Cover – Corazón del Barrio

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

35th Anniversary Magazine

Issue #3 | March 2013 | San Francisco

Cover images (top to bottom, left to right):

  • MCCLA's 2012 Carnaval SF Contingent 'Jungla Y Cumbamba,' led by choreographer Neo Garcia.
  • The mural on the front of the building, by artists Carlos Loarca and Betsie Miller.
  • Lydia and Juan de Dios Soto with Afro-Peruvian dancers and musicians at Navidad Negra: Bajada de Reyes.
  • Kids with Calaveras makeup during the Día de Muertos celebration at MCCLA.
  • Aztec dancers performing at the End of Semester Show.

Inside Cover

This magazine was possible thanks to the support of our funders, sponsors and friends.

This Issue is dedicated to all the artists, volunteers, teachers, staff and board working hard during 35 years of Art & Culture in the community.

Production of MCCLA Multimedia dpt.
Director: Jennie E. Rodriguez
Editor: Adrián Arias
Assistant with editing: Rosa Boshier

Collaborators: Isabel Barraza, Suzie Dod Thomas, Alejandro Murguia, Jennie E. Rodriguez, John Santos, Nina Serrano

Photography: Cole Anetsberger, Adrian Arias, Cindy Astorga, Jay Blakesberg, Wilfredo Q. Castafio, René Castro, Sebastián Dävila, Christine Fu, RJ Muna, Deborah Netsky, Leticia Paez, Jennie E. Rodriguez

Printed by Spotlight Design & Printing
725 Bryant St. San Francisco, CA

MCCLA, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 821-1155 |

Images (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Samba Jam Brazilian Percussion class with Fernando de Sanjinés, performing at End Of Semester Show (EOS) 2012
  • Samba Class with Maisa Duke, performing at EOS 2012
  • Colombian Dance with Adriana Sánchez, performing at EOS 2008
  • Brazilian Carnaval Dance & Drum Class with José Rivera, performing at EOS 2012

Pages 2 & 3 – Table of Contents

Corazón Del Barrio

Images (top to bottom):

  • MCCLA 2012 Staff
  • Ballet Class with Omar Vazquez, performing at EOS 2012

Pages 4 & 5 – 35th Anniversary Fiesta

Corazón del Barrio Awards of Excellence, October 5th, 2012

Images are photos from MCCLA's 35th Anniversary Fiesta, depicting:

  • Corazón del Barrio awardees Alejandro Murguia, Zenon Barron, Metzi Henriquez, Jose Rivera, Ester Hernandez, Alfonso Ochoa, and Isabel Barraza, on stage with their diplomas
  • Dignitaries Tom D'Caigny (SF Arts Commission Cultural Affairs Director), Hon. Supervisor David Campos, and Joaquin Torres (Mayor’s Community Liaison), awarding the City and County of San Francisco Proclamation for MCCLA Day to executive director Jennie Rodriguez
  • Mistress of Ceremony Maria Leticia Guzman (Univision TV News Anchor)
  • MCCLA staff and volunteers, 35th Anniversary committee
  • Various performers in the theatre and gallery, including Amelia Romano & Joshua Mellinger (World’s Sync), Kerensa DeMars (Zambra Flamenca), Mala Junta (Tango), and Afoutayi (Haitian)
  • Guests posing and dancing
  • 'El Corazón' loteria card with a blue heart

Photos by Adrian Arias, Leticia Paez, and Cindy Astorga.

Pages 6 & 7 – "Dusting the Memories"

By Jennie Emiré Rodriguez, MCCLA Executive Director

Like a time capsule or a buried treasure of personal items that one opens at some future or opportune time, we bring you this last anniversary keepsake edition. Corazón del Barrio: 35 Years of Arts & Culture magazine is an ambitious yet well intentioned (and loving) attempt to capture MCCLA's last years. And if it's true that "art makes history," MCCLA can proudly claim that right. More than ever, MCCLA continues to assume the critical role of 35 years ago; to promote and preserve the Latino arts and culture and provide much needed physical and artistic space to create, ponder, condemn, doubt, embrace, and share our immediate reality and environment.

2012 was most memorable at MCCLA. The world did not come to an end, despite what some prophecies predicted, and MCCLA got to carrry a most diverse and relevant programming, establishing numerous collaborations and points of contact and exchange at a local and global level. The Corazón del Barrio Awards of Excellence Benefit Gala, our signature event, culminated the year-long celebration. It would be impossible to convey MCCLNs history in a few pages, but when you flip through these pages, you'll see how a collage of familiar faces, memories, and emotions emerges, capturing the essence of a specific time and place, and of the vibrant, ever evolving institution we have learned to love. Let long live the arts & culture!

Desempolvando Recuerdos

Como cápsula del tiempo, o el cofre de objetos personales que enterramos para abrir ansiosamente en un tiempo futuro oportuno, te traemos esta última edición de aniversario. Corazón del Barrio: 35 Años de Arte y Cultura es un intento ambicioso, pero bien intencionado (y cariñoso) de capturar los últimos años del MCCLA. Y si es cierto que como dicen "El Arte hace la Historia," MCCLA puede justa y orgullosamente reclamar ese derecho. Y es que MCCLA continúa asumiendo la critica tarea de promover y preservar el arte y la cultura Latina, proveyendo el espacio físico y la suficiente apertura artística para crear, reflexionar, condenar, poner en duda, aceptar y compartir nuestra realidad y entorno inmediato.

El 2012 fue un año a todo dar en MCCLA. El mundo no se acabó como anunciaron las profecías, y el Centro llevó a cabo una programación variada y dinámica, estableciendo numerosos puntos de contacto e intercambio a nivel local y global. Nuestra Gala Beneficio y Entrega de Premios de Excelencia Artística, fue el evento culminante de todo un año de celebración. Seria imposible contar Ia historia del MCCLA en unas cuantas páginas. Pero cuando pases las paginas de esta revista, verás como surge un mosaico de rostros familiares, recuerdos y emociones, capturando la esencia de un tiempo y un lugar especifico, y de la institución fuerte y vibrante que hemos aprendido a amar.

