about us

51Oakland was established in 2011 by Yoshi Akiba, co-owner of Yoshi’s Jazz Club, and Jason Hofmann, an Oakland-based entrepreneur and former educator who has been involved in philanthropic efforts benefiting youth since 2001.
51Oakland Founders Yoshi Akiba and Jason Hofmann

51Oakland Founders Yoshi Akiba and Jason Hofmann

Akiba and Hofmann both recognized a serious need in the Oakland community that wasn’t being adequately met – the result of substantial funding cuts to education at the state and federal levels. “Oakland children do not have enough access,” said Akiba, referring to funding cuts for Arts and Music programming in Oakland, “We want to create opportunities for them that have been lost.” By working closely with Oakland public school educators and administrators, parents, and involved community members, 51Oakland strives to provide students access to mentoring, nurturing, instruction and training by dedicated professional artists and musicians, thereby filling the gaps in Arts & Music opportunities caused by spending cuts, and re-engaging the full potential of Oakland youth. 51Oakland is committed that all young people in Oakland Public Schools have equitable access to Art & Music Education as a catalyst for supporting students in all aspects of social-emotional wellness, thereby increasing their academic and developmental success, self-expression, relationships and confidence as civic members and global citizens. The mission, simply put, is to inspire student learning, hard work, discipline and self-esteem by strengthening the role of Music and the Arts in the Oakland Public School system. 51Oakland is a grassroots organization being built by, of, and for the community.