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Special upcoming Event! Shotgun Players Present: THE LORIN DISTRICT PROJECT

The Lorin District Project is a community participation theatre project based on the rich and diverse history of the Lorin District in South Berkeley, California. The play will explore the fascinating history of the neighborhood using interviews from community members, historical research and artistic exploration. Shotgun Players will produce the show at the Ashby Stage, on the corner of MLK and Ashby Avenue, with Aaron Davidman, (Artistic Director of A Traveling Jewish Theatre) as the lead collaborator, and Marcus Gardley as the lead playwright. (Click for complete info)

The Ashby Arts District is a partnership between eight non-profit organizations and performance venues in the South Berkeley/North Oakland/Lorin District area including La Peña Cultural Center, Epic Arts, The Shotgun Players at The Ashby Stage, The Black Repertory Group, Nomad Café, Northern California Land Trust, Unconditional Theatre, and the Triptych Gallery. Through collaborative events and programs, we are working to increase awareness of the arts in our neighborhood and to unify the communities we serve.

One of the major challenges faced by this community is lack of identity. Since the area is so culturally diverse, communities operate side by side with little or no interaction. One of our goals is to bridge gaps between neighboring organizations, thereby strengthening the greater community. Cultural development brings a sense of pride and optimism to the residents. We have already experienced this through community arts projects and collaborative events within the district.

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La Peña Festival Epic Arts @ La Peña Free live music! Art in the Streets!
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La Peña Festival Touring the District Triptych Gallery Epic Arts Studios

What makes the Ashby Arts District so unique in that it has been organized by artists and arts organizations from the grassroots up, rather than by decree of the City. The formation of the Ashby Arts District was spearheaded by Epic Arts, which serves as its fulcrum.

In 2005-2006 the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded us a Challenge America Fast Track Grant. This funding is assisting with our current undertakings which include: publishing and distributing a monthly district calendar; compiling and sharing a database of local artists, musicians and other performers in order to allow broad saturation of favorite acts within the district; installing public art throughout the district to raise awareness of the arts in the area; producing street festivals and live outdoor performances.

The participation of representatives from City Council, the Civic Arts Commission, the City Manager's Office and the Office of Economic Development have been instrumental in the development of the district. We are very grateful for their support and look forward to working together more in the coming years. 

Scenes from the Artify Ashby Neighborhood Mural Project (Ashby & MLK)


Contact: - 510.644.2204 (Epic Arts)
1923 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley CA 94703



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