Public Art Policy

Legacies of Respect: Culture, Politics, Art, and the Community Mural Tradition (Part One)

Chicago’s community mural movement coincided with the emergence of the modern graffiti movement in Philadelphia and New York—underground subcultures which, like Oakland and Chicago, found their artistic voices in expressing messages born out of inner-city life, strife, resistance, and resilience. It also helped give rise to the notion of community-based art lending a sense of cultural identity and attachment to place, long before the term “creative placemaking” came into vogue in public art circles.

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Abatement Alternatives: Why Oakland Needs A Mural Program (Part Two)

In Part One of this series, the Community Rejuvenation Project’s (CRP) work and murals in general received unexpected praise from an unlikely source – a city abatement worker known as Erase, who publicly stated abatement was a waste of money, and that murals might be a better, more cost-efficient, alternative. The post went on to […]

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Abatement Alternatives: Why Oakland Needs a Mural Program (Part One)

Perhaps the highest level of praise a mural organization could receive is from a city abatement worker, who by his own estimation has been covering up graffiti for “eight hours a day, five days a week” for 28 years. Indeed, during the Community Rejuvenation Project’s recent Alice Street Symposium , an abatement worker known as […]

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Alice Street Symposium Brings Activists, Advocates, Policymakers Together

On Friday, April 7, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) presented the first in a series of planned symposia. Sponsored by the Akonadi Foundation and Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s office, the Alice Street Symposium built on an engaging event and panel discussion held during the Matatu Festival of Stories in 2016, Shifting the location to the auditorium […]

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UPDATED: Alice Street Symposium Addresses Gentrification, Displacement, and Cultural Resiliency

On April 7, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) will host the Alice Street Symposium on Community Engagement Strategies and Best Practices. The event includes a short address by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a screening of director Spencer Wilkinson’s “Alice Street Short” documentary film, presentations by CRP Executive Director Desi Mundo and Roy Chan of the Chinatown […]

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The Abatement Mural Mystery

Graffiti is a polarizing word. Rampant tagging in urban areas contributes to blight, which according to law enforcement experts, decreases property values, and invites further vandalism and illegal dumping. These urban hieroglyphs are frequently a hot-button issue for both the media and elected officials; their sensationalistic rhetoric has turned the abatement industry into a $20 […]

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Alice Street Symposium Addresses  Gentrification, Displacement, and Cultural Resiliency

On April 7, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) will host the Alice Street Symposium on Community Engagement Strategies and Best Practices. The event includes a screening of director Spencer Wilkinson’s “Alice Street Short” documentary film, two presentations, and a moderated panel discussion followed by an audience Q&A. The event’s objective is to facilitate a dialogue […]

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Another Perspective on Oakland’s Public Art Ordinance

Recently, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) addressed Oakland’s controversial public art ordinance, analyzing the implications of a since-withdrawn staff report (a copy is here) outlining proposed changes, as well as some background on the history of the ordinance itself. While the staff report’s small changes to clarify language and buttress the ordinance against lawsuits seemed reasonable, […]

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Revis(it)ing Oakland’s Controversial Public Art Ordinance

Recently, Oakland city staff proposed revisions to the controversial Percent for Art ordinance , which will be discussed at a March 14th  Community & Economic Development subcommittee meeting, a preliminary step before a full City Council hearing. Most of the changes are minor, intended to clarify fuzzy language in the ordinance. But one proposed revision is […]

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The Saga of Cleveland’s Controversial “137” Mural

Public art exists in a space between censorship, gentrification, community engagement, and notions of aesthetic value. These are the takeaways from a recent mural painted in Cleveland by CRP Executive Director and founder Desi Mundo, which became a source of controversy as well as a catalyst for a lengthy community discussion around these topics. It […]

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