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When you see POW! and WOW! what comes to mind? Caped community-defending superheroes? If so, then you’re on the right track when considering the non-profit foundation POW! WOW!. Drawing a link to masked crime fighters is not how POW! WOW!’s name originated, though. POW! = the impact that art has on people and WOW! = the reaction people have when seeing art. Together, POW WOW = a Native American term describing a gathering celebrating culture, music, and art. People gathering to create and celebrate art and culture? Sounds like community-promoting superhero work to us, and it makes us want to shout, “POW! WOW!”
This month’s PLAE ambassadors, Joaquin Zuniga-Perlstein and his father Jeff, are informal ambassadors of the arts in their hometown city of Oakland, too. Joaquin is a middle school visual artist who attends school surrounded by creative classmates and talented teachers all day every day at Oakland School for the Arts (OSA). Jeff owns a local sneaker shop called SoleSpace that by day is a shoe store with access to some of the hottest styles around and by night becomes a venue for all sorts of events, showcasing the work and interests of local artists, designers, and activists.