Que viva el arte y la cultura!

Images (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Jennie E. Rodriguez, MCCLA Executive Director, 35th Anniversary celebration, 2012
  • Holiday Youth Mariachi 2011
  • Rosa Jáquez, Jennie E. Rodriguez and Leticia Paez at 'Corazón del Barrio' MCCLA Open House 2012, with Orquesta Adelante
  • 'Coser y Cantar / To Sew and To Sing' 2011
    Written by Dolores Prida, Directed by Tania Llambelis, with Erika Pérez, Claudia Rosa, Karina Arrambide, Saday Osorio & Cynthia Renta. Photo by Adrián.
  • Djenane St. Juste, Haitian dance at the MCCLA 35th Anniversary celebration, 2012. Photo by Cindy Astorga.

Pages 8 & 9 – 35th Anniversary Awardees

MCCLA Mission Statement

"The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was established in 1977 by artists and community activistswith a shared vision to promote, preserve and develop the Latino cultural arts that reflect the living tradition and experiences of the Chicano, Mexican, Central and South American, and Caribbean people. MCCLA makes the arts accessible as an essential element to the community's development and well-being."

Corazón Del Barrio Awards of Excellence

Alejandro Murguia is the author of Southern Front and This War Called Love, both winners of the American Book Award, The Medicine of Memory, which highlights the Mission District in the 1970s, Spare Poems, and his recent work Native Tongue. He is a founding member and first director of MCCLA. He is a professor in Latina/Latino Studies at SFSU and current Poet Laureate of San Francisco.

Metzi Henriquez & José Rivera are the directors of Fogo Na Roupa, which is simultaneously a performing dance company and an award-winning Grupo Carnavalesco (Carnaval Group). Founded in 1989, Jose and Metzi inherited direction of the group in 2006, after the passing of Fogo's highly esteemed and illustrious founder, Carlos Aceituno. The group continues to be guided by Carlos's vision by combining the raw spirit of community with a rigorous attention to craft.

The Mission District Young Musician's Program (MDYMP) is one of the Community Music Center's (CMC) most successful programs, bringing Latin music to low-income Mission District youth, entirely tuition-free. Students receive a half-hour private lesson. They learn traditional music from Spain and Latin America. In December, the MDYMP perform in a Christmas musical, La Posarela.

Estér Hernandez is a SF based visual artist and graduate of UC Berkeley. She is best known for her depiction of Chicana/Latina women through pastels and prints. Her work reflects political, social, ecological and spiritual themes. Her work is included in the NMAA Smithsonian, Library of Congress, National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Frida Kahlo Studio Museum in Mexico City.

Zenón Barron was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. At the age of twelve he started dancing and later toured the world with Ballet Folklórico de Mexico deAmalia Hernandez. His dance company Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco is one of the greatest Mexican folkloric dance companies in the world, and his choreography is considered by many to be some of the finest work in America.

Isabel Barraza was born in Mexico and raised in Albuquerque, NM. She received a BA from Yale in 1979. Isabel moved to the Mission in 1992. From 1997 to 2010, Isabel was member of the MCCLA Board of Directors and was chair of the Programming and Human Resource Committee, Since 2002, she has been part of the MCCLA Carnaval Contingent as a dancer and Carnaval Committee member.

Alfonso Ochoa, born in Torreon, Mexico, comes from a musical family and learned to play the piano as a child. In 1962, he moved to San Francisco and was a founding member of Sonora Tropical and later Los Elegantes. For more than 25 years, he was a member of the MCCLA Board of Directors, and has been teaching piano/keyboard for over 15 years.

MCCLA thanks our sponsors: San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Zellerbach Foundation, The California Traditional Folk Arts, NALAC, The National Endowment for the Humanities, Bill Graham Foundation, and other private and individual contributions.

Images (top to bottom, left to right):

  • End Of Semester Show (EOS): Brazilian, Latin Rhythms & Carnaval Dance Percussion Class by Metzi Henriquez & José Rivera, Classes on Saturdays, Noon to 3pm
  • MCCLA's mascot, Tezcatlipoca the jaguar
  • Photos of each Corazón del Barrio awardee
  • 'El Corazón' Loteria card

Pages 10 & 11 – Events and People Since 1977

Ever since the famed Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal graced the Mission Cultural Center's inaugural event in 1977, the MCCLA Theater has developed a storied history as a premier venue for Latino performance and literary arts, in the Mission District, in particular, and the Bay Area, in general. We share this honor with great Mission-based venues like the Brava Theater, Galeria de la Raza, the Red Poppy, and the Secret Garden, among others.

On November 11, 1987, U2 performed a surprise concert at the Justin Herman Plaza, and 20,000 people came to see the band. Three days after, on November 14, Bono and The Edge visited the Mission Cultural Center building. They came into the studio "A" (3rd floor) to observe a Flamenco Class. After that, they went to Balmy Alley with René Castro, Mission Gráfica director at that time. Castro designed the banners for a U2 tour, with the help of MCCLA artists and friends. Castro also worked closely with artists like Mercedes Sosa, designing posters for her U.S. tour.

In 1992, Chicana playwright Cherrie Moraga presented the World Premiere of her play Heroes and Saints in the MCCLA Theater. The play examines the risks that poverty-wage farmwork exacts upon Mexican immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley. The play subsequently won the Pen West Award, the Critics Circle Award, and the Will Glickman Prize. The play became a keystone of Moraga's prolific body of work.

Thirty-five years later, our theater's reputation for hosting emerging Latino artists and writers continues with people like novelist Daniel Alarcón, whose new podcast Radio Ambulante, has been dubbed by New York Daily News as "This Latin-American Life." Daniel's recent sold out show at MCCLA featured a live appearance by his father, a former professional soccer announcer in Peru,who improvised a live match on stage in which Peru beat Brazil to win the World Cup, 1-0. There's a first for everything.

