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 2014, honored the cultural and historical contributions of neighborhood residents and culture-keepers, focusing on the Afro-Diasporic community centered around the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts and the Chinese-language community centered around the Hotel Oakland. Painted on two walls, the mural prominently featured Casquelord, a Congolese dancer and drummer; Carla Service, founder of Dance-A-Vision and the Oakland Dance Festival; Tony Cerda, chief of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe of the Ohlone Nation; Chinese dragon and lion dancers; Oakland Chinatown historian Roy Chan; African-American media pioneer Jerri Lange; legendary journalist Chauncey Bailey; harpist Destiny Muhammad; innovative physically-integrated dance Axis Dance Company; Oaktown Jazz Workshop founder Kahlil Shaheed; and others.
Phase II adds Brazilian capoeirista and samba mestre Carlos Aceituno, founder of Fogo Na Roupa; Dr. Zakarya and Naomi Diouf, directors of Diamano Coura; Alice Arts Center co-founder and professor Halifu Osumare; onetime Oakland Chinatown resident and martial arts legend Bruce Lee; and many others. Funding support from the mural was provided by the Akonadi Foundation, the city of Oakland’s Cultural Arts department, District D3 Councilperson Lynette Gibson-McElhaney’s office; former Mayor Jean Quan; Hotel Oakland; Zellerbach Family Foundation; East Bay Community Foundation; and an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign.
The block party celebration marks the culmination of a project two years in the making and will feature a mural dedication ceremony and live performances from Mosheh Milon Sr., Tacuma King, Destiny Muhammad, Fogo Na Roupa, Diamano Coura, Hotel Oakland, Axis Dance, and more TBA.
In a statement, CRP Executive Director Desi Mundo said, “Just as the mural has brought together these two disparate communities, we want to gather the neighborhood and all its luminaries to celebrate themselves and the beauty that exists in front of us. This event will bring the mural to life!”
Added Service, “the Alice St. Mural project celebrates and honors the artistic and cultural diversity of the City of Oakland. A celebration to view this new work will serve to acknowledge the importance of creating art and how vital it is in remembering our history, connecting with our community, and forging new paths for the future.”
Casey Farmer, a staffer for D3, noted, “this mural unites this neighborhood. These images reflect the history and culture of Oakland, as named by residents. Their insights and their creative work garnered these three inspiring walls.”
For more information, contact CRP at CRPBayArea@gmail (dot) com.