Margo Rivera Weiss passed away at home in Oakland on December 14. Margo was the child of a Peruvian father and a 2nd generation Jewish American mother, from whom they learned their love of art, community, and gardening. Margo was an incredible artist, community organizer, writer, friend and colleague, and lover of life who gave many gifts to the people who knew them.
Margo served as the Women’s Cancer Resource Center’s (WCRC) librarian, a role in which they helped many people navigate the complex system of cancer treatments and services. They then became the WCRC’s Community Engagement Manager where they brought many art shows and created inclusive programming for women of color, and non-binary, gender non-conforming and trans people. In 1998 Margo started the JanRae Community Art Center, where they curated many art openings. Margo worked at the WCRC from 1992-2017 and helped to fulfill the original vision of the WCRC to create services for those least likely to get help from traditional medical services.
Margo spent much of their life creating beautiful and inspirational artwork. They curated first Friday art events at Uptown Body & Fender. Artists, organized by Margo, working in conjunction with Uptown Body & Fender, were able to raise money to donate to local non-profits.
Margo is well known for their work in Edible East Bay. They did five covers for the magazine, and had work in every issue.
Margo believed strongly in the idea of “artists in the community.” They made two videos by as part of the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP), and was later on the board of QWOCMAP. They were also on the board of the National Institute of Artists with Disabilities in Richmond, CA., and worked on the Dia de los Muertos events at the Oakland Museum. In addition to working at the WCRC, Margo also gave classes in art for women and gender non-conforming people with cancer. Margo’s loss has profoundly touched many people, and especially their wife, Hadas Rivera Weiss. We will miss their kindness, creativity and spirit.