Archive for September, 2010

MMAP Leadership Spotlight – Monique Tillman

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This summer MMAP was privileged to have Monique Tillman working with the Teen Mural Program and in the MMAP Office!  We want to show our love and highlight Monique’s talent and hard work this summer.  Monique wrote about her experience at MMAP this summer and created an original piece “Taking the Lead”  Thanks Mo!

My MMAP Experience – By: Monique Tillman

Educate, inspire, and empower youth through the arts. Working with MMAP this summer, I grew to understand why that is their mission statement. As a young adult I did not know I could  learn so much about my community while working with the Teen Mural Program (TMP), a program that employs disadvantaged teens to research, design and install a large public art mural. This year our theme was LEADERSHIP, so we, the TMA’s (Teen Mural Assistants) interviewed several community leaders who don’t always get the recognition they deserve. During our research process, I gained knowledge about how East Palo Alto is digitally divided from cities like Palo Alto. I also learned that East Palo Alto is home to the endangered California Clapper Rail bird. Living in EPA my whole life and not being aware of a lot that happens in my community came as a shock to me. TMP really made me realize that if I want to see positive change in my community, I have to be the one to step up to LEADERSHIP. With our research we had so many great ideas that there was no way we could have fit our brilliance into one mural. Therefore we have five new murals within the MMAP office.  Also being in the History through Hip Hop (HHH) cohort , I learned to transform the skills I’ve had as an MC to make positive music about leadership. Furthermore MMAP taught me a whole lot about myself and my community. I can truthfully say that I learned more on this job than any other job I’ve had in the past, and would enjoy being around to see MMAP keep growing.

Monique Tillman

Taking the Lead

By: Monique Tillman

M M A P has come through with the knowledge I need
To be a leader in my community
and embrace unity
Painting my dreams on a wall made me see how life is a canvass and I’m the centerpiece
So all I do is make music talking about Leadership
we all got it in us
we just need to with it
TMP handed me a mic and a paintbrush
and I took it with no fuss
because spreading Leadership is on us!



Stepping Up to Leadership

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The 2010 Teen Mural Assistants present “Stepping Up to Leadership.” The mural meaning was written by 25 TMAs within in the program, the mural is located inside of the MMAP Office (2043 Euclid Ave.) and was led by Teen Muralist Troy Davis and Zaid Vargas.

“Stepping Up to Leadership” presents the self-motivation and self-empowerment of MMAP teens.  Rather than waiting for others to fill leadership roles, MMAP youth are actively stepping up and answering a call to action and they are becoming leaders themselves.  Using the contemporary art form of graffiti writing, three teens are depicted spraying “Leadership.” The word ascends the staircase and a microphone stands as the word’s “i” to symbolize youth voice.  In this mural, teens use their artistic talent and skill to powerfully spread the word that leadership is critical to positive transformation.  “Stepping Up to Leadership” further exemplifies the leadership of MMAP teens because – though most MMAP mural installations are guided by professional muralists – the teens installed this mural independently.

Stepping Up to Leadership

Mural Verse written by the 2010 HHH Cohort within the Teen Mural Program

Step up to leadership, step up to the plate,
Step up to the ballot box, step up to the gates;
Step out the audience, step up to mic,
Step out the darkness, step into the light;
Stepping to the rhythm and you step into a march,
Step into graffiti and you step into an art;
Step by step we step up the hill,
Step up to leadership, step up to your Self.

Follow Our Lead: Blueprint for Success

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The 2010 Teen Mural Program presents “Follow Our Lead: Blueprint for Success.”  Located in the MMAP Office Conference Room, this mural was led by Teen Muralist Imelda Rodriguez.

This mural exemplifies the importance of leadership for economic empowerment.  A Forbes magazine cover illustrates two MMAP youth, recognized as accomplished CEOs.  This depiction presents the potential of each MMAP youth to achieve leadership in business and commerce.
The map outlines of East Palo Alto and surrounding communities inspire their residents to invest more in their own communities and local businesses.  Following footsteps in the mural, the viewer is led to a road on the frame of a Monopoly board.  The first houses on the road appear as small Monopoly pieces; however, as the viewer’s eyes travel further up the road, the products of local community investment are revealed in the shape of local home businesses.
The ship at the end of the Monopoly board, named the “Leader Ship,” is embarking across the ocean towards a globe.  This image serves as a metaphor, signifying that with effective leadership, MMAP youth can set their examples and take a successful community business model to other communities across the globe.

Follow Our Lead: Blueprint for Success

Mural Verse written by the 2010 HHH Cohort

Got some change in my pocket, here’s my two cents:
We build a road to success, here’s the blueprint,
The block got a mom and pop shop movement;
The local news said that everybody’s doing it.
And Forbes magazine never had a teen,
On the cover but discovered that we had the green
Young CEOs believe it though we had a team.
Maybe we born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline…
Maybe its cause we know the science of economy,
The whole town started buying more property;
We’re in the sun not the shade of the poverty,
Cause now we win at every game of monopoly;
And we don’t stop we just hop on the yacht called “Leadership,”
Sail round the blocks where we’re needing it,
Until the day the whole globe can feed from it,
If you see it in the mural, you believe in it.

