Eastside Arts Alliance (ESAA) is a collective of artists and community workers based in East Oakland’s San Antonio district, one of the Bay Area’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Since 1999, ESAA has provided free multimedia arts workshops to neighborhood youth; organized the reputable, annual Malcolm X JazzArts Festival in San Antonio Park; and presented music, dance, theater, spoken word, video, and town hall events in the community.
Now, ESAA is making history by being one of the only grassroots organizations, comprised of artists of color, that will own and operate an independent community cultural center. This new landmark institution is the Eastside Cultural Center. The new Eastside Cultural Center just celebrated its grand opening on New Years Eve.
With the continued and anticipated support of government, philanthropic organizations, and private donors, the Eastside Cultural Center will be more than a place for people to gather and receive services. The ESCC will offer:
• A new state of the art cultural arts center
• A new facility for a troubled urban core city that addresses blight
• After school programming that serves at-risk teenagers and addresses youth-specific issues
• Safe, vibrant nighttime activities in an underserved community
• Promotion of civic engagement and community pride
• Affordable housing that boasts beautiful studios and one-bedroom apartments and
• A signature model of micro-enterprise/small business development that incorporates two storefront, community-based businesses
- Tumi’s, a web and graphic design firm born in from the Fruitvale district and
- Oakland Ready to Learn, a non-profit organization providing children ages 0-5 and their families with supports, services, and activities.
One of the key cornerstones to the conception and fruition of the Eastside Cultural Center is the partnership between ESCC and Affordable Housing Associates. This partnership has allowed the development of a property that will not only serve as a first rate cultural center, but also as a home f or 16 units of affordable housing and two live/work storefronts for community-based businesses.
For more information on programs and activities at the Eastside Cultural Center, please contact: