"This is Oakanda" at Lake Merritt in Downtown Oakland. This event featured artists of the African Diaspora via public art installations, dance, and live musical performance. It was a celebration of the black community of Oakland and served as an opportunity for us to recruit volunteers for our Alena Evolution Campaign. The title This is Oakanda came from the idea of reflecting the resistance spirit of the community of Oakland, which was featured in Oakland Director, Ryan Coogler’s film Black Panther, which took place in the fictional African country of Wakanda. Check out the video for a recap of the event.
Alena Museum’s Tiny village concert is an intimate music and talent show that allows budding artists to share their work in a supportive and responsive environment while developing authentic connections with their community.
It is Alena’s deeply curated version of the Tiny Desk Concert series hosted by NPR. It is important that we foster and showcase the talents of the African diaspora and practice cultural equity by producing and owning our cultural content. The Alena Culture collective is teaching our community the process of production, event planning, digital storytelling, and talent development.
Our art activism is not contained within the four walls of our space but includes taking art activism to the streets. AfroVegan Bbq is apart of a series of pop-up events at Lake Merrit where we bring some of our art installations out to the community and engage about many of the issues concern the African Diaspora and have some fun while doing it. We dance, we eat, we meet new faces, we share art and all while talking solutions for the issues we face in the African diaspora. Donate to our public art activism events. DONATE
“Oakland, We Love You!" was an interactive art installation at the California Endowment’s Oakland Block Party. We illustrated the concept of shared economy and how it can help sustain a culturally rich and diverse Oakland. Our three-part installation included “The Future is Green” photobooth, an interactive mural, and a healing village space.
Spirit Water Project was created by Anisah Abdullah. It exists to create somatic and plant-based therapy in a restorative justice setting for people of color. Bones & Soil was held on October 19, 2017, and was a kemetic-based yoga and meditation workshop for POC with a community discussion on healing.
Alena Museum was listed as Best Multi-Use Museum in West Oakland!
"Founded in 2015, Alena Museum is the labor of love of Hager Seven Asefaha who transformed a warehouse in West Oakland into a fully functioning space to host art and culture events and serve as a studio space where artists can evolve and grow their ideas. Asefaha dubbed the space Alena Museum — “Alena” means “we are here” in Tigrigna, a language spoken in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia. The central intention of Alena Museum is to support and advance the cultural richness of the African Diaspora, and since its founding, it has hosted locals such as Club Chai and Bryant Terry, and notable out-of-town visitors including South London’s Groundnut Collective, DJ Eden Hagos, and author and poet Malanda Jean-Claude. Currently, a core group of artists lead the efforts in developing programming at Alena Museum, including founder and curator Asefaha, filmmaker and visual artist Sephora Woldu, photographer and The House of Malico co-founder Sasha Kelley, muralist Andre Jones, and multimedia artist Lance Coleman." (RG)
See the full list at: East Bay Express
Alena Museum was featured in an article in a News & Opinion Feature in East Bay Express titled "Oakland’s Black Artists Make Space for Themselves," by Janelle Bitaker.
Alena Museum was a 2016 and 2017 recipient of grants by Bay Area-based nonprofit Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST's) funding to Oakland-based art groups to ensure the viability of artist communities in a rapidly-gentrifying Oakland. (Joshua Bote)
More information about the grants and the full list of recipients can be found at KQED.
The "Africa Hold Your Space - Live Podcast" featuring Githinji Mbire and Seven Styles is now up on SoundCloud!
Part 1 featured Githinji Mbire and Seven Asefaha discussing topics such as "What is Oakland style?", how Githinji got into visual art, and how creative young Africans are finding an audience through digital platforms.
Part 2 featured Githinji answering questions about topics such as gentrification happening in Oakland, how black people living in the community can acquire wealth, and the biggest way that artists can contribute to Oakland’s culture.
Health and Wellness is a pillar within our mission at Alena Museum. We partner with local groups and organizations to offer our community knowledge, skills and resources that ensure communal longevity. "Together we heal, we find sustainability, and we grow." Our first Health and Wellness gathering of 2018 consisted of a gentle yoga session lead by instructor Josie Santiago, a poetry reading by Fatima Nasiyr, and a vegan potluck.