In our theatre we also experienced mixtures of dances from all around the world. In 2011, MCCLA co-produced a Middle Eastern Music and Dance Performance, Tarabiya, and in 2012, a Haitian musical theater production with Afoutayi Dance Company, entitled Haiti: a Story of Love and Resistance. Between 2009 and 2012, MCCLA collaborated with La Tania Baile Flamenco to showcase the Flamenco art in a performance called Punta y Tacón.

Some traditions must change, however. At our 35th Anniversary gala in October 2012, a representative of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee's office announced that they would fund the installation of a new air conditioning system for the MCCLA theater. The tradition of hot, sweaty, summer performances could be a thing of the past! We'll believe it when we see it, but the MCCLA
tradition of presenting the best Latino performance art in San Francisco sigue y sigue, like our annual Luna Negra, a women's performance night with four generations of artists.

Images (clockwise from top left):

  • Ernesto Cardenal at the MCCLA opening ceremony (1977) with Roberto Vargas, photos by Wilfredo Q Castaño.
  • Renato Alarcón at Radio Ambulante, a project created by Daniel Alarcón and collaboration between MCCLA and
    Litquake 2012.
  • Novelist Daniel Alarcón.
  • Mamacoatl performing at Luna Negra 2009.
  • Frida Anna & Frida Jamille, part of the video Frida in the Mirror by Adrián Arias, filmed at MCCLA on August 2, 2008. It was the official selection for the SF Film Festival and winner of the Berkeley Video & Film Festival 2009.
  • Illusion 7 (2007), a happening art day, with Tania Figueroa, James Luna, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, at the MCCLA Galleries, photo by Sebastian Davila.
  • Portrait of Cherrie Moraga.
  • Punta y Tacón IV collaboration with La Tania Baile Flamenco (2009-2012). Photo by Christine Fu.
  • Mercedes Sosa and René Castro at the MCCLA in 1982, when Castro produced her poster in Mission Gráfica.
  • Bono and The Edge from U2 visiting a Flamenco class in MCCLA Studio A, photo by Jay Blakesberg, Nov. 1987.
  • Luna Negra 2013 participants: Nina Serrano, poet and MCCLA founder in 1977, Kerensa de Mars (Flamenco), Nora Dinzelbacher (Tango), Amelia Romano (Harp), Anais Azul (piano and poetry). Photos by AA.

Pages 12 & 13 – MCCLA Galleries: 25 years of Sólo Mujeres Exhibit

Since 1987, MCCLA has celebrated women's art by showcasing new, strong, female visual artists from around the world. More than 250 women have exhibited their art in our galleries during the past 25 years, and we are gearing up for our 26th Annual Sólo Mujeres Exhibit, curated by Ella Diaz, in April 2013.

Here are images of Sólo Mujeres since 2007 (counterclockwise, from bottom left):

  • SM 2007: RAW (print) by Favianna Rodriguez.
  • SM 2008: Guadalupe series (1978) by Yolanda López.
  • SM 2008: Weaving of the Disappeared by Ester Hernández.
  • SM 2008: Babes in arms 2c (ceramic) by Nuala Creed.
  • SM 2009: Territorio invisible / lnvisible territory (video-performance) by Maria Adela Diaz.
  • SM 2009: Left – Pink Bits (installation) by Marsha Shaw, Right – This Crazy heart / Este loco corazón (photography) by Ana de Orbegoso.
  • SM 2009: SHU (Sensible Housing Unit) video and performance by The Counter Narrative Society (Mabel Negrete).
  • SM 2010: Spectator looking at paintings of Isis Rodriguez.
  • SM 2011: Barroca (installation) by Maria Ezcurra.
  • SM 2012: Ask Chuleta (video) by Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz.

Since MCCLA opened in 1977, it has supported and served more than one thousand artists from the Latino community and beyond. Latino artists from South and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia have presented work at MCCLA that not only reflects contemporary Latino issues, but universal human experiences that our society faces today and in the future.

Our Galleries are located at the second floor of the building.
The Galeria Museo is 3530 sqft and The Inti Raymi Gallery is 920 sqft.
Photos in pages 12 & 13 courtesy by the artists or by AA.

Pages 14 & 15 – "SF Carnaval" by Isabel Barraza

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) has been an integral part of San Francisco's Carnaval Parade and Festival for most of S.F. Carnaval's 35-year history, and has had a contingent in the parade for more than ten consecutive years. MCCLA 's parade presentation is unique in that it features many different Latino cultures with varied music and dance styles. Rather than focusing on one single nationality or culture, MCCLA's group performs the music and dance styles of a selection of Latin communities, from the U.S. to Colombia to the Dominican Republic to Haiti, just to name a few.

MCCLA's contingent is open to all members of the community who desire to participate, without limitations of age, dance ability, or nationality. Participants in any given year may range in age from 7 to 70. A large number of the group are school children from neighborhood schools such as Thomas Edison Charter Academy, Moscone Elementary School, Sanchez Elementary, and MCCLA's After-School program. Edison Charter in particular incorporates the dance, music, and costume construction as part of its curriculum.

MCCLA's Carnaval participants carry props, create and construct segments of the float, dance, play music, or simply carry water. In keeping with its cultural vision, Mission Cultural Center's Carnaval Committee, made up of staff, Board members, artists, and volunteers, creates a theme with a Latino sensibility that mirrors the overall Carnaval theme. Some of MCCLA's Carnaval themes in the last few years include the following: Jungla y Cumbamba, Areito, Mi Groovy Boogaloo, U Wayak Chakmool [Dream of the Jaguar], Atabal de Alegria, La Piragua, Salsa y Paella, Génesis Criollo, and La Rueda de la Vida. 2013, MCCLA's Carnaval contingent theme will be Barrunto en el Barrio.

