Art for the Movement

– Where we’re gonna start is, I’m Lori Fogarty I’m the Director of the Oakland Museum of California And would love to just ask my colleagues, who I’ve had the great honor and privilege to work with in these last few months to just introduce themselves and just say a word about how you’re involved with this project And so I’m gonna look at our slide and go in order, here, and ask CJ, Carolyn Johnson, to introduce herself – Yes, thank you, Lori, and thank you everyone for joining us My name is CJ, and I am the CEO of the Black Cultural Zone Community Development Corporation, which is a proud partner of the East Oakland Black Cultural Zone Collaborative And our organization is helping to co-lead the preservation around this protest art And I’ll pass it to Randolph – Hello everybody My name is Randolph Belle, of RBA Creative, which is a coworking space for creatives here in the emerging Laurel District (CJ laughing) I’m also a member of the Black Cultural Zone and, specifically, the focus there is on strong economies and arts and culture Those are the two (beeping tones drown out voice) Mizan? – Assan, is it Assan? my name’s Assan Jethmal Did you say Mizan or Assan, sorry? (Mizan laughing) – It was Mizan – That’s all right, Sizwe – Oh, sorry, sorry, go ahead – Ladies first – Ladies first, I feel you, I got you Good evening everyone, My name is Mizan I am the Co-Creator of SPEARITWURX, along with my husband, Sizwe SPEARITWURX is an organization based in Oakland that works to support intergenerational wellness and racial healing by creating experiences that transform lives We are proud partners of the Black Cultural Zone, and definitely been supporting this effort to honor, preserve, and protect the art that has been created from the rebellions of this summer here in Oakland And I’ll pass it to Sizwe – Good evening, everyone My name is Sizwe, echoing everything Mizan has said Just happy to be here, excited to engage with you all And although the, you noticed that we’re having an interesting day, interesting times, I know that the energy of this conversation is gonna transform and propel some things into the future that’s gonna create a beautiful atmosphere in Oakland I’m thankful for this moment Thank you And I guess Assan, it’s on you now brother – My name’s Assan Jethmal I am actually the owner of Good Mother Gallery and Endeavors, Oakland, and also a founder at Seventh West And really, really finding myself blessed to be here, even though we’re in the face of Blade Runner, the movie outside It’s amazing that we’re still able to organize and have moments like this And I’m just here to tell my part of my experience on the ground with the artists, kind of elbow to elbow, and being a voice for them And then I guess that’s Jean, your turn – Hi everybody Thank you for being here tonight My name’s Jean Marie Durant, and I’m the president of Oakland Art Murmur We are a nonprofit that’s dedicated to connecting the public to the visual arts and the artists in Oakland And Oakland Art Murmurs’ role in this collaborative effort has really been one of support, providing support in any number of ways, as we find the need arise, and basically moving in and doing what we can Really happy to be here And I’m happy to share this space with all of these amazing creative people that I learn so much from every single week – Thank you And Lori Fogarty, Director of the Oakland Museum, and we, too, are an organization working in support of this movement and the art and striving to be good allies with our partners And I just want to give a little sense of how we’re gonna roll tonight I’m going to ask Mizan and Sizwe to ground us, in a moment in time here And then we’re gonna share with you some images for those of you who have not actually seen some of the protest art and the art for the movement We’re gonna give you a few images to whet your appetite We’re gonna engage in a conversation with this panel We’re gonna open it up to some questions at the end, and then I hope you’ll stick around We’re going to move into some breakout groups, just for a few minutes, to meet and greet each other

We have members here from the Oakland Museum of California, from Oakland Art Murmur, and from the Black Cultural Zone We wanna give folks a chance to mix it up, and meet and greet a little bit, and share what this moment means to you And then we’ll come back together and share a little bit about our continued work Because this is not a one and done This is a movement And so we are going to be continuing our conversations And so Mizan and Sizwe, I want to just invite you to bring us into this moment Thank you – Thank you, Jean, Lori Thank you, CJ Thank you Assan. Thank you Randolph Thank you all the 122 people that are on the line right now We just realized that there’s so much beautiful reality that we are, in despite this craziness And so we just wanted to give ourselves kind of a, a little bit of a little historical timeline to really think about how it is that we got to this beautiful place, and really what’s grounding us in this work And so if we can go to the next slide? We just recognize that this energy of rebellion is real This energy of resistance to oppression is real And so we know that there’s a legacy that folks have been fighting, since we were been in this country, that there has been a legacy of resistance to oppression And so, when you think about last year marked 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the U S shores in 1619 And so there’s been a legacy, since that moment, that has passed us through And so what you’re seeing on your screen right now is just a little bit of some of the rebellions of those enslaved Africans that resisted their oppression, that wanted freedom, that wanted goodness in the world, that wanted their children and families to be able to be together, that wanted to be able to breathe good, fresh air And we know that feeling right now in our hearts and minds And so as we go to the next slide, we also think about how it is that we honor the coalitions that existed Here’s a picture of John Brown and the relationship that John Brown had to really wanting to overthrow and be, as an abolitionist, to really resist the legacy of slavery and the system of slavery And so as our brothers and sisters from across the world really wanted to understand that, we know that there’s a legacy of that collaboration and coalition that exists And as we go to the next slide, we see that even as time goes, it’s almost like every generation has a little way that they’re able to really, there’s things that rise up, there’s things that bubble up And so in the early part of the 1919, 1920s, to 1918, to 1921, was a real time and era within the US history of racial terrorism Here, you see a map