Pro Arts @ the commons is a public program that consists of a series of site-specific projects, interventions, outdoor screenings and transient experiences that take place in the immediate vicinity of Pro Arts Gallery – the historic Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.
The 160,000-square-foot public space of the plaza is situated in the heart of bustling, downtown Oakland, where San Pablo Avenue converges with Broadway and 14th Street. Named in honor of Frank H. Ogawa, a civil rights leader and the first Japanese American to serve on the Oakland City Council, the plaza is the seat of government and thus a site for political rallies, civic unrest and protests. In the Fall of 2011, the plaza attracted national attention as the site for Occupy Oakland. The public space of the plaza includes the impressive, beaux-arts building of Oakland City Hall; “The Commons” – a raised lawn; “The Forum” amphitheater—a space for public gatherings and performances; and at the center of the plaza, the single large Coast Live Oak, the symbol of the city.
In 2017, the Great Wall of Oakland became a program of Pro Arts, moving its outdoor architectural projection site, dedicated to the public presentation of film, video, and moving image arts, to Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. This program continues to engage the Oakland and Bay Area community in ongoing public projections, using cutting-edge technology to bring art of the highest caliber to our region.
Pro Arts @ the commons program is developed in coordination with the Public Art Program and the Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Oakland. Projects and experiences are commissioned and realized in collaboration between Pro Arts Gallery and local, national and International artists, working in all contemporary media.