Sep 132013

OakTown Hall is proud to present our initial fundraising campaign video!

Please take a moment to check out our Indiegogo campaign at

Thank you!
OakTown Hall

Nov 132013

Dear Supporters,

It’s difficult to know how to announce this, but after 3 1/2 years of trying to build a forum for localized community and project development at American Steel, we have little choice but to put the structure, OakTown Hall up for sale.

Without going into too much detail, we have invested $30k into the rent for the space and began our term with an immediate debt with the (then)new administration of $4k. We struggled to define our role and the purpose of the space in the context of the new administration and sought to define community projects and relationships that would benefit both American Steel Studios and the local community and give OakTown Hall a useful purpose in that scheme of things that could make it a sustainable and functional part of the community and its empowerment.

However, during the time we invested in our campaign in support of Town Park Sk8 Gallery, we have now fallen a full year behind on rent (soon to be $15k). Where it was becoming clear there was not a collaborative role for OakTown Hall to play in the new administration’s vision, we felt strongly that we could perform an important role and that the projects and ideas we represented were important enough that we could not just fold up and walk away without making the effort and actually doing some of the the things we were so desperately trying to communicate to our community and to the American Steel Studios offices.

We apologize to those who have supported us and invested in us and our campaign. We accomplished a GREAT DEAL in that process, building meaningful relationships with a lot of young people as well as art educator, Keith Williams. We achieved our goal of meaningfully participating in the Life Is Living Festival which is the West Oakland neighborhood’s biggest community festival and built some great relationships with Valorie Wynn of Defremery Park and Hodari Davis of the Life Is Living Festival along the way. We met a lot of people who are willing to invest themselves in each other and these kids as well. We also worked with Brandon Weinrub on our project for the skate park and thanks to American Steel tenant and helicopter engineer, Willie Waters, helped land Brandon a great job following the project. We met Paul Melish who is donating $10k worth of materials and labor into the skate park through his construction business. This week, we will be using the funds raised from our campaign to build and repair several ramps at the skate park with Keith Williams. All in all, a lot of awareness has been raised, both in us and in our community, one individual at a time. We hope those seeds continue to grow.

We are uncertain of what our next steps will be, as we have had very big hopes, dreams and ideas for American Steel and our desire to participate in what can happen here. It is impossible to imagine walking away in defeat after all the time and over $75k invested in the space. It was never about the money for us, but about the potential for truly localized community building in a direction that we felt was representative of what our community is capable of and is ready to do. However, our only financial way out is to put OakTown Hall, itself, up for sale.

We are currently working to fulfill all of our campaign commitments and to follow through with the skate park to do the work we can do with the funding we raised. Please contact us with any questions or any leads pertaining to the potential sale of the structure.

A big thanks to Ty Bourne for all of his work and efforts to support the venture and for believing in my ideas.

Thanks for your understanding and your willingness to engage with and support us!


Doug Kittredge

Oct 292013


We owe a big thanks to so many of you for your help and support of our first campaign to Establish OakTown Hall!

While we raised $3337 of the $15k we were going for, we accomplished many important things in the process that go beyond actual funding. It’s all of you and your awareness and support that is difficult to put a price tag on. It is the investment of each individual that begins to give shape to the fabric of community that we are after first and foremost, and in that respect, our campaign was a major success!

Our goal at OakTown Hall is to cultivate avenues of participation and to localize relationships through those opportunities. Our effort with this campaign was to show the sorts of projects and opportunities that exist right here, and to suggest what can happen when we begin to work together to give shape to those goals.

We plan to use the funding raised to make some very crucial repairs to the ramp entries with plate steel that was stolen from the park recently, and which is a crucial aspect of the ramps. We will also devote some funding towards some additional skate-lite to repair some of the damaged surfaces of the ramps.

What we have done so far, with very little available funding, was to repair several ramps, build two art walls with our intern, Brandon Weinrub from Town Park, have several work days to make important repairs at the skate park with the help of Willie Waters, Paul Melish, John Paul Marcelo, Tigre Bailando, Michaela O’Malley, Matteo Lovik and many others.

Paul Melish has made a substantial commitment to purchase a large quantity of skate-lite materials and to complete and repair the bowl ramp with his construction company and crew! That’s an extraordinary contribution to the park and Town Park will receive a big boost from that contribution! Thank-you Paul Melish!!

We also thank American Steel Studios and Anne Olivia for helping us to promote our workdays at Town Park on their website!

We received materials, a performance stage for Life Is Living and support from the Vau de Vire Society and Mike Gaines, help moving our art walls and stages from Alex Woodward and materials for our campaign printed and created by the boys over at Sharp Teeth Press! Edmundo Landgraff and Tyson Ayers also helped out big time for the Life Is Living Festival with stages and sound! On our behalf, Vivian Triantafillou was indispensable as stage manager along with John Hollis running sound at the Life Is Living Festival …thank-you Vivian and Hollis!

