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Point Richmond Music Unveils Summer Concert Series Lineup

If the first performer set for Point Richmond’s Summer Music Festival is any indication, the concert series has some fantastic tunes in store for local concertgoers. The one and only Fantastic Negrito will kick off the concert series Friday, June 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.-ish with his unique blend of blues, R&B, soul and roots music.

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Point Richmond Music Festival. Photo by Daud Abdullah.
Point Richmond Music Festival. Photo by Daud Abdullah.

By Kathy Chouteau

The Richmond Standard

If the first performer set for Point Richmond’s Summer Music Festival is any indication, the concert series has some fantastic tunes in store for local concertgoers.

The one and only Fantastic Negrito will kick off the concert series Friday, June 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.-ish with his unique blend of blues, R&B, soul and roots music.

The artist, who was born Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, had a serious early-career car crash that damaged his guitar playing hand. But he rose above it to reemerge as the rebranded “Fantastic Negrito” in 2014, earning multiple accolades — including multiple Grammys — upon his musical rebirth, according to his bio.

Negrito’s current album is “White Jesus Black Problems,” called by his website “an exhilarating ode to the power of family and the enduring resilience of our shared humanity.”

Point Richmond’s Summer Music Festival has two more concerts lined up as well, starting with the “swampy tonk” sounds of Miracle Mule on Friday, July 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Also performing that night will be Lorin Rowan + the Deep Blue Jam, featuring Americana, rock, roots, and reggae tunes from 6:45 to 8 p.m.-ish.

The concert series’ final performances occur Friday, Aug. 23, when Van Goat rocks out from 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by the Latin, Venezuelan and Caribbean vibes of Bululú from 6:45 to 8 p.m.-ish.

In addition to dancing in the street to the music, Point Richmond’s many restaurants will be open during the concerts, along with face painting for the kids and art by The Arts of Point Richmond.

The concert series is organized by Point Richmond Music. Find the concert venue at the corner of Park Place and Washington Avenue in Point Richmond.

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Art

El Cerrito Calls for Artists to Transform Its Utility Boxes

The City of El Cerrito’s Arts & Culture Commission is seeking individual artists, teams of artists or community groups to apply for its “2024 Utility Box Public Art Program.” The project is a beautification initiative designed to add to the vibrancy of the San Pablo Avenue corridor by having community artists transform unsightly utility boxes into attractive works of art, according to the City.

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An artist stands by their work that transformed the utility box from drab to fab. Photo courtesy of the City of El Cerrito.
An artist stands by their work that transformed the utility box from drab to fab. Photo courtesy of the City of El Cerrito.

By Kathy Chouteau

The Richmond Standard

Do you have an idea for beautifying urban public spaces with your art? If so, this initiative might be perfect for you.

The City of El Cerrito’s Arts & Culture Commission is seeking individual artists, teams of artists or community groups to apply for its “2024 Utility Box Public Art Program.” The project is a beautification initiative designed to add to the vibrancy of the San Pablo Avenue corridor by having community artists transform unsightly utility boxes into attractive works of art, according to the City.

This program’s theme is “Artwork that Celebrates El Cerrito’s Natural Beauty and Environment,” and any artist/team/community group residing in Contra Costa County can apply. The boxes, including one main utility box and a smaller traffic signal box adjacent to each other, are located at Ashbury and Fairmount Avenues, next to Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito.

A $2,500 stipend is offered for each utility box completed and the application is due Friday, June 14, at 4 p.m. Work on the boxes begins Aug. 5, with work to be completed by Sept. 6.

To date, eight utility boxes have been painted by local artists as part of the initiative throughout 2021 to 2023. Artists including Adaleyd DeLeon, Kristen Kong, Shanna Strauss, Martial Yapo, Jesse White and Ricardo Cerezo have been selected by the city to beautify utility boxes with their art since the program’s inception.

Questions? Contact Will Provost at 510-215-4318 or wprovost@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us. Applications can be submitted online https://el-cerrito.org/1522/Utility-Box-Public-Art-Program

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Arts and Culture

Third Annual Town Up Tuesday Lifts Oakland’s Community, Culture and Joy

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging. It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.
The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria. Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

By Kyung Jin Lee

Urban Peace Movement announced Town Up Tuesday, a free community music and social awareness festival dedicated to the people of Oakland to celebrate Bay Area culture and create safety by fostering connection and belonging.

