Tech company launches community space in downtown Oakland landmark

Seating areas in Block-created community space for nonprofits, ground floor of Uptown Station, 1955 Broadway in downtown Oakland. (Cayce Clifford)

OAKLAND — A tech company has launched a nonprofit-oriented community space where hundreds could gather inside a landmark office building in downtown Oakland.

Block, formerly known as Square, has set up the community space on the ground floor of the iconic Uptown Station office building that the financial services tech company currently leases.

The financial services tech company has launched what it calls the Square Community Space in downtown Oakland inside the Uptown Station complex at 1955 Broadway.

Designed to be a community resource, the space is available free of charge to 501c3 nonprofits that wish to reserve the facilities for their gatherings and activities.

Artwork and seating areas within Block-created community space for nonprofits, ground floor of Uptown Station, 1955 Broadway in downtown Oakland.  (Cayce Clifford)
Artwork and seating areas within Block-created community space for nonprofits, ground floor of Uptown Station, 1955 Broadway in downtown Oakland. (Cayce Clifford)

The first such gathering occurred on Saturday with a meeting to prepare for an Art Clash scheduled for Aug. 20 that’s being organized by the Bay Area Mural Project.

The annual Art Clash is a five-hour event during which artists compete against each other in front of a live audience that votes to pick a winner.

The triumphant artist wins $1,000, with lesser prizes handed out to those who finish second and third in the competition.

Saturday’s Art Clash mixer was a way for artists to gain a feel for what it takes to compete in, and win, the annual contest.

“Get a taste of the Clash with three 20-minute battles where two artists go head to head and you get to choose the winners,” stated a post on the Bay Area Mural Project website.

Gathering areas in Block-created community space for nonprofits, ground floor of Uptown Station, 1955 Broadway in downtown Oakland.  (Cayce Clifford)
Gathering areas in Block-created community space for nonprofits, ground floor of Uptown Station, 1955 Broadway in downtown Oakland. (Cayce Clifford) (Cayce Clifford)

The mixer will also feature panel discussions about community art and a fundraiser auction.

Bay Area Mural Project also hopes the mixer can help people learn about the organization’s work in the regional community.

“Our vision is to turn bare, blighted walls into artistic gateways to the community’s surrounding environment,” Bay Area Mural Project stated in its web post.

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