One of the most committed resources in sound, Women’s Audio Mission (WAM), a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and creative technology, has announced the opening of an additional training location in Oakland. The new WAM training center is located in the Fruitvale District in the Unity Council building (1900 Fruitvale Ave.), where fall training programs will begin in September 2017.
WAM stands as the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women, providing free after-school training and mentoring to thousands of women and girls each year (96% low income, 90% girls of color).
According to WAM, less than 5% of the people creating and shaping all of the sounds, messages and media heard in daily life are women. WAM was created to address this issue, as well as the decline in women enrolling in college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) programs (a 70% drop since 2000, according to a 2015 UCLA study). Across the San Francisco Bay Area, WAM trains over 1,500 women and girls per year in creative technology and music/media production.
The success of WAM’s training programs has generated enormous interest outside of San Francisco, particularly in Oakland. “The City of Oakland is excited to have Women’s Audio Mission and their groundbreaking training programs in our city,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Using music and media to pique students’ interests in STEM studies and careers, WAM inspires and motivates underserved girls and provides innovative supports to ensure they thrive academically.”
Audio manufacturer Audient has donated audio interfaces to the Oakland center to equip the entire classroom, while Mackie donated speakers and a console for the studio. The new location is within walking distance to eight Oakland Unified School District school partners and accessible by public transportation to seven additional schools, allowing WAM to reach an additional 10 schools in Oakland in 2017-2018.
“WAM is thrilled to establish this anchor in the Fruitvale District, where we have been partnering with underserved Oakland schools for over five years now,” says WAM Founder and Executive Director Terri Winston. “With so many partner schools within walking distance, we can now easily reach the schools and girls that need our programs the most.”