Archive for the ‘TMP SF’ Category

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.

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

SF TMP: Last Day of the Research Phase!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

This Tuesday was an extremely eventful day here at TMP San Francisco! Since we are nearing the conclusion of our research phase, we thought we would end the first half of TMP with a bang. Students met and interviewed Judge Edward M. Chen, United States District Judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and visited the San Francisco headquarters of Twitter!

Judge Chen, after having overcome many obstacles, has been in office for over a decade and, as a result, had life experiences that truly fascinated both the students and staff. We were able to visit his courtroom and hear him discuss how the judicial system, contrary to popular belief, often works in ways that empowers and supports the expression of individual voice. Since becoming the first Chinese-American judge on the federal bench in Northern California, Judge Chen has been deeply committed to representing those whose voices may not have been heard throughout history. For example, Chen was heavily involved in the 1983 case of Fred Korematsu vs. the United States, which granted reparations for many Japanese-Americans as well as a formal apology from the US government for wrongly imprisoning thousands of families.

Judge Chen discussing voice and the judiciary system.

MMAP students and staff with Judge Chen in his courtroom

While that would have been a fine time to end our research on voice, we could not forget to visit a company that is known worldwide for the “voice tools” it provides. Visiting Twitter was one that we will never forget! In class, we have been continually discussing how technology and the Internet provide a forum for our voices to be heard and considered; Twitter does just that. With Twitter staff members, students discussed how individuals became spokespeople for social change, simply by tweeting. Nowadays, you do not have to be famous to make a difference; that is what voice is all about!

Student Trevor Kelly discussing voice with Twitter staff on their rooftop garden. #winning

The gang on the Twitter rooftop!

Tomorrow, San Francisco begins the expression phase. We are thrilled to see how these interviews and site visits have inspired our students!

More on TMP San Francisco!

Friday, July 6th, 2012

While we all enjoyed our Wednesday July 4th holiday, there was no stopping our TMP San Francisco group from coming the next day with some great holiday stories, and, more importantly, some fantastic ideas involving voice.

Sparked by the controversial documentary “American Blackout” directed by Ian Inaba, our SF students explored how democracy is meant to empower and give agency to American people. The documentary covered the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections; the ways in which the voice of the people may have been ignored by government officials and people of congress during these elections; and how outrage, collaboration, and knowledge of their rights are extremely powerful elements when getting their voices heard. Needless to say, the film created a long conversation between staff and students revolving around how our voices alone may be ignored, but by collaborating with others and using creative venues to speak our minds, we can overcome injustices we may face. During Tuesday’s share out, Student Kian Randall wrote the following in response to “American Blackout”:

Through the eyes
of us all
As our heart
begin to fall
their tryna tell
us lies
try to take away
our rights
So we have
to fight
let the rain
wash away
the pain
the bloodshed in
our tears
so that we can
no longer fear
take action
Express your passion
No more good bye’s
a more hi’s
Come together
So we can make
things better.”

Thursday was also a huge milestone for our SF group. Yesterday, we were able to break up into our respective cohorts (visual arts, dance, and hip hop) and begin brainstorming for images, dance moves, and lyrics discussing voice! Our share out at the end of our Thursday class was amazing. The hip hop cohort’s share out included many students who were completely new to rapping; however, students like Toni Zachary, TMP veteran Jessie Tapafua, and new TMP student Trevor Kelly, all stepped up to the plate and came up with some impressive bars for the share out.

(Click below for a video of the share out and the students’ lyrics)

“What’s Your Vision of Success?” Hip Hop Cohort, TMP 2012

There are some truly amazing things coming and we can not wait to see what is in store for next week!

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This week at MMAP our summer 2012 San Francisco Teen Mural Program kicked off with a vibrant, colorful, and extraordinarily talented group of students from all over the SF metro area!

Hosted by the Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA, TMP San Francisco is extremely proud and excited about the days ahead.  There are many opportunities for us to learn more about each other and our own personal styles of expression; from dance and drama to mural making and figure drawing, our students are exceptionally talented and are ready for the creativity the summer has in store!

One of our icebreaking activities was the “Island” activity that centered around how collaboration, willingness to lead, and voicing your thoughts are all important factors when being part of a larger community.

The students really stepped up to the challenge of creating social norms, electing leaders, and working together to create a sense of community on their remote island named “Island X”.

Older MMAP veterans, like Zuretti Carter were deeply engaged in the problem solving aspect of the activity and acted as a mediator for the group’s excellent survival strategies. Even some of our newer and younger students like Ricky Rodriguez brought amazing ideas to the activity that surely would have save the group if put into a real “stranded on an island” scenario were to occur. We were also fortunate enough to have Youth Leaders Jessie Tapafua, David McKneely, and Geoffery Simpson all there to help encourage students to speak up and let their voices be heard!

Zuretti Carter (left, standing) mediating our Island activity and students like Enrique Rodriguez (sitting in the red)

We are so proud of our students and we are looking forward to another sensational summer!

Teen Mural Assistants depict, define, dicuss and DESIGN!

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Last Thursday, our San Francisco Teen Mural Assistants gathered their research and began reviewing interviews, lesson plans, and song lyrics to decide on imagery for the mural they will create in the coming weeks.  Elements of hip-hop, technology, and social networking surfaced as teams illustrated symbols and presented their ideas to the class.

