Archive for March, 2011

The Summer of Our Discontent: Police, Community & Healing Post Oscar Grant

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

On Saturday, March 26, 2011, the Mural Music & Arts Project (MMAP) hosted “The Summer of Our Discontent: Police, Community & Healing Post Oscar Grant” at East Palo Alto Academy.  BART Chief of Police Kenton Rainey, East Palo Alto Chief of Police Ronald Davis, Oakland Police Sergeant Tony Jones and Alameda County Deputy District Attorneys Venus Johnson and Gemma Daggs engaged the students in a very frank and open discussion regarding the Oscar Grant case, the Rodney King case, and the murders of four Oakland Police on the same day in March 2009.

MMAP Youth and Law Enforcement

The round table discussion was followed by an artistic competition, where students had thirty minutes to either draw a picture or write a spoken word piece expressing what they learned and felt following the morning discussion.  Members of MMAP’s History through Hip Hop Program performed their original song, “I’m a Leader” and told a story about youth encounters with the police through an improvisational dance routine.

MMAP Youth Noe Rueda with Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Venus Johnson and MMAP Advisory Member Candice Petty

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Monday, March 28th, 2011

…French for “Let the good times roll!”

Returning from Mardi Gras in her hometown New Orleans, HEArt Instructor Sarah Woodward brings a little piece of home through the latest Chavez art project.  Students are fabricating, painting and embellishing plaster masks.

The top reasons that people at Mardi Gras wear masks?

1. To have fun!

2. To be someone else for the day

3. To hide your identity

4. To outdo one another with the most outrageous and beautiful costumes

Students at Chavez were charged with the task of creating a mask that showcases positive character and individuality.  Here are some photos of the process:

Marina fabricates her mask

Ana paints her mask

Mask-making essentials: Paint, Beads, Feathers

“Why College?!”

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

MMAP’s college intern, Kenny Jones, returned home from Anderson University (Anderson, Indiana) today.  Two hours after landing, he delivered a moving and inspirational “Top Ten Reasons To Be Collegiate.”  Click here to see the video presentation.

Kenny Jones Answers the Question: Why College?

Kenny helps a SWAG student explore his favorite reason to go to college. SWAG students will turn these ideas into tshirts that promote the idea of college.

1 – Money Difference (college graduates make an average $20K more)

2 – Get Out The House (do you really want to be in EPA forever?)

3 -Travel with Friends (before college I could count the cities I’ve visited on one hand; now I’ve been to too many cities and states to count and am looking to travel abroad.)

4 – Experiences I would never otherwise have (shooting shot guns during study breaks.  Only the country (Indiana) can offer that.)

5 – College Life (dorms, school activities, sports. . . amazing!)

6 – People you meet (I’ve made life long friends)

7 – Personal growth (the time away has allowed me to grow up in so many ways)

8 – It’s Inspirational (College makes you want to do BIG things in life.)

9 – More Jobs (most good paying jobs want you to have college degrees)

10 – It doesn’t even take that long (I’ve blinked twice and now I’m a sophomore. Time flies when you’re having fun.

MMAP’s HHH Program Performs and Prepares…

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The young scholars and artists of the History through Hip Hop program have been on a performance tear, showcasing their lyrical skills and intellect at MMAP’s Black History Month Celebration and Graffiti Arts Program Festival, as well as the Silicon Valley Donor Circle for the Arts Performance Showcase. The second half of History through Hip Hop programming is slated to be even busier than the first, as teens will be fully engaged in music video production, fundraising efforts and collaboration with community organizations to produce their annual culminating show, “The Movement” at Stanford University. Stay tuned every Thursday for the latest news on HHH program activities and performances!

HHH Students Brainstorm Ideas for Upcoming Music Video

EPAA SWAG Shirt Released

Monday, March 14th, 2011

East Palo Alto Academy students in the MMAP Elective, Silkscreening With A Goal (SWAG) designed their first shirt promoting leadership and school spirit.  The shirts were an instant success sparking a positive buzz that was felt campus-wide.  A new “swag” resonates throughout the school and a new student can be seen wearing the shirt nearly every day of the week.

EPAA students show off their new shirts, designed exclusively by students in the MMAP SWAG elective class.

Four of the school's tastemakers and trend setters show off their school pride with "EPAA SWAG." Go Bulldogs!

School connectedness increases positive school climate.

Express Yourself

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

A huge thank you to all the talented ISA students that came out to “Express Yourself,” the HEArt Program’s first ever open mic night hosted in collaboration with ISA’s After School Program. The event was MC’ed by David McKneely (ISA junior), Adrian (History through Hip Hop Lyricist) and Isaiah (History through Hip Hop Lyricist), and featured over 30 student artists showcasing their talents in spoken word poetry, dance, drumming, guitar, break-dancing, and live painting.

Here are some of the highlights:

Express Yourself flier, created by Josh Consul (10th)

MC David McKneely (11th)

Kevisha (9th) sings a beautiful verse

Carlos (8th), Julio (9th), Maurizio (9th), and Jon (ISA Staff)

AJ (7th)


Class President Alejandro (12th) handles the sound

Krystal (10th) reads a poem from her notebook

A Salute to MMAP’s Instructional Leader: Jeff Camarillo

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

For the last six years, the Mural Music & Arts Project has grown from the insight, guidance and example of Jeff Camarillo.  “Mr. C” (the affectionate nickname called to him by his students) has served as a lyricist in MMAP’s History through Hip Hop program, the director of the Teen Mural Program and the Curriculum Director of MMAP’s Core Programs.

Mr. C & the MMAP Teen Mural Program Staff, Summer 2010

Today, Jeff Camarillo serves as Assistant Principal of East Palo Alto Academy High School and also holds a Teaching Ambassador Fellowship with the United States Department of Education.  Last weekend, he traveled to Los Angeles and met with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and education advocate and boxing champion, Oscar De La Hoya to discuss the importance of recruiting Latinos to enter the teaching field.  Click here to read Mr. C’s blog posting on the Department of Education website.

MMAP salutes Mr. Jeff Camarillo and wishes continue success in educating, empowering and inspiring young people!

Jeff Camarillo is featured on the front page of! Visit the website to hear his full video.