parque

A couple of weeks back, the SoFA District in San Jose, California introduced a game-changing development: the new Parque de los Pobladores. A neglected triangle of space that stood smack in the center of a hub of museums and theaters, the glorified median was a center of illegal activity that repelled visitors. The redesigned park, spurred by 1stACT Silicon Valley and made possible with an ArtPlace grant, is an inviting plaza that they hope will become a new platform for the local arts groups to activate with events and performance.

“We’ve been in this neighborhood, the SoFA District, for over twenty years,” says Cathy Kimball, executive director of the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. “And quite frankly it was a little sketchy out here. It was VERY sketchy, really. But now when our visitors, donors and members come down here, they aren’t clutching their purses or scared to get back to their car. They can actually walk across this beautiful urban plaza now and feel pride in this community.”

Jut up the street from Parque de los Pobladores is the ZERO1 Garage, the new home of the ZERO1 Biennial and another ArtPlace grant recipient. The ZERO1 Biennial, which this year focuses on the theme “Seeking Silicon Valley”, is happening now through December 8th, 2012.

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