Bay Area Industrial Arts Facility Kicks off 2012 with The Crucible Experience – A Celebration of Art, Industry and Community

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — The Crucible, a nonprofit Bay Area industrial arts education facility, is kicking off its 13th year with The Crucible Experience, a celebration of the very community that makes The Crucible so successful and unique. 2012 will see a revived focus on inspiring a new wave of potential and current industrial artists, helping them ignite their inner fire.

“What better way to kick-start the new year than trying out something new?” asks Steven Young, Director of The Crucible. “With the plethora of classes, camps, exhibits and workshops there is something for everyone.”

A main tenant of The Crucible’s philosophy is to foster a collaboration of arts, industry and community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts, The Crucible promotes creative expression, reuse of materials, and innovative design, all while serving as an accessible arts venue for the general public.

“In 2012, The Crucible hopes to tell a bigger story of how industrial art is shaping and inspiring people right here in Oakland and across the country,” says Young.

As a proud member of the West Oakland community, The Crucible has allocated many tickets to local residents who might not have been able to attend otherwise, again making The Crucible a more accessible venue in which to discover new and hidden talents.

The Crucible Experience brings a renewed focus, demonstrating the moving and transformative process one can achieve when creating. “The experience of making something gets transferred into an object and the object becomes a very valuable repository of a memory,” says Kristy Alfieri, Crucible Education Director.

“People are sometimes intimidated by industrial arts, but one doesn’t have to be made of testosterone, tattooed, or a Burning Man devotee to be part of this community,” explains Jonaya Leek, Crucible Programs Associate. “Many of the students and patrons who come through our doors do so to escape from the walls of their cubicles into a mystic atmosphere.

“They come here and realize that creativity is not something you have or don’t have—but can come naturally with instruction and inspiration,” she continues. “They often become obsessed with all of the opportunities to learn, and become part of our community. You can smell the creativity. It’s exciting and addicting.”

Crucible workshops and classes are designed for anyone who has the desire and capacity to learn. Anyone has the potential to become part of and join the community of artists, makers, tinkerers, creatives, DIYers and white collar thrill-seekers that make The Crucible such a vibrant place to learn. The Crucible is also home to artist rental studios, where more than 25 artists create amazing works in a variety of mediums.

“To me, The Crucible is a place where you can challenge yourself without taking on art school debt, and nourish yourself creative self while working with a medium that is technical, and often grimy, while trying to make something that is an expression of you,” says Sabi Jay, a Crucible student and mother of a Crucible youth student.

Classes aren’t the only way community members can get involved. As a nonprofit organization, The Crucible relies on the support of the community to assist in raising awareness of industrial arts education in the Bay Area. Membership dues directly subsidize arts education programs, which provide free programs for West Oakland youth and develop innovative performances with artists from throughout the Bay Area while continuing to offer the world-class industrial arts education for all.

Additionally, The Crucible would not exist without its volunteer programs. Hundreds of volunteers help shape the spirit and community by assisting with office functions, studio work and event operations. Volunteering also provides a way to subsidize class fees, allowing for discounts for time volunteers donate.

2012 will be a banner year as The Crucible Experience renews and creates passions within the industrial arts community and beyond. With a steady stream of fireside lounges, educational camps, exhibits, Fire Arts Festivals and the always inspiring Gifty Art Sale and Open House, The Crucible looks forward to inspiring new people to become involved in the industrial arts.

To learn more about The Crucible Experience, call (510) 250-3687 or visit

About The Crucible The Crucible is an educational facility that offers Bay Area art classes in the fine and industrial arts to people at all skill levels and original Bay Area team building events. What started in 1999 in an empty 6,000 square-foot warehouse in Berkeley has now grown to a 56,000 square-foot building in the heart of West Oakland.

The Crucible offers instruction in industrial and fine art for every level from beginning and intermediate to advanced levels in formats ranging from three-hour tasters to ten-week programs. Prices vary by course and duration. Class fees include tuition, studio fees, materials, tool access and safety training. There are no shopping lists for supplies or hidden costs.

Full list of opportunities for The Crucible Experience in 2012 follows:

February 24th: Fireside Lounge: “Industrial Strength” April: 2nd – 6th: Youth & Adult “Choose Your Own Adventure Spring Camps” April 7th: “The Art of Science” Spring Open House & Student Exhibition April: 9th – 13th: Youth Fired Up Spring Break Camp May 11th: Fireside Lounge: “Made In Oakland” June 22nd: Burning Man Boot Camp Lecture & Community Night June 23rd & 24th: Burning Man Boot Camp Weekend Workshops June 25th – 29th: Youth Fired Up Summer Camp July 14 & 15th: “Playa Bound" Open House July 16th – 20th: Adult Immersion Program July 23rd – 27th: Youth Fired Up Summer Camp July 30th – August 3rd: Youth Fired Up Summer Camp / Youth Immersion Program August 6th – 10th: Youth Fired Up Summer Camp August 13th – 17th: Adult Summer Camp October 12th: Fireside Lounge: “Shape/Shift” December 15th & 16th: Gifty Art Sale & Open House


Steven Young
The Crucible