Thanks to Willie Waters for jumping into this with both feet and to his son Kyle for holding the flashlight so we could keep working after dark!

A big thankyou to the fellas at Sharp Teeth Press for printing us a big batch of flyers with their typeset printing press!

We were fortunate to work with Life Is Living event producer, Hodari Davis and look forward to bringing more energy and collaboration to next years festival!

In the process of building our campaign, we received support from many in our American Steel community who donated perks and rewards like the boys at the Front Porch, Zac Carroll and Aaron Minjares. Stephen Bruce donated a piece of his artwork to the campaign as did Pim Conradi, who donated one of his most elaborate orbitectural structures for the campaign. Anthem Ward donated a heap of his remarkable railroad spike knives to the campaign which reaped the most donations out of all the perks!

Thanks, also to Brown Dirt Cowboys and Ernest Hoodie Salinas for donating materials for our art structures!

We received strong support in helping us promote the campaign from Kwic, Ksea Flux, Mark Petrakis, Mad Dog Madigan, Stephen Raspa and many others!

Kevin Dingo, we thank you immensely for showing up on one of our workdays at Town Park with several cases of water, food and a cash donation for supplies as well as your ongoing support and promotion of the campaign. We also thank Robert Furnback for his support and donation of his glasswork! Tigre Bailando also contributed a rendering of the proposed Kelley Vardoe/Gypsy Wagon.

We owe a very big thankyou to Sabrina Merlo and East Bay Mini Maker Faire for Sabrina’s article, ongoing support and East Bay Mini Maker Faire’s donation to the campaign!

Amir Soltani was not only a big supporter with his funding and promotional support, but was a tremendous encouragement and positive spirit about the campaign, our ideas and our project at OakTown Hall. He became an instant friend and instinctively understood the work we are trying to do. Thankyou, Amir!

Thank-you, Dorian Cohen and Josh Dennis for all of your help making video shorts and assisting Ty Bourne with the completion of the campaign video! You were both crucial to getting this campaign launched and we are enormously appreciative of all your help!

Most of all we are especially grateful for the opportunity to get to know Keith K-Dub Williams and to build a friendship and greater awareness of your work and remarkable role in serving the youth here in West Oakland. You have inspired us at OakTown Hall in so many ways and we hope to forge a greater partnership and lend more support to you and Town Park Sk8 Gallery in all that you do!

Brandon Weinrub, big thanks for enthusiastically participating in our build projects and being the first to pave the way for projects and creative building like the ones we put together for the Life Is Living Festival. We appreciate getting to know kids at Town Park like Fabbian, Lavelle, Dellshawn, Coty, Mauro, James and so many others. Also big thanks to Greg Pnut Galinsky for bringing your artwork to the paint walls!

Big thanks to DeFremery Park maitron, Valorie Winn and to Ellen-Wyrick Parkinson for your continued support and encouragement to OakTown Hall and this campaign! We were inspired by your advice to us at the outset when you told us “I’m tired of all the talking…it’s time to do…”

Jessy Baer and Rachel Hospodar both contributed important time and help to the campaign with assistance in promotional help. Thankyou Jessy and Rachel!

We also extend a warm thank-you to Zac Carroll of the Front Porch for all of his time and energy and lending us the Front Porch celebrity status to promote our campaign, be featured in our campaign video, and extend many of the perks and rewards featured in the Establish OakTown Hall campaign. Zac was an essential part of this and we thank you for all of your friendship and support throughout.

I want to thank my partner at OakTown Hall, Ty Bourne, especially, for his perseverance in this project over the past year. Ty has given a tremendous amount of time and financial investment into the project at OakTown Hall and did an amazing job putting together our campaign video. His friendship and support has been crucial to the existence of the space.

A Huge Thankyou to all of our Donors and Supporters!!

We are so grateful to each and every one of you who donated to this campaign. Many of you are friends and family, while others are members of our community and still others discovered our space and our campaign and saw the value in it to donate and support. We are humbled and grateful for your willingness to give and put your faith in us and this project!

We want to especially thank Leslie Pritchett for making the largest donation to the campaign. Leslie, we love you!

Sam Wiley came through with a big donation to get one of Zac Carroll’s salvaged wood liquor cabinets. Thanks Sam!

Thwen Chaloemtiarana made one of the biggest contributions as well purchasing 3 railroad spike knives in total!

Amir Soltani made a very generous donation early in the campaign which is the most crucial part of any fundraising effort. Again, we thank you, Amir!

Thanks to Alexis Finch for being the first to donate!

We want to thank every one of you who donated and extend our gratefulness to each of you!

