She walked down 7th St. towards her rehearsal at the West Oakland Cultural Arts Center. On the way, she popped into the cafe for a tea. She stopped to chat with her buddy J sitting at one of the tables. J was prepping for a meeting about the design of an outdoor exhibition on the history of the Blues in West Oakland. J showed her the draft drawings and asked her opinion on one of the design elements. She offered a few quick thoughts, grabbed her tea, and headed down the block. On the way, she passed the cooperative bike shop, the cooperative grocery store, the cooperative preschool, the coop shop selling local, handmade clothing, jewelry and household items, and the coop art gallery.
When she got to the Cultural Arts center, she paused at the entrance to look at the display showing events happening at all the Cultural Space Coop venues around town that weekend. There were about 50 public events that weekend in the 10 anchor venues, plus about 150 smaller workshops and events at the 30 or so smaller satellite venues. Her eye quickly gravitated to a few events she was interested in attending: an African drumming and dance workshop for parents and kids (she would go with her 5-year-old kid who loved drumming & dancing) and an avant-garde piece of multi-media dance theater that a friend of hers was performing in. That would make a great date night with her husband. He loved that kind of show. She also noted a couple other events that some friends of hers would love and made a mental note to hop on the Cultural Space Coop app after her rehearsal and message her friends about these events.
As she walked down the hall, she saw a few different rehearsals going on in the various studios, and with the main theater door propped open, she could hear sound cues from the tech rehearsal in process for that weekend’s show. She ran into her friend Z who lived upstairs in one of the artist residences. Z stopped her and asked her to sign a petition that was going around. The petition was to get an initiative on the ballot that would remove the barriers for financing affordable housing to be applied to cooperative housing with shared ownership. This would allow the model that had worked for the housing upstairs in the Cultural Arts Center to be applied to much larger projects. This move would allow many of their community members that had been displaced to return to Oakland and own their homes. Z was all fired up about it and she signed the petition immediately.
She found her rehearsal room and entered (a few minutes late) to find her company’s co-leaders discussing an issue that had just come up. They agreed to spend 10 minutes discussing it and to use their consensus decision-making process to make a decision about it before they began their rehearsal. They had a good discussion and surfaced some important points, but they did not reach consensus within the 10 minutes, so they all agreed to table it for later, collect some more information, and turn their attention to rehearsal. They turned on some music, walked out on to the floor and began to stretch.