Oakland is an amazing place to soak up great summer vibes. With a variety of events and activities happening throughout The Town  – there is something for everyone to enjoy. By day or by night, whether you’re looking to plan the perfect date, get together with friends or enjoy lots of family fun - Oakland is the place to be!

Plan your Summer Today!
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

Sponsorship Program Details:

  • The Activate Oakland Event Sponsorship Program supports the creation and expansion of free community events in Oakland’s commercial districts.
  • The sponsorship provides funding of $1,000-$10,000 per event with a focus on sponsoring new and small events.
  • Although funding will be allocated with a minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $10,000 per event, award amounts are expected to be $2,000-$5,000 per event. Applicants may request up to $10,000 per event but should be prepared to justify that high amount and clearly explain the significant need.
  • All events must take place in an Oakland Commercial District. Priority is given to locations and applicants from historically underserved areas:
  • Priority is given to events that are a series. Applicants that are proposing a series of events may request up to $20,000 in total for the series.
  • Events must take place between November 6, 2023 and August 31, 2024.

Click here to see the Detailed Program Description.

Application and Event Requirements


  • A completed application must be submitted online and include a detailed budget plan.

- Application Portal Opens: Thursday, September 14, 2023
- Application Deadline: Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 5:00 PM
- Late applications will not be accepted.

  • Sponsored events must be free to the public.
  • Sponsored events must take place in an Oakland Commercial District.
  • Events must have all applicable required permits for their event.
  • Funding recipients must provide a final report describing how funds were used and the impacts of the event.


Eligible Applicants:

  • Resident
  • Business
  • Community Group
  • Artist/Performer
  • Business Group
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Anyone with a connection to the Oakland community that shares our program goals!


Eligible Projects Include:

  • Music performance  
  • Block party 
  • Exercise or yoga class  
  • Art making 
  • Art show  
  • Pop-up shop
  • Outdoor market  
  • Movie/film showing 
  • Fashion show
  • Dance class 
  • Kids’ story time, games, or activities 
  • Outdoor karaoke 
  • Sport lesson and tournament 
  • Spoken word performance 
  • Cooking demonstration 
  • District walking tour  
  • Poetry reading
  • And so much 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 at 5:00 PM. 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.

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!

How can I get help with my application?

We continue to update our How-to-Apply Support page regularly, so be sure to start there to find answers to many questions that we have received. If you need further assistance, please contact Elizabeth Falkner, Activate Oakland Grant Administrator, at activate@visitoakland.com.