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Crosscurrents

Michael Orange on creating community through storytelling

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Oakland artist Michael Orange grew up hearing stories of how his grandfather, a college librarian, hosted distinguished artists in his home. Orange is continuing that legacy in his work as founder and curator of arts events including MATATU Nomadic Cinema which features black creatives from the Bay Area and around the world.

"There are no rules to your story, you can tell it however you like. You can be as dusty as you'd like or you can be as fanciful as you'd like, and so I employ that as a metaphor for the programs I create."

Named after the rural share taxis in Kenya, he calls the Matatu Nomadic Cinema a cultural experience vehicle’ that takes you on global journeys through performance. Matatu is in its sixth year now and Michael Orange shares how it all got started.

MATATU will be hosting a performance by singer-songwriter Mdou Moctar on April 18 at Red Bay Coffee in Oakland.

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Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for KALW. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.