Thursday, February 19, 2009


In October 2003, a meeting of artist and performers was called together at the Red Poppy Art House (then called Porfilio Is) to discuss the possibility of a monthly alternative multi-venue neighborhood arts & performance event. That meeting was the spark that caught to flame, the beginning of the “Mission Arts Party”, a name coined in this first meeting, inspired by Adrian Arias’s idea to paint a mural “map of emotions” on the Art House wall. Two months later the first MAP took place with four exhibit spaces; one garage curated by Luis Vasquez Gomez and Koch, and three other spaces; the Art House, Musa Alda’s Little Spot CafĂ© (the basement), and Musa’s garage, curated by visual artists Veronica Blanco and Todd Brown, and with the help of Martin Arslanian. With no budget and just basic flyering for promotion, the event was a great success. The MAP quickly doubled its size when, the following month, the Mission Cultural Center opened its doors to co-host a MAP exhibition in their main gallery. Also added to the MAP was the local AutoTech Garage, curated by Danny Stuepenagel. (complete with a salsa band with cars on lifts towering above).

From that time the MAP continued to grow and change. Not long after, the name “Mission Arts Party” was changed to “Mission Arts & Performance Project" with the intentionof bringing the greater focus to process of bringing the arts into the community. Performance took an essential role in generating the energy of the MAPP and constituted a significant difference from what would normally be considered just another “art walk”. Throughout 2004 the MAPP expanded with Raquel De Anda and Clara Cheeves joining in as curators. By mid 2005 the organizing body of the MAPP had grown from 3-4 people to 15 (aprox.). By the end of 2005, the MAPP had succeeded in incorporating three local businesses and a number of resident garden spaces. At the end of 2005 the first radio documentary (by nathanael Johnson) was aired on KALW radio.

This information originally comes from the Red Poppy Art House (the founders of the project)

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