If you’re itching to see emerging local talent, you’re in luck! This Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) is putting on “Mission I’m Possible,” a talent show and fundraiser to showcase and support local artists of all ages – including a 10-year-old mariachi player.
Two dozen performers auditioned in August – twelve made the cut.
The show will also be a competition, with a panel of four artist judges, including actress Eliana Lopez and Metzi Henriquez, artistic director of the Brazilian dance group “Fogo Na Roupa.” The proceeds of the show – raised through ticket sales and a Tilt campaign – will go towards cash prizes for the the top three winners.
Helping the performers – by giving them a network, an audience, and an opportunity – is the main goal of the event, said Andreina Maldonado, the events and media coordinator at MCCLA, although any extra proceeds will go to help the center get a new movie screen for its theater.
“I think right now, especially here in the Mission, there’s a gloomy atmosphere, with all the evictions and rent increases,” said Leticia Paez, the arts education and outreach coordinator at MCCLA. “It’s very difficult for people to live here.”
She added that some of the contestants are at risk of eviction from their homes.
“This is something to bring the community together in a creative, artistic way,” said Paez. “What little we can offer them will really help them.”
While MCCLA didn’t limit the auditions by ethnicity or geography, Paez says many of the performers are from the Mission and many are Latino. The acts vary from mariachi to hip hop dancing to poetry.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said performer Jesus Guillon, who plans to sing a capella, of the talent show. “There’s so much talent in the Mission.”
“I think it will be good for the morale [of the community],” he added. “Through art and through music, that’s the way we can reflect not only the hopes and the dreams but the problems right now that are pretty strong in the community.”
Jason Segovia, a 14-year-old magician, is excited to share his tricks with the community. He got into magic seven months ago, and this will be his first time in front of a large audience.
“My dad’s always trying to get me to get into sports or something more useful I guess, and this is a way to show that [magic] is worth it,” said Segovia.
“It means a lot, especially right now,” said musician Freddy Lopez of the show. He recently decided to become a full-time musician, a decision that has brought with it many challenges, especially financially.
Nevertheless, he hopes to continue, and hopes to be a role model to the younger contestants, although, “It might work both ways,” he said. “[They] might be a role model to me!”
“Hopefully they do it for many years to come,” said Guillon.