of the US around some of the major race riots and major lynchings that happened in the Red Summer of 1919 But we recognize that this is, kind of, a legacy of resistance And even down in the corner, you see what used to be a thriving black town in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but was burned to the ground in the middle, the midst of a race riot, basically And so we recognize that this racial tension is also something that’s here, that there’s people who have used fire to purify and used fire to make change and transition And as we go to the next side, we think about even what happened in the ’60s for the Civil Rights Movement, that there was mass movements, and mass protests, and mass energy around wanting to make a change in our time And so that legacy still continues, as we go onto the next slide, to thinking about what happened in the ’90s Some of y’all may remember the nineties, and the LA rebellions that happened with, there’s a lot, there’s a lot And so I take a pause and I take a breath because we realize that now, where we are right now in this day and age, where our brothers and sisters are talking about how they can’t breathe, how we really want to take a breath for those who couldn’t, how we wanna take a breath to really pull in that spirit of rebellion, that spirit of resistance, that spirit of really wanting to honor justice in whatever way, and shape, and form that we see And so, as we go to the next slide, and our final slide for this kind of historical grounding, we just have this opportunity as we’ve looked at our past, oftentimes we’re looking towards the future of what’s gonna happen next, what’s gonna happen with this election What’s gonna happen with COVID-19, what’s gonna happen with these fires what’s gonna happen with our air, what is going to happen? But what we know, in this very beautiful reality, is that there is power in this present moment, right now And so I’m going to ask y’all to just take a deep breath in and exhale fully

And another beautiful deep breath in, just feeling this moment, right now Exhaling fully And as you’re feeling this moment, maybe notice the feet beneath you, or the seat beneath you, whatever is supporting you and holding you right now And just notice that and breathe deeply as you can And as we continue to breathe, being aware of this present moment, it is an opportunity for us to set an intention for ourselves to remind ourselves about what it is that we stand on What is it that we stand on, and we are supported by, in this very present moment? Is it love? Is it truth? Is it justice? Is it knowing that you always look out for those who can’t look out for themselves? Is it knowing that you have to always support one another and work collectively? Whatever is true for you Just breathe into that We’ll take two more deep breaths in, inhaling as fully as you can, and exhaling and letting that just settle into every part of your bones, your DNA And one more deep breath in, reminded that we breathe, in this moment, for those who couldn’t Thank you for being part of this process, for being part of the idea and the conversation to really want to transform our world And so we’re excited that we’re coming in to this present moment, to this conversation, knowing that we’re grounded in the past, but we’re ready to move forward, bringing with us all the good and the strength and the resilience that we have Thank y’all Thank you, thank you – Thank you, thank you, Mizan Thank you everybody for bringing us into this moment, in a very powerful way And now I think we are gonna do a rapid fire review of these images And just for folks who may not have seen the incredible artwork that is happening on the streets of Oakland, we’re just going to ask you to, David, if you want to just start to go through these slides And I just want to ask any of my fellow panelists, if you’re are moved to say anything about any of these works, please just chime in And otherwise we’ll just kind of go through them quickly to give you a sense of the breadth and the scope of this work – I would just say that these are just a mere fraction of the work that is happening, not only in downtown Oakland, along Broadway, but really throughout all of Oakland, and much of the Bay Area, at this point And you know, these pieces are just a subset And you see everything from professional muralists, to folks who came out, families with kids, school children So you really do see the breadth of the experience that folks wanted to share with everyone I think I saw a question, too, about crediting the artists We don’t have on this presentation, all of the credit lines for the artists, but we are very conscious of wanting to acknowledge and credit that, even in the invitation And I will say the beautiful Art for the Movement logo, that you’re seeing on the left hand corner, Mizan designed And it includes work This is a work that’s featured in the logo And we have, on the invitation, credited all of the artists there So we’re, I appreciate that question about acknowledging and crediting the artists in this moment, too And we’ll hear, in just a minute, from one of them So as we keep going through the art, I’m gonna actually begin our conversation And it’s a perfect place to begin, because I’m actually gonna start with an artist, and wanna acknowledge that voice first and foremost So Assan, I just want to kind of throw out to you,

I’ve heard the phrase that artists are first responders or second responders in this moment of cultural transformation And I’d love to hear from you just, how would you describe being out on the street in the moment when this work began? And what did that feel like? And what called you to come out and paint? – Well, I would like to actually state, real quickly, that I own a art gallery and I do represent a lot of artists I don’t actually paint, myself However, saying that, this movement kind of allowed me to channel a lot of opportunities for artists in our community, especially for the gallery, and mainly artists of a black and brown color, that we were, it was amazing just to see how the artists actually decide ‘Cause I, personally, was not surprised I mean, it’s an Oakland thing As soon as those counts started going up, I was not surprised that they were, actually, immediately taken over by artists to help with their, spread their message, also be doing it on, in just the strength of unity What it was like down there was inspiring, to say the least, it was to watch people like actually take to the streets ‘Cause it started out as a cleaning effort My gallery is on 13th and Franklin, and everyone came out to clean, to help with the reordering of downtown after the protests And then that spurted out this beautiful art movement, which inspired me to create