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, September 22 2019 4:00 PM
Mrotzronium Pipqueak Workshop:
The Pipsqueak is a portable touch-controlled noisy synthesizer by Mroztronium. Spiritually inspired by the Cracklebox, Bugbrand Weevil and other touch-controlled electronic instruments, but using a unique circuit developed by Mroztronium that is designed for unpredictable results, wide frequency range (from sub-audio to above human hearing), sensitive touch control and stereo operation.

It features a pair of outputs that emit rectangle waves, complex pulse trains, triggers or complex noisy waveforms in the region of 0-9V depending on how it is touched. In addition to listening to the raw stereo output, you can also use it as a complex controller to gate/trigger and frequency modulate external CV/Gate equipment. It is an interesting way to spice up a modular synth patch or to turn an otherwise predictable synthesizer into a freakish improvisational instrument.

The workshop will be suitable for beginners and requires no knowledge of electronics. We'll cover soldering too.


Martin Freeman:
“My company is called MROZTRONIUM. The name is a synthesis of MROZ (Polish for “frost”, and my mother’s family name) and the ELECTRONIUM (an early advanced electronic musical composition system designed by Raymond Scott and collaborators). I design and build Synthesizers from the Frost Lands of Rochester, NY, USA.”

Multa Nox (Sally Decker):
Sally Decker is a composer, performer, writer and improviser based in Oakland, CA. She explores the emotional potential of sounds as portals of connection. Her approach to form and process is psychological and sensory, rooted in the goal of strengthening a reflective focus toward our internal intuitive worlds. Recent interests include feedback systems, the voice, and utilization of language in performance. She recently received her MFA in 2019 in Electronic Music & Recording Media from Mills College, where she studied with Laetitia Sonami, James Fei, Maggi Payne, John Bischoff, and Fred Frith. In 2017 she released an album on NNA Tapes entitled Living Pearl under the moniker Multa Nox.

Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase:
aka Chris Cooper and Jess Goddard - guitar & electronics maestros who has been/is involved in CAROLINER, FAT WORM OF ERROR, (The) BSC trio.

Based on observations of disparate corners of world-phenomena like leaf venation to discarded car parts, Shatter Pattern performs the sonic use and misuse of pattern, the formation of and deformation of ordered structures. By creating rhythmic intricacies and then unexpectedly breaking them down into dysfunctional minutia, Shatter Pattern sonically and visually extrudes worlds from signal interferences that interlope with your perception of reality and being, to reuse the shards of fragmented particles of sound as a vaporous reminder of the primacy of earth’s grounding power. Shatter Pattern is the more human-facing “dance” project of bay area electronic musician Waxy Tomb, who has performed at The Lab, SFEMF, Artists Television Access, CCRMA and more.  More...

Sunday, September 22 2019 8:00 PM
Martin Freeman Comes To Oakland

Shatter Pattern

Martin Freeman

Angst Hase

Sally Decker  More...

Wednesday, September 25 2019 6:00 PM
Towards a Solidarity Economics Conduction System for Improvisors

Presented by CCI in partnership with Music Research Strategies and Pro Arts Gallery & Commons, TOWARDS A SOLIDARITY ECONOMICS CONDUCTION SYSTEM FOR IMPROVISERS is a participatory workshop that invites attendees to critique Capitalism and its machinations through music and improvisation. The second workshop Warrior Ethos: Performing Political Education will be held on September 28.

Participants will leave with an understanding of how we have gotten to the current predicament and how to move towards practices that build Solidarity, Cooperation, Mutualism, Equity, Participatory Democracy, Sustainability, and Pluralism.

You do not have to have any experience with music to attend and learn at this workshop!

About Music Research Strategies

Marshall Trammell is the experimental percussionist and critical ethnographer known as Music Research Strategies (MRS). The identity of this arts engagement platform began as a critical ethnographic framework bridging obsessions with strategic, or compositional, improvising strategies, organizational improvisation and psychology, and street-level, social justice, international organizing. MRS navigates the global economy as a touring musician performing-research and -political education nationally and internationally through a battery of modular, social science-based systems producing several works for fellowships, residencies, festivals, and investigations.

MRS organizational strategy mimics scholarship embedded in indigenous technologies in professional development pedagogy (guild) and simultaneous multi-dimensionality (cognitive embodiment/Dr. Anku) to serve as an interlocutor of new language development of Warrior Ethos amongst Warrior Ecologies from the Pacific Northwest, the San Francisco Bay Area, Mexico City, the Southwest, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic. A recent Intercultural Leadership Institute fellowship, residencies with East Side Arts Alliance, Prelinger Library, Off Lomas, Southern Exposure, Museum of Human Achievement, and Charlotte Street Foundation, and future engagements in 2019 and 2020 at Rhizome DC, Western Front (Vancouver, BC) and Rauschenberg (Florida), have yielded a transformation of Trammell’s 30+ year, vernacular practice. Trammell is known for participation in such music project as Black Spirituals (Sige), In Defense of Memory, Mutual Aid Project and collaborations with Saul Williams, David Murray, Dohee Lee, Dylan Carlson, Pauline Oliveros, Raven Chacon, Laura Ortman, Aaron Turner, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Hafez Modirzadeh, Genny Lim and others for 30 years.

