Every two months, a group of visual artists, musicians and performers gather in galleries, garages, living rooms and at least one bakery within a tiny rectangle in the Mission (mostly four blocks by seven blocks, between 21st and 24th, Shotwell and Bryant) for the Mission Arts & Performance Project, known as MAPP. Saturday’s MAPP was an evening of lively, unpretentious, free art and music.

MAPP nominally radiates out from The Red Poppy Art House, where a group of local artists meet to organize it. But at its heart it is a profoundly decentralized, collaborative experience, a block party with less barbecue and bouncy castle, more listening to a live band in somene’s living room.

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Heather Smith covers a beat that spans health, food, and the environment, as well as shootings, stabbings, various small fires, and shouting matches at public meetings. She is a 2007 Middlebury Fellow in Environmental Journalism and a contributor to the book Infinite City.

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