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Meet Tayleur Crenshaw and Maud Alcorn of Gold Beams in East Bay (Oakland)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tayleur Crenshaw and Maud Alcorn.

Hey we’re the founders of Gold Beams! Gold Beams curates beautifully eclectic spaces for our black community and black creatives that are dope AF.

Our signature event, Second Mondays, started when we invited seven creatives to Tayleur’s apartment to share their art. We decided to host monthly and five months/events later, there were over 50 people in her tiny apartment sharing art, eating dominos and drinking cheap beer. People we didn’t even know came to hear poetry, view film trailers, listen to stories and to see visual pieces from our community of black creatives.

We called the event Second Mondays so people could remember the date. In the beginning, before we had an Instagram, we sent mass texts every month as reminders. Some people may call this spam in 2020 lol.

May 2019, we hosted the first Second Mondays open mic at the Red Bay Coffee Roastery + venue space (couldn’t risk having any more large events at the apartment). We brought bottles of wine, hired caterers, a photographer and invited some vendors to join. Y’all we were super nervous that people weren’t going to show! Praise the lord we ended the night with 80 people, many of whom we didn’t even know!

Fast forward less than one year, we’ve hosted our largest event to date, on February 2020, in collaboration with The Black Joy Parade + Lyft hosting almost 400 people! We now curate all sorts of events including mixers, parties, talk series and creative sessions for our black community and the creatives that are doing their thing with their art!

Has it been a smooth road?
Whew, Chile! Starting a brand focused on executing dope vibes isn’t all wine and two steps… Here’s things that we constantly have to review:

#1. Money

It’s our goal to make sure that our events are affordable and accessible to our community. We also love adding details like free food and wine to make our community feel special and loved. With that said… BABY, finding the money to curate our spaces has been a journey! We constantly go back and forth to make sure that we’re staying true to what we sought out to do in the very beginning. That means we can’t rely solely on ticketing to support our growth as a business.

We decided to officiate our business by way of fiscal sponsorship under the Intersection of the Arts. This means we’re now able to receive donations and grants to help us have more events, to give people more free things and to eventually pay ourselves and our team better.

As we grow as a business, it’s super important for us to continue investing in our brand. This includes putting together budgets for legal, strategy accounting advice and beyond. We’re taking steps to further officiate our business so we can grow in Oakland and soon to tour our events to different states and countries all over the world. #Goals.

#2 Time

Both of us co-founders work a minimum of two jobs at a time to be able to not only afford to curate these events but to pay our team and to simply live here in the Bay area. To host our events, we need to have constant meetings with venue owners, our team and collaborators. We also have our own personal goals and dreams as artists. We’re both known for our writing and spoken word and work really hard to maintain our individual presence. #WhatIsSleep?

Please tell us about Gold Beams.
Again, Gold Beams is known for curating beautiful and eclectic events throughout the Bay Area for our black community and black creatives.

Our signature event, Second Mondays, sets the standard for what it means to not only host an open mic but to truly create safe and welcoming spaces for Black creatives of all mediums that are dope af!

At all of our events, we provide a vibes that are unmatched. Us being our whole and authentic selves has attracted an audience that supports and shows us so much love! We take care of everyone who walks through our doors and treats them like family. In return, we have gained hundreds of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. The family reunion vibes that we bring every month keeps us thriving and as individuals, but also helps our community grow and connect.

Having free food and wine at many of the events doesn’t hurt either ;).

Also we could not do what we do and how we do it without our bomb ass team. Shout outs to

  • Dorean Raye (@Doreanraye) our photographer
  • Tajiana (@Tajianna_) our videographer
  • Gabby (@GabbyAllong) helps us produce our events. She’s also a dope singer and guitarist.
  • Lyn (@PoetryNTings) our logistics bad gyal who is also a published author, writer and poet.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a breeding ground for Black creatives!

Every Black artist of whatever medium has either had the thought or actually hopped on that plane with their eyes set on making it big in LA.

This makes LA the ideal city for Gold Beams to continue to build out and curate spaces for the Black creatives here who crave platforms to share their art. Our events not only bring artists out… They bring out people who want to enjoy art and build community as well.

For all of these reasons and more, Gold Beams has spent the last few months scouting venues for us to bring the vibes to LA from Oakland! We’re merging our communities to continue to amplify Black talent.

Keep in touch with us. Our DMs are always open for a slide!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos taken by @DoreanRaye.

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