Readers, you are an eclectic bunch. This year’s top Arts & Culture stories ranged from an edifying interview with a feminist porn star, to coverage of the profoundly personal premier of Fruitvale Station, to the travesties of two local artists ripped off by corporate biters. Dispatches from maker spaces, zinesters and underground rappers broke through the click-bait riff-raff to shine light on this here Town of ours.

With such a bountiful year in the arts for Oakland, these picks make up a sumptuous sampler plate. We can’t wait to see what kind of mind-quaking, heart-breaking magic inspiration you conjure up next.

Indulge!

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Interview with a Porn Star: Lorelei Lee on sex, gender, and “Public Sex, Private Lives.”
Lorelei Lee wants to empower her viewers to come out from where sex has been barricaded by gender roles and moralistic notions of normality and prettiness. She works by example.

Two pieces about Fruitvale Station:

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So, um. I just came from “Fruitvale.” (Community Voices)
Community member Christina “Krea” Gomez reacts to Fruitvale Station with heart and heartbreak and the wisdom to make sense of those things in the wake of a devastating film.

Critiquing Critical Perspectives on “Fruitvale Station”
Eric K. Arnold dissects the media’s response to the movie, taking on allegations of impartiality aimed at the director.

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Oakulture: Chuy Gomez’ Message to Listeners, Spiritual Vibes at the New Parish, Oakland’s Southern Connection, Disco Volante’s Last Dance.
KMEL’s release of Chuy Gomez is not just a loss for the Bay Area; it signals the extinction of independent, local, quality public radio.

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Remembering Sparkly Devil (Obit)
Sparkly Devil was a legend of the Bay Area neo-burlesque movement, a comedic genius and pillar of her community.

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Annual Hiero Day Festival Honors Oakland’s Underground Hip-Hop Culture
Read to find out why Jean Quan proclaimed September 3 to be annual “Hiero Day.”

Two pieces about ripped off art:
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Oakland artist’s work was stolen for profit–and she fought back
West Elm, Neiman Marcus and FAB.com try to get away with selling holiday decorations without buying the rights to the artists’ designs.

Another ripped off Oakland artist fights back: Eddie Colla gets even with Walmart
Walmart does the same thing and tries to attribute the designs to Banksy.


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Made in Oakland: How one city turned into an art and maker mecca
This comprehensive map of Oakland’s maker scene will make you want to pick up a new hobby.

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Oakland’s Rad Dad talks about his new book, teen sex and more
Tomas Moniz might shake your preconceptions of anarchism. And fatherhood.

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Blackbird Underpinnings: A new Oakland-based intimate apparel line
Local business women launch a lingerie line with Anaïs Nin as their muse. Community swells with enthusiasm and sexiness.

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