Endeavors, in the middle of all that, which Endeavors, being the community arm of my gallery, Good Mother Gallery, which our first initiative was to use the black leaders and black artists of our community to do the Black Lives Matter mural on 15th street What it, basically, it comes down to the fact that these artists were moved to come out here, share their talents on the available boards that were being put up to prevent violence and destruction happening to small businesses, and create this unbelievable open air gallery where people were allowed to see not the destructive nature of what they thought they saw, but more of the, how we support each other and how we take care of ourselves, which was an amazing thing The fact that, and I love the comment that was being made about crediting the artists and the photographers And then, that that’s part of the initiative here, is making sure that they’re represented correctly Because I think that, for me, I feel like this is a ground zero in terms of where we’re at in this world with, with COVID, quarantine, Trump, racism, and police brutality, all of that being so prominent right now I think that right now we can actually start to build a real new tomorrow that allows us to kind of bring us together and have these artists get into some better opportunities, which is not where we were before Being on the ground was amazing and watching it actually come to fruition, all these beautiful pieces was beyond, I couldn’t, anything I could ever imagine And to be a part of it was even greater With the preservation of it, I’m just looking forward to seeing what turns into these pieces, and how we can get more opportunities for these artists to do more work around Oakland – Absolutely I’m going to ask, maybe, David, for us to stop the screen share for just a second Well, that’s a great shot We don’t want to stop it right there Because I want to talk now, bring everybody into the room with our panelists because there was this moment, the art started to be blooming on our streets The protests were active and happening And this group that includes the Black Cultural Zone and Oakland Art Murmur, and the Oakland Museum of California and artist groups, we kind of came together sort of organically I’m not even sure how I got the first email, but before I knew it, we were meeting weekly as we have continued to do for the last, gosh, three months, I think I would love to just hear from y’all about how this happened and how would you describe how this coalition was formed? And I’m gonna start with CJ, because I think maybe the email started with you I would love to throw it to you – Thank you so much Yeah, I, so the Black Cultural Zone operates primarily out of East Oakland And so when protests happened, and when this art was happening, it was primarily in downtown Oakland and it just wasn’t in East Oakland,

where the majority of black residents live And I was on a call, conversation, with some fellow members of the Black Cultural Zone Collaborative And someone was saying, “the art is amazing You have to go see it.” And the question came up of what’s gonna happen to it And it was so, the moments were so tender and hard to even talk sometimes, after watching George Floyd be murdered on public television, such callousness, that we were really hypersensitive to preserving this moment and the response to what we saw, and that someone should be doing that And so we just began to ask the question of what’s gonna happen with the art, who’s going to do something We reached out to the city of Oakland, they mentioned Oakland Art Murmur, they mentioned other groups, they mentioned you And the emails began to cycle, because a part of what the Black Cultural Zone’s goal is to preserve black culture and black arts, but also to innovate with it And so preservation is what we do And we were more than willing for someone else to do it, but we didn’t see that happening, and wanted to elevate the conversation So that’s how we got involved And I think it’s right I’m a pretty much a busy body, so I’m sure I was emailing people What’s going on? (Lori laughing) So that’s my take of it And I’d love to have Randolph, and Mizan, and Sizwe kind of share just how they got into it – For me, I always say this, I’m a husband and father of two girls So I generally just do what I’m told But when this, it was the pace of the artwork going up downtown was absolutely incredible So from the time the protests started to the time where these things got boarded up, and the, just the pace of the artwork going up was really, really mind boggling And so we started talking, and we really felt that it needed to be a black led organization that led the conversation around this work, while there was a lot of energy developing around the artwork, itself We really felt like that this was far beyond just an art project – Randolph, I just wanna stop for a minute People are saying they are having trouble hearing you So just even if you can maybe turn up your volume Sorry about that, I don’t mean to interrupt – Okay, how about now? Oh, how about now? – That’s better, thank you – Okay We really felt like at least needed to be a black led organization because we wanted to make sure, and as Lori said a little earlier, it’s more than this moment It’s really about the movement And so, how could we keep this movement going? And then once, we saw the energy that was developing around this thing, we also really felt like we didn’t need to own this effort And so it’s not our effort It’s not the effort, but it is our effort And so it started coming together And then the different organizations that we were talking to and the different artists that we were talking to, they too thought that it made sense, kind of, for us to move forward in this way And then that coalition just started growing and growing because they understood what we were trying to do And it was a very artist-centric kind of effort that we were trying to pursue Again, making sure that the art was held up, that it was documented and it was preserved And it was just great having, one, the museum on board, because that’s what they do And two, this broad range of, not only black led organizations, but ally organizations And I think everybody kind of really felt, really, the value in that coalition between the museum, between Oakland Art Murmur, Endeavors, Betti Ono, the Black Cultural Zone, it really just felt right And so, not that we didn’t already have nine jobs each, anyway, (Lori laughing) but this really became a new job for us We’re meeting, really, most of us are meeting several times a week on this to make it, really And Lori and the group will talk about kind of future plans moving forward – Yeah, and Sizwe and Mizan,

