CRP Blog & Updates

As Development Threatens Displacement, Oakland Artists Fight for Cultural Equity

As CRP previously reported, the September 3 kick-off of the public engagement phase of the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan (DOSP), followed the same week by a SPUR report outlining “big ideas,” raised community concerns about displacement and exclusion. None of those ideas, it seemed, addressed displacement, affordability, or maintaining diversity, and arts and culture seemed an afterthought at best. A second meeting, held October 19, did little to dispel those concerns. The evening began with a speak-out to defend Oakland’s arts and…

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Mural Artists Remain Resolute In The Face of Tragedy

It’s the worst-case scenario for a mural artist: to be the victim of deadly violence while painting on public streets. But the muralists who witnessed the shooting death of Antonio Ramos say the tragic incident may have been shocking and horrific, but hasn’t deterred them from continuing to work on the third installment in the “Oakland Superheroes” series being painted under freeway overpasses in West Oakland. “Public art… is a powerful way to engage the public,” said Amana Harris, Executive Director…

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Big Ideas for Oakland’s Downtown Mostly Exclude Artists (Op/Ed)

Retaining the character, flavor and cultural identity of Oakland should be a Big Idea. But in an urban planning process which appears to be completely run by developers and consultants, apparently with the blessing of the pro-development administration of Mayor Libby Schaff, broadly diverse voices of the artistic and creative community may have been all but shut out of that process. As CRP previously noted, the development community has already taken aim at the arts, by filing a lawsuit this…

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West Coast Journeys: A Trenton Artist Visits Oakland

(Guest blog by Kasso) In February 2015, I finally made my way to the West Coast, after years of talking about visiting. A few weeks before my scheduled takeoff, my friend and artist, Leon Rainbow, told me about an organization based in Oakland, CA that did similar work to that of SAGE Coalition. The Community Rejuvenation Project, or CRP for short, is a pavement to policy 501(c.)3 non-profit organization that cultivates healthy communities through public art, beautification, education & celebration. I…

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Developers Vs. Art (Op/Ed)

  This past July, the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area (BIA) – a developer’s club, whose members includes realtors, construction companies, mortgage lenders, and building manufacturers—joined forces with conservative legal activists Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) to challenge a recent Oakland public art ordinance. The PLF filed a lawsuit on the BIA’s behalf in federal courts, alleging Oakland committed a civil rights violation in enacting the ordinance, which expands current percent for art requirements to private (1%) and residential…

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Alice St Mural Block Party Honors Cultural Pioneers, Dance Legends

Oakland’s Malonga Arts Center is known for the sounds of drumming and dance emanating from within; this past Saturday, those sounds came from the parking lot across the street. Culminating a project two years in the making, Oakland-based cultural arts collective Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) celebrated the completion of Phase II of its Alice Street Mural Project with a vibrant, joyous block party June 6, held in the parking lot at Alice and 14th Sts., surrounded by the project’s four…

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CRP Announces Alice St. Mural Project Block Party June 6

Nearly two years in the making, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP)’s Alice St. Mural recently completed Phase II of its production. The massive wall prominently features figures of cultural importance in the history of the Alice Arts Center/Malonga Center for the Arts, as well as Filipino dancers and onetime Oakland Chinatown resident and kung-fu icon Bruce Lee (representing the Hotel Oakland’s Chinese-language constituency).This fourth and final wall finishes the transformation of a blighted parking lot littered with graffiti tags and…

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Rethinking the Abatement Industrial Complex from a Public Art Policy Framework

Since its founding in 2007, the Community Rejuvenation Project has sought to transform communities with holistic, vibrant, and uplifting murals which engage and inspire viewers. A large part of our work, however, has been overcoming negative perceptions of street art, which is often linked to vandalism and youth crime. We have also seen the need for sounder, saner, and more sensible policy around public art and graffiti abatement, as well as for more communication and better cooperation between all stakeholders…

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Ken Houston and the Fallacy of the Abatement-Industrial Complex

Fourteen months ago, in January 2014, self-proclaimed “community advocate” and wanna-be Oakland Mayoral candidate Ken Houston addressed a roomful of business owners, mass transit corporate executives, high-ranking police officers, journalists and a sprinkling of local and state elected officials or their representatives, invited on behalf of the East Oakland Beautification Council, a community initiative developed under the auspices of the Turner Construction Group (on whose website the group’s minutes appear), a major developer whose past projects include the Fox Theater and…

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CRP Announces Block Party to Celebrate Completion of Alice St. Mural

For Immediate Release – May 6, 2015 (Oakland, CA) – The Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP), an Oakland-based non-profit whose mission is to uphold and uplift community through holistic murals, has announced a block party to celebrate the completion of Phase II of its historic Alice St. Mural. The event will be held in the parking lot at 14th and Alice Sts. in downtown Oakland (1443 Alice St.) from 12-4pm on Saturday, June 6. Phase I of the project, completed in…

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