Office of Economic Development
Office of Economic Development

 

Frances Albrier Public Art Event

Community + History: Frances Albrier and Social Change in South Berkeley

 Berkeley, California, (January 11, 2006)  The City of Berkeley Civic Arts Program is pleased to announce a free public event on February 4 celebrating the history and legacy of social change and civil rights activism  around San Pablo Park and Longfellow School in South Berkeley.

"Community + History: Frances Albrier and Social Change in South Berkeley” will take place Saturday, February 4, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Frances Albrier Community Center in San Pablo Park. Local historian, Donna Graves, recipient of a Public Art Program grant to create a permanent interpretive plaque celebrating Frances Albrier’s legacy of social activism, is coordinating the event.

Co-sponsored by the Frances Albrier Community Center as part of their Black History Month programming, “Community + History” will bring Berkeley residents together to learn about Albrier and to share their own stories of civil rights and social change in the neighborhood.  Since the early 20th Century, the Longfellow/San Pablo Park area has been a racially diverse neighborhood, with African American and Asian American residents living alongside their Euro-American neighbors.  

 “As I dug more deeply into Albrier’s life,” says South Berkeley resident and Project Director Donna Graves, “I realized her remarkable activism took place in a neighborhood that had its own fascinating history. Because of patterns of housing discrimination, the area west of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and south of Dwight Way was a vital, multi-racial place where people worked within their own ethnic communities and formed broader alliances for social justice.  For example, one of Albrier’s contemporaries, Byron Rumford, organized the Berkeley Interracial Committee that raised their voice against the WWII forced evacuation and incarceration of their Japanese American neighbors."

While Berkeley’s activist history of recent decades is widely recognized, local struggles for social change in earlier decades have not been well documented and are less well known.  By collecting memories of community elders, the program will bring many of the neighborhood’s forgotten or hidden stories to light.  Participants will  bring photographs and memorabilia from their neighborhood’s past to be digitally scanned by the Berkeley Historical Society (BHS) and  archived for preservation and future use.  The event will be video-recorded and copies  placed at the Berkeley Public Library’s History Room, as well as in BHS archives.

                      Community + History: Frances Albrier and Social Change in South Berkeley 

 WHEN:           Saturday, February 4th 2006, 2-4 PM

 WHERE:        Frances Albrier Community Center
                         2800 Park Street, San Pablo Park, Berkeley

 WHAT:           A free public program inviting residents to learn about Frances Albrier and share their memories of
                         social change in the San Pablo Park/Longfellow School neighborhood from the 1930s-1960s.

This event is part of a Public Art Project of the City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission. Co-sponsors include the Frances Albrier Community Center, San Pablo Neighborhood Council, Berkeley Historical Society and the West Berkeley Foundation.

For more information on this public art project please see the Civic Arts web page at: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/civicarts/publicart.htm, or contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, 510-981-7533, mmerker@ci.berkeley.ca.us, or Donna Graves at 510-540-6809.

 

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