LAKE MERRITT AUTUMN LIGHTS FESTIVAL 2022 & 2021
ANCESTOR'S GROVE: A SPACE JOURNEY
Video by Alexa Burrell
This art installation by African American lighting designers / visual artists / scientists -- Stephanie Anne Johnson and Kevin E Myrick is a creative manifestation of our exploration of outer space, African ancestral practices, nature, and sustainable resources. We chose the baobab tree, one of the oldest and tallest organisms on earth whose symbolic & medicinal qualities are a unique part of our African legacy.
Ancestor's Grove: A Space Journey is our Afro Futurist vision of the intersection between legacy, nature and technology, and the bond between humans and the spirit world. Ancestor's Grove: A Space Journey was created specifically for the Lake Merritt Light Festival. - Gardens at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA
Winner: Oakland Parks & Recreation
Oakland Theater Project's 'Binding Ties' - EXTENDED to Sun. March 7, 2021
"Oakland Theater Project's 'Binding Ties' makes 16th Street Station come alive! The Project's drive-in, site-specific show uses projected slides, and FM station and an in-person actor.... The show, created by Stephanie Anne Johnson with Michael Copeland Sydnor (who died in 2012), so awakens the station's ghosts that when a car's headlights beam from a side street, your brain might momentarily think the light comes from a Southern Pacific engine." SF Chronicle
SEE MORE> Program Notes, Reviews from the SF Chronicle, Broadway World and Local News Matters. Also hear Wanda Sabir's interview with Stephanie.
TICKETS: oaklandtheaterproject.org/binding-ties -SOLD OUT
New exhibit showcases vital contribution of African Americans to Berkeley
A new Berkeley Historical Society exhibit open Sunday May 16 - Oct. 10, 2021 (onsite and online) showcases the influence of African Americans in the city from 1940 to 2000, featuring flourishing business and churches, a vibrant political and social scene, and prominent Black residents who helped shape Berkeley’s reputation as a diverse destination city.
“African Americans in Berkeley’s History and Legacy” - Co-curators: Harvey Smith and Dr. Stephanie Johnson
The exhibit highlights the Rainbow Sign, an African American cultural and social center that drew influential Black artists and activists from all over the country to Berkeley in the 1970s, which was frequented by Vice President Kamala Harris and her family when she was a child. Other Black political figures who visited the center included Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress in 1968; Ron Dellums, who grew up in Oakland and was a Berkeley City Councilman before representing the region in Congress; and Huey P. Newton, who founded the Black Panther Party in Oakland in 1966.
See All About It>
"AFRICAN AMERICANS IN BERKELEY: FOUR FAMILIES
Curated by Dr. Stephanie Anne Johnson and Harvey Smith
Oct 27, 2019 – April 4, 2020
African Americans in Berkeley: Four Families, is the first in a series of exhibits to explore the extensive history of African Americans in Berkeley, beginning with the first early families, through the explosion in population during the wartime industry boom of World War II, and into the civil rights era and beyond.
It focuses on housing issues, including racial covenants, redlining, fair housing, and the current displacement crisis: employment discrimination; religious, social and business organizations; arts, entertainment, education, politics and sports; and notable Black contributors to the city's civic life.
This first exhibit focuses on four African American families: the Griffins, the Reids, the Rumfords, and the Howards. The exhibit includes a rich photographic record, personal memorabilia from the families, and special programs including film presentations.