Images (counterclockwise from top left):

  • MCCLA Contingent 2012 'Jungla y Cumbamba' with Isabel Barraza and Alfredo Fernández carrying a banner that reads: "MCCLA – Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts – Since 1977, A Unique Cultural Experience in San Francisco."
  • MCCLA Contingent 2009 'Génesis Criollo,' led by choreographer Ruben Aponte.
  • MCCLA Contingent 2010 'Mi Groovy Boogaloo,' choreography by Elizabeth Soberanes & Bianca Coleman.
  • MCCLA Contingent 2011 'Areito, Timba y Chancletas,' choreography by Manuel Suarez.
  • Edison Charter Academy students dancing in conjunction with MCCLA Carnaval contingent.

Pages 16 & 17 – Multimedia Department – More than 2000 graphics since 2008.

Images are a collection of posters and other graphics produced by the Multimedia department between 2008 and 2012:

  • First row (2008) – Posters for César Chavez Holiday Parade and Festival 2008, Art In The Alley 2008, Flor Y Canto, A Celebration of Latino Poetry, Zazhil Son Mexican Fusion, Remembering Carlos Aceituno>span>, 'Caribe Sabrosón; Carnaval SF Contingent 2008, and End of Semester Show June 2008.
  • Second row (2009) – Posters for "Labor and Dreams" Videofest 2009, Sólo Mujeres, "Bring Back the Dead," and Call for Curator, "Bring Back the Dead" tote bag.
  • Third row (2010) – Día de los Muertos 2010 T-shirt, Posters for 'Mole To Die For' Annual Mole Contest, 'Antonio Huerto: Four Mesoamerican Deities' Exhibition, Call to Bay Area Teenage Artists, and 'Mi Groovy Boogaloo' 2010 MCCLA Carnaval Contingent, Video frame from 'En Papel, A Contemporary Look At Latino Printmakers In The US.'
  • Fourth row (2011) – Posters for 'Talking Art And Music With Pete Escovedo', 'Coser Y Cantar' (A play written by Dolores Prida), 'Carlos Villa: Manongs, Some Doors, And A Bouquet Of Crates,' 'Tarabiya' Middle Eastern Music And Dance Performance, Luna Negra 2011 'Three Generations of Women, an Infinity of Expression,' and 'Everybody's Dying Here' Mexican Punk Night.
  • Fifth row (2012) – DVD cover for San Francisco Video Fest 7 Years, a screen shot of a page on the MCCLA website in 2012 showing DVDs for sale, Posters for A Concert Honoring the Music and Memory of 'Mercedes Sosa' and 'Niños on Mission' performance, a ticket for Holiday Youth Mariachi Concert, DVD Label for End Of Semester Show December 2012, Poster and ticket for "Haiti: A Story Of Love And Resistance" Concert, Online advertisement for 'Corazón del Barrio' T shirts.

List of MCCLA DVDs

  • 25th Anniversary: The Founders
  • 30th Anniversary: Corazón del Barrio
  • 35th Anniversary: 35 Seconds with...
  • Día de los Muertos Compilation
  • Papel Picado with Herminia Albarrán
  • Carnavales: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • End Of Semester Show years 2008 to 2012, June and December
  • And more

MCCLA Clips for YouTube Channel

  • Gallery events
  • Youth Program
  • Theatre events
  • End of Semester show
  • And more

Since 2012 MCCLA and BVAC collaborate in the Video Literacy program.

The second Friday each month MCCLA presents a one hour program in channel 78.

Multimedia department supports Mission Gráfica designing posters and T-shirts, Youth & Outreach creating graphics for programs, Gallery and Events, with photography, video, graphic design, programs, catalogs, etc. and is in charge of the MCCLA website design.

Pages 18 & 19 – Youth & Outreach

The MCCLA offers affordable and diverse classes all year. Our instructors are committed artists who teach, create, and perform. Our classes reflect the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and culturally diverse nature of our Latino community. The MCCLA programs a host of youth and adult classes because we believe that the study of music, art, dance and martial arts is a window
into a greater understanding of cultural heritage and ultimately one's self. At MCCLA, students find friendship, meet talented artists, and build community through art and cultural expression. Our Multicultural Arts Summer (MAS) Program connects more than 160 youth with practicing artist-educators during two electrifying 4-week sessions spanning July and August. The MAS Program culminates in one of the most dynamic youth-produced shows in San Francisco. Sign up today and find out what you've been missing at MCCLA!

Image, page 18: Mexican Folk Dance Class with Zenón Barron, performing at the End of Semester Show, 2012.

Images, page 19:

  • First row: Fashion, Dance, and Percussion classes, performing at 2011 Multicultural Arts Summer Youth Program (MAS) Presentation.
  • Second row: Dora Luz Sanabria showing examples of work at her Papel Picado Workshop 2011-2012, kids participating in MAS Summer Program 2008 at Precita Park, kids participating in Haitian Dance for Kids by Djenane St. Juste, MAS T-shirt 2009.
  • Third row: MCCLA Youth Latin Ensemble 2012 performing with teacher Suzanne Cortez, Mexican Folk Dance 2010 students posing with Norberto, Mix'd Ingrdnts Dance Group performing as part of the show "Digital + Dance" in April 2012.
  • Fourth row: three photos from Sunday Streets featuring Tokesén, Mission Gráfica Class, and Zumba with Neo Garcia.

