Archive for August, 2012

Summer on Smash

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

It’s safe to borrow the words from Nas that this summer was a “Summer on Smash.” MMAP served over 250 youth this year through the Teen Mural Program, Open Studios Program, EPAA Summer Bridge Program, Gateway to Science Program. The last two weeks were filled with hard work, dedication and celebration with our Teen Mural Program unveilings reaching a whole new level.

The East Palo Alto Teen Mural Program Unveiling and Community Celebration was on fire with the entire community out in support. TMP youth killed the performances, the new office was set to showcase our expansion, and an elated spirit filled the air.

TMP EPA Dance Cohort performance

TMP EPA Youth Performing

San Francisco Teen Mural Program reached a milestone this year, with MMAP’s first mural painted outside in the city of San Francisco. Students showcased their work and made their voices heard.

Jessie, Aquila, Adrian and Kian hyping the crowd

TMP SF group photo

MMAP would like to express gratitude to all that supported the Teen Mural Program this summer. We would not have been able to achieve all that we were able to without everyone’s belief in our vision and voice.

Gearing Up for TMP SF Unveiling

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

TMP SF is wrapping up with our Mural Unveiling just two days away. Songs are being produced, highlights are being added, and dancers are fine tuning their moves. From research and interviews, to the incredible design workshop, to an expression phase filled with excitement and innovation, the Teen Mural Assistants are ready to celebrate with you all.

On Thursday, August 16th, join the San Francisco Teen Mural Program to commemorate their hard work and witness the freshest performances by the dance and Hip Hop crew. The Honorable Judge Teri L. Jackson will be the guest speaker. After the Judge Jackson interview earlier this summer, TMA Karen stated,

“She inspired me because as a black woman, it is kind of hard to get our voice out in the media. She inspired me because she is a judge and used her voice for justice, for power. That told me that I can use my voice out of everywhere, no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing.”

The power to share our stories and make our voices heard did not happen overnight, but rather throughout the summer as relationships and trust were cultivated between youth and staff.

TMP SF 2012

Be a part of the MMAP movement and see how all of our stories are woven together through history and time.


TMP SF: Our Voice, Our Vision!

Friday, August 10th, 2012

These past few sessions of TMP have been foundational and exciting! So much progress has been made the past three sessions. Our Visual cohort has made tremendous progress on our 32′ x 8′ ‘VOICE’ mural. It was only a week ago that we had just begun to sketch our ideas onto the wall and now, three session later, the mural is looking fantastic, colorful, and inspiring. MMAP veteran and rising senior Julio Camacho has been a star painter! Willing to take on any part of the mural, no matter how daunting it may seem, Julio is constantly enthusiastic, prepared, and ready to paint!

Upcoming junior Julio Camacho working on our VOICE mural.

Current state of our VOICE mural!

Our Hip-Hop cohort has really been shining this week! With 4 almost complete and exceptionally well-written songs, the lyricists have truly been stepping up their game and creating powerful songs to compliment the ‘VOICE’ mural. MMAP veterans Jessie Tapafua, David McKneely, Geoferry Simpson have all been wowing MMAP staff with their amazing leadership skills and writing abilities.

Hip-Hop cohort leader Isaiah “Randy” Phillips commends Geoferry for being a “super role model for the whole cohort. As a student, an artist, and just being a young man. He is showing everyone how to be and write hotness!” After co-writing songs with titles such as “Speak Dreams” it is certain that Geoferry and te rest of the Hip-Hop cohort will wow and inspire us with their creativity.

With two more days of painting, writing, and dancing left, we are all so excited for our opening next Thursday, August 16th, 2012 at 6PM which will be hosted by the Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA (387 Golden Gate Ave.). It is sure to be an amazing celebration of creativity, perseverance, and community!

Voice in the Making!

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

This week at TMP SF has been a fruitful and challenging one and this Tuesday we officially began our expression phase with full force! With our theme Voice continually in mind, we started off this week by breaking up into three different cohorts: dance, lyricism, and visual. We have been challenging ourselves to find deep and meaningful connections between the research we conducted earlier in the summer and our goal of empowering our communities.

For the visual cohort, those connections shine through and can clearly be seen when walking past the Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA. When visiting judges Judge Ed Chen and Judge Teri Jackson, all of us at TMP began to consider how the strength and persistence of our personal convictions could effect our community. While meeting both judges was a blast, it was also important for our students to see strong people of color in positions of power, who have also left lasting positive effects in their communities.

Visual artist and extrodinarly bright TMP student Yessenia Poco both personifies and perpetuates this idea in our SF mural. In it, Yessenia is depicted holding a gavel with the same authority and conviction as Judge Jackson and Judge Chen! It is a lovely idea that for years to come, younger students walking by the mural will feel inspired by a role model such as Yessenia!

TMP students working on the mural. Notice the depiction of Yessenia to the left, in judges robes!

The Visual cohort was not the only group making moves this week! The Dane cohort, led by seasoned by MMAP verteran Adrian Johnson, worked up a sweat this week learning new up-beat choreography! This week they learned the first half of the dance that is filled with fast-paced arm and leg movements, phenomenal footwork, and, of course, a high-energy playlist. Lyricism/Hip-Hop troupe is filled to the brim with lyrical masters. We have only gotten a taste of some verses and hooks but the rest of us are waiting anxiously to hear them spit fire and use their mastery to inspire and incite change.

It certainly is an exciting time to be in TMP!

The Dance cohort working up a sweat!

TMP Design Workshops Take on a Whole New Level

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

It’s grind time! After weeks of conducting primary and secondary source research, the youth were ready for the most important day of TMP – the design workshop! Even though both of our TMP cohorts conducted similar research, each student shared their visions that come from family histories and personal stories. They all made their voices heard as individuals and used the power of collective voice, speaking the truth through imagery.

TMP SF student James showcasing his idea

In East Palo Alto, the youth huddled for hours in the East Palo Alto Academy gymnasium until they narrowed their mural ideas from over 500 to 10 – talk about process of elimination! There were five initial cohorts made up of youth and staff that rotated between five stations:  Voice in the Media, Power in Collective Voice, Voice in Education, Voice in Technology, and Voice in Democracy. After hours of getting those mind-juices flowing, the youth produced over 700 sticky notes, which translates into over 700 different ideas!

TMP EPA Design workshop aftermath

Arturo Maldonado holding down the Power in Collective Voice station rotation at TMP EPA

TMP SF’s design workshop had a similar process, which took place at the Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA. Check out how much swag they have after a long day of work!

TMP SF Swagger