Bridging the Gap: Connecting Communities

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

MMAP’s Technology Lab gives community youth access to advanced technology not often available in homes or schools.  “Bridging the Gap: Connecting Communities” raises awareness of the lack of access to technology, and urges its audience to level these inequalities.
On the bottom left of the mural, a young Indian girl sits at a desk with an outdated laptop connected to the internet by “dial-up” technology.  She happily chats with a peer across the globe about technological issues facing teens today.  To her right, we see a mound of obsolete computer hardware.  Directly across from her sits the person on the other side of the conversation.  A young American boy uses up-to-date desktop and laptop computers, illustrating the contrast in technological access between the two.
At the center of the mural, a steel bridge connects the two teenagers’ locations, and the gap between them.  The gap separates the “developing” and the “developed” communities of the world; communities oceans away or literally just one bridge apart; and between students in the same classroom.
On the ceiling hovers a single satellite, a vital tool for the transmission of knowledge.  It sends signals to the communities of both the Indian girl and the American boy, implying equality in all aspects of technology and enabling a truly global society.  The satellite represents the power to join communities together, juxtaposed against the power to divide and exclude.  The mural fundamentally represents youth leadership and self-empowerment achieving the vision of technological equity.

Bridging the Gap: Connecting Communities

Mural Verse

Welcome to the room where the children of MMAP
Engage in international video chats;
The teen across the world shows the little she has
And reveals the devastation of the digital gap.
The lack of technology can kill and destroy,
Leaving kids without hope, stealing the joy.
But the bridge we construct is filling the void,
And we’ll keep on trucking until it’s adjoined.

Face The Future: Making Leaders in the Classroom

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This mural represents leadership in education.  It depicts a future view of our local, statewide and national communities and their roles in fostering a strong education system.
On the left hand side of the wall, a young girl sits on a stack of books and ponders what she will chronicle next.  The notebook becomes enlarged before her, a testament to the power of her expression.  Scales represent the expected victory in the Robles-Wong v. California litigation, which seeks to bring equitable reform to the state’s education funding system. The ladder behind her symbolizes a passage to investigate her history.
In the center of the mural, a young boy reaches out to touch his reflection in a mirror.  In his reflection he wears a graduation cap, representing success and his growth as a leader of the future.  The mural invites viewers to look into the mosaic mirror centerpiece, reinforcing the idea that we can each strive to become leaders.
On the mural’s right, a MMAP youth stands on a sturdy column and kicks down pillars that represent inequities in our current education system, rendering them as rubble.  California poppies emerge, symbolizing the state’s education vision, and bees pollinate across the state.  These mural elements demonstrate the strength of MMAP teens as students and creative learners in the community.

Face The Future: Making Leaders in the Classroom

Mural Verse

A young girl sits on a stack of books
In the middle of a library as she looks
At the case of Robles-Wong vs. the state of Cali
Which balance EPA’s school system with Paly’s;
The large companies came in an destroyed
The Ravenswood School for the girls and boys;
She studies and she ponders,
She wonders and she wanders,
Wishing for her school to return from over yonder;
Climbs the ladder everyday for the knowledge
As a young boy pictures himself in a college.
Staring at the mirror, he’s dressed for graduation
An educated leader of the next generation.
Kicking the pillars down that holds the prisons up
Holding the children down so much they giving up
But now the pillars just a pile of debris
Poppies sprouting from it; here comes California’s seeds!

We Are The Change: Leading Our Generation

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Featured at the entry of MMAP’s headquarters, this mural represents leadership in civic engagement and depicts how MMAP teens strive to take individual and collective actions to identify and address issues of public concern.  A noble eagle envelops the room, spreading its wings upward across the walls and ceiling, representing the determination of a people to develop and sustain a just society. This enduring American icon also represents MMAP’s efforts to develop young people as a powerful, positive force that extends its wings throughout the community.  Interwoven with the eagle’s feathers are portraits of past and present MMAP students.  They demonstrate their leadership and civic engagement through painting, musical production, and performance.  Within the eagle’s pinions, an amalgamation of MMAP’s public art legacy is depicted portraying themes of justice, peace, and collaboration.
“We Are the Change: Leading Our Generation” represents MMAP’s collective and sustained endeavors to improve our community.  The mural design reflects the youth who have made an impact on their community and continue to do so through the creative arts.  The mural welcomes visitors to the MMAP family and to a home where artistic and life aspirations can be achieved.

We Are The Change: Leading Our Generation

Mural Verse written by the HHH Cohort within the 2010 Teen Mural Program

You see the world changing, MMAP made it happen,
Getting involved daily come on let’s make it happen;
Most of my action revolve around community,
Just open up your eyes because our lives are what’s real to me –
Music and the arts, painting and making music,
Studying about leadership and peace, you can use it.
What people are confused with, this meaning of hip-hop;
Helping Individuals Prosper, that’s what hip got.
Getting Paid to learn facts, high quality knowledge kid,
98 murals and they all dope and positive;
Preparing us for college, failure is abolished,
mind elevated, all the hatred is demolished;
we stay awake and we stay involved,
We stay in tune without the radio on;
Some looking for the leaders, who they waiting for,
We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for.

Teen Mural Program Unveiling

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

TMA Jervon Holland leads a Mural Tour

Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate the culmination of the 2010 Teen Mural Program! This summer we had the honor of working with talented teens from East Palo Alto and San Francisco to explore the theme of Leadership.  Over 225 guests celebrated our program as we unveiled five vibrant murals, performed original Hip Hop songs, spoken word and dance and recognized the leadership of our teens and community.

All of us at MMAP would like to thank you for supporting our work, our teens, and our community.  We hope you feel inspired by their hard work and talent, and their arts-based message of leadership for strong, healthy communities.

TMA show off thier Leadership Awards

TMAs Celebrate their Leadership Awards