Classes and Faculty


  • Afro-Cuban-Haitian Folkloric Dance with Temistocles Betancourt
  • Latin Dance Grooves with Bianca Coleman
  • Brenda's Zumba Party with Brenda Perdue
  • Beginning Flamenco with Kerensa DeMars
  • Morning Zumba with Neo with Neo Garcia
  • Mexican Folk Dance with Zenon Barron
  • Mexican Folk Dance with Meredith Belany
  • Mix Zumba with Sergio Rangel
  • Flamenco A la Carte with Danica Sena
  • Danza Azteca with Ricardo Peha
  • Argentine Tango with Nora & Ed
  • Ballet & Pre-Ballet with Omar Vasquez
  • Afro Peruvian Dance with Lydia Soto
  • Belly Dance for Fitness & Fun with Live Drumming with Dannhae
  • Brazilian Samba with Maisa Duke
  • Salsa-Merengue Popular with Mario L. Alabi
  • Brenda's Zumbatomic Party 4 Kids with Brenda Perdue
  • Brazilian Carnaval Dance with Metzi Henriquez
  • Latin Rhythms for Kids with Lydia Soto


  • MCCLA Youth Latin Ensemble with Suzanne Cortez
  • Brazilian & Latin Rhythms of Carnaval Percussion with José Rivera
  • Samba Jam Brazilian percussion with Fernando DeSanjines
  • Basic Latin Percussion with Louis Romero
  • Piano & Keyboard with Alfonso Ochoa
  • Guitar & Electric Guitar with Manolo Davila
  • Afro Peruvian Cajón with Juan Soto

Martial Arts:

  • Tae Kwon do with Victor Mijango
  • Capoeira with Raul Nevarez

Visual Arts:

  • Screen Printing – Beginning with Imin Yeh
  • Relief Printmaking with Gustavo Mora
  • Screen Printing – Beginning & Intermediate with Calixto Robles
  • Life Drawing with Norm Rosenberger
  • Exploring Art for Children with Dora Luz Sanabria
  • Creative Growth through Art with Dora Luz Sanabria

Special Workshops

  • Hip Hop with Momo Lebeau
  • Project House with Jenay Anolin
  • Digital Recording Music with BEATSHOP
  • Digital Photography with Mercedes Romero
  • Harp Summer Workshops for Youth with Amelia Romano & Liza Wallace
  • Toddlers Discovering Latin America with Claudia Monroy-Wu
  • Watercolor Explorations Series with Nataliya Tyaglo
  • Afro-Cuban-Haitian Folkloric Dance with Temistocles Betancourt
  • Día de los Muertos Papel Picado & Flowers with Dora Luz Sanabria
  • Bachata & Kizomba with Damaris Ortiz & Yasert Ortega
  • Brenda's Zumbatomic Party 4 Little Stars with Brenda Perdue
  • Cooking Poems - Poemas Para Cocinar with Jorge Argueta
  • Tertulias Literarias in collaboration with the SF Public Library

Page 20 – Mission Gráfica

Mission Gráfica has provided an inexpensive space for artists to make prints and posters in its studio on the MCCLA's fourth floor. Founded in 1977, by artists and activists in San Francisco's Latino community, Mission Gráfica became a hub in the creation of posters and prints that reflected the community's desire for social and economic justice, and on such issues as immigration, displacement, and Third World freedom struggles.

Posters are important tool for expression in the Latino community. When Mission Gráfica was founded, screen printing was one of the preferred primary forms of communication for artists and activists in the Mission. Artists such as René Castro, Juan Fuentes, Jesús Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, Calixto Robles, Gato, Faviana Rodriguez, Irene Perez, and Alexandra Blum have printed at Mission Gráfica. Mission Gráfica houses an important archive of prints which at more than 4,000 represents one of the largest collections in the United States and holds important historical significance for the Latin American community.

Mission Gráfica remains connected to its roots, but has opened its arms to a new generation of people, images, and ideas in screen printing, etching, and mono printing. Our students have produced CD covers, posters, T-shirts, and they have printed on skateboards, wood panels and glass.

Images (clockwise from top left):

  • Detail of Day of the Dead 2011 wall installation by 'La Pistola' artists in residence from Mexico.
  • Mission Gráfica Textile room, class with Drew Preparatory, 2011.
  • Imin Yeh, Artist in Residence at Mission Gráfica 2012 and teacher in 2013
  • Day of the Dead poster 2011 design by Adrián, printed in Mission Gráfica.
  • Corazón del Barrio MCCLA Open House 2012, with artist Marsha Shaw, Mission Gráfica coordinator, teaching.
  • Plant Pallete workshop with Helena Keefe, 2012
  • Below: Volunteers with 'Corazón del Barrio' T-shirt printed in Mission Gráfica.

Page 21 – Día de los Muertos & Mole To Die For

Images (clockwise from top):

  • Guests at Mole To Die For 2011 Mole Contest, eating mole in the Inti Raymi Gallery in front of Día de los Muertos 2011 wall installation by 'La Pistola', artists in residence from Mexico.
  • Musicians in mariachi outfits with calavera makeup, playing in 'Que Vivan Los Muertos' performance and video created by John Jota Leaños.
  • Volunteers serving mole at Mole to Die For 2012, Photo by Cole Anetsberger.
  • Xico Garza explaining Brett Cook's installation "Documentation of a Grandma" to a school tour group, as part of Day of the Dead Exhibition 2010.

Page 22 – Memoir: The Right Place. The Right Time.

By Nina Serrano

It was after the 1973, U.S. supported, bloody coup in Chile, around 1979. Chilean artist, Rene Castro was at the recently opened Mission Cultural Center and so was I. He worked in the Gallery and he hadn't yet established Mission Gráfica on the still undeveloped fourth floor for making posters and tee shirts for community groups. He was excited about the potential of the Centro and so was I. My play "Weavings" about the Chilean resistance to the coup was in rehearsal in the theatre.

Rene's English was sketchy. We were both active in the Chilean solidarity group "Free Chile Center," me, as the administrator, and he, as the magnificent artist who created posters for our fundraising concerts for Quilapayun and Inti-lllimani. He was an exile, still shy with the aura of suffering, that I thought was caused from his torture and jailing in the Santiago Stadium, like Victor Jara, though he never openly spoke of it.

One day, he mentioned how much it pained him that his fellow exiled artists had their works languishing in the back of a Los Angeles frame shop. My weight-lifting cousins visiting from Colombia were in L.A. and bringing a piano to San Francisco. efore we knew it, we were planning an exhibit of exiled Chilean artists at the Mission Cultural Center. It happened fast. The weight lifters thought it a mere trifle to pick up artworks and carry them with the heavy piano.

