Archive for the ‘Health Education Through Art’ Category

Teen Art Instructors lead the way

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

(Top) Ariana, Cristina, Yolanda (Bottom) Lucia, Darryl

Meet Ariana, Cristina, Yolanda, Lucia and Darryl – HEArt’s 2012 Teen Art Instructors. Each of these incredibly talented East Palo Alto natives have carved their role in HEArt as creative, wise, patient role models for our middle schoolers at Ronald McNair and 49ers Academy. Ariana is a senior at Palo Alto High School and helps youth explore new art forms and themes in a fun, responsible and insightful manner. When she is not in HEArt, she is busy leading her own soccer league and applying for college scholarships. Cristina is a freshman at Carlmont high school. As a former HEArt participant, students look up to her for sage advice and artistic abilities.  (And if you want to buy a shoe cleaning kit, she has spearheaded a business plan through the BUILD program!) Yolanda is a sophomore at EPAA who brings her smile and spunk to every HEArt class. She is a spoken word poet, a dancer, and goes by DJ “Yoyo” in MMAP’s History through Hip Hop program. Lucia is a sophomore at EPAA whose dream is to study sociology to prepare her for a career working with and inspiring youth.  Students gravitate to Lucia because she always listens and supports them with an encouraging smile and sense of understanding, no matter what they are going through.   Darryl is a junior at EPAA who goes above and beyond in everything he does. He leads the dance cohort at McNair with a unique style and calm presence that helps motivate students to find their own individuality.

Thank you Ariana, Cristina, Yolanda, Lucia and Darryl for inspiring us every day with your leadership and vision.

Dream Beyond Our Own Powers

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

6th Grader Nathan Jovel

Flash, Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Thor all strike the memory chord that enables us to dream beyond our own powers. The students at HEArt 49ers Academy created their own characters with graffiti artist Scape Martinez.

The students have been developing their own skills and style of graffiti to ultimately come up with a portable mural that will be featured during a History through Hip-Hop showcase. In addition to a fresh graffiti artist, Scape is also an educator whom is about sharing his passion and skills with the youth as they in turn inspire him.

Scape Martinez & Monique Rivera adding highlights to the piece

For the love of art

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

“Love is when you will do anything to make the person you love do better and make yourself a better person because of them,” a MMAP 9th grader shared during class at International Studies Academy on Thursday. While MMAP’s mission is to educate, empower, and inspire youth, we as a team are equally humbled by the beautiful words, drawings, song and dance our students share with us on a daily basis.

MC Beronica Zelaya sings at ISA's third Open Mic Event, hosted by MMAP

When asked one thing he loves most in life, one of our ISA youth said, “Music because when I want to give up on doing the right thing…it makes me think twice.” At HEArt, students are making music, dancing to their favorite beats, and building their own instruments to express what they can’t always say out loud. Keep up the amazing work, ISA!

Adrian teaches new moves against a backdrop of HEArt students' original ink prints

Open Mic and Open Minds

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Students in our San Francisco Health Education through Art Program or the “HEArt of the City” demonstrated the brilliance of young people when they use art to create, collaborate, and connect with one another. Several weeks ago students at International Studies Academy began preparing for “Lights On” Open Mic, an event that would showcase student artists and celebrate the ISA After School Program as a safe space for teens to learn, grow and be inspired.

"Lights On" Open Mic was a collaboration between MMAP and the ISA After School Program

Students recruited participants, posted fliers and prepared performances for the celebration. They also unveiled a fresh new t-shirt design, the capstone project of the environmental justice unit. Drawing from a 3 hour design workshop with over 20 middle and high school students, ISA teens John Blanco and Josh Consul finalized a design rooted in sustainability, respect for each other, the earth and the great city of San Francisco.  The peace sign forms the branches of the tree, and when students look down they see the constant reminder of inner peace.  Under the guidance of guest artist Rick Kitagawa, a professional artist from the local gallery Big Umbrella Studios, students participated in a screen printing workshop and printed their own t-shirts to wear during the Open Mic.

Guidance from Teen Art Instructors Josh Consul and John Blanco spurred the Starr King 5th grade class to create their own fashionable items out of recycled objects

John and Josh share their t-shirt design with the Starr King group.

John and Josh share their t-shirt design with a class of Starr King 5th graders studying sustainable fashion.

Open Mic participant Beronica prints her t-shirt.

Open Mic participant Beronica prints her t-shirt.

