ART & THE MISSION
The Mission District has been a flourishing cultural and artistic focal point in San Francisco. With the formation of the Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, and the Galería de la Raza, Mission has become the epicenter of activism interacting with the arts. Yet the most public and prominent works are the close to a hundred ever-changing murals that line Mission’s streets and alleyways, featuring vivid political and cultural themes that cross continents.
"La Mission wasn't one individual but a community, an unofficial group of artists... in 1971, nothing beautiful had ever happened to Latinos in the united states, so we set out with our art to remake the world a beautiful place for ourselves."
Alejandro Murguía, San Francisco Poet Laureate
POLITICS & THE MISSION
The Mission has been a predominately Latino neighborhood since the 1940s, solidifying a strong pan-ethnic cultural identity ever since. With deep working-class roots, there has been a consistent vein of social mobilization in the face of challenges and change.
1960s: Protests against urban renewal initiatives.
1970s: Anti-discrimination movements.
1980s: Protests criticizing U.S. interventions in Central America
1990s-2000s: The fight against evictions, rising rent prices, and gentrification.
"To Build a Home"
We are on our way
With posters, videos, poetry
Our Mission in words I’ll portray
About a world we chose not to unsee
Wait, ‘portraying’ seems unsure
How can I picture those people?
If the origins here were set to go
By those without enough colors
Yeah, no rhyming up there
No beauty up the hill
If this is Silicon Valley
In the bottom we stand still
Gentrification sounds a nice word
If you, like me, don’t get the meaning
If you, like me, got exiled to a meaningless world,
You don’t hope to see hope in this tour for sightseeing
Oh, wait! Check those kids with a white board
They ask for the feeling of being here
They get the feeling of being from abroad
They make me see what I didn’t
So I look in their eyes to make sure
Our souls communicate and theirs get to hear
How sincerely I pronounce this thankful note
Mi amigo, there’s only one thing left to say:
If we burn down the walls of the Mission,
The home we created has a broader place to stay