The Oakland Neighborhood Project is designed to let the people in Oakland's neighborhoods tell their stories in their own words. I began in 2014 to identify and photograph one person, family, or group in each of Oakland’s 146 neighborhoods. Each photo session takes place in that person’s neighborhood and features that person or persons holding a sign with their message to the rest of the world written on it.
So far, I have photographed representatives of a third of Oakland's neighborhoods and am adding one to three neighborhoods each week.
Now that the project is this far along, it's time for the rest of Oakland and the world to see these images. The primary goal of the project is to print and place 10-12 large posters on the windows of an empty building at the corner of 19th Street and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland. (The owner of the building has generously given permission to do this until work begins on the building at some point in the future.) This is a busy and active part of the city (right at a BART entrance/exit) and will expose the project to thousands more Oaklanders and others. These are larger posters that range in size from 4' x 6' to 6' x 10'. Each poster includes a photo of one of the subjects, a write up about them and about their neighborhood, and a map showing where their neighborhood is in Oakland.
The printing and hanging of these posters is being partially funded by the Downtown Oakland Association (a Community Benefit District Management Corporation) but printing up these posters is not inexpensive, and that is why I need your help. The first phase of this project is to print and hang one poster on each of the 12 ground-floor windows of this building. But then, we want to replace at least four of the posters each month with new images/neighborhoods, and continue rotating the images as long as we are able.
If I raise sufficient funds, I would like to extend this program and print more posters of varying sizes for placement in a similar fashion throughout Oakland's neighborhoods. There are a couple of buildings that have offered up their windows to do so. I would also like to print smaller posters (like the one below) to put in the windows of retail outlets all over Oakland. If I raise enough funds, that will be the next step in promoting this project.
Whether you are able to donate today or not, I want to thank you for taking the time to read about the Oakland Neighborhood Project, and I hope that you also take the time to share this with everybody you know. If you did decide to become a donor today, that's great! I look forward to thanking you with a gift and personally if I am able. Please know that you are helping the Oakland community.
Risks and challenges
While any type of project of this nature and this scope faces challenges, I have been working on the Oakland Neighborhood Project long enough to know the amount of time and effort required to complete it and know that it is well within my ability to get it done on time. The printing and displaying of the images is something that I am confident of my ability to complete, and I have an army of volunteers that includes professional designers, map makers, artists, writers, and others who are willing and eager to see it through.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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