Oakland, Calif., Feb. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced that it has awarded grants totaling $625,000 to five collaborative public art projects through its Open Spaces Program. The grants will support nonprofit organizations to partner with artists to create temporary, place-based public art projects in Oakland and San Francisco. The projects invite community participation and highlight the significant role that artists can play in creating and expanding public discourse about the most critical issues of our time.
“We are very proud to support these collaborations between nonprofits and artists. Our grant program encourages unique ways to explore and respond to social issues affecting Bay Area communities,” said Shelley Trott, Rainin Foundation Director of Arts Strategy and Ventures. “These site-specific projects will engage the public in meaningful ways and reconnect us with our shared humanity.”
The artists will partner with nonprofits and engage community members to create the artwork. The projects will address many critical issues affecting our communities, including: immigration, incarceration, the preservation of cultural assets amid gentrification and displacement, and the marginalization of people with disabilities.
2019 Open Spaces Program grantees include:
Commons Archive – Kala Art Institute, the Golden Gate Library and lead artist Sue Mark will foster connections across race, generation and class to address the dissolution of neighborhood networks by displacement and gentrification. They will engage residents of North Oakland’s Golden Gate neighborhood, the birthplace of the Black Panthers, to create a collective memory bank through citizen history trainings, community mapping and restorative justice listening sessions. The stories will be translated into projections and banners displayed along San Pablo Avenue.
Colorín Colorado San Francisco – Creativity Explored and lead artist Ana Teresa Fernandez will hold community workshops and work with artists with developmental disabilities to create sculptures exploring their journeys as immigrants. Three sculptures will be placed at San Francisco sites that are significant to the Latinx community. They will be animated by music, dance and poetry, bringing culture and the arts to life.
Lakabai Diwa, Diasporic Spirit – The Filipino-American Development Foundation with Kularts and lead artist Alleluia Panis will bring visibility and collective cultural healing to the Pilipina community in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. This project will be anchored by site-specific dance performances, workshops, art installations, and a ceremonial procession that will feature balangays, traditional Pilipino boats, as a metaphor for how this island culture has been affected by colonialism, displacement and immigration.
Future IDs at Alcatraz – The National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy will partner with lead artist Gregory Sale, in collaboration with California reentry programs, community organizations and formerly incarcerated individuals on a yearlong, site-specific exhibition on Alcatraz Island. Identity-inspired artworks and monthly public programs will illuminate the life dreams as well as the racial, gender and age diversity of those who have been incarcerated. In stark contrast to prison-issued IDs, these artworks will express individual stories of transformation.
Heroes of Unity – The Spanish-Speaking Unity Council of Alameda County and the Oakland Public Library will partner with lead artists, Sergio de la Torre and the Collective Action Studio’s Justin Hoover and Chris Treggiari, to create a portrait of the Bay Area immigrant community. Youth and adult artist mentorship teams will bring mobile print-making laboratories to six events in Oakland. The public will be empowered to create art that documents personal and family stories of migration, relocation, identity and citizenship.
A panel of jurors carefully selected the public art projects from 10 finalists. This year’s jurors included: Michele Carlson, Executive Director of Art Practical; Debra J.T. Padilla, Executive Director of the Social and Public Art Resource Center for 25 years; and Ryan Dennis, Public Art Director of Project Row Houses in Houston.
Visit the Rainin Foundation website for more information on its Open Spaces Program.