After years of exposure to the sun and weather, the original mural, which for decades became a familiar sight in the Berkeley-Oakland border is in an unrepairable state.
With the help of an Indiegogo campaign, La Peña plans to raise $17,000 by July 1st to commission a young group of muralists, who in consultation with the original ones will paint what they have called “A New Skin for La Peña Cultural Center.” Song of Unity, Cancion de la Unidad, the first 3D-collectively-painted mural in the Bay Area, will be carefully dismantled and stored.
Some ideas are already taking shape to have "Song of Unity" become an important part of La Peña’s history. New Mural to be unveiled on September 2012.
In 1978, the Song of Unity mural was painted in the facade of our Berkeley building by a group of inimitable artists as the first 3D-collectively-painted mural in the Bay Area. After years of exposure to the sun and weather, the original mural is in an unrepairable state. As a nonprofit organization, still committed to our mission of promoting peace, social justice and cultural understanding through the arts, education and community action, we have decided to invest in the future of La Peña by creating a new mural with a new generation of politically conscious artists. The old mural will be carefully dismantled and stored and we already are working with some ideas to reuse it and make it an important part of La Peña’s history.
We have now a great opportunity to bring into the fold a new generation of leaders in their field. Trust Your Struggle (TYS) is an artist collective of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art. They have produced gallery installations, live paintings, murals and arts education workshops with youth and community organizations since 2003. Some of the TYS muralists have been students of the original artists!
We need to raise $17,000 by July 1st so we can take down the old mural, purchase the materials, resurface the wall and pay artist fees and other related costs. Using new weatherproof and lighter materials and new special paints (Politech), Trust Your Struggle will create a 21st century mural that represents the concept that arts and culture can help cultivate social and political awareness and activism.
As for the original mural, it will be carefully dismantled and we are already exploring ideas for how it can be relocated to an interior space, preserving it as an historical East Bay landmark for future generations. We envision a day when you can visit La Peña and experience the transformation of our communities over a span of almost 40 years through the stories told within these two murals. The murals are the different skins of our organization and they change as we change.
Changing the street view of La Peña with a new mural will spark new interest in the neighborhood, and in us, as we continue to be a welcoming center for progressive communities to come together, and artists to teach and develop their message in collaboration with other artists. Murals have the power to change communities: once people see that they can change their visual environment, they see possibilities to change other things in their lives as well. In this way, the legacy of La Peña, as a home and a hub for cultural activism continues with each new generation. Our new mural represents only one of the many recent changes. Visit us online at La Peña to see what other changes we have undertaken (like renewing our lounge!).
What We Need
We need to raise $17,000 for this to happen. The actual cost of removing and creating of a new mural is much higher, but we have matching seed funding from the Fleishhacker Foundation and the East Bay Fund for Artists. These seed funds require that we raise matching dollars from many individuals like you. As a result, every dollar you give here is doubled in value! We need to reach our funding goal by July 1st so we can keep these seed funds and start working. We will use the money raised here to pay for taking down the mural, resurfacing the wall, paying artist fees, organizing community workshops and buying materials.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please help us getting the word out! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, check our Blog, tell your friends, spread the word! La Peña needs yours and everybody’s help to write this new chapter of our history. This is also your personal story, the story of art and cultural activism in the Bay Area and beyond.
La Peña Cultural Center is a 501 c 3 charity. If you do not have a PayPal account, for tax-deductible donations of $500 or above, please contact us at (510) 849-2568 or email Nicolás Cabrera at: nico[at]lapena.org so we can help you with your contribution.
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Jun 5th, 2012 1:51 PM