Rene climbed ladders, painted the gallery walls, and hung the show. I translated the artist statements and wrote our brochure. The reception date was set and the press release sent out.

It was history: The first Chilean-in-exile fine art exhibit in the USA at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

Images (top to bottom, left to right):

  • Mission Gráfica circa 1980, photo by René Castro.
  • Mission Gráfica print 'Chile Presente: 12 Chilean Artists' at the MCCLA Gallery, 1980, by René Castro. Poster reads:
    Chile Presente – Images of Betrayal and Defiance – Twelve Chilean Artists
    Galeria Museo – September 5 through 30, 1980
    Mission Cultural Center – 2868 Mission St. SF, CA 94110'
  • Mission Gráfica print 'A Victor Jara Tribute by Quilapayun', 1978, by René Castro. Poster reads:
    Associated Projects presents: A Tribute In Concert to Victor Jara
    By Quilapayn – New Latinamerican Song Movement
    Thursday, February 15 – 8:00 PM – Masonic Auditorium – 1111 California Street, San Francisco
    Tickets: Modern Times Book Center, Unitas House, BASS – 4.50 Advance, 5:50 Door – Childcare / Wheelchair
    With Special Guest MC Joan Jara
    Sponsors: A Tribute To Victor Jara Committee – Information (451) 433-6698/6055

Page 23 – Tales of the Early Days

By John Santos

For me, the early days of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (the mid-70s) were filled with hope, growth and great memories. It was exciting to witness the magical conversion of a furniture store, that I walked by countless times in my youth, into a thriving cultural hub. I feel the Mission Cultural Center to be a sacred space of special meaning for those of us born in the Mission. It instantly became the place to be, with its mystical confluence of local and emigrating spirits, Latin American solidarity, and unbridled creativity. It was a mini artistic democracy in which we could all play a part.

Music was a pillar of that environment. One of my earliest teaching assignments was to found the first MCCLA Salsa Ensemble along with Nicaragüense pianist Guillermo Guillen. We taught the class together weekly for three years under the auspices of the California Arts Council until it was taken over by el maestro Panameño Carlos Federico, who had taught a piano class at MCCLA previously. There was music everywhere in the Mission and the MCCLA was ground zero. We heard wonderful intergenerational musicians and groups from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, EI Salvador, Chile, Argentina, México, and everywhere! It was home base for many of us local groups. I led several groups that played there on many occasions; Típica Cienfuegos ('70s), Grupo Tambor Cubano ('70s), Orquesta Batachanga (early '80s), Tambokuba (early '80s), The Machete Ensemble (late '80s & '90s), El Coro Folklórico Kindembo (late '80s & '90s), and The John Santos Quintet (21st Century).

From the beginning, we learned much about the importance of not allowing our sociopolitical realities to be separated from the music, as the bourgeois attitude that "art and politics don't mix" espouses. We also learned to appreciate the power of all the arts as a tool of expression, identity, and unity, in the barrio as well as internationally. We grew wings there, producing concerts and distributing beautiful silkscreened, full-sized posters all over the barrio to publicize them. We heard profound poetry, perused visual arts exhibits of all types, and danced to the enthusiastic rhythm of tumbadoras, bongos, and guitarras accompanying verses in Spanish with distinct regional Latin American accents and lots of love — lots of love. In deep gratitude to all of you who contributed and have kept the juices flowing at the Mission Cultural Center — especially you, Jennie Rodriguez y Adrian Arias — feliz cumpleaños!!!

Images (top to bottom):

  • 24th Street Feria, MCCLA booth, with musician Mario Gallardo and Mission Gráfica coordinator Alfonso Maciel.
  • Mission Gráfica print "Nicaragua" poster to promote Grupo Pancasan & Tipica Cienfuegos, 1979, by Alfonso Maciel. Poster reads:
    'El Ministerio de Cultura de Nicaragua presenta: Grupo Pancasan – Típica Cienfuegos
    Viernes Noviembre 16, 1979 – 7:30 PM – Admision $3:50
    Mission Cultural Center – 2868 Mission St SF
    Oradores, Comida, Refrescos – Patrocinado por Casa Nicaragua y MCC'

Page 24 – In Memoriam

Images (left to right):

  • Piri Thomas print, design by Adrián Arias, printed in Mission Gráfica by Marsha Shaw.
  • Daniel del Solar, René Castro, Bernardo Benavides and Juan Pablo Gutierrez, circa 1986.

Thoughts on the Soul of Puerto Rican Culture: Piri Thomas Presente!!
Piri Thomas (1928—2011) by Suzie Dod Thomas

Over a year after the passing of my beloved husband, author/poet Piri Thomas, his name continues to come up in conversations with friends and strangers alike. I cannot stop talking about Piri, not only because he was my adorado esposo, but because of how much I believed in his ability to reach people with his positive message of unity, peace and social justice. So as I meet strangers whom I think should know about Piri and don't, I must tell them about him, about his work, about his huge heart, and about his love for the Puerto Rican people, both here in the U.S. and on the island.

In a recent trip to the western end of Puerto Rico this last January, I did not find much understanding of who Piri was. I was dismayed, for it was Piri Thomas who first opened the door so that other writers could go through, so that Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz could have a voice, so that Esmeralda Santiago, Martin Espada, Jesus Papoleto Melendez, Nancy Mercado, Sandra Maria Esteves, Willie Perdomo, Avotjca, and a myriad of others who rode the surge that Piri's work created, could be heard. I hope to return to Puerto Rico this next year to bring awareness throughout the island of Piri's important work and his impact on Puerto Ricans living in the US.

As an adopted Puerto Rican living in the diaspora, I am concerned over the soul of Puerto Rico/Ricans both here and there. Is Puerto Rico an American country or it a Latin American country? Will it secede with the U.S. or realize a Bolivarian dream of a country liberated?

