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Waterfront Park Launches April 9

Join friends and neighbors for a celebration at Alameda’s Waterfront Park on Saturday, April 9 from 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. The event is intended for all ages and is free to the public. It is a joint presentation of the West End Arts District (WEAD), Rhythmix Cultural Works, and the City of Alameda. The event brings together the second installation of WEAD’s Animate Dance Festival and the fifth installment of Rhythmix’s Island City Waterways Art Walks.

Alameda Post - 13th Floor
13th Floor performs at extract of ‘Island City Waterways: Uprooted.’ Photo Maurice Ramirez

Dance and music performances

The one-day festival showcases a wide variety of performances, including:

  • AXIS Dance Company – The Oakland-based ensemble is the nation’s premiere dance company made up of disabled and non-disabled dancers, who will be onsite with their new Artistic Director Nadia Adame.
  • Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Part international drill team and part polycultural rhythm section, Crosspulse brings together synchronized movement, body percussion and world drumming.
  • Fog Beast – Company Directors Melecio Estrella and Andrew Ward present the second iteration of their “performance journey,” entitled These Lines Are Living that will include a special collaboration with the Shawl Anderson Youth Ensemble.
  • 13th Floor – This ensemble of highly skilled performers adept at acting, dance, and acrobatics, is the next generation of high-end traveling interactive theater.
  • Maze Daiko – There will be Drums! Maze Daiko’s global inspiration with a wide range of percussion creates contemporary interpretations for Taiko.
  • Batalá San Francisco – More drums! The Bay Area contingent of the international drumming organization Batalá Mundo, founded by Giba Concalves in 1997, play a combination of samba and reggae, an Afro-Brazilian genre of music developed in Bahia, Brazil.
  • An Aeolian Installation curated by Thingamajigs – A creative collaboration of art, music and science come together in innovative sound sculptures that harness the power of the wind!
  • Animate Alameda – Students from the Bay Area Music Project’s Sound Lab class at Maya Lin Elementary school have composed an original piece which will be performed to by students from Encinal High School and Alameda High School.
  • College of Alameda Dance – Modern dance and choreography for students of all ages with an emphasis on creating dances from various cultures including Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Latino, and others.

Additionally, there will be food trucks, including Satay by the Bay and Kabob Trolley, and ice cream from Tucker’s. Or attendees may walk a little further away and enjoy a refreshing brew at Almanac Brewery or other libations from nearby Spirits Alley.

Future creative hub

Waterfront Park is a feature of the development taking place at Alameda Point, the former site of the Alameda Naval Air Station. Planning and development of the area has been ongoing since the Navy left and the base closed 25 years ago. The new park was constructed on a former Navy bulkhead, which provides a clear view of Seaplane Lagoon and the ramps that were once used to slide planes into the water.

The area may be familiar to some from its previous use for staging experiments on MythBusters. It was also used to construct a freeway loop for the car chase in The Matrix Reloaded. The new ferry terminal is steps away, and plans are underway to construct Radium, a 500-seat theater and performing arts center, nearby.

Alameda Post - Waterfront Park at Seaplane Lagoon
Sunset on Waterfront Park and Seaplane Lagoon. Photo Maurice Ramirez

Local arts leaders are celebrating the new park and its potential. Tara Pillbrow, Executive Director of the West Ends Arts District says, “It’s such a unique space and location. If we can place the arts at the center of its development, it has the potential to become an incredible creative hub. Opening the Waterfront Park with a day full of art and performance seems to me to be the perfect way to herald that future!” Parks and Recreation Director Amy Wooldridge added, “This brings a whole other aspect to Alameda and really revitalizes the entire Naval Air Station.”

Attendees are encouraged to walk, bike, and use public transit, as parking will be limited. For directions and more information on the event, please visit https://www.westendartsdistrict.org/waterfrontparklaunchfest.html.

Adam Gillitt is the Publisher of the Alameda Post. Reach him at [email protected].

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