Gateways to Science 2013

November 22nd, 2013

For the second summer in a row, MMAP worked in partnership with Dr. Bryan Brown, an expert literacy professor and researcher of Hip Hop culture, and five African-American Stem-major college students, to facilitate a six week-long program targeting six minority youth artists to use Hip Hop as a tool to teach science to fifth grade students. Together with Stanford REU: Gateways to Science Careers (G2SC), MMAP youth artists produced science music videos to introduce and explain science concepts to fifth graders. The lead instructors of the program were Demetric Sanders and Keith Cross. Keith is a current Stanford PhD candidate in Stanford’s School of Education and past Lyrical Director of MMAP’s 2013 History through Hip Hop program.

The Gateways to Science ’13 crew takes a quick break from shooting one of the two music videos from the summer.

Blood Line

Click to Play Song:  Blood-Line

This song uses a bus route as a metaphor to explain the circulatory and respiratory systems. The lines of the bus route represent the veins and arteries our blood moves through. While the passengers embarking and disembarking represent the cycle of oxygen being delivered from the lungs to the body tissues and the carbon dioxide traveling from our body tissues back to the lungs.

Band-Aids

Click to Play Song: Band-Aids

This song explains the process of Scientific Investigation. To help explain the steps in the process, the lyricists use an allegory of a student who scrapes both of his knees and puts a band-aid on one to see if it heals faster.

Left: Demetric Sanders breaking down the steps of the respiratory/circulatory system. Middle: Yvonne Hammel drafting her lyrics to the fifth graders. Right: Adrian Johnson recording his verse.

Completed videos coming soon! Check back in a few weeks!

The Colormaster

November 18th, 2013

Join us this Wednesday for an artist’s talk with MMAP’s Artist in Residence Scape Martinez and Bay Area artist HLOVE. In anticipation of the event, we asked Scape to tell us about his fourth and newest book “Colormaster” and the motivation behind it. Here’s what he had to say:

Since I was young, people would comment on how I would use color, and for the life of me, I could never understand it. I thought everyone viewed color as I did. Little did I know that wasn’t the case. A close friend once told me, “Bro… no one rocks colors like you… you should do a book called Color Master.” I listened, I took that in, and here it is!

“Color communicates because color is powerful, and powerful color is more powerful still.” – SCAPE

No matter what discipline or style I got into, color would play a major role in the work. At times it was a conscious thing. At other times, it was unconscious and something that just happened. But as time went on, I noticed connections that would happen that further pushed the importance of color to me as an artist and as a person.

This book sheds light on my views about color, and how I use color in my artwork. Color Master is the beginning of a conversation that I want to entertain and push forward. I want to share how important color is and how I “rock” colors in the abstract graffiti arena.

In part, my take is that this book will show how I use color to bring beauty and meaning and ultimately life to my work. My hope is that in turn, you’ll be able to do the same. You’ll be able to shout, scream, and push the boundaries of your art. The idea is to create and communicate in a way that graffiti letter structure cannot do by itself.

The use of color choices is meant to make your work even more meaningful, personal, and highly effective. My hope is that my message will spread.

Below is the book cover… ENJOY!

- SCAPE

Moments of Grace

November 7th, 2013
Dear MMAP Family,

Everyone knows me as “that guy,” quietly shuffling from one project to another, moving from one cohort to the next. But who is Scape Martinez? And what does he do outside of the Mural Music & Arts Project (MMAP)? What makes him tick?

You are invited to come on in and see!

Some of you already know that I write and I create my own form of visual art. My fourth book “COLORMASTER,” is set to be released on November 8th, and in conjunction with this release, I have an art show at Big Umbrella Studios in San Francisco (906.5 Divisadero St.) in collaboration with another Bay Area artist, HLOVE. The work on display is a reflection of my love affair with color and expression, my ode to the spray can and paint splatters. I want you to “hear” the work and maybe walk away with colors embedded in your heart. These works are directly from the pages of the book, and I want to share them with you all. Come in and see my other side…

See these “Moments of Grace”!


-SCAPE

Where?

Big Umbrella Studios
906.5 Divisadero St. (at McAllister)
San Francisco, CA 94115

When?
  • Fri. Nov. 8th, 6-10pm - Show Opening & Reception
  • Wed. Nov. 20th, 6:30-8pm - Artist’s Talk with SCAPE and HLOVE
  • Sat. Nov. 23rd, 12-3pm - Intro to Graffiti by SCAPE and HLOVE
  • Wed. Dec. 4th, 6:30-8pm - “COLORMASTER” Book Signing by SCAPE

HOPE.

November 5th, 2013

We asked our Artist in Residence Scape Martinez to tell us about his experience this summer working with our talented Teen Mural Program (TMP) students to design and create a mural for East Palo Alto’s City Hall. Here’s what he had to say:

“HOPE” is defined as the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. It can also be looked at as “the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or in the world at large.”

So what does this have to do with murals? …EVERYTHING.

