This website is a project of Shared Ground. Founded in 1997 by artist Jeff Norman, Shared Ground was, during his lifetime, a community arts initiative committed to creating projects that explore and document changes in the natural, social, and physical environments of urban neighborhoods, with a special focus on the Temescal district of Oakland, California. Values underlying the projects of Shared Ground include love of place, sacredness of the land, sustainability at the local level, neighborhood identity, historic preservation, collaboration, and activism on behalf of the common good.
The projects of Shared Ground have taken many forms: temporary and permanent installations in outdoor and indoor settings; books and other publications; documentary video; community events; and public presentations. Each project springs from the premise that art and local history, when presented in our everyday surroundings and in a form that is readily accessible, can transform our understanding of the places where we live and work, deepen our connection to them, and lead us into a more active role in shaping their future.
Shared Ground’s projects are community projects: they take place in the community, are for the community’s benefit, and rely on the expertise and participation of community members and organizations.
Who We Are:
Community artist and founder of Shared Ground
Shared Ground Archive Associates
Ruby Cymrot Wu
Doctoral student in Comparative Literature, UCLA
Photographer and photo archivist
Shared Ground Advisory Board:
Temescal Branch Library Manager and Oakland History Room Librarian (retired)
Community builder; cofounder of Black Mountain Circle
Film curator and educator, Pacific Film Archive
Writer and oral historian
Oakland history researcher and writer