NORTH SHORE: NUESTRO LUGAR
Nuestro Lugar: North Shore is the first resident-designed, culture-driven, community development project in the rural community of North Shore, California. Nuestro Lugar co-locates physical improvements (a community-designed 5-acre public space and a bike-share program) and economic activities (a small business training program and a monthly marketplace) alongside a series of multi-faceted arts and culture initiatives. Nuestro Lugar maps and uses the many historic, cultural, and artistic resources of North Shore as catalysts for change. Through various artistic “situaciones" and interventions, residents shape their community and its new public space. In the process, they build strong cultural networks, create new forums for organizing and capacity-building, and re-orient community narratives. The many components of Nuestro Lugar work together to enable residents to improve physical, social, and economic quality of life, while re-defining the identity of their North Shore.
This project is made possible by the extraordinary energy brought forth by the residents of North Shore, and was initiated in collaboration with Kounkuey Design Initiative, Mutuo Architecture, and Co-Artistic Directors Evelyn Serrano and Shannon Scrofano.
Serrano's role in this project was multifaceted. Together with Shannon Scrofano and North Shore residents, she founded the first North Shore Arts Committee and North Shore Neighborhood Council. They worked with residents, urban planners, historians, park rangers, activists, Riverside city staff, local artists, and students from various high schools and universities to map local cultural and artistic assets, lead participatory design workshops, establish a local newspaper, develop a series of exhibitions and concerts featuring local artists and performers, develop summer programs for youth, develop a broad media imprint, lead capacity building workshops in the arts and civic engagement, and facilitate community story circles, among other projects.