The theme of our mural completed by the Teen Mural Program (TMP) in Summer 2013 was the concept of “HOPE.” But what exactly is it?

While observing our kids, their thought process, and design ideas, I came to understand that HOPE is an aggressive thing, not a passive thing. It is a part of something bigger, and that something is leadership. It is an ingredient used to effect change, an active and aggressive social change.

We wrapped our minds around the concept of HOPE before we began painting. During our research into the mural, we addressed concepts such as “adversity”… I asked, where is the adversity in East Palo Alto? There needs to be a sense of “promise,” whether inward or outward, and whether realized or broken. The students needed to recognize that they have a voice, and that their voice is valid and necessary. Add a smidge of risk, and in the end we have an active HOPE that effects change and leaves East Palo Alto in a better place than when we found it.

Social change is fueled by HOPE. I think that the students of TMP are the HOPE of East Palo Alto. They definitely are the voice and hold the imagination of East Palo Alto in the palms of their hands. They take the risks and hold the promise and through them there is the active HOPE of East Palo Alto.

Below are images of the Creative Process, and I am a huge fan of the idea of “trusting the process.” That is where the real magic happens, when you are making the art! The final piece is on three canvas panels, each 36”x48”, with the word HOPE emblazoned across the top and the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

-Scape Martinez, Artist in Residence

Introducing: CO2

November 5th, 2013

CO2 performing at this year’s EPA Community Celebration and Mural Unveiling

CO2 is a girls only band that grew out of youth work to bring an Art and Music Center to East Palo Alto. The band practices once a week in the Live In Peace studio, and performs regularly in East Palo Alto. Rosamia Morales-Valdez states, “I love playing drums in CO2 because the drums love me just the way I am. I relax and am learning to feel more comfortable performing in front of other people.” Other members include Susan Vunga (piano), Ketzalzin Cruz (bass), and Tameira Woods (vocals and eukelele).

Left to right: Susan, Ketzalzin, Rosamia, and Tameira

A Family Affair

November 5th, 2013

MMAP La Familia at Summer Community Celebration & Unveiling

On August 23rd, MMAP commemorated East Palo Alto’s thirtieth anniversary as well as celebrated the hard work of this summer’s Teen Mural Program (TMP). Over the summer, TMP students learned about Movements: The Flow of Ideas, People & Resources. Together, they explored past and present social movements and through their artwork came conversations about community, change, and hope. Below is the final mural conceptualized by Artist in Residence, Scape Martinez, and created by Teen Muralists.

Hope, East Palo Alto City Hall, 2415 University Ave, East Palo Alto, CA 94303

This mural draws on movements of social change for inspiration.  Large blue spheres dominate the piece signifying the three branches of government, and the block-like structures give a sense of rigidness to show society’s resistance to change. The design uses abstracted form, color, and space to depict the energy and tension inherent in social movements, aiming to ultimately spread a positive message: “HOPE.”

The culminating celebration was an event filled with love and the spirit of East Palo Alto’s thirty years and beyond was truly felt. It was only right that Poetess Kalamu Chache began the program with a beautiful invocation. Chief Ronald Davis and City Manager Magda Gonzalez spoke to East Palo Alto’s thirtieth anniversary and commemorated the work of over 120 youth in MMAP’s Graffiti Art Project’s (GAP) public art project celebrating the 30th anniversary.

From left to right: Kalamu Chache, Chief Ronald Davis, & City Manager Magda Gonzalez.

Writer and author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Stanford University’s Executive Director of Institute for the Diversity in the Arts, Jeff Chang was the Keynote speaker. In addition, he was also one of TMP’s interviewees this summer. He spoke on the power of the youth movement and that force of art and culture has on changing society.

Jeff Chang delivered an inspiring keynote at this year’s EPA Summer Community Celebration and Mural Unveiling

Of course, the best part of the unveiling is the youth performances. This year TMP’s lyrical cohort was all female and they rocked it. Below is Kiki and Yvonne, both students at Eastside College Preparatory. It was Kiki’s first time in the lyrical cohort and her cadence and rhyme made it seem as if she was a veteran.

Yvonne and Kiana share their lyrics with the crowd at this year’s EPA Summer Community Celebration and Mural Unveiling

This summer in East Palo Alto was a family affair that truly spoke to the power of community and hope. The foundations were built and now the work begins. Cheers to all that was celebrated and accomplished this summer. Be sure to check out the Hope mural as well as the 30- year public art that is displayed at East Palo Alto’s City Hall.

View the entire 2013 Summer Booklet of Programs and Events: 2013 Summer Booklet

The Blueprint to Greatness: HHH 2013 Recap

November 5th, 2013

“HHH is like a world with enough hope to give to the rest of the galaxy plus more. It helps me be better and have a better point of view on my community.”

- Eddie Gage, freshman at Eastside College Prep

History through Hip Hop 2013 explored the Blueprint to Greatness: The Dream, The Plan, The Hustle, The Grind, and The Success. Each of the five steps allowed students to muse on their personal ambitions as well as the amount of diligence required to reach greatness – the highest level of success.