Or is it both? Can it be both? What kind of system allows for the broadest self-determination for Puerto Ricans?

As a result of globalization, the island is becoming more multicultural through immigration, presenting dilemmas for the preservation of an already precarious Puerto Rican culture compromised by U.S. colonialism since 1898. However, nativist denunciation of "outsiders watering down the culture," as I have heard discussed, with no understanding of the forces bringing about these changes, sounds a lot like the anti-Latino rants of the Right here in the U.S.

Today, the revolving door for Puerto Ricans (made possible by U.S. citizenship) has led to the revitalization of Afro-Puerto Rican culture, however, the revolving door is not always an easy process; there are caveats and contradictions. Puerto Rico was a Latin American country, with indigenous Taíno, Spanish and African roots. Since 1898, U.S. presence there has been a huge influence. People returning from the U.S. bring with them an American, not Latino, experience. Colonial domination colors everything about the U.S./Puerto Rican relationship. Benefits of U.S. consumerism and the pursuit of the "American Dream" come on a tray of exploitation, environmental degradation, and cultural robbery.

Writers like Piri Thomas are important to be remembered everywhere in the diaspora as victims of U.S. colonial relations and examples of the struggle to find an authentic self in the face of cultural colonization. Like many of his generation, Piri poignantly chronicled the pain and the loneliness of the dark-skinned outsider in the U.S. in blunt, graphic terms. His words still resonate with young readers of all ethnicities today, for skin color in all cultures continues to be criteria for judgment of character.

Daniel del Solar (1940—2012) by Nina Serrano

When I first met Daniel del Solar in San Francisco in 1972 I had never heard of Frida Kahlo. Around my kitchen table, Daniel told me stories about the magical world of Frida and Diego. He showed me his photos of every nook and cranny of the Casa Azul. He shot them in the days before the site was popular and became "museum-ized" with roped off sections and "Do not touch" signs. A bold and curious photographer like Daniel could still wander freely. How I longed to visit her Casa Azul in Mexico City, where the iconic Frida was born and died.

Daniel's early life in the 1940s in Mexico City was encircled by that legendary world of bohemian artists with passionate politics. His godfather, Daniel told me, was the sculptor Isamu Noguchi and had been a lover of Frida's. He was once chased over a garden wall at gun-point by the jealous Diego. So many fascinating stories and unforgettable art works and pictures. By 1978, I entered a poem in the now legendary, art history-making, Frida-inspired exhibit at Galeria de La Raza, curated by Rene Yañez. Daniel's book of Xerox photos of the Casa Azul was displayed on a pedestal during the exhibition and people could sign the blank pages at the end of the book. He later carried that book with him with every job change that took him to New York (teaching radio broadcasting), Washington D.C (running a minority grants program for community TV stations), and Philadelphia (managing a public TV station). When he finally returned to San Francisco (managing KQED-fm), that book was filled with handwritten comments and signatures. It took another 30 years before I visited the Casa Azul. Too late. Already Frida's garden held public toilets where her pet peacocks, deer, monkeys and dogs used to roam freely. But I heard Daniel's voice in my head and I could see it all as it was—as if it was a movie I'd once viewed.

Daniel died in January 2012 after battling prostate cancer for 6 years. Even while facing cancer, he continued making YouTube videos, creating film festivals, traveling to worldwide solidarity conferences for Venezuela and the Cuban Five, shooting photographs of Barcelona and the ancient Stepwells in India for beautiful books, deepening his old friendships, and making new friends everywhere he went.

I still hear his voice in my head, noticing the clouds and the colors of light. Daniel del Solar, presente!

Page 25 – A Poem by Alejandro Murguía

Images (top to bottom, left to right):

  • Alejandro Murguía MCCLA founder and first Executive Director in 1977, here reading a poem at the MCCLA 25th Anniversary in 2002.
  • Poet Carlos Ramirez (1938-2013).
  • Filmmaker Anne Kaneko, Director of the SF Film Society, with Graham Leggat (1960-2011) and filmmaker Peter Bratt, jurors for the MCCLA Video-Fest 2009, photo by Adrián.

El sueño de Lorca

Me cuentan que tu clavicula
es una estrella sobre Andalucia
que tus meláncolicos metacarpianos
aún apríetan un terrón de Sevilla
que tus caderas jamas
han cesado de gozar
así en La Habana como en Nueva York
y que en las cuencas de tus ojos
han brotado jasmines
y cada petalo un poema
que tu quijada es Ia voz de todos
los sospechos, indocumentados,
insultados y fusilados
que la luna arrulla tus hueso Federico
frágiles como alas de colibri

Así me lo contarón una noche plateada
las hormiguitas rojas
que duermen en tu cráneo.

Lorca's Dream

They tell me that your clavicle
is a star over Andalucia
that your melancholic metacarpals
still clutch a clod of earth in Sevilla
that your hips have not ceased dancing
in Havana or in New York
that jasmines bloom in your eye sockets
and every petal a poem
that your jaw bone is the voice of all
the silenced ones, the undocumented ones
those insulted and executed
that the moon cradles your bones Federico
fragile as hummingbird wings

That's what I was told one silvery night
by the hip red ants
that sleep in your cranium.

Pages 25 & 26 – ¿Quien es quien? Who's Who?

Do you remember or know some of these people? Play a game with me. Write the name of the people and also the place and even better, the year and you can win a surprise!

Photos are of various people at or near the MCCLA, with captions that have been covered up.

