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The Visual & Public Art (VPA) and Music & Performing Arts (MPA) Departments of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in collaboration with the National Steinbeck Center of Salinas, California has undertaken a two-year project, African American Legacy on the Central Coast, that has included a series of exhibitions, special events and a conference.
Renderings and Recordings
This significant project focuses on the artistic and cultural contributions from the historic African American community, a celebration of Black arts and culture, and a conference on the African American presence in Early California. The core of this project is based on the collection of oral histories and the presentation of community narratives through the exhibitions, performances, and other community events.
For nearly fourteen years, the CSUMB Visual & Public Art and Music & Performing Arts Departments have supported community-based arts activities that focus on making diverse communities more visible in our region through public art projects and exhibitions. It is our aim with this latest endeavor to bring greater understanding and appreciation of African American history, culture, and arts to the larger regional community something that has not been done on this large a scale in this community to date.
Exhibitions have been presented starting in May 2008 and continue to be developed through public gatherings of African American community members, selected interviews and archival research. The exhibitions have included include early California art works, community memorabilia, family and archival photos.
First Baptist Centennial
This project has been partially supported by funding from the Reclamation Project funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation.
The portraits above were painted by students of the Visual & Public Art Department for the
2008 CSUMB Day of the Dead event that honored the African American history of California.
African American Legacy Project
Acts of Reclamation • Reciprocal University for the Arts Project • Made possible with a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation
Project Directors: Amalia Mesa-Bains & Richard Bains • Project Coordinator: Normi Burke
Visual and Public ArtMusic and Performing Arts  • California State University, Monterey Bay 
Building 71   100 Campus Center   Seaside, CA   93955   (831) 582-3005
w e b w e r k : a r t h u r
visual and public art - csu monterey bay music and performing arts - csu monterey bay the national steinbeck center - salinas, ca the nathan cummings foundation