you guys were so instrumental in connecting our coalition to the artists community I’d love to hear you share your perspective on that, too – Sure So we’ve definitely been honored to be part of this process There are so many really beautiful souls, and spirits, and people, and artists, that have really been wanting to, like I say, transform and really bring life to the messages around how this movement is essential to the work, and really transforming our world And so we have been able to host a number of different calls with artists, both a number of calls with black artists, as well as with allies, white and POC artists, that are in the movement and in this work And it’s just really been an honor actually, to just really connect in this way Sizwe and I are both artists in our own right But this has been a different kind of stretch of our way in which we are intentionally organizing within artists community And so, our work has been a lot around organizing, a lot around youth development, a lot around doing our own work, and our own transformative work within communities, as doing workshops, and professional development, and so many things So it’s really nice for us to be able to bridge being intentional about the role of black artists, in particular, in this work And so we’ve been really, I see a lot of the folks are actually on the line Seven is here Chemist is here There’s a lot of beautiful folks that are here that have contributed to this work, who are really engaged in the movement around organizing black artists to be central to this conversation – Yeah, And I think my role, in particular this time around, many hands make the load light, and not trying to put too many cooks in the kitchen So I just tried to get in my lane and support Really, we were having some concerns around where the art would go once it was being taken down And a lot of the art was being taken down at a rate that became overwhelming So I suggested to the collective that we could house everything at the Eastmont, where we have the Sankalpa Center We have a space there, we could hold the panels there We could get in contact with the artist and kind of just regroup or reflect and re-strategize with how we want to move, as far as just honoring our intentions with this whole collective And then, from there inspiring conversations around potentially a larger exhibit, where we could showcase the art, at Eastmont Mall in accordance with the Sankalpa project, which is a living timeline of African history, that brings you all the way to present day So similar to the experience that we had in the grounding, we were thinking it would be powerful to just try to merge both ideas, and start in a certain place in time and end up in present day, just to kind of see all the resilience, the joy, the ritual, as well as the oppression, but how we were able to transform and become the people that we are in this moment And I think as far as SPEARITWURX is concerned, it was a beautiful fit to create powerful spaces And I think that that’s kind of what Mizan is speaking to, just creating powerful spaces for people to engage and be able to experience transformation So it’s just a great opportunity for us Give thanks – Thank you And then there is our Energizer bunny, Jean (ladies laughing) I would love, I mean, I think you kickstarted us all in such a powerful way around the sheer energy of your organizational skills So I would love to have you share kind of how you came into all of this – Yeah, Oakland is such a creatively connected community, and there are so many artists and art supporters here that our community reached out to Art Murmur through our website, through email, almost immediately On the 31st of May and then immediately following And there was this huge outpouring of requests, and I would even say demands, really, to say, “what are you doing about this? You need to preserve this artwork This is so important This is critical to document this moment.” And so from there, it was really about, who else is hearing this? And reached out to Lori I got connected to CJ, I think, through a web of conversation There were just so many people that, and even Assan working on parallel paths, and it just seemed like the right thing to do

to pull everybody together and say, “how can we be more powerful if we work together and collaborate on this?” Because, we all have the same intention, which is preservation And getting over some of the hurdles of misunderstanding, perhaps, with some of the artists who felt that Oakland Art Murmur, or perhaps the Oakland Museum were coming in to take the work, and try and acquire it, and make money off of it, which is never our intention So coming together with this group has been really powerful in that, I think for me, it has helped me understand the importance of centering this on the artist and the artist’s experience, and also on the longterm way that the work can be used, with the artist’s permission to create ways to have conversations So for me, here we are three months later and still plenty of work ahead of us But just so happy to be with this group It feels like this is the group that can get it done, and make sure that we meet these goals, these lofty goals that we all have – Yeah, And I would say it’s, similarly, the Museum, a lot of folks reached out to us, members, elected officials, about how we could play a role And this has been such an incredible learning experience for me And I think where it began, and this is where I think we’ll segue and maybe share the screen again Because one of the first things we did, even as we were trying to figure out the logistics and how we could make sure we contacted artists and property owners And thank goodness that Mizan and Sizwe had the space at the Eastmont Mall that could accept them And the museum staff kicked into gear to help transport We actually, one of the first things we did, was put together guiding principles And I wanna say that everybody, every person, on this call really contributed to that So maybe, David, if you would mind sharing the presentation, because we started with guiding principles, and I think this is, I will speak, I don’t want to speak for the whole group I will say, for me, this was so important because it really focused our work, not just on the art, and the art is so important, but it’s also about art in the service of a movement And so, yeah, I think we’ll be, they should be on the next slide, about our principles And I think maybe I would invite, I give a lot of credit to forming of these, to Randolph So I wanted to see if, Randolph, you might feel like you want to start, and maybe we just go through this and folks chime in and read a principle, if that, if you are so moved – Sure Our first goal was documenting this artwork to elevate the work as a backdrop of the