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Best Local Up-and-Coming Art Collective 

Malidoma Collective

Wednesday, May 6 2015

Malidoma Collective is a group of women-of-color artists, activists, and healers who use their many talents to throw community events that promote learning, self-care, and having fun. With rapper Queens D.Light, photographers Sasha Kelly and Kate Dash, painter Aambr Newsome, and videographer Lala Openi among their ranks, the members of Malidoma have channeled their diverse ambitions into a positive movement that’s sweeping Oakland’s burgeoning downtown art scene.

Malidoma was founded as a way to share skills and promote each other’s work. Generosity and community-building are at the core of its projects. While it’s thrown plenty of one-off events like potlucks, vintage clothing sales, and dance parties in the past, the collective has spent 2015 focused on more long-term projects. Earlier this year, it hosted a series of weekly, donation-based yoga and meditation classes at The Living Room Project, a DIY venue in West Oakland. The Doma Yoga workshops sought to bring these wellness practices to Bay Area residents normally underrepresented at typical studios, such as people of color, queer and trans folks, and young parents.

In the beginning of April, Malidoma Collective moved its headquarters to Omiroo Gallery (329 15th St., Oakland) for Shop Maater, its new pop-up boutique and gallery. The eclectic shopping destination features Malidoma members’ artwork, as well as a selection of goods with an Afrofuturist bend. Well-curated, sparse displays of books, handmade apparel, healing crystals, and records fill the compact space, which is nestled amid a strip of vintage stores and galleries. Part of Oakland’s newest art walk, Second Saturdays, Shop Maater drew an enthusiastic crowd on its opening night and is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Though the members of Malidoma Collective come from such diverse disciplines — with musicians, visual artists, yoga teachers, and crafters among the bunch — they’ve successfully cultivated a cohesive vision that prioritizes community and creativity. Through a combination of stylized visuals, clever social media marketing, and thoughtfully produced, interactive events, their work continues to gain traction and will undoubtedly have an impact on Oakland — and the greater Bay Area — for years to come.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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