So there’s much ado in the Uptown District of Oaktown and it’s all pretty fun and exciting stuff…
First up, an Art Park / Sculpture Garden. Becks’ Living in the O blog posted about this news late last week with We did it! The Uptown sculpture garden will soon be a reality. Her post tells the story of a bunch of scrappy folks (activists, bloggers, and blog readers) who fought the good fight against plans to install a large parking lot in the now vacant lot on Telegraph [photo above], in favor of something far more interesting. Against all odds – they were frequently told there were no other viable options for the lot and a motion to approve it was even unanimously passed – they pressed on and proved that a few committed individuals really can make a difference. And what a difference this will make…
With a $200,000 grant from the NEA to help make the art park a reality:
“The park will include rotating temporary exhibitions of public sculpture, newly commissioned public art projects, and an amphitheater for events by arts and community organizations… [and] the division is partnering with Black Rock Arts Foundation to exhibit works of public art, many by Oakland artists.”
How cool is that? Super cool.
Next up, a new mural for Uptown. Possibly. I’m not sure of the status of this project but I was informed a few weeks ago that Oaksterdam University was interested in painting over one of their walls (all white with green lettering) with a more artistic mural depicting the cultural richness of the Uptown area. My understanding is the project was slated to be completed by the end of the year, and that the hope was for local Oakland artists to produce the work. I heard there was going to be an open proposal process but haven’t heard any specifics since… I’ll keep you posted.
Also, a restored street clock. Remember my post Past & Present about the old Art Deco street clock at 16th and Broadway? Well, apparently the clock is in the process of being restored (this info in from Naomi Schiff, thanks!). I happened by there a couple of weeks ago with my beau… we were on our way to a show at the Fox, and I said, “Hey! The clock is gone!” He thought I had the wrong corner, but I knew I was right. Hah. I can’t wait to see the finished product…
And lastly, how about a new Parkway Speakeasy? Ok, this is not a for sure deal, but a group of film lovers, community activists, and entrepreneurs are rallying to re-establish the sorely missed Parkway Picture Pub Speakeasy Theater, and one of their proposed locations is Uptown (they’ve cited difficulties in negotiating with the landlords of the old location).
I, for one, think Uptown would be a fabulous location for a small dual screen theater specializing in eclectic films. If you think so too, check out their site The New Parkway for more information including multiple ways to get involved and help make this a reality.
Remember, individuals can make a difference. Go Uptown!