Over the 18-week program, students walked away with an 11-track album, four original dances, seven visual art pieces, and a digital e-book. They also performed eight times reaching a total audience of over 2,300 people. Through creating art and performing live, students increased their artistic and academic skills, developed a strong and positive future orientation, and felt a greater civic engagement.

“HHH made me push myself, to points I never thought I’d be.”

– Adrianna Zaragoza, freshman at Eastside College Prep

The HHH crew preparing to rock the stage at Stanford’s Blackfest

Listen to and download the album at: HHH Bandcamp

View the HHH 2013 Album Booklet at: HHH 2013 Booklet

Homegrown: Youth Leading the Fight

March 22nd, 2013

“The youth are powerful,” proclaimed Trevor Burroughs, founder of the East Palo Alto Historical and Agricultural Society. The youth are at the forefront of fighting for progressive change, from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960’s fighting for civil rights to Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) leading the fight for environmental justice.

Homegrown: Cultivating Dreams through Action

On Monday, March 18th, the youth took the stage to articulate lessons from the past and inspire the ongoing movement for social and environmental justice in East Palo Alto. City Hall was so packed that many of the audience members were forced to stand, but this did not deter them from hearing what the youth had to say. The diverse and intergenerational audience was eager to view the premiere of three music video documentaries that resulted from collaboration between Stanford Urban Studies students and East Palo Alto youth lyricists. The films merged hip hop music and historical documentary techniques and explored three stories of environmental justice in East Palo Alto.

Isaiah Phillips MC-ing the event

One of the songs “Living Body, ” by Darryl Davis, Brysone Washington, and Adrian Johnson, examined YUCA’s influential win of shutting down Romic Corporation’s hazardous waste plant in 2007. The power of the victory was that came from youth action. Darryl’s verse speaks to the real resolutions that come from a generation that is often overlooked in society:

“Protecting our land because we’re ohh soo defensive/ had kids as young as 10/ writing letters with incentives…YUCA got it/ Provide that safe space/ So young people can be empowered/ If you ain’t at the table/ You’re on the menu.”

Isaiah Phillips, an organizer of the event, MC, and one of the artists, stated, “The event brought the best of the community together, it brought together people who normally wouldn’t be in the same room.” We need to continue to work as a community and create spaces where there are intergenerational exchanges of knowledge and stories and where the youth are empowered and take the ownership to take action.

As we continue to face issues in our community, it is imperative that the youth voice is heard and recognized, for they are the next generation of leaders. Thank you for all who came out. It was truly a special event.

Fluent Flowz, Brysone The Hope Dealer, Randy McFly on the mic and leaders in EPA.

ISE Making Waves

January 22nd, 2013

On Thursday, January 17, 2013, In-School Electives (ISE) had its first art show in East Palo Alto Academy’s Gym. The show was in collaboration with the painting elective class at the school. The students, with guidance from Artist in Residence Scape Martinez and ISE Instructor Laura Nunez, curated the show and wrote artist bios highlighting their inspirations and achievements.

EPAA students viewing the Art Show

Example Student Artist Bios

During lunchtime, students and teachers walked through and viewed all the artwork. The ISE students demonstrated great pride in sharing their art with the rest of the school as onlookers recognized and showed respect for each piece of art.

Letter "B" for Bobbie, Freshman

The vibrancy of the artwork is a reflection of the personalities, styles and cultures at East Palo Alto Academy. The wheels of creativity are moving and MMAP’s ISE students are making big waves. We look forward to seeing more to come. Thank you to Scape and Laura!

Teachers admiring San Francisco sports pride art pieces

HEArt & Soul of MMAP

January 17th, 2013

Going on the 12th year since MMAP’s founding, the heart and soul of the organization continues to touch all those that walk through its door. The power of art and community are felt through the relationships built, the messages conveyed, and the progress that is made; it is also what carries us through times of triumph and sorrow. Olatunde Sobomehin (Deputy Director), Sarah Woodward (Director of Art & Programs), Isaiah Phillips (Performing Artist, Lyrical Instructor), and Brysone Washington (HHH Participant) all wrote poems that speak to the heart and soul of MMAP. Below are two of our favorites.

by Isaiah Phillips
education inspiration…empowerment where
youth bloom like flowers and learn
to ride life’s breeze like a flower’s sent
incredible mentorship, spetacular mentor’s
innovation, creation, family, can’t you see
this entity give space to find identity
fighting what circumstances and roles life would give to thee
becoming what we are truly meant to be…

by Brysone Washington
A place that I can feel is a place I call home
A place that will never make me feel like I’m alone
A place so warm like the middle of the summer
A place that keeps me safe from the rain and thunder
A place with bright smiles and long loving hungs
A place to shed tears if no one else listens up
A place to inspire, empower and educate
Is a place that I hope will never go away

Thank you to the MMAP staff, youth, and volunteers who submitted poems for the CTK Foundation’s Heart & Soul 2013 Grant Awards!

HEArt & Soul at MMAP, East Palo Alto, December 2012