LAKE MERRITT AND UTOPIA
Hearing Room 1: 12:15—1:15pm

Lake Merritt, also called "the jewel of Oakland," has been a huge success as a natural and human habitat. What can this urban utopia tell us about how to shape public space?

VERONICA GRAHAM is a graphic designer and illustrator behind the team at Once Upon a Time... Happily Ever After, a three-part public art project centered on Lake Merritt that aims to "reflect the multifaceted nature of Lake Merritt as a place, and underscore the important role it plays in the fabric of the city."

BENJAMIN GRANT is a city planner, urban designer, curator, and lecturer. An East Bay native and Oakland resident, he currently heads SPUR's interagency Master Plan for Ocean Beach. He has developed exhibitions on a range of urban issues, including "Agents of Change," a historical survey of San Francisco urbanism for the opening of the SPUR Urban Center. He has been a lecturer and studio instructor in the graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University and has taught at the SF Art Institute.

PENDARVIS HARSHAW is a writer, filmmaker, and activist from Oakland, California. His twenty-minute documentary, “TDK-The Dream Kontinues,” tells the story of Mike Dream, the legendary TDK crew, and the current state of graffiti in Oakland. He founded and runs OGToldMe.com, a place where elder black men can pass their wisdom down to young people.

DASHKA SLATER (moderator) has received a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her articles have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones. She has published four children’s books and one book for adults.