Tuesday, July 17, 2012

10,000 Steps: A Profile of Four Squares


I've written about the 10,000 Steps project before when Oakland Urban Paths hooked up with the project artists to learn about it during a walk. The 10,000 Steps project explores Oakland's historic parks and marks points of interest around downtown Oakland. There's an accompanying audio tour, with interviews of different people in the neighborhoods and explanations by local historians.

Sue Mark

Artists Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas researched Oakland history, interviewed people, and spent countless hours designing and placing fifty sidewalk markers around 4 of the 5 remaining parks from the 1800s. While 2 of the original 7 parks are gone, many of the historical points of interest are still around, and the husband and wife team captured stories of people who know and lived the history of those areas.

A short film was made about the project, 10,000 Steps: A Portrait of Four Squares. On Friday, July 20th at 8pm, there will be a showing of the award-winning film, along with a question and answer period with Sue Mark and Bruce Douglas after the showing. The free event will be held at Swan's Cohousing in Old Oakland, and you can register for it here.

The event is also a fundraiser for their next project, Mãos dos Sete Of√≠cios (Hands That Do All), which will take them to Portugal. As with their earlier projects, they'll be putting people's stories and history into an unusual format, in this case hand portraits of craftsmen, farmers and those who still work with their hands.

Bruce Douglas

Read more about 10,000 Steps and the artists on Grass Routes Travel and listen to a podcast interview with Sue Mark. Serena talks with her about art, history, food security and more. And come see the film on Friday evening!

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