On the night of Thursday, May 30th, 2013 Oaklanders gathered at the rooftop gardens at the Kaiser Center at 300 Lakeside Drive in Oakland for the 7th Annual Oakland Indie Awards. Driving up to the twenty-eight story downtown structure, a festive atmosphere was immediately evident. Cheerful, dressed-up party goers entered the lobby and were already greeted by upbeat electronic music at the garage level. The Kaiser Center, designed by architect Welton Beckett as the personal residence and worldwide headquarters for Henry J. Kaiser, is just off of Oakland’s beautiful Lake Merritt. It’s roof is graced by luscious gardens and gorgeous views.
Between 6:30pm and 10:30 pm this rooftop was the home to the annual Indie Awards. It’s organizers bill as a part “by locals for locals,” honoring local businesses, artists and non-profits with awards in categories such as “Oakland Soul,” “Ripple Effect,” “Innovative Newcomer,” “Pillar,” “Greenie,” “Social Changemaker,” and “Job Creator.”
The Oakland Indie Awards are all about supporting and encouraging local growth in the arts, in business, and in our communities. The local centric theme did not end there. The Indie Awards ceremony was a party featuring local entertainment, catering by local eateries, local DJ dance music, local artwork, local dancers…. Local everything.
Established Oakland businesses and new up and comers alike were honored. Helga Stewart of Women’s Initiative for Self Employment expressed congratulations to the many graduates and partners of the small business incubator program who were nominated for the Oakland Indie Awards, including: 17 Jewels Salon + Spa; OwlNWood, Betti Ono, PieTisserie, Beauty’s Bagel Shop, CommonWealth Cafe & Pub, Loakal, Oaktown Indie Mayhem, Reb Peters Press – Letterpress Printing, Scarlett City Roasting Company, Zakiya Harris, Julie Stevens, Pandora, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Inner City Advisors, and Kitchener.
Artistic presences at the event included curated by Joyce Gordon Gallery, a sculpture garden by the Crucible, and hands on demos by American Steel Studios. DJ Platurn (45 Sessions/Oakland Faders), Funkquarians & the Carnaval Explosion w/ King Theo, Mama Crow, Aisha Fukushima & Raptivism, DJ Riddim, The Grow Sessions: hosted by Ashara Ekundayo w/ DJ Divinity featuring Prescott Circus Theatre, Destiny Arts Center, SunRu Carter, Ryan Nicole, Antique Naked Soul, Young Gifted & Black – Gold, Jazz Monique Hudson, and Zakiya Harris rounded out the entertainment.
If you couldn’t make it, lots of photos and videos from last night’s party are being posted on their Facebook page today.