Archive for June, 2011

A fearless imagination

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The Teen Mural Assistants in San Francisco are illustrating their diverse skills in graffiti, hip hop, watercolor painting, graphic design, singing, and more.  This open-minded, hard working, and brilliant group of young people are learning from each other  and growing.

The Teen Mural Assistants hopped on the BART to visit the Level Playing Field Institute and Kapor Enterprises, where MMAP founding board member Stephen DeBerry is Chief Investment Officer. During his interview, Mr. DeBerry told the youth how lucky they are to be living in 2011 with the incredible new technologies they have on hand.  Technology is a powerful tool for connecting people and making social change.  Mr. DeBerry spoke about the history of the Black Panthers in Oakland.  He held up his iPhone and challenged the youth, “What would a Black Panther have been able to do with one of these?”

As an experiment, Mr. DeBerry challenged the TMA’s to see how quickly they could organize given the technology they have at their fingertips. We formed a “MMAP Crew” facebook group to meet the challenge.

Mr. DeBerry also told the youth that they should have a “fearless imagination.”

Htay responds to Stephen DeBerry's interview with a beautiful illustration.

"The Power of Mind"

What’s your vision?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

MMAP’s Teen Mural Assistants reflected, composed and shared their vision of themselves, and their vision for their communities.  Here is one vision expressed by MMAP veteran, Ashon Hunter (Eastside College Prep, 11th grade), in front of the backdrop of the Graffiti Arts Project’s mural, “Strive.”

These dreams and ambitions translate to goals

All resulting in pressure for success and yes unfold

But I plan to expand in all areas of life

Overriding expectations rising above pain and strife

See I got long-term visions for all types of things

From getting a masters’ degree or everyday hoop dreams

But I gotta stay focused and positive as well

Or else life can tear you down faster than an ACL

See I got a vision for myself that’s buried in wealth

Being in tip top shape accompanied by good health

Or coming back to Oakland town

Donating stacks to education fully flipping it around

Or becoming a wise mayor of EPA

Establishing safety for tomorrow and even today

But as obstacles spring up all up in my path

It makes it hard to proceed like doing complex math

But I’m going to look long-term and live life thankfully

Knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Congrats to Ashon, and the rest of the TMA’s! The MMAP family looks forward to what the summer has in store.

Introducing the 2011 Teen Mural Assistants

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

If you’ve strolled through EPA Academy High School in East Palo Alto or the Central YMCA in San Francisco in the past few days, you probably noticed a room full of enormously talented, deeply creative young people sharing drawings, lyrics, quotes and personal histories.  These are the 2011 Teen Mural Assistants (or “TMA’s”), whose energy and dynamism astounds.

Julio, Oto, Htay and Troy present a poster of their artDuring the TMP Training Seminar, San Francisco teens Julio, Oto, Htay and Troy analyze the symbols and concepts presented in last year’s TMP mural. “From the streets we call home, To the animals that roam, People in different tones, Culture lives within our bones.”

After a week of training, 21 youth from San Francisco and 24 youth from East Palo Alto were chosen to embark on a 10-week program exploring our theme, “Vision: Claiming our Voice and Building our Future.” During this time, TMA’s will learn local history,  analyze contemporary issues, interview community leaders and experts, and participate in an array of artistic workshops. At the end of the summer, TMA’s will unveil their “Vision” to the community through a final mural and original hip hop.