1:00 - 3:00
Hear from the artists, activists and organizers of the movement to archive the 1,000s of art works found on the streets of Oakland after the June 2020 uprisings, which protested the murder of George Floyd. The talk centers on the art found in the book Painting the Streets: Oakland Uprising in the time of Rebellion and accompanies an exhibition of reproductions in the African American Center.
Elena Serrano - Program Director and founding member of the EastSide Arts Alliance Collective. Serrano is a cultural strategist and community organizer. As Program Director for EastSide Arts Alliance she coordinates community and cultural events and the annual Malcolm X JazzArts Festival (currently in its 22nd year!). She is also overseeing EastSide Arts Alliance’s fundraising efforts. Serrano has over 40 years working in all aspects of non-profit arts management including work at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley and the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in downtown Oakland. Currently, she is helping to lift up Oakland’s cultural hubs, serving communities of color, as sites for power building and community self-determination.
Leslie Lopez, known as "DIME", is an interdisciplinary artist, born and raised in Oakland CA, she's well known for her funky graffiti letters, colorful murals, and culture work. She has a passion for painting in the streets with community, and creating beautiful, yet powerful, public art in the barrio. Dime comes from a humble, hardworking family whose parents migrated from Sinaloa and Michoacan, Mexico, and was introduced to murals and to tagging graffiti at a young age. Her work is heavily influenced by her upbringings as a first gen Chicana, her Mexican culture, and her life experiences as a brown girl growing up in East Oakland. She has exhibited her work internationally --in galleries, museums, apparel, publications and fashion. Dime is a founding member of Few and Far Women. She is a member of BSK Bomb Squad Kingz (est1985) and part of the collective core of EastSide Arts Alliance- where she developed her commitment and love for serving the people. She has worked collaboratively with artists and communities from all over the globe using all different mediums- including printmakers and artists like Emory Douglas, Juan Fuentes, Malaquias Montoya, Rupert Garcia, Jesús Barraza, and Xochitl Nevel Guerrero. Dime is a natural storyteller, who has a passion for using art to heal, and uplift underserved communities of color! You can catch Dime with her husband, and 2 boys supporting local events, car shows, and fundraisers or cruising in a 1973 Chevy Caprice throughout the Bay!
Ashara Ekundayo is a Black feminist, Detroit-born independent curator, social practice artist, creative industries entrepreneur, cultural strategist, and founder working across arts, community, government, and social innovation spaces. Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners, LLC she designs and manages multidimensional international projects and fosters collaborative relationships through the use of mindfulness and permaculture principles to bring vision to life and create opportunities “in the deep end,” often with unlikely allies. Her creative arts practice epistemology requires an embodied commitment to recognizing joy in the midst of struggle. Currently, Ashara serves as the Founder/Steward at Artist As First Responder and sits on the Advisory Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music and the Global Fund for Women “Artist Changemaker Program.” Her media projects include BLATANT - a multi-disciplinary, ongoing forum presented in collaboration with the Museum of the African Diaspora as well as a published maga(zine) of the same name that excavates, documents, and archives the stories of present-day and next generation cultural workers whose art practices heal communities and save lives.
Keena Azania Romano exercises her creative mind through the exploration of diverse artistic mediums as a way to engage and understand individual and collective purpose. Romano received her BFA from Pomona College then returned to her native Bay Area to pursue a career in the Arts. Her Murals can be spotted from Sacramento, California to Oaxaca, Mexico. Inspired by cultural rituals and practices, Romano combines spirituality with urban experience to produce work that draws upon the quest for a greater understanding of intersectional beauty in this world. She fuses traditional native arts with contemporary inner-city techniques to reflect a new language that encourages the healing and empowerment process between community members and their environments. Her style is described as “vibrant and insightful”. She aspires to travel and create a colorful trail of art by exploring the modern Diaspora based on her multi-ethnic experience.
For over two decades Kufue has been providing Hip Hop culture to young people from California to the East Coast. He moved from the east coast in junior high and grew up painting in Oakland and the larger Bay Area. Since graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in Behavioral Sciences in 2000, Kufue’s professional trajectory has been consistently focused on inner city youth, from the ages of 12 -21 years of age – providing youth development services and facilitating Hip Hop workshops, Ethnic Studies and Africana Studies classes in community and school settings, reaching the most disengaged youth. Since 2005, Kufue has worked at a local non-profit in Oakland as an Urban Arts Instructor, life coach, and manager. The success of his work has propelled the organization to allow him to develop the Get Active Program to increase the organization’s capacity to effectively engage the hardest to reach students, in terms of training and mentoring others to carry the baton of social justice and cultural empowerment with the youth. Kufue went back to San Francisco and received his master’s in Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State, based off of his work in the community using spray can art as a tool for youth development. The campaign to use his art form as a tool of empowerment and social justice has spawned a larger contingent of “writers” to participate in his efforts to change the public opinion on this art form as well as its potential to educate, heal, and save lives.
Zoë Boston is an award winning, multifaceted artist who has been creating since youth. LA born and Upstate NY raised, she now resides in Oakland, CA. Zoë’s inspirations come from God, life, love, music, dance, and more. She’s dedicated to being authentic, which in-turn, transforms her work into visual and sonic waves of passion expressed on walls and canvas, as well as through music and movement. In her emerging career, she has exhibited her art in the prestigious De Young Museum, has contributed artwork in an Emmy Award Winning documentary, and has had a recent cameo in a documentary featured on Cnn, to name a few. Zoë has also exhibited with Macy’s Union Square, The Battery Club, various galleries in the Bay Area and has created murals that have made a positive impact in her community. She continues to push her artistry In new ways that reflect her growth, her drive, and desire to be a vessel that brings light and life into this realm.