Oakland is Proud/Power to the People/Development without Displacement
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Elena Serrano, Program Director of EastSide Arts Alliance, will host a small group accompanying Rick Lowe as we tour five sites on International Boulevard in Oakland. Afterwards, we will gather at EastSide Cultural Center to explore the efforts of Eastside and other Oakland community organizations to shape development to benefit existing residents.
Oakland is currently planning a new Bus Rapid Transit route along International Boulevard. Using grants from ArtPlace America and the National Endowment for the Arts, EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA) will be working to create and activate 5 cultural plazas on currently blighted properties along a 7-mile stretch of the route. Each of these plazas will be planned and implemented with a different set of neighborhood partners and each of which will be inaugurated with a unique, artist-led event before ESAA turns over the programming of the plaza fully to the neighborhood partners. The plazas will then be used for ongoing cultural events, marketplaces, video screenings, and other community gatherings. The major theme driving the work is “Development Without Displacement.”
Tour stops along International Boulevard will include: 23rd Ave. and the EastSide Cultural Center; the High Street parking lot of Casa Jimenez Restaurant where new murals and eating/sitting spaces are being planned; the 57th Ave. abandoned historic Safeway corporate headquarters with partners East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) and Oakland Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative (OSNI); the 81st-87th Ave. vacant lot nicknamed “the Living Room” with Allen Temple; and a 94th Ave. vacant lot which is being envisioned as a microbusiness incubator. The tour will end at EastSide Cultural Center.
EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA) is a collective of artists and community organizers of color who live and work in the San Antonio district of East Oakland, California. Founded in 1999, their mission is to unite art with activism to work for community empowerment and cultural development, and to build bridges between the disenfranchised, racially and ethnically divided communities that reside in our immediate neighborhood and in the broader East Bay.
Image: KQED Arts