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March 13, 2018 > Public art project to beautify downtown streets

Public art project to beautify downtown streets

Submitted By Courtney Rose

The San Leandro Improvement Association (SLIA), a non-profit community benefit corporation that works to enhance Downtown San Leandro, has commissioned Stepping Stones Growth Center/Davis StreetÕs Artful Steps to design and create mosaics to beautify concrete planters in Downtown that tell the history of San Leandro. Artful Steps is one of the many programs Stepping Stones Growth Center, a non-profit agency that provides a variety of programs and services to over 400 adults and children with developmental disabilities, has in place to teach individuals of every level of ability methods for self-expression through the visual arts. Through community art projects, Artful StepsÕ goal is to enhance not only the artistic abilities of the participants but their self-esteem and independence.

ÒOne of the many goals of the San Leandro Improvement Association is to beautify our Downtown and weÕre constantly looking for new ways to partner with local groups to accomplish this. Teaming up with Artful Steps is the perfect way for us to support another local non-profit organization and support local, inspiring artists,Ó said SLIA President Gordon Galvan. ÒWe are looking forward to starting this new initiative to create these mosaic planters along East 14th Street to add some color and beauty to our sidewalks for all to enjoy.Ó

The San Leandro Improvement Association has commissioned the first three mosaic planters as a pilot project to inspire the San Leandro Arts Commission, local business owners, and community members to sponsor the remaining nine concrete planters in Downtown San Leandro.

The Downtown San Leandro mosaic planter project is being led by Artful StepsÕ media specialist, Meadow Presley. Presley has worked with her team to create the theme for these mosaics, which will be primarily based on the history of San Leandro. The mosaics will be created from a combination of handmade ceramic tiles, broken ceramic tiles, glass tiles, mirror and found objects. The first three designs that SLIA are sponsoring will include a design based on the Ohlone tribe of San Leandro, the agricultural history of San Leandro, and the historic Casa Peralta and its gardens. Ideas for the remaining planters will include the San Leandro Bay shore, San LeandroÕs industrial industry, the Cherry Festival, the cultural diversity of San Leandro, the Gold Rush, and the railway system.

To sponsor a mosaic planter in Downtown San Leandro, email More information about the installment of the mosaic planter project or the San Leandro Improvement Association, can be found at To connect with Downtown San Leandro and follow things happening in the area, check out Facebook/DWTNSanLeandro, Instagram @dwtnsanleandro, or Twitter @dwtnsanleandro.

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