Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Curator Ashara Ekundayo told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.
- Empowering Womxn of Color Open Mic — La Peña Cultural Center on 3/9
- Artist Registry Mixer — Imprint City on 3/9
- Deep East Oakland Second Line Project — Arroyo Viejo Park on 3/11
This is the third in three open mics leading up to the 33rd annual Empowering Womxn of Color Conference on Saturday, March 17, at the University of California, Berkeley. The open mics provide a space for performances celebrating the voices of women of color. This month’s open mic will feature multimedia artist AJ, the One. AJ is a student at Berkeley and chair of the Berkeley Black Student Union.
"I'm always excited to hear good poetry, I really am, I'm a total poetry head ... support the artists 'cause it's a hard thing to read your thoughts!"
Join the Imprint City team along with artists George McCalman, Ron Saunders, Malik Seneferu, and Erica Deeman, to learn more about the San Francisco Arts Commission's upcoming grant opportunities for art commissions in the Bayview. Space is limited, so please RSVP with organizers before coming.
Imprint City's goal is to work with the SFAC and key stakeholders to connect, uplift, and support artists through the application process. Artists with a meaningful connection to the Bayview — whether they currently reside, have resided in the Bayview, or have another significant connection to the Bayview — are encouraged to apply. Artwork budgets range up to $1 million.
"What this is, is an invitation for artists from all over the Bay Area to come and hear about the San Francisco Arts Commission to meet more artists ... create some solidarity!"
The Oakland Second Line Project is a free cultural community experience bringing the authentic African roots of second-line history, and the spirit of community building from New Orleans, to communities of color in Oakland. The culminating second line and celebration of the ancestors will be led by Big Chief Hatchet — aka Ray Blazio, East Oakland resident, Hurricane Katrina survivor, and founding member of the historic New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tribe, the Wild Apaches.
"It's so intense and so beautiful, how deep the black culture is in deep East Oakland ... Lots of families are going to be there so it's going to be super fun!"
Ashara just opened the Ashara Ekundayo Gallery in Oakland, and the space will showcase modern and contemporary work by Black women and women of the African Diaspora. The first exhibit, “Obvious Magic: This Womanist Imaginary” will be up until April 14.