The Community Rejuvenation Project cultivates healthy communities through beautification, education, and celebration. We achieve this mission through experiential programs that promote professional development, artistic and cultural expression, and community empowerment.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: The Community Rejuvenation Project Introduces the Martin Luther King Cultural Corridor


OAKLAND, CA - April 27, 2010 - On Sunday, April 25th, the Community Rejuvenation Project inaugurated the stretch from West Grand Avenue to 28th Street as the Martin Luther King Cultural Corridor, just three blocks from the latest homicide. With the completion of a mural honoring civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Dorothy Height, as well as Marcus Garvey, the founder of the Pan-African movement and philosophy, the organization created a series of four new murals to inspire peace and cultural pride.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way has long been known for its violence and gang activity. It is one of the most heavily policed districts in the city. The Cultural Corridor includes five murals with content ranging from West Oakland celebrations to scrapper bikes to plant and animal life.

"We chose Ghostown and the MLK Corridor for this project because of the dumping and extreme vandalism we noticed in the area. We hope this can be a catalyst for change in the community, and we want to create landmarks that people take pride in," says participating artist and Oakland resident Dave Kim.

The Community Rejuvenation Project transforms blighted areas of the community through murals, community clean-up, landscaping, gardening, and community celebrations. The grassroots organization transform high target walls, routinely blighted areas, and abandoned lots and turn them into points of community pride.

The former Foster's Freeze was major target for blight and vandalism before the Community Rejuvenation Project cleaned up the block and painted a mural on the building.

During the last month while the project was being executed, the Community Rejuvenation Project also cleaned each of the blocks along the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Corridor, picking up over 15 full bags of garbage between West Grand and Sycamore. St. Over 20 volunteers participated in the project and a new partnership was created with St. Vincent de Paul, a nonprofit organization providing direct assistance to needy men, women and children in the area. This partnership will allow CRP to implement the newest component of the CRP's initiatives, an on-site breakfast program at its murals.

For more information or high-resolution photos, please visit our website at

Four bags of trash and "Love, Art, and Music Are The Universal Language" adorn the corner of 25th and MLK where are fence barricades a park closed by the city because it was haven for drug use.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

No Gang Injunctions

Here is a banner that was created by youth in the Arrow-Soul Program to voice their opposition to the City Attorney's proposed Gang Injunctions in North Oakland. It will be displayed at a protest at the Alameda County Courthouse today!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reflections from a New Volunteer

Mercedes and Wren rock the spot at 25th and MLK (Photo by Pancho Pescador)

Working on this mural was the first time I was part of an entire mural making process from the beginning to finish. I had taken a Mural Creation and Design course at Berkeley City College with the fabulous Xicana Muralist Juana Alicia Montoya. I participated more in developing the blueprint than getting my hands dirty in the printing process. I also it was my first aerosol mural, though the part I worked on was 50% hand brush and 50% spray can.

I wanted to participate in this project because I believe art and culture can be a tool for activism and activate minds to think more politically. Plus making art is always a beautiful thang, especially when made in a collective for the benefit of the community and not simply one individual. And contrary to “popular belief,” police, and government officials the neighbor was receptive to the aerosol art.

Folks would walk by and ask, “Y’all opening a restaurant?” We would reply, “Naw, just painting a mural.” During the experience I met a lot folks and engaged in different conversations with folks in around the block. My favorite was listening to the elders talk about the Frosty Freeze that once stood there and the construction of the freeway and all their personal stories of the neighborhood. My experience for the most part was positive, than of course there were people yelling at us on how to paint and what to include. But that was expected.

My assignment was simple. I kept telling Desi, “I can’t draw or paint.” But he didn’t care. I was given the job to paint a pattern along the top of the building. “Perfect,” I thought. Being that the mural was going to be in West Oakland-a predominately African American community and I being a Black person it only made sense to paint some kind of African rooted pattern. I chose to paint adrinka symbols from the Akan people of Ghana. Each black and red symbol holds a specific meaning and chosen specific from this neighborhood. Though majority of the residents in the area who will walk pass these symbols may not understand the meaning behind them, there’s still power in these and hopefully spark the curiosity of one individual to up look the meaning.

mercedes martin
april 19, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

25th and MLK Video Preview...

This is the PREVIEW of the 2nd video put out by our videographer Mike Melero. He also filmed and edited our short video of our summer pilot project.

This mural was the first of 4 murals that will be done in the new Martin Luther King Cultural Corridor that we are creating. These mural run primarily on Martin Luther King and 25th but will extend to Grand Ave. (the entrance to the corridor) and reach all the way to one of our older murals at 28th and MLK.