Images, page 25 (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Bandleader dressed in white, leading a percussion ensemble with blue and gold sequined shirts
  • People posing in front of 25th Anniversary Awards Gala poster
  • People posing in the Gallery
  • People (including Jennie Rodriguez) in 2010 Día de Muertos shirts posing outside
  • Woman in a purple and orange costume, dancing with Carnaval contingent in the background (Mi Groovy Boogaloo?)
  • Woman on a bike posing in front of the MCCLA building, in front of a band playing
  • Woman dancing with a gold cape and purple bra and headpiece
  • Man with red devil makeup and horns, with a white jacket and black sequined shirt
  • People posing by the box office, including Jorge Molina

Images, page 26 (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Mccla theatre and gallery in 1977, when it was a mezzanine
  • People standing in the mezzanine
  • Three people walking on the street in downtown SF
  • People standing on the stage, caption says "Hint: 1987"
  • People marching down the street with signs that say 'F.S. L.N. Sandino – Pro Liberación de Nicaragua'
  • Women posing in front of a fence
  • Woman in shorts and top with stars, posing with paintbrushes on an altar with plants, fruits, and Virgen candles, with a painted backdrop of Virgen de Guadalupe-style rays

Page 28 – MCCLA Staff & Board

Images (top to bottom):

  • MCCLA staff 2013 participating in V-Day, holding signs that say "Stop Violence Towards Woman"
  • 35th Anniversary Committee
  • MCCLA staff members at Pícaro restaurant, sitting at a long table and raising their glasses

Thanks to our 35th Anniversary sponsors and friends:

  • Peninsula Orthopedic
  • Magdalena Blackmer
  • San Francisco Millwork, Inc.
  • Instituto Familiar de La Raza
  • Amparo Vigil, Puerto Alegre
  • Lanny Lighthill, Moshi Moshi
  • La Raza Radio Station/Service Trade
  • SanJalisco Restaurant
  • Tamarindo Antojeria
  • Sixth Course
  • Tacolicious
  • Pancho Villa
  • Max's Restaurant & Eatz Catering
  • El Amigo Bar
  • Juan Fuentes
  • Mama Art Café
  • Napper Tandy
  • Matagrano, Inc.
  • Hacienda Grill
  • Mission Bowling Club
  • Luis Padilla
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • Estrellitas Snacks
  • Jennie Rodriguez
  • Xochitl Vargas
  • BevMo!
  • Spotlight Desing & Printing
  • Rainbow Grocery
  • The Morrison Foerster Foundation
  • Isabel Barraza
  • Osario Insurance Agency
  • Construction, Inc.
  • Plant Construction Company, L.P
  • Carlos Ballesteros, Ricardo Tellez
  • Eric Orontes, Don Alan, Casanova Lounge
  • Marco Castellanos, Delfina
  • Martha Rodriguez-Salazar
  • Chus Alonso, Alejandro Murguia
  • Maria Antonieta Solarzano
  • Ester Hernandez, Victoria Aceves
  • Candy Debar, Elena Sánchez
  • Denhi Donis

MCCLA Staff:

  • Adrián Arias / Multimedia
  • Lillian Botello /Reception
  • Yeyson Castillo / Front Desk-Security
  • Brenda Chow / Bookkeeping
  • Luis D. Padilla / Operations / HR
  • Dulce Morales / Box Office
  • Leticia Paez / Arts Ed / Outreach
  • Will Pappin / House / Tech
  • Gerardo Perez / Facilities Maintenance
  • Pedro Reyes / Events / Media
  • Jennie Emiré Rodriguez / Executive Director
  • Elena Sanchez / Bookings / Volunteers
  • Marsha Shaw / Mission Gråfica
  • José Angel Varela / Facilities

MCCLA Board:

  • Francisco Gomez /Chair
  • Eduardo A. Ramirez / Treasurer
  • Eva Jimenez-Reyes / Secretary
  • Gilbert De Anda
  • Magdalena Blackmer
  • Paulo Acosta Cabezas
  • Rosa E. Jaquez
  • Luis E. Paez
  • Eva Royale

Page 29 – Sponsors

Sponsor Advertisements (clockwise from top left):

  • Carpenters Local Union 22
    of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
    is pleased to participate in the MCCLA 35th Anniversary Benefit & Awards Gala
    2085 Third Street • San Francisco. CA 94107 • (415) 355-1322
  • Congratulations on 35 Years! ¡Viva MCCLA!
  • Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, Inc. – Specialists in Action
    Stephen E. Conrad, M.D.
    Alfredo F. Fernandez, M.D.
    Victoria L. Barber, M.D.
    A. Shabi Khan, M.D.
    Philip J. Krueger, M.D.
    1850 Sullivan Avenue, Suite 330, Daly City, California 94015
    Phone: (650) 756-5630 – Fax: (650) 756-0136
  • Instituto Laboral dc la Raza congratulates the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts on their 35th Anniversary
    lang="es">Instituto Labora de la Raza
    2947 16th Street San Francisco, CA 94103
    Tel: (415) 431-7522 – Fax: (415) 431-4846 –

Pages 30 & 31 – Sponsors

Visit a community cultural center today!

Congratulations Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts for providing rich, cultural activities in the neighborhood for 35 years!

Photos are of dance and performance activities at each cultural center. Photo Credits: Diana Sanchez, Josué Rivera, Rebecca Gallegos, Michelle Kraus. Bonnie Chan, Duy Ta.

The Cultural Centers Are Supported By The San Francisco Arts Commission.

Cultural Encounters – Friday Nights At The de Young – Golden Gate Park

Free Friday Events, March 29 - November 29, 6-8:45 PM

Explore The Arts! Open Late Fridays – Live Performances – Live Music – Local Artists – Hands-on Art Making – Food & Cocktails

Images (clockwise from top) copyright FAMSF:

  • De Young Museum, Photo By Adrian Arias.
  • Dance performance at the De Young, Photo By Justine Highsmith.
  • Local artist holding sculptural work, Photo By Justine Highsmith.
  • Singer, Photo By Marissa Sonkin (Center).
  • Kids doing Arts & Crafts project, Photo By Adrian Arias.

Start off your weekend with live music and dance performances, hands-on art making, cocktails, a prix-fixe menu in the de Young Café, and more at Friday Nights at the de Young! Fees apply for galleris, special exhibitions, dining, and cocktails.

de Young -

Exploratorium – More Site Seeing

Esto es donde las cosas se ponen interesantes.