Now Playing

Making Waves: 100 Artists Putting the East Bay on the Map

A master list of musicians, artists, writers, dancers, directors, actors, and poets shaping the culture, all from the East Bay.



(1 of 12)


(2 of 12)


(3 of 12)

Boots Riley, with Jermaine Fowler and Terry Crews

Photo: Pamela Gentile/SFFILM

(4 of 12)

Daveed Diggs with spoken-word artist Rafael Casal in Blindspotting

Photo: Ariel Nava/Lionsgate

(5 of 12)

Nijla Mu'min

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

(6 of 12)

Marcus Gardley in Black Odyssey

Photo: Devin Berne/Cal Shakes

(7 of 12)

Sadie Barnette

(8 of 12)

Work by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

Photo: Sana Javeri Kadri

(9 of 12)

Work by Woody de Othello

Photo: Courtesy of the artist/Jessica Silverman Gallery

(10 of 12)

Work by Marisha Farnsworth

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

(11 of 12)

Tommy Orange

(12 of 12)


96. Tanya Chianese
Movement maker | Oakland
When she debuted with 2015’s Cookie Cutter, Chianese (left), the 29-year-old director of Oakland’s Ka·nei·see Collective, already possessed complex abstraction, refreshing humor, and insightful theatricality. Who else could use toilet-paper rolls as props, as in 2016’s Readymade, then about-face to this April’s Nevertheless, a scathing referendum on sexual harassment? Many try, but few succeed like Chianese.

97. Randee Paufve
Cutting-edge choreographer | Emeryville
She could rest on her modern-dance laurels—a 2015 Izzie Award, a 2016 Theater Bay Area Award, presenters like the Joyce SoHo—but Paufve, 57, prefers to take risks, from summoning pagan forces in 2017’s XO, performed by Paufve Dance at the Joe Goode Annex, to choreographing Timon of Athens for Cutting Ball Theater this spring.

98. Marc Brew
Dance integrator | Oakland
A leader in physically integrated dance for 30 years, Oakland’s Axis Dance Company is breaking more ground under the leadership of Australian-born Brew, 41. Known for collaborations with artists like filmmaker Katrina McPherson and the hip-hop-classical group Ensemble Mik Nawooj, Brew lends the already progressive Axis troupe an international, avant-garde framework.

99. Graham Lustig
Mash-up maestro | Oakland
Since taking the helm at Oakland Ballet Company in 2010, Lustig, 63, has gotten the long-struggling company back on its pointe-shoe toes. He’s also expanded its horizons with the ballet–turf dance mash-up Oakland-esque, this spring’s ballet-Bharatanatyam version of The Jungle Book, and East Bay Dances, an eclectic spring festival now in its fourth year.

100. Antoine Hunter
Dance maverick | Oakland
The dancer and director of Urban Jazz Dance Company has performed with Robert Moses’ Kin, Sins Invalid, and companies around the globe. But Hunter, who is deaf, is equally noteworthy for founding the annual Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013, for which he received a special Izzie Award this March.



Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco 

Have feedback? Email us at
Email Ian A. Stewart at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Ian A. Stewart on Twitter @IanAStewart