The Bay Area’s lightning hot real estate market has fueled much tension between residents/tenants and landlords/developers. There’s a general cultural belief that developers are only in it for the money or fame. When Westlake Urban, a 3rd generation family-owned commercial real estate developer, knocked on our doors with a different kind of brand proposition, we answered. They were asking, how can we creatively develop for the higher potential and prosperity of the communities that live in our projects and for the cities that hold our futures?
And thus our adventure kicked off to help tell the story of a project - 10 years in the making - that was transforming a community, a city’s identity, and calling forth innumerable women to raise their voice and speak their truth. The San Leandro Tech Campus is a bold commercial project that seeks to emblemize an effort of the sleepy Bay Area town to transform into an innovative, resource and technology-rich place to live and invest in. And from that, a desire was born to be a community that is a safe and empowered place for women.
At a time when our national news is all too full of stories of sexual abuse and exploit, one 55’ tall woman named Truth is Beauty, came to represent something different. Westlake Urban had discovered the monumental sculpture of the nude woman standing on her toes and stretching “through the fullness of her being” in artist Marco Cochrane’s warehouse on Treasure Island. Offering her as public art to the San Leandro Tech Campus initially stirred controversy and push back. That is, until people started to hear her backstory - that of the artist’s painful childhood experience of 7 years old when he witnessed the rape of his childhood friend and that his sculptures represent expressions of women who are safe, powerful, free - a question which is so poignantly posed in the sculpture’s engraving - what would the world be like if women were safe? At the prospect of installing her, like a Statue of Liberty, in the public plaza of SLTC, women from all over the community began sharing their stories and advocating for the sculpture as a beacon of hope, empowerment, and prosperity.
Moonshot was proud to craft the brand and storytelling strategy, addressing a wide spectrum of stakeholders and audiences. Working with women’s groups, elected officials, city departments, student organizations, and community members as well as local and national media, we curated and produced the inaugural lighting ceremony for Truth is Beauty and official opening of the first phase of the San Leandro Tech Campus. The story has rippled from the Bay Area to receive international coverage, as an outcome of trust, collaboration, and manifest vision and as an antidote to the rape culture we hear about too frequently. We are honored to work with such a pioneering, disruptive and inclusive group of developers.
Video produced by: Brandon Katcher, Lost Summit Films