Hayley Baker
Laurie Halliday
Elisa “Pixie” Pope Pixie McGnarls
Mary Jane Kittredge
Douglas Warren Kittredge
Jules “Little Wing” Mancilla
April C. Taylor
Jessi Sprocket
Bill Stadick
Dave Lifestyle
David Shrem
Marian Spotswood
Justin Fawsitt
Nick Kasimatis
Kristin Neidlinger
Kristin Thomas
Judith Abrahams
Anna Prisekin
Max Poynton
Satchita Melina Spera
Julie Koopman
Theresa Desautels
Dale Db Holden
Wes Sparling
Mad Dog Madigan
Vau de Vire Society
Adam Theis
Bridgette Anderson
East Bay Mini Maker Faire
Satsi Jaquith
Bill Wiatroski
Kareem Shihab
Whitney Moses
Danielle Feinberg
Jennifer Quest
Anonymous Contributor (you know who you are
Sekani Spero
Talia Lipskind
Damien Gonzalez
Medina Maitreya
Barbarella Christopherson
Tom Sepe
Sej Morrice
Valley of Gehenna

and big thanks to Ksea Flux for making the 11th hour donation and all of his heartfelt support!

We hope this is just the beginning, and we feel that we have just scratched the surface of many more exciting and innovative projects we can build in the local community as well as building important relationships and the fabric of a stronger foundation for community along the way.

Each one of you have helped to contribute to that and we hope you will all continue to support our efforts to Establish OakTown Hall!

Thanks folks!

Douglas Kittredge and Ty Bourne

 Posted by at 8:50 pm
Aug 122013

Flyer for Haiti Art Tour 2013

Project HOPE Art: Voodoo Necklace Workshop
August 18th, 3-5pm

OakTown Hall
At American Steel
1960 Mandela Parkway
Oakland, CA 94607

Learn the art of upcycling from the street forage masters of the Grand Rue in Haiti. In this two-hour workshop each person will gain hands-on experience with primitive tools. We will transform a car tire into wearable art. Design your figure, shape or emotion on paper, then transfer your sketch onto rubber.
The Atis Resistans Artists: Romel, Racine and Claudel will give you a brief overview of Haitian Creole VooDoo and help you to incorporate spirits and history into your design (if you wish). Leave class with a strong foundation for transforming trash into art.

Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets here:

 Posted by at 4:55 am
Aug 122013

OakTown Hall Auction

At American Steel’s “All Manner of Stuff Sale”
Saturday August 17th

1960 Mandela Parkway
West Oakland 94607

Auction Starts at High Noon!

BBQ and Clothing Swap!
(clothing swap starts at noon/bring down your old clothes and swap ‘em for new ones)Come on down next weekend for OakTown Hall’s Auction with Zac Carroll of the Front Porch auctioning off everything but the kitchen sink! (He might throw that in there too…)

We will be auctioning off everything from antique Wedgewood ovens, framed art, to couches, tools and equipment,ancient cursed artifacts, stolen pirate booty and mortuary devices! Heck, for you, we’ll auction the shirts off our backs!

The AX Gallery will be open featuring unique custom clothing creations from Medium Reality for anyone looking
for something stylish and one of a kind for the playa.

If you have anything you would like to auction or donate to OakTown Hall for auction please contact us at

 Posted by at 4:14 am
Aug 022013

This is a rough draft of the mezzanine/skate ramp/ announcer’s booth we are planning to build at the makeshift skate park called Town Park Sk8 Gallery next door to American Steel in West Oakland!Rough draft of the skate ramp design for Town Park Sk8 Park Gallery

The people who brought you the Dustfish Bordello and the Front Porch are making this their Burning Man Project for this year and we need all of you to help and participate to support these kids here in West Oakland to improve one of the few spaces they have to recreate in the area!

Thanks to Joel Rose for taking the time out from your own Burning Man art project to give us a visual on what the project is going to look like!

Indie GoGo campaign is coming soon so stay posted folks!

 Posted by at 3:25 am
Jul 242013

Help us raise funding for two exciting projects in West Oakland and Establish OakTown Hall in 2013! Our Indiegogo campaign will launch in exactly one week on Wednesday, July 31st!

Our first project is a collaborative build and design project at the Town Park Sk8 Gallery at Defremery Park in West Oakland to provide a mezzanine level with a ramp and a giant arched sign for the park!

We are also be raising funding for the Broaklyn Film & Theater Co. to bring an exciting documentary film series and discussion forum to American Steel in the Poplar warehouse!

OakTown HallTo learn more about us and our campaign check out our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter,

We need the help of our community to spread the word and build awareness of this project as it approaches on July 24th! Please comment and re-post anywhere and everywhere! Thanks for all the support!