About Pro Arts

Pro Arts Gallery is a non-profit art institution working in the visual arts, performance, music, social practice, public art, and education. For the past 44 years of operation, Pro Arts Gallery has provided numerous artists with the opportunity to experiment, take risks and develop work that wouldn’t be possible in other settings. Some of the most influential artists of the Bay Area have had landmark exhibitions at Pro Arts Gallery in the past. 

Today, we continue to champion new art practices and emerging forms of cultural production through an institutional platform which fosters collaboration and the cross-pollination of ideas. We work closely and collaboratively with artist, curators, and cultural producers to develop and realize contemporary work in all media, ranging from installation and performance to experimental music and social sculpture. Annually, we support close to 100 contemporary artists and attract a gallery audience of over 10,000. 

Pro Arts Gallery is uniquely situated within the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, a historic location in the heart of downtown Oakland. The plaza is a 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) public space. Most of the plaza is composed of “The Commons”, a raised lawn. The plaza also features “The Forum”, or amphitheater—a space for public gatherings and performances. At the center of the plaza is a single large Coast Live Oak, the symbol of the city. The plaza has been the site of various protests and civil disobedience, most notably it served as the main protest encampment for Occupy Oakland in the fall of 2011. 

We use this historical location in context, to realize annually close to 20 site-specific socially engaged projects, events, performances, and new commissions, working jointly with emerging generation of local, national and International artists.

Pro Arts Gallery is a culture hub, serving as a vibrant meeting spot for artists and the local community, and a catalyst that sparks dialogue and opens up new perspectives. All of our exhibitions and related public programs are FREE and Open to the Public. Each year, we reach over 700 children, between the ages of 4 and 14 years old, through our innovative in-school and after-school art education programs. The mission of these programs is to foster the creative and intellectual development of Oakland’s youth through transformative visual art experiences, led by professional artists.

Pro Arts is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Our operations and programs are made possible with funding, provided by numerous foundations, corporate partners and individual donors. All donations to Pro Arts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our EIN # is 94-2259269.