Trammell is affiliated with East Side Arts Alliance, and a member of Solidarity Research Center.

About Pro Arts Gallery & COMMONS

Pro Arts COMMONS is a multi-use space for the expanded field of art, debate, experimentation, and collaboration. We house exhibitions, symposiums, experimental music and film programs, literary events, reading groups, assemblies and community events, and short-term, research-based residencies. We are local commons-centric network of autonomous organizations, collectives and individual artists and commoners. Currently, Pro Arts COMMONS is a home to Pro Arts Gallery, Projects Kalahati, RATSKIN Records, Safer DIY Spaces, Oakland Freedom Jazz Society, CounterFlicks, Opalescent, and Oakland Summer School.

Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Time: 6:00-9:00pm

Location: Pro Arts Gallery & COMMONS, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612

Cost: Free with RSVP at

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at  More...

Monday, October 7 2019 8:30 PM
oakland freedom jazz society presents two groups led by long-time collaborators phillip greenlief & Jon Raskin

1st set
electro-acoustic improvisation with movement
phillip greenlief - tenor saxophone
min yoon - movement
sharkiface - electronics
kevin corcoran - percussion

phillip greenlief

Min Yoon | Citizen Truth is a butoh dancer and ritual performance artist, devoted to uncovering deeper, more intuitive nature in how we relate to our being and the world, by dancing between the socially constructed lines of feminine / masculine, intention / action, mystical / physical, life / art, ritual / performance, abstract / narrative, sound / body... Min started butoh dance, out of the darkest moments in their life, to dive into deeper landscapes and research the images, opening, and movement needed for our times. Butoh is an expressive mode of dance that seeks to find what is deep within, beyond what is socially accepted in a pursuit of new expressions of truth. They have studied and performed with master butoh teachers, Atsushi Takenouchi of Jinen Butoh School in Italy, Anastazia Louise of Bad Unkl Sista, and Mizu Desierto of Water in the Desert. Min’s artistic works have been funded by Kultuuri Kaupilla in Finland, The City of Oakland, and The Battery Club of San Francisco.

Sharkiface is a solo electronic musician and sound artist from Oakland who creates live textural incantations. Layering live samples, textures and rhythms, her mostly improvised sets are made with an extremely tactile and rare synthesizer, the Ciat-Lonbarde Tranoe Ambrazier, sampler and manipulated voice. Sharkiface also plays in the dark wave, synth duo Jeweled Snakes. A long-time participant in the Bay Area noise scene, since 2000, Sharkiface has been in projects such as Caroliner, Crack:WAR, Pigs in the Ground, and Tarantism.

Kevin Corcoran is a San Francisco, California based percussionist and sound collector focused on extended techniques, found objects, improvisation and site-specificity. He collaborates with musicians, dancers, writers and filmmakers, has performed across the United States, Europe and East Asia and exhibited sound installations locally. Recently his collaboration with vocalist Gretchen Jude, hirakito, was published on Full Spectrum records, and Adapter from the percussion duo Invasive Species was released by Baggage Claim Records.

2nd set
The Out of Bounds Trio
Music that lives on the edges of sound and sight, looking past the present utilizing what's been learned on the way.

Tim Bulkley drums
Jon Raskin saxophones
Safa Shokrai bass

Tim Bulkley is a drummer and artist located in the Northern California areaand is known for a musical, intuitive approach to drumming. He grew up taking piano lessons, taking art classes, singing in choirs & studying the drums. His professional career as a musician started early and has stayed a constant for over 25 years. He has played and recorded with artists including Dayna Stephens, Michelle Amador, Goh Nakamura, Evan Francis, Anton Schwartz, The Invisible Cities, John Lester, Postmodern Jukebox, Adam Platt, Stacey Kent, Boz Scaggs, Peter Bernstein, Telepathy, Wil Blades, Dandelion Dance Company and BodyVox Dance.

Jon Raskin on has been a member of Rova Saxophone Quartet for the last 42 years exploring the relationship of improvisation and composition, developing and honing the language of ensemble music and researching linguistic possibilities of the saxophone. He has performed and/ or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, Sam Rivers, Tim Berne, Phillip Johnston, Leo Smith, Frank Gratkowsi, Phillip Greenlief and Henry Kaiser

Safa Shokrai is inspired by visual art, architecture and movement and tgey inform the color and tone of his work. He strives to creTe a performance experince in which the audience steps into a film, a world that has been fabricated and impaged, realized with sound and sight.  More...