The Laurie Pitman Award

The Laurie Pitman Award a special 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 Landis Grants and Rapid Response Fund, 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 Landis Grant applicants that would otherwise be disqualified from funding. These include: excellent projects that don’t quite fit our Landis 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 2022 recipient of the Laurie Pitman Award is Agency by Design’s Student Agency through the Arts Program that serves students at Oakland International High School.

The $5,000 Laurie Pitman Award will allow Agency by Design to integrate culturally responsive Art/Maker experiences into all 9th and 10th grade Advisory classes, reaching 200 students! The majority of the students reached have had educations disrupted by migration and/or violence. The AbD curriculum is designed to give these students the visual arts concepts they’ve missed, provide an artistic outlet for trauma, and utilize visual arts as a way to expand English language acquisition.

Congratulations to Agency by Design! We can’t wait to see your program in action in the coming year.

Check out our other grantees!