movement towards truth, justice, equity, and transformation – Next slide – Keep going – I’ll go, I’ll go I don’t know if I’m going to do a bulletpoint, or not Guiding principles We are not owners or arbiters of these artworks The artworks are part of a moment that is integrally intertwined with the loss of black lives and the movement for the preservation of black lives – I’ll take one Every effort will be made to identify and contact the artist in order to secure their support for the preservation, documentation, and presentation effort – And then we can go to the next one This effort will incorporate employment and training opportunities for black people, as well as supporting young people in their development of their skills through this work And then, Sizwe, you want to do the next one? – I got the next one This effort provides an opportunity to create a sustained, multi-dimensional collaboration across the city and a platform for conversation and dialogue in a safe space – These actions on- – Just ’cause I’m on – Go ahead CJ, why don’t you do that next one – Sure These actions will be coordinated by black led organizations

and black artists Jean? – Okay, the collaboration coming together to support this effort respects the work of the artists and invites them to join this coalition – So we can come back together with the panelists Thank you, really important for us all, I think, to share the way we have been trying to move through this And just a kind of quick logistical question, and CJ, I might throw this one to you, which I do know that a lot of the focus of our work has been, and the first priority was kind of logistical, and trying to make sure that the murals weren’t moved or destroyed without documentation, or attempts to preserve them And maybe just say a word about kind of where we are on that process now – Sure Yes, so, from the beginning there was artwork everywhere, in many locations, we weren’t necessarily sure who did what, who owned, what, what building it was on, what the property owner was, who thought they owned it, et cetera So we spent time trying to identify And there were many, many sources, including Assan who’s been very helpful in knowing who the artists were And so we gathered from various ways, sort of all of the art that we believe was done, not just in downtown Oakland, but in other parts, and are doing our best now to label who did what, who the team was that built it, who the building owner might be, business owner might be, as well And we are, I would say 90% there with various lists to being able to say that we, at least, are able to identify what we know and what we don’t know Which is good – Yeah, it’s been great And a Herculean effort, especially with BCC, and project management, and volunteers through Art Murmur So thank you for that Just a couple of last questions for our panelists, and then I think we’ll open it up to folks on the call with us I definitely remember the call when, actually, I think I’m going to credit Sizwe for saying some of this, or for sharing this thought, which is that this coalition, that’s been this bridge between the Black Cultural Zone, Oakland Art Murmur and the Oakland Museum of California And I will say there have been really other important allies, artist groups, artists collectives, the city of Oakland has been involved with this, too, property owners and business collectives that have been part of this And we’ve, as we’ve come together, we’ve seen this as a pretty unique coalition And I remember, Sizwe, you saying that we have an opportunity here to be a model, not just for Oakland, but for the country, and that this could be a really transformative way of working And I just want to maybe throw that open to you and how you’ve seen that, and then just what other people have felt and learned from this experience so far – Yeah, thank you, Lori Just really letting spirit speak through me at that moment, probably, in one of our conversations I just know the art is always a vehicle for us to get to the real medicine And for me, I feel like the medicine is the dialogue conversation, the reflection, and that mirror, that lens I think a lot of this artwork has been a mirror for our city, as well as the nation And I think that’s, we’re going to have to have those, I don’t want to say courageous conversations I feel like so many phrases are being diluted But I really hope that y’all can feel what I’m saying Just really come from that authentic place where we can really engage in a conversation and with some action behind it, though ‘Cause I think that’s the other piece It’s like praying with your feet, right? You put your prayers out there, but you still have to move towards your prayer You still have to have motion towards what you’re trying to achieve That’s really what I’m excited about around this whole opportunity that we have together And I’m hoping that, really, across the whole city of Oakland, I’m seeing school districts, yes, institutions, yes Whoever would like to engage and really stand with us I think that’s really what we’re asking Stand with us in solidarity, as we really try to really take this situation head on and not scape goat, side to side The scab has been ripped off in America, period You know, there’s blood, there’s ooze, there’s pus, there’s all kinds of vomit that we’re seeing in the nation, metaphorically and it’s a part of the healing process So let us take an active stance in this healing process And Lori, I think that’s kinda what I was speaking to in that moment I hope that kind of clarifies – It does, thank you And it is visceral I mean, it is not, I mean, we are, I think, inspired by the work we’re doing together

And there’s a lot of pain and a lot of discomfort with this moment too, but great hope and inspiration And I want to throw that open to others about what this experience has been like, and where you are with it now, and what you’ve been learning – I wanna just step in a little bit and just say how difficult the first couple of weeks were after watching George Floyd being murdered on television I think that it’s really, really hard to really educate folks about that feeling That the color of your skin, your beautiful blackness, your beautiful brownness, is a threat to someone So much of a threat, that they will literally push the breath out of your body And it’s hard to explain I cried a lot and I’m not a crier So just, it was really became important that the work that came from this, the artwork that came from this, the stories that be told, that hoping that a hundred years from now, they’ll never have to go through or we’re going through now They’ll never have to watch someone being murdered simply by reason of someone not liking how they look and all the myths that surround them And it’s