Tina Blaine “Bean” - Executive Director
Rhythmix Cultural Works

Rhythmix Cultural Works is a community arts non-profit in Alameda that produces and hosts events, classes, and workshops, working with artists, dancers, and musicians from all over the world. Its Performance, Art & Learning (PAL) program, a youth arts education program in partnership with the Alameda and Oakland Unified School Districts, has served over 15,000 youth since 2012.

Tina Blaine, executive director of Rhythmix since 2010, is known to everyone as Bean.

A performing musician for more than 30 years, Bean has traveled in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. She has taught at Carnegie Mellon University, has helped develop museum exhibits in the U.S and Europe, and is part of the world music ensemble known as Maze Daiko. She is passionate about community, learning, art, and culture. Bean took some time out of her busy day to discuss Rhythmix, the PAL program, and all of the exciting programming coming up at RCW.

“We wanted to make sure that the world music and culture found in PAL was made available to every 3rd grade class in Alameda, because for some students, this may be their only exposure to different, and perhaps their own, heritages and cultures,” Bean says about the program. “PAL was designed to create a sense of pride in students’ heritage, foster awareness about diversity and different cultures, and give them a sense of empowerment. And, it’s a great way for kids to develop empathy and understanding for others,” she says.

Understandably, Bean is very proud of the PAL program, which is offered at no cost to schools, and has seen participant numbers triple over the last seven years. During October 2019, PAL student participants will get to experience Japanese Taiko drumming, Polynesian music and dance, music of the Caribbean, and West African music and dance.

In her 12 years at Rhythmix, Bean has seen a lot of kids involved in the program offerings grow up, gain confidence, and become young leaders.

“It’s a great way in which to serve the community,” she says.

Another popular program at Rhythmix includes the Island Arts Series, which will feature Balinese music and dance with Gamelan Sekar Jaya on September 21, 2019, and will end its season on November 9, 2019 with the Rhythmix in-house ensemble, Maze Daiko, showcasing the music of Japanese Taiko Drums mixed with violin, santur and marimba.

There are always classes, events, and gallery exhibits happening at Rhythmix.

Currently, artist Ginny Parsons’ show “Alameda as Arcadia” can be found in the Rhythmix K Gallery. Diaspora Voiced, a Bay Area Juried Art Exhibition will be up in the gallery from September 9, 2019 to November 1, 2019. Pete Elman’s Great Voices of Rock and R&B takes place on Thursday nights from September 12-October 17, 2019. You will find Cuban Salsa, Capoeira, Karate and Belly Dancing classes at Rhythmix as well.

If you missed the Love Our Island Art Walks ​ over the past two years, featuring art installations in empty storefront windows and live music on the streets, you are in luck, as there are another round of Island City Waterways art walks ​ focusing on the history of Alameda slated to start in the spring of 2020. They will take place all over the island, including the West End.

When asked about her favorite thing about Alameda, Bean is quick to answer.

“My favorite thing is that I’m surrounded by water in a small, friendly community. Sometimes I feel like I live in Mayberry in the middle of the Bay Area. I’m lucky to live on this island, and appreciate that Rhythmix has been able to contribute to the island’s sense of community. Alameda is a very special place because of the people who live and work here -- they care a lot about the community and are generous, not just with their money, but also with their time.”

Rhythmix Cultural Works is always looking for event and program volunteers. Sound like something you’d like to do? Email To learn more about Rhythmix visit their website here:

Photo: Rhythmix Cultural Works/Maurice Ramirez


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