COMMONS ARCHIVE thrives on the support of many organizations, community groups and neighbors. Initiated by artist team marksearch, it is part of Kala Art Institute’s Print Public, a dynamic program that invites artists to work on interdisciplinary projects with digital or print media while animating public space, reaching new communities, building local partnerships, and deepening neighborhood ties.

We acknowledge and honor that North Oakland sits on the land of the Ohlone people, today politically represented by the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. We recognize the Muwekma Ohlone people past and present who have settled, nurtured and loved this land, and are grateful to live here.


The Golden Gate Branch of the Oakland Public Library, located at 5606 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland,  is one of I6 neighborhood branch libraries. The Golden Gate Branch has a collection of approximately 41,000 items. Circulating materials are largely of popular interest with a strong emphasis on fiction and jazz music.




Kala Art Institute, based in Berkeley, CA, is a community art-making hub and residency program offering professional facilities across print and digital media. Kala's mission is to help artists sustain their creative work and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education.

Kala community engagement intern Heidi Herrera (at left) leads Commons Archive outreach and social media. Heidi is pursuing a Masters in art history with an emphasis in social activism and human rights. She's dedicated to building community, preserving oral histories and democratizing archives.


PLACE for Sustainable Living is a public serving, experiential learning center that showcases and advocates for urban homesteading, community resiliency, social justice and artistic expression. The grounds include demonstration gardens and educational exhibits, an urban farm, several shops equipped with tools and machinery, and a co-working space. Since 2011 they have offered workshops, gatherings and celebrations to share skills and honor community.



Started in 2007, Phat Beets food justice group "aims  to create a healthier, more equitable food system in Oakland and beyond through providing affordable access to fresh produce, facilitating youth leadership in health and nutrition education, and connecting small farmers to urban communities." They support the community through farmers markets, community edible gardens, youth entrepreneurship and weekly community supported agriculture. We’re grateful to Phat Beets for providing incredibly delicious organic fruit and snacks for Commons Archive workshops and celebrations.


Black Panther Power was envisioned by original Black Panther Party member Saturu Ned, aka James Mott, during the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party. As a Black Panther apparel company, they address community inequities by supporting a stable economic foundation. 100% of sales revenue is directed  into the ‘Knowledge to the People Fund’, a modern day ‘Survival Program’. Saturu Ned, educator and community architect, leads skill-sharing workshops about the Black Panther Party for Commons Archive, local colleges and organizations.


Emeryville Historical Society publishes a well-researched quarterly journal focusing on North Oakland and Emeryville early history (late 1800s to early 1900s).  Started in 1988 by a group of librarians, photographers and history buffs, the group continues to produce photo exhibits for Oakland Public Library’s Oakland History Room.  A full collection of their journals, not yet digitized, can be found at the Oakland History Room.


Oakland Wiki is like Wikipedia, but it’s a wiki all about Oakland. It is a free website about Oakland that anyone can edit. There was nothing here when the site was first launched in July, 2012.  All of the content on this wiki has been built by contributors. Through a short training, anyone can learn how to add content. The wiki group holds edit sessions at Oakland Public Libraries.


marksearch engages people in collaborative expressions of local history as a way to deepen bonds between people and their environments. Through cross-disciplinary projects, they create temporary and permanent sculptural structures for improvisational collaboration in public spaces.

Kala Art Institute's mission is to help artists sustain their creative work over time through its Artist-in-Residence and Fellowship Programs, and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education.

Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

This activity is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of all its programs. Its vision is guided by the belief that change is possible through inquiry, creativity and compassion.