People who like Oakland seem to like it because they think it has a certain grit that the wine-and-cheese-shop-lined streets of San Francisco are be missing. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Oaktown and I cannot claim to be very Oaklandish, but every now and then there’s an event going on over there that makes me consider hopping on BART for a little East Bay Adventure. The Crucible, a “non-profit collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community” is one such place I’ve been meaning to check out.
Basically, the Crucible is a continuing education center for people who want to go back to school to learn how to turn raw materials and scrap metal into post-industrial pieces of art like the fire vortex built for last year’s Fire Arts Festival or maybe just make a neon sign for their home bar. They teach classes in everything from crafty subjects like ceramics and jewelry making to technical stuff like welding and glass blowing.
That said, some of the more technical classes can get pricey, but if you’re willing to help out around the center you can earn your way to FREE classes. Once a month on Sundays, for example, they have a Bike Fix-a-thon where the Bay Area’s grown-up bike nerds can come to teach the youth how to fix their own bicycles. The kids get to work their way towards a new bike and big kids get to earn credits that can be put towards classes. Everyone gets FREE pizza.
If you’re considering volunteering then I suggest you check out the Volunteering page on their site which has additional details on how you can donate your time and how much credit you can expect to earn with them. And if you’re still not sure about the organization, then they’re holding a FREE 21+ open house tomorrow night where you can take a look around, observe some blacksmithing and welding demos while enjoying discount adult beverages.