Gentrification

Reevaluating the State of the Arts in Oakland

Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Department (CAD) is severely underfunded and understaffed. According to a memo sent by CAD to the Funding Advisory Committee last November 26, current staffing levels are just one full-time employee and one temporary service contract employee. $1.2 million in grants were awarded in the last fiscal year, a number which has not seen a significant increase since before the recession. (By way of comparison, the San Francisco Art Commission handed out $1.6 million in grants in 2014-2015…

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Oakland’s Public Art Ordinance Upheld

  If you’ve been in and around downtown Oakland recently, you may have noticed the area has become proliferate with murals — even though one of Oakland’s most iconic downtown works of public art, CRP’s “The Universal Language,” has been obscured by a new high-rise ).  For most people, this is a good thing: visible art makes downtown seem friendlier and more vibrant, while offering an array of (mostly) local artists, in a dizzying blend of various styles and techniques. …

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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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