Annual music festival aims to shine positive light on Oakland

11 Aug

By Tuseda A. Graggs, shades Magazine

The 2010 Art & Soul Festival will produce about $650,000 and has become a self-supporting entity – not using any city funding. Over the past 10 years, is is estimated that about a half-million total attendees have come through the festival gates.

Those thousands of people can generate substantial foot traffic on weekends – a time when the city’s downtown is not always bustling. Merchants around the event also can reap the benefits of the festival at a time when some are suffering as a result of the spate of violence following protests in July after former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted on manslaughter charges for shooting an unarmed Oscar Grant on a train platform in Oakland Jan. 1, 2009.

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