About us

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Who we are

PLACE is a community hub that nurtures physical gathering space for the community. This hub allows people to see regenerative solutions in practice and gain access to the knowledge and resources to empower them to take action in their own lives, neighborhoods, towns, cities, and bio-regions.

As an events and maker-space organization, we have been extending community space as a tool and resource for healing, organizing, and co-creating art, visions, and equitable systems. This includes everything from community organizing, regenerative building, political education, cooking and medicine making demonstrations, hands-on gardening, solidarity fundraisers, cultural gatherings, spiritual ceremonies, song circles, community clay making, dance workshops, meditation classes, film screenings, local concerts and jams, and many other things that paint the intersectionality of the movement. 

We honor the diverse backgrounds, paths, and lineages that have led up to us connecting with PLACE. We respectfully acknowledge that we are on Ohlone Chochenyo Native land, and that the Bay Area is experiencing patterns of housing development and displacement that fuels a racial wealth gap. It is important for the art, community, and eco-environmental work we hold space for to be grounded in a framework that does not perpetuate white supremacy, settler colonialism and systemic discrimination, violence, and erasure.

In solidarity, PLACE will explicitly prioritize holding community space for groups and individuals that are led by and serve Native, Black, People of Color, local, low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQIA2S+ communities

We believe that it is crucial to collectively uplift the power and voices of frontline community climate solutionaries who experience the most direct relationships within extractive and oppressive systems. Ally individuals and organizations are also welcome to use this space as long as their intentions are in alignment with the values and principles named above. The funding we receive from more resourced communities helps us provide free and low cost space and community programming to communities with access to less financial resources.

OUR VALUES

As a community, PLACE is deeply committed a decolonized vision of community and connection to one another and our planet. We work to center those most impacted by colonial and capitalistic marginalization to realize this vision for justice and equity.

We see that amidst all of our critical movement building, there is a need for deeper work towards collective liberation. We strive to create an open and honest environment that actively confronts the state of our unstable economic, environmental, and political climate.

We believe that authentic relationships between diverse groups of people comes from the hard work of trust building. It is crucial to our work at PLACE to have many perspectives present in our community. We are committed to embracing the tough conversations that are necessary in order to grow as individuals and as a collective.

We are passionate about growing and sharing food and plant medicines, cultivating common spaces, uplifting art, music, culture, and ancestral knowledge, and upholding values of justice and cooperation.

Meet the Stewards

Lately I have been practicing land based learning with pk- 8th grade @the Verde Garden, and growing/ distributing food at Urban Tilth in Richmond. I particularly enjoy learning about bugs. I doodle a lot! My background of studies is Landscape Architecture and participatory design processes. I also enjoy knitting and baking bread sometimes

Ana Maria Guerrero

Membership & Volunteer Coordinator
In 2015, Jonathan co-founded the Cultural Action Network (CAN) in San Francisco, CA, an arts and culture advocacy organization that highlighted arts organizations that have been displaced or are at risk of displacement as a result of the runaway gentrification of San Francisco. CAN organized active resistance to reckless development and won significant concessions and Community Benefit Agreements to various projects including the “Beast on Bryant”, as a result of this community based activism. In 2012, Jonathan co-founded Golden Gate Co-Housing, Oakland, CA, a permanently affordable co-housing project for community members working to make the world a better place. In January 2011, Jonathan co-founded PLACE for Sustainable Living, in Oakland, CA, a public serving experiential learning center to showcasing and fostering sustainable living practices, urban homesteading, community resiliency & preparedness, social justice, food security and artistic expression. From 2005-2012, Jonathan co-founded and toured the country with the Sustainable Living Roadshow, a touring educational caravan promoting sustainable solutions at music festivals, universities and community events. As the brainchild & Big Mouth Barker behind the Conscious Carnival, Jonathan has helped create eco-themed carnival games which engage participants with entertaining and fun activities while they learn about a variety of issues concerning the environment and sustainability. Another current edu-tainment project is the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew, which is a puppet troupe that creates and performs politically and environmentally conscious puppetry. Other projects that were co-founded and catalyzed by Jonathan include the Esperanza Sustainability Center, an educational center for urban agriculture, sustainable living strategies, and artistic expression, the Clean Fuel Caravan Coalition, a collective of clean fuel advocates sharing resources and information about renewable fuels, the Mission Village Market, a dynamic Art, Farm & Flea Market, and CELLspace, a collaborative arts center which provided a safe and supportive public environment for the exploration of art, education, performance and community building.

