Community Newsletter
May 2021
Dear Friends of East Bay Center,

May is Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. We hope you will join us in celebrating and uplifting the contributions of our AAPI students, staff, and faculty this month and throughout the year.

To help celebrate, check out Center teaching artist Hiyas Hila (pictured above) performing three piano works by Filipino composers at the World Piano Teachers Association USA's "East Meets West" concert series!

AAPI is a very broad term that encompasses many different identities, histories, and experiences. To learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, explore the many resources at

Wishing you and your family continued health and happiness this Spring,

Staff Members, Faculty Artists, and Board of Directors
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
Hiyas Hila, DMA, was born in the Philippines. She holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Bachelor's of Music and Master's of Music, both with Mack McCray as her mentor), and the University of Minnesota (Doctor of Musical Arts, with Lydia Artymiw as her teacher). She was a recipient of several scholarships and fellowship awards such as the Sergei Barsukov Scholarship for Piano, the Asian Cultural Council fellowship grant, and the University of Minnesota Centennial Piano Fellowship. Dr. Hila was the top prize winner in several piano competitions including the 2005 University of Minnesota Concerto Competitions; the 2006 and 2007 Elinor Bell Piano Competition; and First Prize in Piano, Graduate Division, at the 2006 Schubert Club competitions in St. Paul, Minnesota. An active solo, orchestral, and chamber music performer, she has been a featured artist in concerts in the Philippines, Spain, and the United States. Her “dazzling tones and well-nuanced keyboard artistry” have received praises from critics.
Soul Endeavor Private Lesson Recitals
Join us on May 28, 2021 from 3pm - 5pm (first set) and from 6pm - 8pm (second set) for an evening of recitals showcasing the work of our private lesson students over the last semester!
Save the Date: Senior Recitals
We hope you will join us on Friday, June 4th at 6pm for our Senior Recitals, where senior Center students will share what they've learned throughout the year!
Save the Date: Summer Saturday Series
Registration opens Monday, May 31 for our Summer Saturday Series at the Center. We hope to see you there!
Center Teaching Artist CK Ladzekpo Honored with New Berkeley Mural!
A mural depicting the diversity of the Berkeley community with images of healing and wellness can be seen from the parking lot of the new Kaiser medical offices at 2621 10th St. in West Berkeley. CK Ladzekpo, one of our long-time Teaching Artists at the Center and lecturer at the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies and the African Music Ensemble, is one of the many images on the new mural!

The Carleton Street mural between Ninth and Tenth streets is in a street-level parking lot for employees who will work in the new Kaiser Permanente medical office nearby. “Kaiser Permanente wanted to be intentional about representing culture and history,” said Desi Mundo, the artist constructing the mural with about 400 cans of spray paint as well as brush and roll-on acrylic paints. “There’s a holistic healing element to it. Part of the idea is that healing takes place simply by practicing your culture.”

Giant letters spell out “East Bay Rising Together.” Within those letters are images from some of the prominent East Bay cultures, religions, history, and people.

Yoga, the Ohlone people, a Black factory worker representing west and south Berkeley communities, a whirling dervish representing Sufism, an African American doctor listening to the heartbeat of an African drum, redwood trees, the African goddess Yemaya, and other images representing Asian, Guatemalan, Yemeni, Mexican, and Muslim traditions all adorn the parking lot wall.

Mundo said the mural attempts to show how “healing is about understanding our place in the universe.”

From all of us at East Bay Center, congrats on your new honor CK! It is well deserved!
Faculty Spotlight: W. Allen Taylor
W. Allen Taylor’s theater career began in 1979, and includes performances in many regional theaters around the country, as well as in NYC, with such critically acclaimed off-Broadway theaters as the Negro Ensemble Company and La Mama E.T.C. He has also been seen on Broadway in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars”, and has appeared on network television and in feature films. His solo show, "In Search of My Father...Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins," which he wrote and performed, was originally commissioned and work-shopped at East Bay Center. The play made its professional debut at the Marsh Theatre in Berkeley, CA in 2006 and won the Best Solo-Performance Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. Allen received his MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre, and has served on the theater faculties of Laney College and the College of Marin, where he served for 16 years, and 5 years as the department chair. He actually began his teaching career at East Bay Center in 1989, and maintained his connection to the theater faculty throughout the years. He now returns as an acting teacher and audition coach.
Student Spotlight: Carolina Ayala

Carolina is a second year Diploma student at East Bay Center, and is a 9th grader at Making Waves Academy in Richmond. Carolina joined the Center in 2018 and began her artistic journey with digital music production. A year later, she joined the Young Artist Diploma Program, and shortly after discovered her talent for singing. She is now currently a member of Center resident chorus ensemble Voices of Reason, and over the last two semesters discovered yet another talent: acting. Her skills as an actress led her to secure a spot in a second resident company, Iron Triangle Theater, of which she is currently an active member. While Carolina has discovered much about her artistic talents over the last two years in the Diploma program, she maintains her passion for making beats, where her journey at East Bay Center began.
In honor of International Drum Month, observed in May since 2014, we’d like to acknowledge a recent product gift from the D’Addario Foundation – 261 pairs of drum sticks valued at $3,050! Thank you, D’Addario!
Buy East Bay Center a gift! Check out our Amazon Wishlist, where we recently added many items that are useful to the Center's programs and operations.
East Bay Center is grateful for the support of:

AmazonSmile, Anonymous Foundation, Anonymous Fund of the East Bay Community Foundation, Anonymous Fund at Vanguard Charitable, Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, Bandcamp Inc., Beneficial State Bank Foundation, Berklee City Music Network, Louis L. Borick Foundation, California Arts Council, The California Endowment, Mark Cavagnero Associates, Chamberlin Family Foundation, City of Richmond, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Contra Costa County CDBG Program, Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, COVID-19: A Just East Bay Response Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation, S.H. Cowell Foundation, Crankstart, D’Addario Foundation, Dale Fund of the SF Foundation, John Derning Fund of the SF Foundation, Dodge & Cox, ELMA Music Foundation, Equity Community Builders, Farella Braun + Martel LLP, Fenwick Family Foundation, Fullerton Family Foundation of the Marin Community Foundation, GEICO, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation – Special Award in the Arts, Golden Gate Meats, Bill Graham Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation, Hellman Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ifshin Violin, Interactive Resources, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Kaiser Permanente, The Kresge Foundation, Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, Richard & Emily Levin Foundation, Levin Richmond Terminal Corp, Littler Mendelson Foundation, Mechanics Bank, Meyer Sound Laboratories, Moca Fund at Schwab Charitable, National Endowment for the Arts, New West Company, Overaa Construction, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Quest Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Irene S. Scully Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation, Sequoia Trust of the San Francisco Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Tencue, Travis Credit Union, Wareham Development, Wells Fargo Bank, Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation, Wolfgang Fund of the East Bay Community Foundation, Zalec Familian & Lilian Levinson Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation Community Arts COVID Response Fund, and Corporate Employee Gift Programs at Adobe, AT&T, Autodesk, Bank of America, Chevron, Clorox, Dolby, GE, Kaiser, LPL Investors, Oracle, PG&E, Semantec, UPS, Wells Fargo, Verisk, Walt Disney and City, State, Federal employees.
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