PRISM: Urban Art and Culture Festival
The Estria Foundation will sponsor 2 weeks of cultural happenings and curated events for the community of Oakland and beyond.

September 28 – October 12, 2013

September 24, 2013–Oakland, CA. The Prism: Urban Art and Culture Festival encompasses a series of public events organized by The Estria Foundation. Oakland boasts world-class sports teams, rich urban culture, a ranking as the nation’s most sustainable city, a booming start-up company and non-profit hub, and a thriving art scene.  Contributing to Oakland’s creative culture, civic enthusiasm and love of community events, Prism: Urban Art and Culture Festival will feature an array of activities beginning on September 28 and running through October 12th. These events will address social justice concerns utilizing visual art, music, dance, symposia and sustainable culture practices in an effort to emphasize live art projects and arts programming for the community.

Prism: Urban Art and Culture Festival aims to engage Oakland residents and visitors in a dialogue that will galvanize a creative and holistic approach to community. Concurrent with Prism’s event schedule, October 12th will highlight the return of The Estria Battle, an all day arts event at the historic DeFremery Park (Lil’ Bobby Hutton Park). This is a free, family-friendly event with a focus on public art and environmental sustainability. Youth are invited to participate in a series of arts activities including the Blackbook Battle and the t-shirt Stencil Workshop. Attendees are also welcomed to enjoy a range of artistic performances and are encouraged to participate in generating energy by dancing on the “Pedal Powered Stage” which transforms human exuberance into pure energy.


In its sixth year the Estria Battle remains the premier graffiti art competition in the United States. Sixteen renowned artists from across the country will compete in what has become one of the nation’s most talked about spray art events. The panel of judges will be Doze Green, Risk and Codak.  Returning artists are 2011’s 1st and 2nd place winners, Vyal One from Los Angeles, and Doves from New York City. Besides several local Bay Area artists, other contestant artists will be traveling from Chicago, Austin, and Miami.

The Estria Battle encourages graffiti writers to visually articulate social justice issues by empowering communities with the spirit and beauty of public art. These events aim to elevate street art through community building, public education, and engagement.


How does the Estria battle work?
•    Artists are invited to the competition based on skill level and their foundation in spray can art.
•    Artists are given 5 hours to complete a piece based on a word that is revealed at the beginning of the competition.
•    An 8 x 12 ft. canvas is assigned to each artist with a  limited amount of spray cans and colors which are distributed equally amongst competitors.
•    After 5 hours, the piece (finished or unfinished) is judged by legendary graffiti writers, and the champion is announced at the end of the Battle. 1st Place winner will win 400 cans from Montana Cans.

This year’s festival marks  a significant extension in its curatorial program from previous years.  Apart from the works created and exhibited on October 12th, Prism: Urban Art and Culture Festival will host a diverse program of symposia, workshops and a gallery exhibit that complement the one-day festival. A complete list of related events is below.

September 28th ~ The HELLA  (Helping Everyone Live Life Artistically) Conference at Skyline High School.
400 students from Bay Area high schools will attend a conference dedicated to the intersections of social justice movements and the 4 elements of Hip Hop culture. The Estria Foundation is curating the visual arts track to provide visual arts workshops to youth who are interested in developing their voice through urban arts. The conference is free and open to youth from 9:00am to 4:00pm at Skyline High School, presented by Youth Together, All the Way Live, The Estria Foundation, Beats Rhymes & Life, and ScratchPad.

October 3rd ~ Estria Battle Pop-Up Art Exhibit at Gallery 1AM, 1000 Howard Street  San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 861-5089  This is a month-long gallery exhibition featuring the work of nationally renowned urban artists including Risk (LA); Cope2 (NY); Defer (LA); Doves (NY); Estria x Angry Woebot (Hawaii); Indie184 (NY); Jesse Hernandez (SF); Poesia (San Jose); Like (Chicago),  Codak

