Alice Street Mural Project

CRP, #SupportMalonga Coalition Announce Mediation Agreement With Bay Development

In Fall 2015, the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) completed the Alice St. Mural, after two years of work. The mural reflected a new model for community engagement—dozens of interviews with cultural practitioners and neighborhood residents were completed—and represented a successful application of the city of Oakland’s underutilized anti-blight mural fund. Yet just a few months after a dynamic, rousing block party activated what had been a nondescript parking lot, word came that the lot was planned for development. The proposed…

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CRP and Local Residents Launch Petition and Fundraiser for Community Benefits from Alice Street Development

The Community Rejuvenation Project  — in solidarity with artists from the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, the Chinatown Coalition, local residents and businesses —  has launched a petition to Maria Poncel of Bay Development to demand community benefits from the development of the parking lot at 250 14th Street. In addition, the community has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to appeal the Oakland Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of the development. A protest will be held on…

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Developers: Public Art “Something That’s Not Really Needed”

Oakland’s cultural shift is real, it’s happening right now, and its impacts could be devastating from a long-term perspective – unless there is a strong, concerted effort from both the cultural community and the larger community to organize around anti-displacement and cultural resiliency efforts. That’s the short version; the longer version goes something like this: For the past decade or so, as Oakland has become more and more gentrified, the threat of displacement has loomed ever-present. The biggest impact of…

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Oakland Tribune Reports: City Council Has Only Spent a Fraction of Abatement Mural Allotment

  As CRP previously reported , Councilmember Desley Brooks (D6) is on record as telling KPFA’s Davey D, “Neighborhoods in West Oakland and East Oakland need to have public art.” Yet in an Oakland Tribune article published on Sunday, April 26, it was revealed that Brooks and her fellow Councilmembers have dragged their feet in allocating funds set aside in 2013 for abatement murals. As reporter Mike Blasky noted, “Of the $400,000 the council approved, only $14,100 has been formally allocated,…

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Alice St Mural Project Phase II Underway

Following an eight-month delay, Oakland-based muralist organization the Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) has begun work on Phase II of the Alice St. Mural Project.  On April 3rd 2015, a contract was finally signed with property owner Mark Borsuk, allowing the project to proceed as planned. Councilmember Lynette Gibson-McElhaney’s office, who assisted with contract negotiations, was invaluable during this protracted process.  “We couldn’t have moved forward without [D3 staff],” Executive Director Desi Mundo said. Though the delay altered the project’s original…

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Why Are Representatives of Oakland’s Blight-Challenged Districts Reluctant to Commission Abatement Murals?

On March 18, District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks told Hard Knock Radio’s Davey-D, “Neighborhoods in West Oakland and East Oakland need to have public art.” The Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) couldn’t agree more. In fact, as part of the Oakland Community Art Coalition, our efforts in 2012 led to the creation of a $400,000 budget line item for abatement murals in the city’s budget – 50k per Council district (plus the at-large seat). But those murals have been slow to…

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The Privatization of Public Art

Last November, then-Councilmember Libby Schaff proposed a new ordinance which required a percentage of new development–.5% for residential property, and 1% for private development—for “public art.” The ordinance further codified an existing public art program, which provides 1.5% of capital improvement projects to “commission and acquire public art.”  Yet while the existing public art fund is administered by the city’s Cultural Arts dept., the new ordinance “provides developers with the option of commissioning public art on the development site or…

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CRP Murals Chosen as Backdrops By Conscious Hip-Hop Artists

For the past four years, the Community Rejuvenation Project has been putting in work deep in the trenches of Oakland’s streets, painting murals with images and messages of upliftment, inspiration, struggle, and resistance. Recently, it’s come to our attention that several of our murals have been used as backdrops for videos by conscious rappers with a revolutionary mindset. While CRP doesn’t consider itself a political organization per se—first and foremost, we are a cultural art collective; the scope of our…

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Alice Street Mural Phase I Completed; Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Announced

Community Rejuvenation Project artists Desi Mundo and Pancho Peskador have completed Phase I of the monumental Alice Street Mural Project, capping two weeks of intensive painting which often saw the artists pulling ten-hour days. The first wall, completed earlier in July, covered a large wall facing the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts on Alice and 14th Sts., which was decorated with portraits of Malonga, dancer Carla Service, an Ohlone Indian chief and drummer, social justice activist Cephus “Uncle Bobby”…

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Alice Street Mural Project Report-Back

  After a little more than a week of painting the wall at 14th and Alice, CRP is pleased to report the wall is nearing completion. This project has been a real eye-opener; the level of interaction we’ve had with the community has been unprecedented. It’s not an exaggeration to say the mural has started to become a magnet for community-building, even before it’s completed. The project started with covering the entire wall—covered with unsightly and highly unartistic graffiti tags–with…

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