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Calendar >  Oceanside Theatre Company Launches Arts Unite Program

Oceanside Theatre Company Launches Arts Unite Program

By   /  January 25, 2024  /  No Comments

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Culture of Lowriding: History, Culture, & Community Event & Generational Black Pioneers Featuring Oceanside’s Black Firsts Launch Oceanside Theatre Company’s Arts Unite Program

Oceanside, CA January, 2024 – Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) kicks off its new Arts Unite series with the free program “Culture of Lowriding: History, Culture, & Community,” featuring a panel discussion on Sunday, February 4 at 2:00 pm and “Generational Black Pioneers – Featuring Oceanside Firsts” on February 17 at 7:30 pm and February 18 at 2:30 pm at the Brooks Theater, 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside. 

Both events are part of a larger series of community-focused events aimed to bring people of different communities and backgrounds together, build empathy, reveal shared values and generate learning and dialogue. The Arts Unite series is funded, in part, by a generous grant from the Prebys Foundation.

“Last year’s collaboration for Black Pioneers was such a beautiful, fresh experience, and so well-supported by the community, we knew that there was an opportunity to build upon the 2023 model to engage many more people in 2024,” said OTC Managing Director Alex Goodman. “We were fortunate to present a compelling proposal for program expansion to the generous folks at the Conrad Prebys Foundation. With their funding, we will now be able to serve thousands of Oceansiders year ‘round with innovative and engaging programs that will hopefully speak to them in ways our traditional theatre and music offerings had not previously been able to.”

“Generational Black Pioneers – Featuring Oceanside Firsts” is a multimedia theatrical program featuring powerful and impactful moments from the 1960s to the present focused on depicting the turmoil and challenges that brought long-awaited change. 

Presented by Oceanside Theatre Company, Oceanside Historical Society, and Bliss Tea and Treats, this year will offer two shows, February 17 at 7:30 pm and February 18 at 2:30 pm at the Brooks Theater, 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside. Tickets are $15 – $20 and available at www.oceansidetheatre.org, or by calling the box office at (760) 433-8900. Additional performances will be held at Oceanside High School and El Camino High School on February 27.

This will be the second annual production of “Generational Black Pioneers.” The first was held in February 2023 and resulted in a sold-out show, which was enthusiastically received. Rushell Gordon, owner of Bliss Tea and Treats, Kristi Hawthorne, Director of the Oceanside Historical Society, and Linda Bisesti, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona collaborate to bring to life real stories of struggle and triumph.

While set in the 1960s amid the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, the production draws a comparison to the struggles still faced by black Americans today. Stories will encompass the history of the early black church in Oceanside, the first black teachers in Oceanside’s school district, the first black mayor Terry Johnson, the first black police chief Kedrick Sadler, and the first black President of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Robbie Hass.

OTC partners with Mad Strange and the Members Only Car Club to present the live community conversation and panel for “Culture of Lowriding: History, Culture, & Community,” in which members from the North County lowrider community share the history and culture of lowriding in North San Diego County. 

Developed by Mexican-Americans in Southern California after World War II, lowrider culture showcases cruisers modified to be lower to the ground and other customized features. This event, hosted by OTC Board Advisor Jimmy Figueroa, is particularly relevant at this point in history, following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of Assembly Bill 436 which went into effect January 1, 2024 and prohibits lowrider bans and anti-cruising ordinances across California. The bill effectively repeals a 1988 law, which allowed local jurisdictions to make cruising or driving lowriders on city streets a traffic offense. Speakers will discuss more about the cultural impact of both laws at the panel among other topics.

Additional Cultural Pioneers programs are planned to elevate and celebrate Oceanside’s Latino community, Asian Pacific Islander Community, and LGBTQ communities throughout the calendar year. Along with this new Lived Experience series hosted by Jimmy Figueroa and an Artist Talkback series hosted by OTC Artistic Director Kevin ‘Blax’ Burroughs, OTC will be offering monthly community engagement programs under the banner, Arts Unite. These activities seek to bring people of different communities and backgrounds together, build empathy, reveal shared values, and generate learning and dialogue.

Businesses interested in co-sponsoring these worthwhile events, should contact Alex Goodman at agoodman@oceansidetheatre.org. Sponsorship is tax deductible through the Oceanside Theatre Company, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS

“Culture of Lowriding: History, Culture, & Community”

Sunday, February 4, 2024, 2:00 p.m.

Sunshine Brooks Theater 217 N. Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Tickets are free and available at www.oceansidetheatre.org, or by calling the box office at (760) 433-8900.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS

“Generational Black Pioneers – Featuring Oceanside Firsts”

Saturday, February 17, 2024, 7:30 p.m. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024, 2:30 p.m.

Sunshine Brooks Theater 217 N. Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Tickets are $15 – $20 available at www.oceansidetheatre.org, or call the box office at (760) 433-8900.

Details for additional events will be announced over the next few months. Dates are below:

Cultural Pioneers: 

  • Feb 17 & 18 – Black Pioneers
  • May 19 – AAPI Heritage
  • June 8 – Pride Pioneers
  • Sep 21 – Hispanic Heritage

Lived Experience Series: 

  • Feb 4 – “Culture of Lowriding: History, Culture, & Community”
  • Apr 14 – TBA
  • July 14 – TBA
  • Nov 24 – TBA

Artist Talkback Series: 

  • Mar 17 – Chicken & Biscuits Artist Talkback
  • May 12 – Next To Normal Artist Talkback
  • Oct 6 – Stranger Sings Artist Talkback
  • Dec 15 – Manny & The Wise Queens Artist Talkback

Oceanside Theatre Company 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054

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