As an inner-city, community-based cultural arts producer and festival promoter, Alistair works to enrich and beautify urban environments through humanitarian platforms.
With a rich family history of artistry and hospitality, Alistair was the founder of the North Beach Jazz Festival, a vehicle for celebrating the legendary jazz history of San Francisco and was known as the New Orleans Jazz Festival of the West, founded the Band Shell Music Summit in Golden Gate Park, a celebration of music, art and culture dedication to sustainable awareness while exposing the newly developed California Academy of Science and the DeYoung Museum. Alistair has managed multiple artists, including San Francisco Bay Area’s Jazz Ensemble, Mingus Amungus, when they toured Havana, Cuba, in 1997 and recorded an album there.
As an artist educator, Alistair founded the Oakland Cannery Collective to protect and preserve the Oakland Cannery and his father’s legacy. He moved into the Oakland Cannery to provide primary care until he passed in October 2019. Alistair worked alongside his father and city officials to change city legislation that protected the immediate threat of eviction and completed the mission to advocate for the preservation of the live-work environment in Oakland.
In early 2018 and 2019, Oakland, CA – Alistair produced a cultural arts festival for the Cannery and a retrospective of paintings by his father, abstract expressionist Arthur Monroe at a pop-up gallery in Jack London Square, along with a collection of African artifacts, albums, drawings and photographs, supported by close artist friends, Suzanne Jackson, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Raymond Holbert, Lewis Watts, and Amarah Hicks, in celebration of Arthur’s lifetime achievements.
The works in the exhibition depicted the life journey in preparation for his personal correspondence and papers donated to the Smithsonian Institute of American Archives for research and exhibition with materials from Evangeline Montgomery and Mary Lovelace O’Neal. Further, his art will be added to the personal collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Alistair was instrumental in producing major exhibitions during the Covid Pandemic in New York City, Aspen, Colorado, and Mexico City Mx, at the Malin Gallery to expand awareness of his legacy.
In 2022, Alistair joined forces with environmental advocacy groups – Environmental
Democracy Project (EDP) and the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) – and hosted
City of Oakland Council Members and the City of Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission Members to demand stronger environmental protections. This comes after a long-winded fight with landlords and cannabis cultivation tenant growers that polluted our Oakland neighborhood with toxic diesel exhaust for two lengthy years before finally being shut down in September 2022. Our coalition group that succeeded in shutting down the diesel generators is calling for accountability and stronger protections and seeking the removal of the remaining illegal generators in other parts of the city.
The future of the Oakland Cannery Collective is to protect the property and build more affordable live-work studios. We wish to implement a more structured foundation for cannabis and build equity programs for the industry.