Oakland Style is a celebration featuring culinary experiences, cultural conversations, art walks, fashion shows, musical performances, haute couture moments, vintage shopping and more.

Learn More
Don't Leave Just Yet!

Receive fresh email newsletter content monthly. Stay up on Oakland's latest events, attractions & special offers.

Read More

Activate Oakland Logo

The Activate Oakland Event Sponsorship Program is a new initiative to activate public spaces and support events to revitalize downtown and neighborhood commercial areas while promoting economic recovery.

The program provides up to $10,000 to assist with funding events and activations that support Oakland’s commercial districts, small businesses, and arts and culture community. Applications are now open!

Activate Oakland Program Goals

  • Activate a variety of commercial districts with a focus on events in or involving participants from priority neighborhoods.
  • Provide opportunities for Oakland-based small businesses, artists, cultural groups and especially commercial districts in priority neighborhoods for direct economic and marketing benefits.
  • Build social cohesion and support shared positive experiences for community in Oakland; Showcase Oakland’s unique arts, culture, and identity.
  • Create new free community events and/or expand size/attendance of existing free community events.

Visit Oakland Partnership

Visit Oakland has been selected by the City of Oakland to manage the Activate Oakland Event Sponsorship Program and provide marketing assistance to events that receive sponsorships. In collaboration with Mayor Sheng Thao, Oakland’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development, citywide business associations and arts communities, Visit Oakland is conducting extensive outreach to spotlight this funding opportunity and provide support to potential program applicants, particularly community members who have previously been ineligible for city event and cultural funding.

We are thrilled to administer and promote a program that creates more of what makes Oakland such a vibrant place to be!

Want to help us get the word out about Activate Oakland? Check out our Media Toolkit with social media assets, images, email templates and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are events in this program called an “activation”?

The goal of the Activate Oakland is to fund programs that will not only bring the community together but also provide direct economic and marketing benefits to Oakland’s commercial districts. Activations can be smaller than a traditional “event”, and we strongly encourage new ideas for bringing our community together to support Oakland businesses.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for an Activate Oakland sponsorship?

Activate Oakland is open to a diverse array of applicants. Please see our Eligibility & Program Details page for more details.

What events are eligible for this program?

Activate Oakland is open to many ideas for events and activations. Please see our Eligibility & Program Details page for more details.

Does my event have to be one-time, or can I plan a series?

We strongly encourage applications for a series. Multiple events can make a bigger because repetition of an activation allows it to build momentum, attendance, and awareness.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is Thursday, October 12, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

How was the application review process developed?

Development of the equity-focused application review criteria involved input from stakeholders including City of Oakland Department of Race and Equity, City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, Oakland City Council offices, business associations, and arts communities.

Who will be on the review panel?

A diverse team of panelists will be selected that will include representatives from the City of Oakland’s Department of Race and Equity and Cultural Funding Program along with Oakland community and business leaders. The review panel will evaluate all applications based on the goals and criteria listed on our Evaluation & Scoring of Applications page.

I need help with my application—who can assist me?



If you need assistance with your application, please contact Elizabeth Falkner, Activate Oakland Grant Administrator, at activate@visitoakland.com or (510) 340-4856.

How can I help get the word out about this sponsorship opportunity?

We have put together a media toolkit which has social media assets, images, email templates and more. We invite you to use these tools to spread the word!

Apply Now!

Deadline: October 12, 2023

Need Assistance?

Visit our How-to-Apply Support page for more information!