Youth Speaks Tag

Video: Life is Living 10

Video: please watch this video w/footage from the 10th annual Life is Living Festival. It features interviews w/founders of the fest, participants, and people enjoying themselves. This past yr I got to participate by giving to the festival as a planner of the book zone in collaboration w/ Emily Butterfly leader of the kids zone. Shout out to Hodari B. Davis, Joan Osato , all the zone leaders, and all the folks who come! U want to be involved in the 11th? 

Holler and share this video. 

Kids & Book Zone- Life is Living back on

Check it out, so we’re back on this Saturday. Bring your babies, teens, and family to Life is Living. This is an intergenerational event. So, I will be there with several authors doing storytime: Grace Caroll, Tiffany Golden, Laurin Mayeno, and Kamaria Lofton.  We will be there as part of the Kids Zone!
The event was postponed briefly as we were trying to avoid putting folks outside in dangerously smoky and toxic air. After the northern California fires the smoke was everywhere and not good for the babies, the performers, or the people. But, we’re back. 
If you would like to send relief to the folks affected in the fires and in Puerto Rico, please check out this LINK. Come through to Life is Living!

Life is Living: POSTPONED

Hey everyone, The 10th Annual Life Is Living Festival slated for this Saturday, October 14th at DeFremery Park in West Oakland is POSTPONED due to fires and our growing concern for the health and wellness of our people. We are calling on our community to support immediate relief efforts for our friends and family impacted up North. Please stay tuned for updates here or at

Flyers designs- Life is Living

Town park-skateboarding
Nationwide Salsa/Boogaloo/break party-Bay, LA, NY, ATL

The Peoples kitchen-free breakfast at 10 am

The Crucible-welding, making, building

Emily Butterfly-Kids Zone

Book zone-storytime

Teen zone

Here are “some” of the flyers for this weekend’s Life is Living Fest. There will be dance, skateboarding, free breakfast, book zone, kids zone, teen zone, poetry, welding, activities, and more. Come through if you’re in the Bay. Flyers designed by Nick James.

Facebook invite for General event
Facebook invite for Kids Zone/ Book Zone

Website for Life is Living

Last year’s video:

Video: Life is Living

Life is Living 2016

2014 Life is Living Fest

this year i’ll be participating in the fest for the 2nd time as the organizer of the Book Zone, which coincides with Emily Butterfly’s “Kids Zone”. Bring your children to do activities , hear story time, and just chill. RSVP HERE

Book Zone @ Life is Living 10!

Hey folks, I’m sure you know that I’m a father, husband, artist, and children’s book creator. 

I would like to invite your family to join me and hundreds of other parents @ Life Is Living, October 14th, 2017It’s the 10th year anniversary. Likely to be the best event in all of Oakland that day. Can you join us? If so, RSVP HERE and tag other parents who might be interested.
// My family has attended Life Is Living for the last 10 years.
We attend because it is a place to see friends, meet fellow creatives, and to manifest community building. It’s been a great space to meet new people, to catch up with folks, and introduce my son to so much–skating, visual arts, poetry, healthy food, an event with a vibe filled with love. This is our second year as more than just attendee’s. Last year we organized a book zone. That was fun, so we’re doing it again. This time, with multiple story times throughout the day!
We’ve organized a host of local authors to lead story time through out the day. This years focus is on stories about children of color and some stories about queer kids too.
Hear the stories with your kids, meet the authors, collect a book, get author signatures, and connect with literacy some advocates like the Oakland Public Library.
We hope to gathering over 100 Parents throughout the day at the Book Zone, which is part of a much larger KIDS ZONE run by artist Emily Butterfly. 
There will be many activities for children such as face painting, silk screening, mural painting, and there is a Labyrinth and obstacle course!
OCTOBER 14TH 10:30am-5:30PM, Defremery (Bobby Hutton) Park 1651 Adeline St, Oakland, Ca 94607

Chapter 510 poet- Azariah

This is the 7th portrait that I’ve done for Chapter 510 , an Oakland based organization that works with young people to foster love for writing, reading, and literacy. Each year for the past 3-4 years they have asked me to paint one or more of Oakland youth who have become Oakland’s poet laureate and this project is in collaboration with the Oakland Public Library and Youth Speaks in San Francisco. Check out the original below. And this Friday if you’re in Oakland please go to Chapter 510 to see this young lady read among others, and Ch 510 will be releasing a new book!

Life is Living-Oakland Oct 8th

I will be reading Furqan’s First and One of a kind like me at the Kids Zone around 2. And I will be selling the books the whole day near the OPL, come and find me. Here are some of the flyers created for this years Life is Living event showcasing music, dance, art, culture, health, and good vibes. Come through and feel free to share the posters w/ the 50 yr Black Panther anniversary design! If youre an artist or book vendor and would like to table please go HERE.

Tova Ricardo-Chapter 510

Woah!!!This is my sixth portrait illustration (youth poet poster) of an Oakland Youth Poet for Chapter 510. I painted the youth Poets in 2014 and one in 2015. Can’t believe I’ve been so fortunate to work on these. It is truly a blessing to create artwork that is about the poets. Because each one of them has a voice, individual style, and something strong to say; they were chosen as Poet Laureate’s of Oakland. As a collaboration between Youth Speaks, the Oakland Public Library, and Chapter 510 it is dope to see youth from many different backgrounds and poetry styles up there. Who knows what young person is seeing a reflection of their face or life through them? This is a shot of Tova Ricardo holding the poster i illustrated of her. 

Check out the  510 Journal which features the poetry of youth from the many programs that Chapter 510 holds to encourage and support creative writing in this city.