Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Pro Arts
150 Frank H Ogawa Plz
Oakland CA 94612  

Pro Arts is among the oldest and most significant institutions for contemporary art in Oakland. Shortly after its formation in 1974, under the name of Alameda County Neighborhood Arts Program, Pro Arts became an important venue for artistic experimentation and engagement with the arts. Today, Pro Arts continues to support art that pushes boundaries, generates critical discourse and challenges the status quo.

Pro Arts shows contemporary art in all its forms. Through our interdisciplinary approach to curating, which fosters collaboration and the cross-pollination of ideas, we champion new art practices and emerging forms of cultural production. We remain rooted in the local art scene, committed to openness, inclusivity and the advancement of universal access to art and culture.

We support contemporary artists directly through exhibitions, commissions, interdisciplinary series and presentations, residency programs, satellite projects, digital platforms and publications. Annually we present over 200 artists, working in diverse artistic fields, conduct over 700 art education programs for youth, and reach an audience of over 10,000.

Pro Arts’ public programs consist of exhibitions, performances, literary and film events, lectures and discussions thus allowing for a diverse array of interested audiences to become acquainted with the latest developments in contemporary art. In 2016, Pro Arts began hosting two new professional development programs: Studio Lab Curatorial and Studio Lab Artist Residency Programs. These new programs provide emerging curators and artists with the opportunity to develop and expand their curatorial and artistic professional practice.

Pro Arts is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Our operations and programs are made possible with funding, provided by numerous foundations, corporate partners and individual donors, like you. All donations to Pro Arts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our EIN # is 94-2259269.

Upcoming Events:
Sunday, April 14 2019 7:00 PM
WENDY REID, LULU AND FRIENDS: AMBIENT BIRD 433 for African Grey Parrot and 3 Open Ensembles

Ambient Bird  433 is an hour-long interspecies sonic landscape/ambient environment which reflects a philosophy of connecting with all living creatures and the environment.  The ensembles include experimental musicians of various and combined approaches: traditional, improvisational, acoustic/electronic /ambient, human/non-human, working with silence.

Bird Ensemble (#1):  Lulu, African Grey Parrot; Wendy Reid, violin; Brenda Hutchinson, long tube instrument; Aurora Josephson, voice; Ron Heglin, tuba

Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble (#2): Rodrigo Barriga, electric bass; Petur Eggertsson, violin; Tony Gennaro, percussion; Eric Glick Rieman, melodica; Lee Hodel, double bass; Jake Parker Scott, saxophone; Matthew Robidoux, electric guitar; Mitch Stahlmann, flute; Jess Tambellini, trumpet; Maia Ziaee, voice 

FROG POND 433 Ensemble (#3): Kattt Atchley, voice, laptop; Kenneth Atchley, laptop; Nancy Beckman, shakuhachi; Tom Bickley, recorder, electronics; John Bischoff, laptop; Krys Bobrowski, glissglass; Barbara Golden, suir, suling; Silvia Matheus, bird whistles; Maggi Payne, flute, bird whistle; Tim Perkis, laptop; Brian Reinbolt, tweet-boxes

The structure of this work can be described as a a ‘bird chaconne’ created from sonic fragments of the bird Lulu and transcribed into a spatially notated score to be interpreted and performed by the musicians . The transcriptions are not of ordinary bird songs, but creations of  a ‘bird composer’ inventing sounds from environmental influences.
The ensembles create ‘continuous variations’ over a 4'33" bird ostinato through orchestration, improvisation, interpretation of the spatial score, interaction with birds - a gradual development, eventually returning to the source.  With a separation in space of the sonic elements and their timely silences, an interplay among the bird fragments, human performers and urban sounds have relationships seemingly anarchic at times, yet ultimately inter-connected.

As a part of Reid’s TREE PIECES, an on-going set of musical processes which attempt to reflect nature’s manner of operations, AMBIENT BIRD 433 is contextual in nature, allowing performers to act according to unpredictable conditions and variables which arise within the musical continuity. In performance, an attempt is made at a spontaneous unforced growing of sound and silence in which emphasis is placed on formation rather than pre-established form, as in the building and shaping of cell-like units in living processes. (
*The title pays homage to John Cage’s composition 4’33”  More...