My name is Lucia. I was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. Balmy Alley is my home. I have lived here most of my life. I am an artist like my father and since I was young, I have witnessed the changing murals on Balmy Alley along with the changes within my neighborhood, La Mísion.
WHAT IS THE MISSION MAKEOVER MURAL?
I designed the Mission Makeover Mural to depict the two Missions that I am most familiar with; La Mísion of my youth, filled with a vibrant Latino culture, rich in art and history, a place that I have lived my entire life; and the current Madeover Mission, remodeled and revised with designer boutiques, high priced cafes, less Latino immigrant families, and dwindling diversity.
I understand that not all change is necessarily bad. But I want the new Mission residents to respect and understand the history of the older Mission and acknowledge that there was once a thriving community that barely resembles a shell of itself. This Balmy Alley mural honors those individuals, businesses and families who left without choice. It tells the stories of the indirect causes at a local and international level which changed the face of the Mission. My intent is not to antagonize community members against each other, but to create a public document that shares what the Mission looked like in previous years and understand why it changed.
WHAT IS BALMY ALLEY?
Balmy Alley is one of the most famous public gallery of murals depicting the societal issues and history of political struggles throughout the world. It has been the home to public murals by some of the world’s greatest muralists. The images and stories depicted on the wall are familiar to me. They are the stories of injustice and healing, war and peace, oppression and freedom. As hard as it is to read and tell those stories, the artists of Balmy Alley have matched it equally with beauty and hope. Now I find myself inside of one of the deepest struggles that has personally affected me, gentrification, which has rapidly changed the face of my neighborhood. It has displaced friends and families, pushed poor people out of San Francisco while creating oportunistic chances for property owners to drive up rents in a once thriving Latino barrio.
Balmy Alley is a project begun more than 30 years ago, thousands of tourists, groups of school children and all varieties of locals pass through the alley to view the amazing outdoor gallery. Most of the initial murals addressed the political topics of the time in Latin America. With Mission Makeover Mural, I want to continue that tradition but now in a local struggle.
WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?
I have secured wallspace on Balmy Alley for the Mission Makeover Mural, and have begun the painting process with out-of-my-own-pocket money. To finish it, I have turned to Kickstarter to help raise funds for the completion and public celebration of it. For $3,500 I can pay for all of the acrylic paint, protective coats, minimal maintenance from graffiti and weather damage, related merchandise, costs of shipping prizes, and a small advertising campaign for a community celebration and public revealing. Any additional money beyond the goal would be used to provide meals to volunteers, make color prints of the finished mural, and produce media that documents and records the creation process.
The process of painting the mural is gruesome and time consuming. I am being assisted by my father artist and educator Tirso Araiza, and a group of volunteers.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL?
The way Kickstarter works - It's ALL or NOTHING! This means that if we don't raise $3,500 by the deadline, the Backers are NOT charged and we do not receive any of the pledges. So, please spread the word. Every bit helps!
LINKS TO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Mission Makeover Mural on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/NlDtc4
Mission Makeover Mural on Twitter: http://bit.ly/NlDCfK
more info: MissionMakeoverMural@gmail.com
Video by Shara Esbenshade
- (30 days)