Gentrification

The Commodification of Public Art (Op/Ed)

Recently, Pacific Standard magazine  wrote an article about public art in Oakland. Specifically, the story addressed mural brokers, middlemen who connect fat cat developers with artistic talent – for a fee.  Mural brokers, the article explains, handle logistics such as price negotiations, choosing artists, prepping walls for painting, and handling insurance coverage – “everything necessary to make the mural happen except paint it.” The article correctly points out the cultural cachet of murals, and their historical connection to illegal street art,…

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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 at the Elihu Harris State Building lent the proceedings a more formal, official air, which underscored the political relevancy of the topics discussed. Assemblyman Bonta…

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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 between community leaders, arts practitioners, funders, and public officials focusing on community engagement strategies using arts to address issues of gentrification, displacement, and resiliency. As…

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CRP featured in Matatu Festival of Stories

The Community Rejuvenation Project is pleased to announce the screening of “Alice Street Short,” an advance look at the upcoming documentary “Alice Street,” during the Matatu Festival of Stories. The screening, which takes place on October 13 at Red Bay Coffee in the Fruitvale District, will also include dance performances by Carla Service’s Dance-a-Vision and Lenora Lee Dance, as well as a panel discussion featuring filmmaker Spencer Wilkinson, CRP Executive Director and muralist Desi Mundo, Chinatown historian Roy Chan, community…

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Community Rejuvenation Project Announces Crowdfunding Campaign, New Trailer for Alice St. Documentary

Acclaimed muralist collective Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP) has announced a crowdfunding campaign to help complete the documentary “Alice Street.” The organization is looking to raise at least $12,000 by July 25, $8000 of which will be matched by the East Bay Community Foundation’s East Bay Fund for Artists. In conjunction with the announcement of the crowdfunding campaign, CRP also announced the launch of AliceStreetFilm.com and the latest trailer for the documentary. Sponsorship packages, which range from a $25 mug to a $1000 personal portrait, are…

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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 all started when Mundo traveled to Cleveland to give a talk for Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), a non-profit arts advocacy group. The…

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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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Cultural Resilience, Community Engagement, and Addressing Displacement from an Equity Standpoint

In the wake of the recent completion of the mural dedicated to murdered painter Antonio Ramos and Soul of Oakland and OCNC rallies to defend Oakland’s culture, CRP painted the outside walls of community organization Qilombo as part of an anti-gentrification rally. Most of the massive wall, which features portraits of Assata Shakur,Thomas Sankara, and Amed Sekou Toure against a red black and green backdrop, was done in just one day. Qilombo is currently facing another eviction attempt, this time from…

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