BUILDING COMMUNITY ONE STORY AT A TIME
The Lower Bottom Playaz Est. 1999
Founding Director Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga, MFA, PhD
Lower Bottom PLayaz Present: Season 20 Reclamation
Conceived of and curated by Ayodele Nzinga
SHAKA JAMAL REDMOND
A visual arts installation, a community conversation, live performances.
Where we came for opportunity and were greeted by redlines.
Here, where we built the Harlem of the West, held down the West Coast part of the Black Arts Movement.
Here, where the Black Panthers practiced self determined methods meant to help us survive and thrive.
Here, where banks would not lend but we built anyway.
Here, where the banks and predatory lending facilitated one of the largest shifts of wealth in modern history.
Here, where we make a stand to design our own future leading with art and culture.
WE ARE MORE THAN ENTERTAINMENT
WE ARE TRANSFORMATIVE THEATER
The Lower Bottom Playaz -- Founding Director Ayodele "WordSlanger" Nzinga, MFA, PhD
The only troupe on earth to chronologically produce August Wilson's 10 Play Cycle American Century Cycle. The originators of Shakespeare in the Yard Series, (Shakespeare in the Hood), Ebony & Johnny and Mack: A Gangsta's Tale written about by Scott Newstock and TL Barnes in their academic coverage of urban adaptations of Shakespeare. We are the company that located the Black Canon in West Oakland by site specific adaptation -- Baldwin's Amen Corner and Hansberry's 'Raisin,' the creators of original theater, Mama at Twilight: Love by Death, Beyond the Bars, Mama's Letters. The presenters of Oakland CA's first Black Arts Movement Theater Festival, Collective Acts Producers of BAMBDFEST 2019
The Lower Bottom Playaz & BAMBD, CDC
BAMBDFEST:2020 is a multi-day virtual festival in celebration of the Black Arts Movement Business District and Black arts, culture, and economics in Oakland, CA. The month-long festival in August 2020 is being produced by the Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc. in collaboration with BAMBD, CDC, and The Flight Deck. The work is funded by a Creative California Communities grant from the California Arts Council and is under the artistic direction of Dr. Ayodele Nzinga. The Festival will consist of performances by theater artists, musicians, dancers, comics, poets, youth groups and town legends. It will feature an eclectic mix of free and paid arts events, gallery installations, ways to support virtual vendors, virtual public symposiums, and more that showcase the best of Oakland's vibrant artistry. The festival will engage Oakland artists, businesses, and the public in a massive celebration of Oakland, and the history and importance of the rich contributions of The Black Arts Movement to the State of California and the world beyond. This festival has become a series of virtual events. If we are able in August to bring parts of it to you live we will. We are responding to events as they unfold and will take advantage of this moment to increase our online presence, offer resources, and continue to be of service to community.
BAMBD, Community Development Corporation of Oakland, was created to help organize, focus, and activate the District in a manner that enables maximum benefit to Black communities, serves to inform a national model for marginalized communities, and reflects positively on the City of Oakland. The activation of BAMBD is a work in progress and a grand undertaking that has the intention of creating a world-class Art’s district that is reflective of its name and those whom it seeks to commemorate. The non-profit is a service and advocacy organization dedicated to creating positive outcomes for Oakland's Black communities, by supporting dynamic organizations and programming to ensure sustainability of Black communities in Oakland for generations to come. We will accomplish that by promoting[G6] and advocating for Black artist, culture makers, businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs, by being instrumental in creating, advocating for, and facilitating opportunities for artists, culture makers, Black businesses, entrepreneurs, and community members.