really just important to make sure that we document that this protest, even the art that was created, we have to remember who died We have to remember what happened That is very important And we have to really credit, all of us, credit black people and brown folks who struggle in this country to this day as the genesis of this, and that the problem has surrounded us And I think we are here to lead everyone into a solution And it’s important that we credit, we credit our movements, not just now, but historical movements, Black Panther Movement, et cetera, for that work And speaking of credit, and I just want to make sure that artists as first responders, I want to make sure that we credit Ashara Ekundayo for that term That’s something that she brought to the table And it’s really important that we always check ourselves, and what we say, what we do, as to where is the source So, that’s what I want – Thank you – You’re welcome – Thank you Randolph, you wanna chime in? Assan, anything with this? – Yeah, I would love to say something that I am, it’s funny being a gallery owner here in Oakland, downtown Oakland, for the past six years or so I would never, I never thought I’d be on a Zoom type call with the Black Cultural Zone, Open Art Murmur and Oakland Museum, and just being like, it took this to get here, but it’s just, that’s kind of like, I’ve been trying to find the silver lining in all this stuff, because out of all this chaos, it’s finally, I feel like we’re at a point where this potential of us putting art and culture and people of color first, and and supporting us in this new world of COVID and politics is just like, it’s just, it’s amazing I’m really finding a lot of inspiration in watching us work together I remember, when I got the email and I was put into a thread with everyone that was here, and I was like, what am I doing in this thread? These are all heavy hitters I’m like, (laughs) why am I in this thread? And Randolph’s like, “yeah, yeah, you’re good You’re good.” (Jean laughing) I’m like, “okay” It’s like, it takes a village, right? It takes all of us to, actually, to recognize the problem And actually it takes people like us to actually make movements, and praying with our feet, and actually have solutions Because, yeah, I definitely am, we had Michael Brown, and we had a real moment there where it was very similar to this, but then everyone remembered, “oh, wait, I live in the Bay area.” And they forgot all about it And so now with COVID, I think there’s a time where we, maybe, have a chance to really not forget what’s happening and what’s happened, and let’s really make something beautiful out of it, and really start supporting the people that need support I tend to always try to find the positive outlook out of everything, just because it’s what makes me tick, but that’s what I feel And so it’s beautiful to see this come together Thank you – Thank you for that, Assan I’ll just jump in and add this one other piece that I feel like that this time right now is really ripe And I feel like the response to the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor was even that much more ripe, because of COVID, and because folks were already having the conversation of, what is my life about? How do I really want to live my day to day life? What is really essential to my everyday existence? And so I think that people are really in this space of like, what do I really want to create for myself? What do I really want to create for the world, and for the generations? What have we been doing, that was normal, that’s not even necessary? Or what have we been doing?

So, now we’re at this point that we get to transform what that is Now, we’re creating the new normal, whatever that is, not based upon Zoom life, or based upon, this technology relationship So really based upon what do we really want for humanity? What do we really want for our next generations? We have five children that you probably are going to hear in the background, sooner or later, bur just knowing that there is a way that, we have to create something new for them, right? – Yeah – Yeah. I can definitely add on, I just want to lift up just possibilities, inspiration, excuse me, possibilities, aspirations, and imaginations of things that we might not have seen before That’s really what it’s gonna take right now And I think that’s the beauty of the artists, how they could just create these images, and these things, whether it’s vocal, whether it’s movement, whether it’s spray paint It’s truly magic It’s truly magical what can happen And then that, I saw someone say how they’re able to transfer the emotion, where you could feel the emotion of that moment That’s, to me, one of the powerful roles of an artist It’s just an honor It’s just really an honor I’m just grateful to be a part of it – It’s a creative world It’s a creative world right now, for sure – And, for me, life, for me, often comes down to opportunity, timing, and collective action Really individual action, as well as collective action And I think right now, and a lot of people are feeling like this is an inflection point It’s also a convergence We’ve got the social distress, we’ve got this health distress, just the political environment is absolutely ridiculous And then on top of that, the sky is falling You know what I mean? (laughs) And so, as artists, I’ve been an artist most of my 52 years And I’ve always known that artists make something out of nothing That’s what we do And then we also take something and make more And so, as we all come together, I’m really excited about kind of the ongoing conversations that we can have since the energy is up And I said it in a meeting the other day, as long as people are getting shot, we’re gonna have to continue to have this conversation And it just so happened that the day before, something like that, it happened again It’s been an opportunity for us to create black and ally group conversations It’s been an opportunity to have black and brown conversations, Asian and brown conversations That’s just been an opportunity that we can not squander And then I was reading some of the comments, like “you should do this, you should do this.” And you know, a lot of that stuff is going to happen I see these things, ultimately, permanently fostered, at locations, all around the city But I think, again, and it’s in the principles that this art has to be the backdrop for these conversations that we have to kind of heal our communities – Jean, I wanna give you a word here too – I just listened to everybody I feel like it’s just been an amazing experience, for me personally Just the wisdom of this group has been amazing for me to internalize and make, help me think differently And I also appreciate that, like everybody said, I believe that this is a model of how arts and community organizations must collaborate and must come together to have a larger, positive, and widespread impact I’ll just leave it at it’s a time to think expansively, for all of us, about what we want the creative community to look like, here in Oakland And then put some of those ideas into practice And the only way that we’re going to be able to work through so much, so many of the issues that we’re seeing, political, social, climate-based, is by working together I really do believe that this is a model of how we need to move ahead – Thank you all I will just very quickly add it has been a transformative experience for me, personally And, you work in a large, I work in a large institution that has a lot of work to do internally

