AOK is proud to introduce a special new annual $5,000 award, named after long-standing AOK Board member Laurie Pitman. Laurie served on our Board for 15 years, acting as Board President for over half of that time. She contributed significantly to every aspect of the organization, especially by building the systems AOK needed in order to grow. Laurie’s driving purpose was her vision of providing every single kid in Oakland with a great arts education every single week.
The annual Laurie Pitman Award has been created to honor Laurie’s invaluable contributions and to mark her retirement from AOK. Thank You Laurie!
As with AOK’s Project Mini-Grants, the Laurie Pitman Award will fund hands-on arts education programs serving students who attend financially oppressed Oakland public schools. The award is designed to recognize exceptional Project Mini-Grant applicants that would otherwise be disqualified from funding. These include: excellent projects that don’t quite fit our Project Mini-Grant guidelines; outstanding projects that have been required, per our guidelines, to take one year off from funding; or exemplary past recipients that may not have applied in a given year.
We are delighted to announce that the inaugural recipient of the Laurie Pitman Award is The TOaG Jazz Clinics program that serves the Oakland High School Jazz Band.