October 10th ~  Pecha Kucha Night Oakland at the New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland, CA – (510) 658-7900 All ages. Tickets are $10.00 online and at the door if not sold out. Seating is limited.
Pecha Kucha Night Oakland is a dynamic slideshow presentation.  The theme for this edition is “Underground Renaissance.” A panel of artists, educators and activists present 20 images for 20 seconds. The Panelists:  Hodari Davis / Youth Speaks & Life Is Living Festival Director,  Favianna Rodriguez / Artist and Founder of Culture Strike,  Nancy Hernandez /#WaterWrites Mural Project Director,  Ayesha Walker & Eddie Zazueta / Youth Radio, Rachel “Pixelina” Escoto / Street Photographer,  Eric Arnold / Community Rejuvenation Project Director,  Andre Rosario / Ride It or Die,  Diana Alonzo / Attitudinal Healing Connection ( Through Our Lens Youth Photography Program), Maria “TooFly” Castillo / Artist & Designer

October 12th ~ The Life is Living Festival at Defremery Park presented by the Estria Foundation and Youth Speaks, 16th St & Adeline St., West, Oakland, CA 94607    All ages, free admission.
In addition to the Estria Battle this day long event includes the following:

Stencil Workshop:   A youth-focused interactive arts education activity where participants select positive images and spray paint them on t-shirts, creating an original design.

Blackbook Battle:  Youth ages 14-21 create a drawing based on the day’s theme. Mentor artists judge the competition and provide positive feedback and supportive critiques. The first 50 participants receive a free sketch “blackbook” to take home.


Youth Mural Battle:  A live painting and visual storytelling competition featuring prominent young visual arts organizations from the Bay Area, Southern California, and Arizona. Contestant teams use mixed media of acrylic paints, markers and spray paint to develop murals addressing a given topic. Winning canvases will be displayed at the Oakland Public Library’s “Teen Zones” where free urban arts workshops will be held for youth through March 2014.

The Yerba Buena Center for Arts will be hosting the the Dance Stage with music from Samba, East and West African dance traditions.

Visual Arts Arena:
•    Favianna Rodriguez & CultureStrike: Create your own butterfly for the Migration is Beautiful Campaign
•    Rock Paper Scissors Collective:  Create your own zine / Live painting
•    Brett Cook:  Community Painting Project
•    Youth Radio: App Academy –  Youth workshop to concept the creation of an app for the Life is Living Festival

Skateboarding demonstrations at Town Park, workshops, and competitions for all ages and skill levels.Food vendors and booths from non-profit groups and sponsors.


Honorary Sponsors
Montana Cans, Art Alternatives, Life is Living, Akon, Kango, Kleen Kanteen, Oaklandish, Juxtapoz, ArtSlant, Spoke Art, Warholian, Graffuturism, 1AM Gallery, The New Parkway Theater , Pecha Kucha Oakland, The Akonadi Foundation, Conscious Construction, Acme Builders, BG Concepts, Upper Playground, Vkultra, Chrome Bags

#EstriaOrg; #EstriaBattle; #Oakland; #LifeIsLiving; #PrismUrbanArt


The Estria Foundation creates art in public spaces locally and globally. We collaborate with communities on creative projects that raise awareness and inspire action in the movement to advance culture and to resolve human and environmental issues.

The Estria Foundation (TEF) is a non-profit organization working to create social change through the creation of art. It is dedicated to creating lasting systemic social change by empowering local communities to work collectively and participate in our global network. We work towards a society that places value on people and the environment above the accumulation of wealth.


LIFE Is LIVING is a national campaign of Youth Speaks Inc. that generates partnerships between diverse and underserved communities, green action agencies, local community groups, urban environmental activists, and the contemporary arts world. Life is Living encompasses a series of six-hour interdisciplinary, intergenerational, eco-equity festivals in neglected parks in underserved neighborhoods around the country. Previous cities include Oakland, CA, Harlem, NY, and Chicago, IL and Houston, TX.

Montana Cans Germany (
The MONTANA brand has been influencing artists since its humble beginnings in Heidelberg, Germany. The team behind the brand has its roots in Urban Art and Culture, and are still active users. The love for Urban Art and creativity in all forms is extended by the continuous support of artists and creative events worldwide.

Art Alternatives (
Art Alternatives makes over 350 sizes and styles of canvas, wood and MDF panels, black books, and over 1000 tools and creative supplies. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 20 years, Art Alternatives supplies are available nationwide at independent art stores and online

Media contact: Maria Jenson