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Oakland Cannery Collective


The mission of the Oakland Cannery Collective is to provide a vibrant cultural support system that promotes and preserves the quality of life for our artistic communities and advocates for progressive, systemic social change in all artistic neighborhoods of Oakland.

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About Us

Preserving the life and legacy of The Oakland Cannery and Oakland based artist Arthur Monroe, who pioneered the permit process to legalize the Oakland Cannery live-work artist studios in East Oakland since the 197o’s.

The Oakland Cannery artist community is hanging by a thread and continue to be forced out by corporate real estate developers from Denver Colorado.

The Oakland Cannery began life in the 1930’s as a fruit cannery, before eventually hosting trade-related businesses. In 1970’s, the live/work environment was a priority amongst artists in New York, Arthur Monroe, born and raised in, leased out the first studio on the upper floor of the cannery warehouse complex. As one of the original artists to make the Cannery home, Arthur was active as an Abstract Expressionist painter since the 1950s, a professor and chief registrar for the Oakland Museum of California for over 35 years.

Artists have been living in the Oakland Cannery for over 40 years but have never been given the opportunity for ownership. Nonetheless, we have protected this cultural art space throughout as if it were our own.

In the early, days the City of Oakland didn’t know what to do, and tried to shut the space down. However, Arthur convinced them to accept the legitimacy of the artists efforts and worked to legalize the process, underscoring the importance of affordable and creative space for artists.

The city finally allowed the Oakland Cannery artists to produce the specifics that made the building livable and habitable for the live-work environment community. In 2008, unlike the Ghost Ship, upgrades included seismic retrofitting and brought the building up to current codes.

The Oakland Cannery artists are the creative souls of this city and have continuously supported keeping homes affordable and creative. We are the fabric that keeps this process alive and healthy. We deserve the rights to protect our homes and keep our artistic roots alive!

The Core

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