Dear EastSide Family,
These were the words chanted by one of our favorite 5-year olds after the announcement that a new presidential team had been elected. She chanted this to a resounding drumbeat that said to all of us "listen up!"
Now more than ever we have to be strong - ready to participate in the reconstruction that is needed - and healthy - in mind, body, and soul. There’s a lot to do and through the creation and sharing of song, ceremony, dance, music, theater, poetry, posters, murals, and sculptures we will teach each other, build community together, and create new systems of mutual aid.
The EastSide Cultural Center builds our power at the local level by bringing poor and working-class communities together to imagine and fight for the neighbor hoods we all deserve. We all want to live in neighborhoods where folks are looking out for each other, where there are places for young and old people to share stories, places that are healthy and resilient. Grassroots community cultural centers are critical to that vision, and it is our work at EastSide to keep these spaces alive. Cultural work is important right now as we all look for ways to stay connected and imagine a better world. We do not intend to go back to “business as usual”. Cultural spaces are where we envision and actualize a world that does not focus on racism and greed but instead focuses on self-de termination and freedom.
We know there are many folks out there who love and appreciate the work we do. We are forever grateful for that support. We need every one of you to show your support by giving a donation today. Funds received from individual donors are what keeps our center going, in a time when culture is critical to building the world we want to live in.
Will you be one of the hundred people in our community that we need to sign up as Roots Supporters? Our Roots Supporters give a set amount each month – this can be $10 or $100 – whatever you are able to contribute*. Roots Supporters provide a known source of funding at a time when resources are hard to come by, allowing us to plan ahead in uncertain times and continue offering year-round programming. Please consider signing up as a monthly donor today, to sustain what makes our community vibrant and resilient.
Cultural spaces are critical for developing and deepening relationships between neighbors - and right now our interdependence is life or death.
With you beside us, we are committed to working in the San Antonio and other Oakland neighborhoods to support a creative environment and to advocate for progressive, systemic social change. Now in our third year together with community partners such as The East Oakland Collective, East Oakland Building Healthy Communities, Dellums Institute for Social Justice, and Allen Temple Baptist Church, we are of creating a Black Cultural Zone to secure a foothold in East Oakland that will support thriving neighborhoods. Importantly, our ongoing programming includes:
• LAIR (Live Arts in Resistance), a multidisciplinary performing arts project where artists and audience members engage in meaningful dialogue about innovative ideas and experimental work, while redefining aesthetics and ethics that will decolonize our minds,
• CARP (Community Archival Resource Project), a permanent collection of Third World archival materials of audio, video, print, and digital documentation which partners with Bandung Books, a recently opened onsite community bookstore & cultural literacy center accessible five days weekly,
• EastSide Galleries which host local and national photographers and visual artists, as well as archival footage including posters, broad sides, books, buttons, poetry, vinyl, and other items that speak to Third World cultural movements,
• Neighborhood Arts programming which hosts community artmaking workshops and produces inspiring murals on timely topics and community concerns in addition to First Fridays film & discussion groups, Holla Back poetry reading, SUYA contemporary African cultural events, Girls Project for neighborhood teen girls, Beats & Flow digital music making, and
• Annual Traditions such as Dia de los Muertos, Holiday Art and Book Sale, the Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival (currently in it’s 19th year!) and the Xicana Power Block Party, all co-produced with community organizations.
We are asking for your financial support.
Your contribution, of any size, will help further our work, support strategic approaches to community building, and provide opportunities for purposeful community transformation. Donate TODAY!
Thank you for your generous support.
The EastSide Arts Alliance Collective
* For monthly gifts of $40 and up you will receive a special surprise box of ESAA vintage swag - t-shirts, posters, books, stickers.
• PO Box 17008 • Oakland, CA 94601 •
P.S. EastSide Arts Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit under federal tax ID# 74-3073621.
EastSide Arts Alliance uses arts and culture as a way to build community power and self-determination. We have been serving our neighborhood for over 20 years. We now have a third generation coming to our cultural center. We are dedicated to building deep connections between and among working class & low-income communities of color, communities whose histories, stories and cultures are actively erased from mainstream narratives. Through year-round programming at our cultural center and other public spaces in East Oakland, EastSide provides an example of how progressive artwork and the growing traditions of cultural offerings offers a creative framework for community solidarity and inclusivity.
We believe that art can be healing and transformative when the intention is clear. The Project Sarai Mural and Beloved: An Insistence are a part of an ongoing commitment by artists, spiritual warriors, activists and abolitionists working together to end the culture of misogyny, child abuse, sexual violence and rape in our communities; and repair our collective humanity.
– EastSide Arts Alliance Collective
The Project Sarai Mural and Beloved: An Insistence
Regina Evans (IG: @reginasdoor) and Amara Tabor Smith
Muralists: Cece Carpio, Leslie Lopez, Priya Handa, Frankie Gámez, Angelica Lopez, Inbal Rubin, and Sarai
Mural photo: Mark Lilly; Mural detail photos: Joe Keefe