Last Thursday, the result of all the hard work paid off.  Over 30 students danced, created a live graffiti piece, performed original poetry, rocked out on guitar, and sang to a packed auditorium with over 95 students and 20 staff members to cheer them on.  The event was a reminder that when we empower students with the tools for positive expression, they will not only exceed but they will excel beyond our greatest expectations.

Congratulations to the HEArt of the City for putting on a great show!

Two winners of the Open Mic raffle received a sweatshirt with the new design!

Rejecting Stereotypes & (Re)defining Self

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Students in the Health Education through Art (HEArt) program in Downtown High School, San Francisco are using Photoshop to express their ideal vision for themselves and their community.  Beginning with a blank slate to design their identities, students explore tools  – in Photoshop and in life – that help to eliminate unwanted aspects of their city and celebrate diversity.

Downtown high school student, Daniel, creates a personal portrait full of life and highlights!

The results were truly visionary: full of beautiful colors, complex layers and vibrant life.

On Tuesday, every participant presented their digital art and now they are challenged to live out their vision in their own life.

MMAP’s Staff “Fall” Into the New Academic Year

Friday, September 30th, 2011

The Mural Music & Arts Project is beginning the 2011-2012 academic year with a roster of several returning staff members, as well as host of new talent. MMAP has nearly doubled the key staff, and – after a one-year strategic planning process – has also begun a new vision of programming. The new year looks exciting.

Returning HEArt Director, Sarah W., shares lesson plans with a few of the shining stars of MMAP's newest class of staff. Pictured here (from right) are Aria F., Kyle T., Sarah W., and Rahan B.

MMAP’s fall programming includes In-School Electives (ISE), Health Education through Art (HEArt), and Community Programming (CP). ISE is working at East Palo Alto Academy to establish critical thinking skills in the classroom, empower students, and cultivate a positive school climate through an innovative and collaborative arts curriculum. HEArt is a project-based program that teaches middle and and high school students about healthy living through participation in the visual and performing arts. HEArt is serving at:
– Starr King Elementary (San Francisco, CA)
– International Studies Academy (ISA) Middle School (San Francisco, CA)
– International Studies Academy (ISA) High School (San Francisco, CA)
– Downtown High School (San Francisco, CA)
– Ronald McNair Academy (East Palo Alto, CA)
– Costano / 49ers Academy (East Palo Alto, CA)

The Community Programs includes Mentoring Matters and an enhanced commitment to our program’s alumni. These calendars, as well as the protocols of MMAP’s programs, were shared at a great meeting of the MMAP minds. MMAP is ready for a great fall quarter of programming.

Adrian J., a three-year veteran of MMAP's program and sophomore at Foothill College, recently joined HEArt as Program Instructor.

Adding HEArt to East Palo Alto Academy

Friday, September 30th, 2011

On September 21st, students from East Palo Alto Academy attended a Mural Music & Arts Project Informational Session to learn what it would look like to bring the Health Education through Art Program (HEArt) as an after-school program.

This wouldn’t be the first MMAP arts program to East Palo Alto Academy.  EPAA has embodied the vision of a “21st Century Community Learning Center,” in large part, by opening its doors to the people and programs of MMAP, an arts-based, community organization.   To date, MMAP has hosted the Graffiti Arts Project (GAP), In-School Electives (ISE), the Teen Mural Program (TMP), Silkscreening With A Goal (SWAG), and several Community Programs (CP).

Earlier this year, Graffiti Arts Project (GAP) installed four large murals that bring the voice of the students to the forefront of campus life. Through last year's Silkscreening With A Goal (SWAG) program, students produce the messages they want to promote.

Trash to Art: During the day's share-out, EPAA Junior and MMAP core student, Exavier R., presents his graffiti piece he produced on the top of a broken - and trashed - desk.

For two hours after school, 27 interested and talented students participated in graffiti, mural, and tshirt design, as well as in Hip Hop dance and rap.  The interest and talent of the EPAA students spoke loudly and the EPAA HEArt program is expected to begin soon this year.

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

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 healthy diet is a colorful one!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

A red apple, a yellow banana, a green kiwi, a pink grapefruit, a red strawberry and an array of soft pastels to color with.  HEArt youth learned that a healthy diet is a colorful one! Students spent class trading each other for halves and quarters of a variety of colorful fruits to create a MMAP-style still life.  HEArt students got at least 2 of the 5 servings of fruit and veggies recommended per day, munching on a variety of colors to get important vitamins and minerals.

Jimmy, Zaid and Mayra with a colorful array