Twenty years ago, EastSide Arts Alliance set out to create a Third World Cultural Center to serve and unite the Black, Brown, Asian & Indigenous communities that compose East Oakland. EastSide began as a progressive fusion of cultural collectives of color which organized a steady stream of art programs, town hall forums, youth workshops, and visual exhibitions at the EastSide Cultural Center (now including a Third World archives and bookstore). We also deliberately gathered our respective communities to celebrate at an annual Malcolm X JazzArts Festival at San Antonio Park.
Each year we celebrate our evolving traditions and continuing political struggles and lift-up Malcolm X because he represents Black self-determination and Third World unity as an alternative societal and cultural strategy. Jazz is celebrated as African American classical music, made universal, and this country's greatest cultural contribution to the world - another opportunity to unite our communities through a celebration of Jazz in all its forms - Latin Jazz, straight ahead, jazz and hip hop…
We are struck now with a global public health crisis - revealing the capitalist greed and neglect that has assaulted Mother Earth. The world has shut down... temporarily, as a warning and providing a potential opening to not go back to business as usual but to upset the set-up and bring on a more progressive social, political, cultural agenda.
With due respect for the safety and health of our communities, we are postponing an in person iteration of this year's Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival, (new date to be determined), but we will celebrate Malcolm X on his birthday, May 19th. We will go on-line inviting you to participate as artists and community members.
Lastly, we are asking folks, who are able, to DONATE NOW to help ensure the Cultural Center is here to welcome the community back.
And please - EVERYONE help spread the word about how critical places like the EastSide Cultural Center are to helping communities cultivate trusting relationships and build community power. Long-time supporters should see themselves as AMBASSADORS of FRIENDRAISING -helping us let others know how important culture is right now! This is how we will be able to weather this storm and also be prepared and engaged in determining our futures.