It will be on Tuesday, May 21, at Edoff Memorial Bandstand at Lake Merritt from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will feature local Bay Area legends and rising stars home-grown talent that will include 10 performers: 1100 Himself, The Conscious Daughters, Michael Sneed, Trunk Boiz, 3LISE, The Animaniakz and Ms. Bria.

Too $hort is a special guest and there will also be a surprise legendary Oakland artist. The two DJs are Emelle & Dahge, and the two hosts are Dnas and Mystic.

Past performers have included: Kamaiyah, Yukmouth, Stunnaman02, Symba, Lil Kayla, Grand Nationxl, Jane Handcock, and D Smoke, among others.

“Oakland is a historically Black city and one of the most diverse and progressive in the country — a city rich with culture,” said Nicole Lee, executive director of the Urban Peace Movement.

“At a time when we are being scapegoated for political gain and negative narratives of Oakland permeate the press, we’re uplifting who we truly are and all the things that make this region so special.”

About Urban Peace Movement: Urban Peace Movement (UPM) is a racial justice organization working to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black and Brown communities in Oakland. https://urbanpeacemovement.org/ @urbanpeace510

Kyung Jin Lee is the media representative for the Urban Peace Movement.

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Arts and Culture

Richmond Preps for Full Weekend of Cinco de Mayo Festivities

Cinco de Mayo festivities in Richmond and San Pablo are some of the bests in Bay, and organizers say that tradition will be alive and well at this weekend’s annual parade and festival. The action kicks off Saturday, May 4, with the 16th Annual Cinco de Mayo Richmond/San Pablo Peace & Unity Parade. The parade of floats, performances, and community organizations starts at 10 a.m. at 24th Street and Barrett Avenue and Richmond and ends at 12:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 1845 Church Lane in San Pablo.

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Scene from the 2023 Cinco de Mayo parade from Richmond to San Pablo. Photo courtesy The Richmond Standard.
Scene from the 2023 Cinco de Mayo parade from Richmond to San Pablo. Photo courtesy The Richmond Standard.

By Mike Kinney

The Richmond Standard

Cinco de Mayo festivities in Richmond and San Pablo are some of the bests in Bay, and organizers say that tradition will be alive and well at this weekend’s annual parade and festival.

The action kicks off Saturday, May 4, with the 16th Annual Cinco de Mayo Richmond/San Pablo Peace & Unity Parade. The parade of floats, performances, and community organizations starts at 10 a.m. at 24th Street and Barrett Avenue and Richmond and ends at 12:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 1845 Church Lane in San Pablo.

The parade’s Grand Marshall this year will be community organizer Diego Garcia, owner of Leftside Printing.

The festivities continue Sunday with the Cinco de Mayo Festival along 23rd Street, which last year drew over 100,000 people, according to the 23rd Street Merchants Association. This year’s festival will again run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between the intersections of Rheem Avenue and Clinton Avenue. It will feature two entertainment stages, one sponsored by La Raza 93.3 FM at 23rd and Rheem, and another sponsored by Radio Lazer FM at 23rd and Clinton.

Both events are important for the city and the region’s Latino community.

San Pablo Mayor Genoveva Calloway, who co-chairs the parade alongside John Marquez, president of the Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees, says Saturday’s festivities are about bringing the Richmond and San Pablo communities together in unity.

“This truly connects the spectators and people in the parade as one,” Calloway said. “The parade showcases the real communities of Richmond and San Pablo – our nonprofits, schools, horse riders, classic cars and trucks, our local businesses. All of these people represent the heartbeat of our community.”

Rigo Mendoza, vice president of the 23rd Street Merchants Association, said that at its heart, Richmond’s Cinco de Mayo Festival celebrates the date the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

But John Marquez started up the popular festival to bring the community together and also to exhibit the community’s businesses and culture to visitors, Mendoza said. The gathering was also a way to promote peace in the community.

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