As councilmember, Peralez encourages community member involvement through participatory budgeting, a process that includes brainstorming ideas, encouraging volunteers and experts to develop project proposals, and voting on and funding projects. As he continues to look out for our city’s interests through his duties as councilmember, Peralez will soon be volunteering as a patrol officer for the Police Reserve Unit.
The SJAA is a collaborative effort across many involved in the cultural landscape of California. In an area globally known for technological innovation, the role the arts play in San Jose can get lost, voiceless. The group is a central voice for arts advocacy and education in San Jose and is planning ways to address the impact of AB 5 and many other policies and issues permeating the arts.
As Brian Boitano skates onto the ice, the psychological weight is colossal. “It’s like the microwave gets turned on,” he describes, “and you’re cooking from the inside out, ready to explode.” The roar of 20,000 throats tidal waves over him and washes across the Saddledome. The almost palpably solid feeling of 20,000 pairs of eyes latch onto the back of his neck like a grappling hook. He strikes an erect pose, made all the more commanding in a blue military uniform. Silence falls like an ax. The music swells. And Boitano’s skates stir to life.
When Kristi Yamaguchi saw the ice show at the Hayward Southland Mall as a little girl, she was in awe. “Just seeing the lights and the costumes…the performances were just really magical the way they all came together,” she remembers. “As a six-year-old, it’s like wow.”
Elements of art, music, writing, philosophy and community come together in his laundry list of mainstays and bylines. Blogs, music collaborations, stores, galleries, design houses, dance crews, poetry, and activism are portions of his multifaceted persona. Try to label or define Dandiggity and you will quickly realize there may be no definition for what he does. Creator, organizer, and director all seem to fall short of capturing the energy and initiative that have made him one of the most diverse people you will meet.
East San Jose was arguably the hub of the lowrider golden age during the late ’70s and through the ’80s, despite its LA roots—a period Abel refers to as the “King and Story Days.” From Friday to Sunday, Low Conspiracy (which was 80-members strong at its peak) cruised the boulevard with dozens of other clubs late into the night. Thousands of car enthusiasts milled around on the sidewalks and daydreamed themselves into many a driver’s seat.
As the 10th-largest city in the United States, San Jose’s local news offerings are startlingly sparse. The Mercury News has reduced its staff reporters in recent years, even while buying out many of the surrounding community newspapers. Metro fills some of the holes in San Jose coverage, but as a free weekly, its scope is limited. Online publications like Patch have struggled with readership, and TV news outlets spread their resources across the entire Bay Area. All of this leaves Silicon Valley residents with few opportunities to read about local politics, community issues, and other important news affecting their lives.
Since leaving his native Hawaii for UC Berkeley in 1985, writer and scholar Jeff Chang has emerged as a potent contemporary cultural critic and one of hip-hop’s leading advocates.
Jeff Chang may be one of today’s leading contemporary cultural scholars, but there are plenty of signs that he’s still very much a fan of the culture he writes about so eloquently and thoroughly.
Mikomi Yoshikawa-Baker, “Miko,” desperately wanted to protest the murder of George Floyd. But, given the police’s rampant use of tear gas and rubber bullets, she also wanted to keep herself and her young daughter away from the crowds. So she looked around the downtown neighborhoods, noticed all the boarded-up windows, and discovered the best way to join the movement—by calling in an army of creatives, buying up gallons of paint, and depicting powerful antiracist messages on the ubiquitous blank lumber.
Of the people, by the people, for the people: such is how the Conscious San Jose Festival came about—how it operates in every moment and how it dreams for the future of our world. It’s a celebration of yoga, wellness, music, art, food, but most of all, community—a rosy bubble of possibility where anyone is accepted, and everyone belongs.
Assisting with this mission is Michael Ogilvie, San Jose’s public art director. Seeking to deepen San Jose inhabitants’ appreciation of their home, Ogilvie leads the city’s public art program by stewarding over 250 works of art and research and also plans and evaluates public art projects.
Design a business plan for a mom and pop shop. Throw in all the extras, goodies, and toppings, like locally sourced content, community building, local economy boosting, and anything else that sounds good. Do not be shy, put it all in there. In fact, build your dream business. Have you got it in your head? OK, now take this business plan and put it in a blender.
With the misguided adoption of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) this past January, Sacramento is undercutting fundamental parts of the ecosystem for the performing arts in California. The law has resulted in a multitude of scenarios in which artists are losing opportunities to create and California audiences are losing the opportunity to benefit immeasurably from experiencing the artists’ work.
Activist art is on the rise, particularly in the last two years. While it used to be rare to have art institutions hosting activist exhibitions, they are now being shown across the country and in locations that even just a few years ago would have seemed improbable. Imagine a gallery or museum in a conservative southern town having an exhibition on the theme of racism or Black Lives Matter. The whirlwind of rhetoric and hyperbole from the current administration spewing xenophobia, misogyny, and racism has galvanized artists into action, bringing to light injustice and inequalities.
It’s an overwhelming understatement to say this has already been a rough year for California’s creative ecosystem. No sooner had we begun to grapple with the unintended yet utterly predictable consequences of Assembly Bill 5 and explore potential solutions with lawmakers, COVID-19 came around and threw the whole world upside down.
Grab a seat behind the goal about halfway up the stands at Avaya Stadium. Take in the game and the air traffic of Mineta Airport in the distance, framed by the boxy downtown San Jose skyline and the peaks that form the Santa Clara Valley…
“We’re at a critical juncture in our evolution, and the startup buzz of possibilities is palpable. I experienced it when I came here in 2008 to build CreaTV San Jose,” recalls Suzanne St. John-Crane, former CEO of CreaTV and current CEO of American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley.