Arts and Housing: Narrative Shift

Arts and Housing: Narrative Shift

In 2020, the Artistic Hubs Cohort is focusing on the Bay Area’s housing challenges and using art to tell stories and shift narratives around how we talk and think about housing, displacement, homelessness, and more.

Schedule of Events


Tent City at Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day at AAACC

Honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through service. Volunteer at the African American Art and Culture Center (AAACC) on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. This service day will focus on Homelessness and will feature a screening of the film “Tent City” (watch the trailer).

Produced by (393films), From Writer/Director Adimu “WolfHawkJaguar” Madyun comes the story of Cicero Jacobs. Jacobs is a loving father/ husband who falls into deep depression and mental collapse after his wife dies from cancer. Tent City highlights the impact of unprocessed grief on mental health in America, the toll that gentrification has taken on the city of Oakland (nation wide), and ignites a call to action to reclaim our humanity in the midst of our ever changing world. “In a city of tents, every tent has a story.” It is up to us to change the narrative of homelessness, mental trauma, and despair.

Art by Thomas “Detour” Evans

Date: Jan 20, 10 am – 3 pm

See a sneak peek of Tent City

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Betti Ono Gallery

The Fire Next Time: A Call & Response is a multi-year,  Oakland led international arts and culture initiative. TFNT: A Call and Response takes its name and inspiration from the life and legacy of James Baldwin and the band of artists, actors, instigators and agitators who worked together to advance freedom, human rights, racial and social justice. As a site-specific container for this exploration, this first call seeks submissions from artists geographically linked to the Oakland, Bay Area and call this region home.

Dates: January – June 2020

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Still Here

A dance theatre piece that explores displacement, risk of homelessness, perseverance, love, family, and community that keeps folks striving for safety, dignity and home, no matter what. Through a partnership with EBHO, Grown Women Dance Collective amplifies the voices of community members and housing advocates through dance, music, spoken work, and multimedia. The piece challenges the viewer to examine their role in displacement and what choices they can make to help reverse this human crisis.

May 7, 2020 (At Affordable Housing Week, Classic Cars West, Oakland)
June 27, 2020, at 6:30 pm and June 28, 2020, at 2 pm (At “Fallen Heroes, Rising Stars: A Junteenth Celebration Through Dance,” Malonga Center for the Arts, Oakland)

Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Culture Forward 2020

Through an immersive multidimensional/multidisciplinary exhibit, Alena Museum and Townfolk Project design an experience of Oakland past, present, and future. Townfolk’s rich videoscapes meet Alena Museum’s experiential Afrofuturism to share stories of present-day Oaklanders, and challenge participants to engage the Town as active solution-bearers. Join us in honoring the spirit of the Town and being a part of the solution.

Dates: May 2020

Location: 1333 8th Street, Oakland

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SafeSpace/NoPlace: LBTQ People of Color

Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project – QWOCMAP

Dates: June 12-14, 2020

We’re taught to save ourselves before helping others. What would happen if our first instincts about safety were to make sure that vulnerable people were ok? SafeSpace/NoPlace combines filmmaking, projection technology, outdoor screenings, and community engagement to explore how displacement, houselessness, policy, and discourse amplify violence against already marginalized peoples. This 16th anniversary of the San Francisco International Queer Women of Color Film Festival screens on streets, buildings, cars, and monuments to history of LBTQ people of color to shift narratives about public safety from that which maintains the comfort of the most privileged and reimagines it as safety for us all by caring for the most vulnerable populations.

SOMArts Cultural Center Narrative Shift Project

Artists Gabriela Alemán, Jazmin Ontiveros, and Valeria Olguín Ontiveros are partnering with Mission Asset Fund to create artworks highlighting the labor, love, and sacrifice associated with combating the housing crisis and economic displacement. Opening with a free, all ages reception on Thursday, June 18, 6–9 pm, the project culminates with a film screening and exhibition in SOMArts’ Ramp Gallery.

Date: June 18, 2020, 6-9 pm

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Art, Culture, and Belonging in Chinatown

Chinese Culture Center (CCC) presents bi-coastal artist Christine Wong Yap to explore belonging and resiliency in Chinatown. Through storytelling workshops and community participation, Wong Yap’s “Belonging” project supports the civic engagement phase of the Chinatown Cultural Planning process by capturing the stories of Chinatown residents and the neighborhood’s unique history. CCC invites you to the public education art launch of “Art, Culture, and Belonging in Chinatown” to view Wong Yap’s research and work that highlights selected stories which reflect “belonging” for Chinatown residents. CCC is a nonprofit arts organization based in San Francisco’s Chinatown, dedicated to elevating underserved communities and giving voice to equality.

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020

Location: Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny St., 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

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Spirithaus Gallery

An original recorded musical piece, in conjunction with a visual art component. Oakland born artists Goapele, Chinaka Hodge and Michael Aaberg will collaborate on an original recorded musical piece centered on the Oakland housing crisis and displacement specifically in west Oakland and the role in which the arts can assist in shifting the narrative. Josh ‘Bicaso’ Whitaker and Spirithaus Gallery will contribute a visual art series of works that will compliment the music as a visual support. The making of the project will be documented and presented with some sort of action at Spirithaus Gallery.

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