From the Desk of the Executive Director
You may have driven past or even stopped to view the Black Lives Matter memorial and Healing Art Garden in the parking lot at the corner of Taylor in Webster. This project, sponsored by West End Arts & Entertainment District and the West Alameda Business Association (WEAED), was born out of the unrest that had small businesses, already pained by COVID-19 closures, having to board up their businesses in anticipation of unrest. We are grateful to say no damage happened on Webster Street. Out of the discomfort of having to board their businesses, several business owners got together and decided to contact artists who could paint pieces that would become The Healing Art Garden when the plywood was taken down from their windows. The structure was built by Tanoa Stewart and team from A-Town Booking Agency & Events and will be completed in the coming weeks as we hope to receive some of the work that was led by Deirdre Freeman for a similar project on Park Street.
Artists from all over the City of Alameda and beyond have contributed to this project, including Mynt Ortega, Kim Brown Dye, Joanna Ruckman, Jessica Warren, Wesley Warren, Dave Sylvester, Sara Edge, Mikey Elliott and many others. The intention is to leave this work up through fall as we hope it to be the backdrop for an al fresco dining area project that WABA and West End Arts & Entertainment District are working to put together to assist businesses with additional outdoor dining and socially distant gathering space. WEAED hopes to preserve the work, possibly for the Alameda museum, so as not to lose sight of this historical moment and the coming together through art and the hearts and souls of Alamedans.
WEAED hopes to photograph the work and have prints made that can be sold to raise funds to support a number of other nonprofits right here in Alameda.
We hope that you will join us for a community gathering and memorial at the site once the art project has been completed.