Qulture Collective Creates Safe Space for Queer Creatives

11080938_443120575852120_2338827689976668602_nBY FRANCESCA LEWIS

A group of queer small business owners in Oakland are raising funds for open a brand new space for creative people in the area. Qulture Collective will be a community space, complete with a cafe, a retail shop selling goods made by queer artisans and a gallery showcasing art by “people across the LGBTQIA spectrum from Oakland, the Bay, and beyond”. Located in downtown Oakland, the project’s mission is to “provide a central, devoted space for LGBTQIA folks to network, cultivate creativity, and develop and accomplish entrepreneurial goals.”

Qulture Collective will be a gathering hub for the queer community, holding in-house events such as art openings, film screenings and workshops. The space will also be available to members of the community to hire for their own events. This brand new safe space , which will aim for an “atmosphere of inclusion” will be all about “fostering the creative spirit” and helping “the diverse and talented queer and allied community to connect.”

The project’s Indiegogo explains in detail what the money (their goal is $50, 000) would be used for, primarily building work to transform the space into one that suits their vision. The key element of this is the cafe, which will be the main meeting space, as well as the gallery and the upstairs work spaces, with additional funds for furnishing and equipping the space.

“We envision a multifaceted workplace and shopping destination that can double as a gathering space, to strengthen the already vibrant community here,” says co-founder Alyah Baker.

The women behind this project are a pretty impressive bunch. Creative Director Alyah is an entrepreneur, freelance stylist, and classically trained dancer. Terry Sok, who was born and raised in Oakland, has a background in business management, having worked with a Fortune 500 company. Julia Wolfson, a freelance artist, translator, marketing developer and bookkeeper whose experience is in the food industry, will be in charge of “The Numbers”.  All three women own small businesses in Oakland and are keen for Qulture Collective to support local queer business owners.

“As small business owners ourselves, we are especially interested in promoting a cycle of support for queer artists and entrepreneurs. We hope that having a space like this will work to grow multiple businesses and livelihoods.”

If you want to learn more or support the campaign, check out the Indiegogo page or the Qulture Collective website for more info.

Francesca Lewis is a queer feminist writer from Yorkshire, UK. She writes for Curve Magazine and The Human Experience as well as writing short fiction and working on a novel. Her ardent love of American pop culture is matched only by her passion for analyzing it completely to death.

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