These Community Aunties Want Legendary Black Creative Spaces
Two years ago Tayleur Crenshaw and Maud Alcorn started the arts collective, Gold Beams. It began as an open mic Crenshaw hosted in her living room -- called Second Mondays -- which eventually grew into a larger monthly event at Red Bay Coffee headquarters in East Oakland."It’s like emotional stories that they kind of leave at the altar at Second Mondays. And us as community aunties, we are there to rub the backs and to listen and be an ear. We’re just here for people’s emotional journeys," says Crenshaw.Since shelter-in-place orders came down this spring, Gold Beams has pivoted while staying productive. They're doing a filmed series of intimate performances highlighting Black artists, called Fourth Mondays. They're also working in collaboration with Welcome To The Table to produce a series of filmed conversations about relationships amongst Black artists in the Bay Area. It's called, In Real Life: A Conversation Between Black Men and Women. And if that's not enough, they've also mounted a photo exhibition, which largely features the work of Dorean Raye, myself and other photographers who've captured their events; the framed images are posted at Oakstop at 1721 Broadway in downtown Oakland. The exhibition is titled, Mondays Were Never the Same, and is open for timed reservations. But do it fast, it's only scheduled to be up until November 6th.