And so I see this work as inside-out and outside-in And the great learnings that I’m getting from being part of this partnership and coalition are ones that we will take back and be part of our institutional transformation, as well So we have some questions, I think, from folks on the call And I think we’re going to take a few questions I’m calling an audible here, with some input from my colleagues, that I think we’ll do some questions And then we do want to share with you, this is not a one and done We have some future programs planned There is way more conversation that needs to take place than we could do in the time tonight And so we’re going to share a little bit with you about what to look forward to But wanted to see if we can take some questions And I am not sure even how we see these So I wanna make sure, there we go “Thank you for this work, everyone.” Oh, well, let’s say this is Kristen Zarimba, who is one of our wonderful partners in this from the city of Oakland “Knowing this will take many to realize, how do you suggest people who are interested in supporting this work get involved?” We’ll be sharing more about how folks can get involved I would say, first and foremost, if you’re interested in supporting this work, you can support the Black Cultural Zone and Oakland Art Murmur And so we’ll have some information about how you can do this But we’ll be, as our work continues, we’ll definitely be letting folks know how they can support and get involved And I will just say these are both organizations that are doing amazing work with the art and the Black Cultural Zone, with business development And their incredible markets at Liberation Park, next to the Eastmont Mall, are incredible community resources, as well Others? Wanna take any of the questions? – I, in addition, I mean the support is great, and I think there’s inner work that everybody needs to do to understand how we are here, how that happened, how we watched that, and how we can go back and just work every day, and how we haven’t noticed for decades I think there’s that inner work that needs to be done I think people should study up, read up If you don’t understand, if you don’t know privilege, if you don’t get how this can happen Take the time I’ve been reading a lot, I love to read Read, study, do the research, do the work, reach out, connect, question yourself, question your assumptions, question what your beliefs are He shoulda, coulda Maybe he should have been this, or should’ve sat still All those thoughts that come to mind, reflect Because we have gotta change – Thank you for that, CJ And I will just, I know there are many places You can Google any term these days and get an incredible resource list We actually do have one on the museum website, that our staff crowdsourced, about resources to read and businesses that you can support, and black-led organizations that you can also fund Other thoughts? Great comment on a resource to read – And also – And I think, oh, go ahead, Randolph, go ahead – There is another question by Russell Ward Did we already read that – I don’t know Go ahead and say it, Randolph, ’cause I- – “When a nearby team took down their murals, I asked if I could show one on a private wall, in view of the street Is there interest in getting the community involved in displaying work?” What we did, or the position that we were taking, is that we wanted to, one, engage the artists, two, make sure that the works were documented and preserved, and then, three, have additional opportunities to exhibit the work To the degree that we could do that in an organized fashion, then that was the goal The other goal was to leave the artwork in display, where it should be for as long as possible Because that’s where it needs to be It needs to be seen, it does not need to be stored It only needs to be stored, when it is to come down and there isn’t another place We also do have, kind of, some subsequent, some ongoing exhibition opportunities in the work And so we are, again, we don’t own the artwork, and artists can do, ultimately, the artists can do what it is that they want to do But it would be great for us to kind of work together to kind of figure out where they were, where the pieces were going So I guess the simple answer is yes, we would love community participation

We would also kind of like to work with the artists to preserve it and display it in a really a cogent, comprehensive manner – Great – And then saw, okay, yeah, I see it just popped up on the screen “I hoped that the Oakland City elected officials would be a part of this conversation Were they invited?” I don’t know how the invitations went out, this particular time, but I know we’re working intimately with Lauren Taylor, as well as Pamela I saw her on the line, as well And they’ve definitely been allies and have supported us, really, through a lot of these endeavors It’s very responsive to our efforts in the Black Cultural Zone and District Six Definitely thankful for them And, go ahead, Randolph – She was there because many of the pieces happened in Chinatown, which is her district She was at Liberation Park at the launch of the farmer’s market on Sunday And so there is some participation, not only from electeds, but also kind of the city, the Director of the Cultural Arts Department, as you know, he’s been kind of in our ongoing meetings, as well, and providing supports – Yeah, Roberto’s been involved They gave us a small grant to help with this logistics program The city of Oakland did, as well as Rainin Foundation Thank you – I want to just give it another minute If folks see a question that they’d like to, oh, the nuts and bolts of documenting, preserving, and storing the artworks And we can give a high level answer, because I think, then, one of the things we wanted to share tonight is we have a series of programs that, actually, Sizwe and Mizan are going to be facilitating more, because we knew we couldn’t cover this all in one program So we’ll be sharing more about what is