Oakland’s cultural affairs manager Roberto Bedoya has won the Berresford Prize, given each year to people who contribute to the well-being of artists, a national arts funding group said.

United States Artists, the funding organization, named Bedoya a winner this year because of his significant contributions to the well-being, care and advancement of artists.

Bedoya was one of two recipients this year. The other was Portland-based Native-Hawaiian arts leader Lulani Arquette.

“They are ideal recipients of the Berresford Prize, as they represent a deep commitment to artists, placing them at the heart of their life’s work,” said United States Artists Program Director Lynnette Miranda, in a statement.

Bedoya said in an interview Friday that he has been involved in the arts ever since high school.

He grew up in a now-annexed Latino enclave of Union City called Decoto and earlier in his life created an oral history of the area.

Later he worked for Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco followed by arts work in Washington, D.C., and Tucson, Arizona. He moved back to the Bay Area to be closer to family, he said.

“It’s a really sweet and wonderful award,” Bedoya said.

It came as a surprise and is an affirmation of his career, he said.

The prize was created by several fellows of United States Artists because people who dedicate their careers to helping artists have received little recognition. The inaugural prize was given in 2019.

Berresford Prize winners receive $25,000, which Bedoya said he is not sure what he is going to do with.

One of Bedoya’s recent accomplishments, which United Starts Artists noticed, was his unveiling of Oakland’s first cultural plan in three decades.

The Berresford Prize is named after Susan Berresford, past president of the Ford Foundation, and co-founder of United States Artists.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.