Illustration by Todd Berman

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 20, cultural arts organizations on 24th Street presented an online streaming version of their Paseo Artístico event, organized by Acción Latina, “Mujerx En Acción/Womxn Who Lead.”

Through the different presentations, one could see the network that exists between all the co-hosting organizations, and the intergenerational mentorships that helped make the Mission District the creative juggernaut we all love.

All of the images here are 8.5” x 5.5” or 8.5” x 11” and drawn in marker and pencil on paper, created in real-time during the event by Todd Berman.

The Paseo Artístico event was hosted by Fatima Ramirez, interim executive director of Acción Latina, who noted that all of the featured artists were using their creativity to “envision making this world a better place,” and superstar contemporary street artist DJ Agana (aka Vanessa Espinoza).

First, Agana walked over to the window display of Brava Theater, joining Lucia Ippolito to show off Ippolito’s new portrait of the first presenter, Lucia Alicia. We got to see Alicia’s surprised reaction to seeing a painting by one of her students. Kate Razo, the owner of Alley Cat Books, who gave the official introduction to Alicia’s artist talk. Alicia showed us a slide show and told stories about her decades of work as a muralist and painter. 

Mayela Carrasco of Loco Bloco made the next introduction, bringing on Metzi Quetzal of Fogo Na roupa. Quetzal fell into a leadership role with the Brazilian Carnaval dance and percussion company, and now uses that role “to nurture” and “to raise up immigrant women like me.”

Next, Tania Santiago of AfroBrazilian Dance added to the discussion of leadership, noting that “a mother is a leader.”

Krissy Keefer, director of Dance Brigade/Dance Mission, and artistic and executive director of Dance Mission Theater, was introduced by Stella Adelman, managing director of Dance Mission Productions. Keefer uses her art “to articulate an analysis through dance and song,” which is an outlook she imparts on her students in the Girl Brigade.

Sylvia Sherman of Community Music Center, and rising sensation/San Francisco musician La Doña, introduced a recorded performance (with a large grid of videos) by the SFUSD Mariachi Program and a discussion of the program by Ariane Cortez and Martha Rodriguez Salazar. The Mariachi Program has been notably successful at bringing culturally relevant arts education with strong community connections to our public schools. Cortez said, “I knew this music would connect with my students,” and Salazar noted that the program proves that, “Music is intergenerational,” and “Music is our way of saying, ‘WE ARE NOT ALONE.’”

Barbara Jane Reyes gave a reading of her poetry from “Letters to a Young Brown Girl” on behalf of Acción Latina. Her words and reading were fraught and powerful and touching.  

Julia Barzizza, education director of Precita Eyes, introduced the Twin Walls muralists, Elaine Chu & Marina Perez Wong, who spoke about their work together focusing how they “infiltrated the institution” to paint a new mural at SF MOMA. Then, Precita Eyes Tour Coordinator Patricia Rose gave us a guided walk of some of the powerful women portrayed in the murals of Balmy Alley.

Maya Holm, program & communications manager of Zero1, introduced media artists Cheyenne Concepción and Camila Magrane to talk about their individual art practices and their new collaborative Marble & Media project, which is about to launch in Golden Gate Park. We will be able to use augmented reality to see how a collection of artists will add context to some of San Francisco’s public monuments.

Alba Lluch, production manager for Brava For Women in the Arts, introduced Brava’s technical director, Carlie Mari, who performed her original song “Sucralose.”

You can get to know and be inspired by these women yourself by watching the whole event on the Paseo Artístico Facebook page.   The videos are here.

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