coming up But this has been a collective effort with volunteers from Oakland Art Murmur, with folks from the Black Cultural Zone, really reaching out to property owners and to artists to make sure we’re trying to create a comprehensive database I say we, (laughs), it’s really been the efforts of a lot of other folks to create a comprehensive database and get as much information as we can about the works And then there’ve been many, many, many photographers and videographers who have been photographing and documenting We’re trying to get our arms around the documentation that’s out there Work that has started to come down, has been transported The museum team helped with that And we have other resources that are offering to support that And currently being stored, temporarily, at SPEARITWURX, in the space that they hold at the Eastmont Mall Longterm, this is what we’re still figuring out This is still such a live moment And art is still being created That longterm preservation and documentation, we are, we’re still working with, but there are a lot of other efforts I think Randolph said there are many efforts We are one effort But there are books in the works and other documentation that is actively underway So anybody, oh, yes And thank you for the note about Peralta Hacienda So that was an effort of the Unity Council, and we are collaborating with them They invited artists to paint, and storefronts and businesses in the Fruitvale District, and now are partnering with Peralta Hacienda to show those murals And so folks can get a chance to visit the Peralta Hacienda house and park There’re incredible murals there as well So again, it’s such a vast effort, and so much art and so much great documentation happening I think we are seeing folks beginning to need to leave So I wonder if we could share the screen Sizwe, you’re there I wanna make sure we talk about the programs that are coming up So let’s share the screen, and it has some information about our program series that, and we’ll share a little bit more And do you have audio, Sizwe, are you okay? You’re not No? I’ll just chime in on this This is, Mizan, I don’t think we can hear you I’m so sorry This is a series that this coalition will continue to be involved with, but really facilitated and led by Sizwe and Mizan We’re looking at a program on October 7th, around Honoring the Artists, November 4th, Art as Racial Healing, and December 2nd, Forwarding the Movement And with those programs we’ll be on a different platform We’re looking to be on either Facebook Live or YouTube, to really be able to bring in video, and music,

and kind of more multi-modal, as Sizwe says, to even make those programs more multilayered and experiential So, sorry, Sizwe, I think I stole your thunder a little bit there But I know you have more thunder, if you wanna add to what I’ve just described – Plenty to share Can you hear us now? – Yes – Okay, cool Go ahead, Mizan, you can chime in – So yeah, I mean, these are really just going to be, like I say, experiential kind of opportunities for us to get a little bit deeper into the work, into the artist, into the element about how we really use this moment, and this time, to really transform our world And that that’s the work, y’all And so then the forward movement is really about us creating the vision for the next steps And so we do hope that you are able to enjoy this They will be a little bit more interactive than these series, this initial one, that we wanted to just really, just lay the playing field about what has happened, and so that you can understand that part And so these next two pieces that we’re gonna host, our third Black Artist Call will be next Friday at 1:00 PM And then we will also have an opportunity to build with our ally artists, as well, at 12:00 PM And so that there is an opportunity for us to, really, for us to just build with both sets of groups of folks, really honoring the legacy and the work that each has done, but really trying to galvanize and organize around the different opportunities we have to continue to create new works, and to be able to really spread the messages of hope and healing, of resistance and resilience, and of the way that we really want to transform our world And so here is also our contact information, emails, for all of us And yeah, this has just been a beautiful conversation I know it’s just the beginning, but there’s so much more work and we do, similar to what CJ said, we really do hope that each one of you takes this opportunity to really reflect on what’s yours to do in this time Each of us has our own role and our own path And so each one of us has an opportunity to really shine light on that path, so that goodness shines even brighter than some of this other craziness Even though the sun is a little darker today, here in Oakland, we know that goodness shines bright all the time when we gave it the power, so – For sure, for sure Just echoing that, Mizan took my thunder a little bit, but yeah, (group laughing) CJ resonated with me volumes Thank you for lifting that up And I’m just going to triple echo that, that this is really what this space is about It’s about that mirror It’s about looking to see what is mine to do here now You know what I’m saying? It’s sometimes I just want to offer stillness, as well Sometimes it’s just being still to find that right answer in that right moment ‘Cause sometimes the reactionary moves can cause more harm even if we think we’re coming from a good place – Yeah – So thank you CJ for a lifting that up And I’m passing it – Let’s add one more contact information to that previous list Let’s add [email protected], and that would be Assan’s Yeah, so [email protected] and I’ll put it in the I think that’s right – Yeah, forgive me for that, that leaving that out, Assan Bless you And really, actually, I know some folks have asked about digital, where to see these things online I know that there’s many different resources and Endeavors Oakland is definitely one of those sites that’s the beginning to capture some of these different pieces, as well – We can share out, in the followup that we’ll do to this, some of the places where you can see more of the images online There are a lot of great websites that are sharing, that have documented this So with that, I just want to express huge gratitude to Assan, to CJ, to Randolph, to Jean, to Sizwe and Mizan for being part of this As we’ve said, this is just the start of the conversation This is a movement The work begins inside and goes out And we honor the people whose lives have lost and whose memories we lift up with this art and with our work So thank you all, have a good night – Thank you all, be well – I don’t even know what time of day it is, but whatever it is Have a good one (everyone laughing)