Bay Area

Oakland to Host Popular Internet Cat Video Festival

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On Saturday, May 11, the Great Wall of Oakland, an outdoor exhibition space in Uptown, will host the Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival

It's an offshoot of an event organized by the prestigious Walker Art Center in Minneapolis last summer.  Curators solicited nominations for the best in cat videos available on YouTube and other sites, and projected them on a giant screen.  To their surprise, more than ten thousand people showed up for the event.

"There's something going on in our culture where cats are really hot right now," says Issabella Shields, the Great Wall's executive director.

Shields and her colleagues had been looking for ways to bring crowd-sourced content to their "urban canvas" on West Grand Avenue, and when they read about the Walker's festival, they knew they'd found a match. "It's not about watching cat videos.  It's about watching cat videos together.  It's all about the community."

In addition to the cat videos, the festival includes cat-themed music, dance, and crafts, family "cativities", and pet adoptions.  Tickets go on sale March 25; the event is a benefit for the East Bay SPCA.

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