Sights & Sounds of East Oakland

Photo by Bill Joyce

Most artists follow their visions in the privacy of their studios, but one Oakland artist is re-defining public space: a park. Laila Espinoza is a community artist — one whose art touches larger social themes while engaging the surrounding community. She does all this at Athol Plaza Park in Oakland nearly every weekend.

Let the artists tell it: East Oakland has a “vibe,” a distinctive feel and flavor, and they do all they can to capture and convey it. Join KALW Public Radio and Oakland Voices for Sights and Sounds of East Oakland: Come Together, the second annual event celebrating the community by the artists who live, work, and create here.

Sights & Sounds of East Oakland: Art after foreclosure

Oct 12, 2016
Photo courtesy of Oakland Voices

This is my grandmother’s story as much as it is mine. I lived with her, Attaway, on 2657 67th Avenue from August 2006 to May 2012 and enjoyed every minute of it. But a series of events killed my joy.

Photo courtesy of Laura Oda

 

Stand outside Yaelisa’s East Oakland dance studio on a quiet night and you can hear the sound of dancers practicing their footwork. Inside the studio, about ten women in long skirts are standing in line behind their teacher.  She sings throughout her class and calls out guidance to her students as she keeps the rhythm with her hands and feet. The dancers move in unison. The sounds of their stomps take on the quality of a drum.

 

Turning down 23rd Avenue towards International Boulevard, I see the words “Culture is a weapon” painted the side of a building wall.