Fundraiser benefits classes for young artists
By Jorn Anderson
As a part of its continuing commitment to showcase Latino art in San Francisco, The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts held its first annual Youth Fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 4.
The fundraiser, which showcased youth classes taught by the MCCLA, was put on to help raise money for the youth program and raise awareness about the art being done by Latino youth in the community.
“Everyone seemed to be having a great time and enjoying the performances,” said Brett Desser, whose girlfriend was there to support her sister. “The money went towards a good cause, too.”
Tickets for the fundraiser were $10.
The event also featured special performances from the Mission Youth Theatre Troop and the MCCLA’s youth band Futoro Picante.
People who attended were also treated to live dancing and martial arts demonstrations.
“It’s a great way to support local art,” said Samuel Hicks, a resident of San Francisco. “It’s awesome to come out and see what these kids have been doing.”
Hicks, 20, has art-loving younger brother who lives in Pleasanton, California. Hicks says that after growing up with a sibling who lived for the arts, he couldn’t help but be drawn to the local youth art scene in San Francisco.
“It’s almost ingrained in me,” Hicks joked.
The MCCLA’s youth after school program focuses on children and teenagers ages 5 to 17, and attempts to give the youth a cultural art experience in a safe environment.
The program’s philosophy is that art is an intricate part of a youth’s development, and is crucial for a youth to become a well-rounded individual.
“Through our art, dance and music classes, we hope children and teenagers will develop a sense of cultural pride and awareness, regardless of where you come from,” said Jose Leon, youth program coordinator. (From official website)
Leon also believes the MCCLA’s youth classes give its attendees more self-confidence and a sense of creativity and leadership.
Besides its youth program, the MCCLA offers more than 40 different classes for adults every week, with classes ranging from Latin dance and art to music and printmaking. The cost to attend of most classes ranges from $2 to $12.
The MCCLA was founded 31 years ago by artists and community activists in the Mission who wished to promote and foster Latino arts and give an outlet to the traditions of Latino culture.
Its goal is to make art accessible to the community and make it essential for the Mission’s development and well-being.