.Most Socially Engaged Curator

Anyka Barber

At a time when many people are being priced out of Oakland, Anyka Barber has stepped up to become an advocate for The Town’s artists and creative professionals, especially those of color. Barber is the founder of Betti Ono Gallery (1427 Broadway, Oakland, BettiOno.com), where she curates exhibitions that feature diverse up-and-coming artists whose perspectives are often missing from mainstream art spaces. Highlights from her past programming have included Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s solo show and viral anti-sexual harassment campaign, Stop Telling Women to Smile, and Amaryllis DeJesus-Moleski and Carrie Kholi’s collaborative exhibition, Amen, which centered on the experiences of queer women of color. In addition to running her gallery, Barber’s current endeavors include political organizing. Earlier this summer, she launched the Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition, a group of gallery owners, curators, artists, and art patrons that lobbies the City of Oakland to make sure that art spaces stay open even as rents soar.

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