest!”

Entries for the “Inspire Oakland” billboard contest are being accepted from now until March 21st, 2010. How to enter and official rules: http://www.odalc.org/contest/inspire.pdf

Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center
Jesse Elias
(510) 435-2945