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The Digital Arts and Culinary Academy (DACA) is a state of the art facility designed to give teens an opportunity to learn and grow, while having a good time with instructors and fellows members.



Monday - Friday 10:00pm to 6:30pm

Saturdays 11:00am to 3:30pm (when events are scheduled)


If you would like to set up an appointment to see the facility, please call us at (510) 615-5807, or email us at info@dacaoakland.com.



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Take a look at some of the photos of our center by clicking on any of the above photos. For more photos, please check out our Facebook page. Also, take a look at videos made by some of our teens on our YouTube channel.





Claytoven Richardson PhotoClaytoven Richardson

Digital Audio Instructor & Piano Instructor

(Recreation Specialist II PPT)

Claytoven has worked on hundreds of projects throughout his 30-year career. Constantly in demand as one of the top session vocalists, his voice can be found on albums featuring GRAMMY winning artists such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, as well as, on popular video games like Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore (Versions 1 & 2). He has also written for and produced artists such as Patti Austin, Young Jeezy, and Charlie Wilson.


Currently, Claytoven is teaching at San Francisco State University for the Music Recording Industry Department. From the fruits of those labors he has penned the book, The Professional Studio Vocalist.



Chef Laurence Jackson PhotoChef Laurence Jackson

Culinary Arts Instructor

(Recreation Specialist II)

Chef Laurence Jackson's career started in 1980 when he graduated from the California Culinary Academy. He went to work for Almelio's Restaurant in San Francisco, which was a landmark destination. Later, he went to the Metropol in Berkeley, then The American Hawaii Cruise Line from 1983-1984. In 1987 he started at the Nikko Hotel and became their Executive Chef.

Chef Jackson has received awards including: Quady Wine Competition first place 1990 and second in 1999; March of Dimes in 1995; and, American Food & Wine 1999. While at Jordan`s in the Claremont he won the AAA Four Diamond Award for dining 1997-2004. Chef Jackson currently teaches at Laney College in their Culinary Department.



Scott Marsh PhotoScott Marsh

Digital Audio Instructor & Guitar Instructor

(Recreation Specialist I)

Scott Marsh is a self-taught musician who specializes in the composition of electronic and pop music through digital audio workstations such as Reason, Pro-Tools, Logic Pro, and Sonar. He has been writing and playing music for 10 years and has been involved in making YouTube Music videos with his band DUM. The band has released two full-length albums and one EP album within the last five years. DUM's YouTube channel has gained over 2 million views, along with recognition from celebrity music artists such as Nicki Minaj, Kesha, Katy Perry, B.O.B., and La Roux.



Eric Flood PhotoEric Flood

Digital Video & Digital Audio Assistant Instructor

(Recreation Aide)

Eric Flood is currently a student at Laney College, studying film production. During his studies at the Fremont Media Academy in Oakland, he gained four years of video experience and education. Eric has since gained another year of experience during his involvement with many other independent video projects. Though he wants to gain more skills while teaching at DACA, sharing learned skills to help others to grow is his main goal.



Center Director

Kola Thomas


Supervising Naturalist

Stephanie Benavidez


Director of Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development

J Nicholas Williams, Director of Parks & Recreation


Our Founding Angels

Desley Brooks, Oakland City Council Member - District 6
Clara Garzon, Former Legislative Aide to Council Member Desley Brooks
Patricia Brooks, Former Administrative Aide to Council Member Desley Brooks






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