Sunday, July 26, 2009

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The Presence of World Culture, starting in East Oakland

There's a something culturally afoot in Oakland and it promises to shake, rattle and roll you. Let's take a quick tour.

Shake: Corazón del Pueblo, literally "Heart of the People," is a locally owned store whose nondescript status ends at the sidewalk.

Corazón del Pueblo is a sanctuary of art and culture. Corazón offers fine art, handmade jewelry, huipiles (hand-embroidered Mayan blouses) and ceramics and books from Latin America. Corazón also has an incredible gallery space in the rear that has showcased local Chicano, Latino and Indigenous painters and cultural shows and performances.

Corazón del Pueblo is the place to hang out, buy gifts for your loved ones or for yourself and talk with the owner Josefina Lopez about what’s happening in the neighborhood. Afterwards, treat yourself to a delicious meal at any of the local restaurants or taco trucks featuring Mexican cuisine.

Visit Corazón del Pueblo, located at 4814 International Boulevard, in the heart of east Oakland.

Rattle: On any given night, the EastSide Cultural Center, at 2277 International Boulevard, is featuring world class acts of poetry, music and art.

EastSide Cultural Center is the place where you can listen to David Murray blowing wildly on his saxophones or the international tour de force, Amiri Baraka, reading his poems for a different more just, peaceful world living in color.

Every Thursday night, EastSide Cultural Center busts open its doors and turns on its microphones to broadcast the voices and words local and featured writers, slammers performers, musicians and poets sharing their stories and craft.

EastSide features documentaries and films that hold back their political punches on Friday nights. The EastSide Cultural Center also offers on-going workshops on hip-hop, art and writing. There's always great photography and paintings exhibited on their walls, too.

Roll: Let's roll! From east to west, north to south, Oakland’s artists, poets, writers and musicians are changing the colors, imagination and sounds of our communities. Without the work and vision of cultural workers in Oakland, our neighborhoods would be less livable, less vibrant.

Shake, rattle or roll – Oakland is teeming with a dynamic art and cultural movement that is creating the new there here in Oakland!