Tai Chi Chats

Every morning starting at 6am, art is unfolding organically at Madison Park. Several hundred of us gather together to do various martial arts, cultural dance forms, and exercise. More than recreation, this is where we meet friends, learn a new life activity, recover from illness, share food, exchange cultural practice, meditate for peace, build community.

This is our town square.

Madison Park is an important public space for Chinatown with much history and potential. It is a key part of the Lake Merritt BART station planning area where redevelopment plans are currently being explored by the City of Oakland and BART. Contrary to common belief, Madison Park is a thriving place of vibrant culture and one of the most used parks in the city.


In 2011-2012, Tai Chi Chats captured the stories of Madison Park's daily exercise community, who bring rich cultural activities and promote a growing, thriving, and environmentally sustainable public space. With a documentary video, interactive cultural maps, and an exhibit at OACC, the Chats highlighted the community's diverse culture and envision together a park design for the future. These Chats help inform the concurrent public planning process for the Lake Merritt BART Planning Area and advocate for public park space and cultural activities in Chinatown.

For more information, contact Roy at rcoacc(at)gmail.com

Visit the Cultural Map!


Extended Video (18 minutes)

This project website and the Tai Chi Chats phase is made possible with support from the California Council for the Humanities, an independent non-profit organization and a partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.calhum.org
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the California Council for the Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 The Bubble Tea Chats and Tai Chi Chats phase is made possible in part by a grant from the Open Circle Foundation.