Two Oakland artists take on a massive mural in the city's downtown, only to find themselves at the center of the debate over gentrification and cultural resiliency.
Desi Mundo is the founder of the Community Rejuvenation Project. Over the past three years, under his direction, CRP has produced more than 100 murals, primarily in the Bay Area as well as Chicago, Albuquerque, and Bologna, Italy. As an artist, he collaborated with influential aerosol artists such as ZORE, P.H.A.S.E.2, VULCAN, and RAVEN. Desi also has a long history as an educator and youth worker in K-12 schools, such as Oakland Unity High School, ARISE, Calvin Simmons, and OASIS in Oakland for the past 13 years. He has been recognized with a “Best of the Bay” Award by the East Bay Express for his monthly youth art series, the “Weekend Wake-Up.” Desi has a long history of community organizing and public art advocacy. He received the “Rising Leaders Fellowship from the Youth Leadership Institute in 2005. He has worked with numerous non-profit and community organizations, such as Urban Tilth, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, and United Roots forming lasting partnerships and powerful alliances. Desi has organized and painted murals that can be found all over the Bay Area, as well as in Chicago, Santa Fe, Montana and South Dakota. He is the founder of the Community Rejuvenation Project. He facilitates an after-school mural taller called the Arrow-Soul Council. Desi is also a prolific community organizer and founder of the Weekend Wake-Up, free all-ages, community events, which won “Best All-Ages Event ” in the East Bay Express in 2006.