Jonathan Youtt

Facilities
Larissa (She/Her/They) is a nature-based mentor, ceremonialist, healing arts practitioner, and rhythm keeper. She was born and raised in occupied Cahuilla territory (Riverside, CA) and went to UC Riverside, where she obtained a BS in Sustainability Studies. Larissa is a descendant of Mexican, Diné, and Irish lineages. Over the past few years, she has been reconnecting to her ancestral lineages and focusing on relearning ancient practices of being/relating to Earth. Larissa is devoted to creating a regenerative future for the next generations and living in harmony with Mother Earth. She is most passionate about assisting the youth and womxn on their journeys of reconnecting to their ancestral lineages, nature, and their womb/hara spaces, as well as helping them fine-tune their intuitions. (edite

Larissa Arambula

Social Media Steward
Maya has a background in video production, journalism, storytelling, and music. After living most of the last 10 years in Amsterdam and London, she’s happy to be back in the Bay Area, nestling into the creative, committed, future-world-building community in and around PLACE – offering admin, media, and outreach support. Maya loves funk flute, full moons behind tree branches, and telling video stories that bring dire attention to sustainable and innovative living practices.

Maya Curry

Admin Steward
Paola is the descendant of Colombian campesinxs, first-generation born in the states, spanglish-speaker and daughter of immigrants. She is committed to the process of decolonization by working on land-based reclamation, food sovereignty, and playing/dancing cumbias. She values deepening human networks, preserving culture and ancestral stories, and finding groundedness with the guidance of the natural elements.

Paola Diaz

Event Steward
Thiago has a background in event planning, construction, and management. His family is from Brazil and migrated to the US when he was 12 years old. He has a AA in art, is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. He is most comfortable behind turntables as Dj EvolT creating tunes for people to groove to. He is a jack of all trades, always innovating. He loves and respects our planet, enjoys traveling, has traveled to many states, embracing various cultures throughout the country, and looks forward to meeting you.

Thiago Andrade

Site Steward
Veronica Ramirez, born to Chilean immigrant parents, grew up in Redwood City, CA. As co-founder and co-director at PLACE for Sustainable Living, her role has covered a wide range of responsibilities from organizational and educational development, special programs on Placemaking, community outreach and partnership development. Her background in marketing and design has also been a vital contribution to PLACE’s presence creating much of the visual content and design. Prior to PLACE, Veronica was a core member of another grassroots organization called, The Sustainable Living Roadshow, a traveling eco-carnival touring group. Her main roles were Art Director/Designer for the organization and Community Art Garden Lead Creative for her project Earth Peace Mandala Project, a community-based sacred art project she has led since 1998 for various events. Its intention is to be a focal point for community to gather, co-create, share, pray and celebrate together. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Planting Justice, a local organization with a strong mission toward food and criminal justice issues. In addition, she has been a member of The North Oakland Restorative Justice Council (NORJC) since 2013, which is a non-profit grassroots organizing group that addresses issues of community violence through a land-based restorative justice lens. Veronica is an accomplished graphic designer, community organizer, and peace activist. She is strongly informed and motivated by her curious nature to bring community together via her love for the natural world and the magic that results from the co-creative spirit we each possess.

Veronica Ramirez

Co-Founder & Placemaker in PLACE

History of PLACE

Coming soon!

See how PLACE transformed from a parking lot into its look today in the video below.

Artist in residence

Ernesto Hernández Olmos

Ernesto Hernandez Olmos is a multi-talented artist, specializing in many cultural art forms of the pre-Columbian peoples of Meso-America including music, dance, storytelling, sculpture, painting and making traditional instruments out of wood and clay. Ernesto was born in Oaxaca, México, and received his degree in art at “La Escuela de Bellas Artes” of the University of Oaxaca, and is an accomplished muralist with many standing artworks around the Bay Area. Ernesto is founder and director of Xaguia Gura and co-director of Balamoatl, projects dedicated to the diffusion of indigenous Meso-American culture, music, and dance. Ernesto has been collaborating with la Clinica de la Raza and the World Wide Indigenous sciences network as a Cultural Practitioner for 7 years, at la Cultura Cura in Fruitvale Oakland and San Rafael with Canal Welcome Center, serving Woman and Youth circles.

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