Open Engagement Walking Tour

23rd and Telegraph:  Exploring Oakland at the Intersection of Art and Social Justice

Open Engagement is an international conference and platform to support socially engaged art. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations. The following walking tour was a part of Open Engagement 2016 in Oakland, CA.

The Open Engagement walking tour group was invited to engage with 5 distinct historic, community sites in Oakland: Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Soul Space: Shoe Gallery and Creative Lab, Betti Ono, Regina’s Door, and Chapter 510. The tour started at Oakland Museum of California, where the Open Engagement group was greeted by Chapter 510 high school students tour guides. Stopping briefly at each venue, the group learned about the site’s specific programming, the various mediums through which issues of power are addressed by the site, and how these organizations are situated in relation to the dynamics of displacement.  Presentations along the tour explored the importance of storytelling as a means of resistance, tactics through which to intervene in economic structures that promote or hinder cultural expression, the ways in which art-making and arts organizations may co-opt and/or fortify urban networks  towards collaboration, and the ways in which cultural processes may both translate and give voice to endangered histories as well as anticipate a more equitable future. The walk ended at Chapter 510, the intersection of art and social justice, for a public conversation, snacks and drinks in Uptown Oakland.

Download a .PDF of the Walking Tour Map

This map encourages you to share the same route as the group at Open Engagement 2016. The walking tour of Oakland, co-hosted by Chapter 510, Parcel Projects, and the Center for Art + Public Life at CCA, starts from the Oakland Museum of California, an interdisciplinary museum dedicated to art, history, and natural science of California, and ends at Chapter 510, an Oakland community organization committed to developing creative and expository writing skills for students.