As teens drew from their interview experiences, youth empowerment and technology surfaced as prominent themes in discussing how to make change in their communities. The energy in the room was astounding.

In just the prior meeting the TMAs met with Executive Director of the University of California Student Association, Matt Haney ( Haney revisited his experiences as a college student and spoke about his abilities in organizing young people, highlighting the value and potency of youth demonstrations. More specifically, he spoke on his involvement with the Obama campaign and the way technology was used to target young voters and how social media provided an outlet for college students to spread their political beliefs and be heard.

Another interview that proved to be extremely influential over the TMAs in San Francisco occurred a few weeks earlier with Davey D (, a nationally recognized Hip Hop artist, journalist, producer, and community activist also known as “the Hardest Working Man in Hip Hop.” Speaking largely from his experiences as a youth in the Bronx, he emphasized the important of using art, both visual and expressive, to cope with the personal struggles in a positive way. Davey D encouraged TMAs to be fully engaged in and informed about the cultural, social and political contexts around them. He highlighted the artistic and activist legacies of the Bay Area and urged Mural Assistants to “soak up” and build upon those histories as they generate new ideas. He also prepared TMAs to face challenge, “be grounded” and be resilient, assuring them, “you’ll need to dip into your well of knowledge and be able to re-adjust yourself. It’s improvisation.” Teen Mural Assistants appreciated the opportunity to speak with Davey D about how his career demonstrates art as a means of personal development. In his own words, “Hip hop is just an expression to center you to the larger truth: to be all you can be.”

By the end of the Design Workshop, TMAs had come up with 57 ideas for imagery to be included in the mural!

Remi, Jamari and Mauricio present an idea for imagery

TMA's encourage their fellow artists

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"

Leading Through Political Involvement

Monday, July 5th, 2010

On June 30, TMP teens interviewed leaders in the political and governmental arenas.

Stanford Law Student Matthew Haney not only spoke of his personal motivations for making some kind of change in the communities, but also of his experiences with the Obama campaign, as well as Rock the Vote and Citizen Hope- all the while explaining to the teens how they could bring about change through community involvement and political action.

“I was intrigued in how he was so involved with the Obama campaign, and especially how he helped with the ‘no texting while driving’ law,” Idris Rasheed recalls about Matthew Haney’s interview on youth involvement in politics.

Following Matt Haney’s interview, TMP students had the honor of interviewing Stanford Law Professor- and co-founder of the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic- Pamela S. Karlan. Professor Karlan spoke of her experiences as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Blackmun, the issues surrounding the 2000 Presidential election, and even spoke of a few cases that have been brought up against the Supreme Court by the Litigation Clinic she helped found.

“I never knew the Supreme Court Justices had so many people review their cases before they even got to them,” Viridiana says about Professor Pamela Karlan’s experiences as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

Breaking The Ice: Week One of TMP SF

Saturday, July 11th, 2009


After the great success of last years Teen Mural Program (TMP) pilot in San Francisco it was only right that we would bring TMP back to SF for another strong summer of research, design and mural installation. Teen Mural Assistants were really able to shine in their first week as they jumped right into the action with 3 big interviews, icebreaker activities (video above) and group work to identify and solidify their theme of peace. The three returners Brock, Larry and Marissa (pictured below), never missing a beat, were able to set the bar high in week one. Although, this years group of TMA’s were all brand new and had no idea what they were getting themselves into, they broke the ice and jumped right in starting week one of TMPSF 2009 with a bang

On Tuesday, our new group of SF TMA’s came together to break the ice by sharing their background, their own personal definition of art and how they are able to best express themselves through art. After sharing they would break into groups and briefly introduce themselves to their theme for the summer. And after getting a taste of PEACE, they would prepare for their first interview with Sri Lankan immigrant, MMAP friend and Santa Clara Law Professor, Pratheepan Gulasekaram (pictured below). Professor Gulasekaram would discuss the conflict in Sri Lanka surrounding the Tamil Tigers and how they were fighting for PEACE within their nation.

On Wednesday, TMA’s from East Palo Alto traveled up to the city to assist SF TMA’s with one of the biggest interviews of their summer. TMA’s were given the opportunity to interview District Attorney of San Francisco, Kamala Harris, at her offices on Bryant Street. DA Harris, with her efforts towards achieving a more peaceful society, mentioned “the number one issue in achieving peace is education for our youth.” She linked art to education and spoke about art being a way to express ourselves. Her words were inspiring as she was able to give TMA’s professional insight to assist them in their primary source research. Teens and staff alike were truly appreciative for this opportunity, as DA Harris is in the middle of her campaign for California Attorney General!

Closing off the week strong with a third interview, SF TMA’s were able to meet with Mark Anquoe of the American Indian Movement to discuss theories of PEACE from the perspective of one who’s people have been oppressed over the years. This was a good opportunity for the youth to be able to put things into perspective with a rather controversial issue that has been a topic of discussion throughout their school years.

This years group of SF TMA’s, coming from all different parts of the world, would form one of the most heterogeneous groups that TMP staff have seen to date. Young, clothing designers, writers and musicians came together this week as a unit and proved themselves ready for the journey to which they are preparing to embark, PEACE!

SF Teens Pictured with Professor Gulasekaram