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Earn Your Way to FREE Classes at the Crucible in Oakland

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You could be building this fire breathing dragon thing!

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.

Friday Nights at the Crucible
Friday, February 26th 6:30-9:30pm
1260 7th Street at Union St. [West Oakland BART Stop is 2 blocks away]

Event Page
Volunteer Info

Hat tip to, Photo via:

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Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler

Andrew is an East Coast transplant from Virginia hamming it up in San Francisco without any intention of leaving. Having worked every typical job from Bike Shop Employee to Bartender to Ad Agency Hotshot, to Dotcom Layoff he now busts his ass covering the "weird things to do" beat for gracious local audiences at and rallies the Western Addy/Lower Haight/Panhandle neighborhoods into action at His work was published in a real, paper magazine one time. One day he might even figure out how to make money from it.


  1. February 26, 2010 at 11:14 am — Reply

    Hey — thanks for the shout out. One thing, though — you don’t have to be 21 to come to the Friday Nights at The Crucible event — only to drink. The Crucible welcomes folks of all types and ages. We have youth classes and spring break camps. There are also spring break workshops for adults. SO — ya’ll come and gather around the fire — it’s a great community and you’ll find many ways to fan the flames of your creativity!

    • Andrew Dalton - Aggressive Panhandler
      March 1, 2010 at 9:18 am — Reply

      Thanks for clearing that up, Jan. I’m still drawing up the blueprints for a giant fire-breathing art installation, but I’ll make it over there one day soon!

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