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Mural Music & Arts Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Visual Arts

Mission: Educate, Empower & Inspire Youth through the Arts!

Target demographics: Youth between 10-18 years old living in traditionally under-served neighborhoods of San Francisco, East Palo Alto and the communities of the Peninsula

Programs: Teen Mural Program (TMP), Health Education through Art Program (HEArt), History through Hip Hop Program (HHH), Graffiti Arts Program (GAP), Public Art Consulting (PAC)

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MMAP came here to our site last summer for the first time. We were all unsure as to what we signed up for. It sounded exciting, Music, Mural Art? All the things we all enjoy.

Then it happened, the young people started coming through the doors and we became huge. An additional 25 to 30 people in our program! Shut the front door!

But it turned out to be a great summer. We had a good time getting to know one another and best of all we learned more about what MMAP is really about.

Besides it being a great opportunity for our youth to open up and express themselves in an environment that they may not normally have the opportunity, descriptions of what MMAP does for our young people begin with giving them an Education,

Opening up Communication, Exposing them to Accountability, Diversity, Community, Murals, Music, Art, Self Expression, Recognition, Youth Showcasing, Teamwork and Collaborations would be some of the words I would use to describe MMAP. Oh and Making Friends.

This summer proved to be even better. We are all more familiar and more comfortable with one another. The mural this year is bigger and it is beautiful!

We are very happy to have MMAP at our site and I believe we have developed a great partnership for the future. I am happy to announce that beginning this fall we will be a year round site for MMAP. We get to reap the benefits of such a great program and a fabulous team.

On behalf of the staff here at the Central Y we salute the MMAP staff for your courageous efforts, your great rapport with the youth and your outstanding talents.

Thank you for being here!

Laura N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MMAP has done so much for the community of East Palo Alto. I grew up in East Palo Alto, and I wish I had some of the programs that MMAP offers available when I was growing up. They are an amazing organization that truly cares about the community, and is constantly striving to both include the community, and grow as a whole. I am very fortunate to have become involved in MMAP, and will continue to support the organization in any way possible. You can see the impact that they are having on the youth, as they are becoming more involved in school, and they look forward to coming to the program and the different events. They are able to express themselves through many different artistic means, and the stuff they produce is amazing. This is a great organization and I cannot wait to see what they do next! .... (as I will be there to help them!)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a friend of Patrick Davenport, I was curious to learn more about the work being done by MMAP and needless to say, I am very impressed. While I did not grow up or live in East Palo Alto, I am quite heartened by the noble efforts of the program and more importantly, by the incredible results directly attributable to MMAP. In this difficult time and age, I find it uplifting to see such care, compassion, and true concern for the betterment for a community; I wish that my own community had such a focused effort, as MMAP is a true role model for others. I congratulate your organization on its success, and look forward to attending future events and supporting your efforts.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Impressed with how an artistic form that has received much negativism can productive extreme positive results, not only in the local community but nationally. The relationship between the EPA Police Department and MMAP proves what a dramatic difference people who care and have their commitment to the community can make.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my class on community-based art practices I have introduced students to The Music Mural & Arts Project. It is a model for organizations that build community capacity though artistic and creative processes.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MMAP speaks to kids in a language they understand. It bridges worlds and shows kids they can be part of more than one.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MMAP is the only program of its kind. MMAP brings art, light, creativity and social justice to the East Palo Alto community. !! Great work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MMAP is such a wonderful organization to work with. All of the staff and advisory board members are so passionate and committed to the mission of the program. The youth involved are all amazing individuals with so much to offer. I am always amazed at the sheer talent of every youth that I work with at each event. MMAP does an extraordinary job of providing mentorship opportunities for the youth involved in the organization in a fun and relevant medium that the youth can relate to. The Black History Month Event, for example, is a great annual event where law students from around the area coordinate to help put on a mural activity day in celebration of Black History Month. The event is filled with an activity for the youth, law students, professionals and professors to all do together. There are live performances from youth within MMAP and panels for the law students and youth.

Cesar T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became involved with MMAP with their NVIDIA murals last year. I was simply amazing how well organized they were with their mural making. They could easily direct huge teams of volunteers to make truly wonderful murals. Not only do place an amazing commitment to the design and execution, but they plan ahead to make sure their efforts last decades.





I worked with them in the HEArt program at the 49ers Academy. I feel the program made a large difference, not only in health and art education, but because often times it was a great outlet for the kids after school.





MMAP's work with their music program is truly amazing. So much talent lies hidden within the youth of the region, but MMAP really taps into that potential and makes it shine.





It is truly remarkable that this one organization has accomplished so much in the past couple of years. The leadership behind this organization is AWE-INSPIRING.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with MMAP has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Very rarely do you encounter a group of people so dedicated to improving their community. Not only do their murals and community projects bring light light and beauty to the Bay Area, but also demonstrate their dedication to leadership. I have seen first hand what an impact these wonderful role models have had on East Palo Alto's youth and their positive influence has been a blessing. To give this level of commitment to one's community requires a strong, virtuous individuals and MMAP is made up of just those kind of people!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The effort MMAP puts forth to reach out to the neighboring communities is truly something special. Bringing together young teenagers to work with one another and create something outstanding in the many areas MMAP focuses on is an act I am proud to say I experienced firsthand. Working with MMAP this past summer truly presented me with a meaningful experience, an experience I would not have found anywhere else!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is not a single organization that I have witnessed that has impacted the youth it serves in such a meaningful way. While many organizations look good on paper, few have the lasting effect that MMAP has. The high retention rate for both staff and students can be attributed to the personal style of the organization and the tangible passion that each participating member exudes. Staff works around the clock, bringing in minimal dollars for their work, in order to see actual change in the lives of their young folk. Whether it be college applications, job applications, interview prep, or simply hanging out, staff at MMAP show clearly how much they care and the youth respond in tremendous fashion. If more organizations had the passion that MMAP staff has, much more change would happen.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been witnessing the work that MMAP has been doing in East Palo Alto for a couple of years now, and they are truly one of the most consistent, creative and committed community arts youth organizations. As a professor at Stanford and Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, I am interested in the ways that community organizations interact with youth through the arts in order to inspire them to do great things - I have seen few models better than MMAP. Their work is outstanding and not only inspires many youth, but also inspires me to keep doing the work that I am doing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with MMAP has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had to date. I am so inspired by what the program has been able to achieve in such a short amount of time. Without MMAP, many of the youth that are served would not be exposed to such invaluable opportunities, including leading the research, design, installation, and unveiling of murals, as well as the production of musical projects and performances. These forms of creative expression leave a positive, lasting impact on their community.

The diverse youth of MMAP work with an equally diverse staff who have graduated from top colleges and universities, artists who have amazing accolades, and are able to engage in informative dialogue with community leaders and professionals, including professors from Stanford University, the Chief of the East Palo Alto Police Department, and Attorney General Kamala Harris. The skill sets that these youth develop during their time are absolutely vital to their development as citizens of change in their communities.

In MMAP, youth have a creative outlet that enables them to use their voices as powerful instruments. The program provides a safe space where youth can discover unknown talents and fearlessly explore their artistic pursuits. Unique to MMAP are the tangible outcomes it provides. Beyond innovative forms of art, youth culminate the program with something they can be proud of, as well as a future they look forward to entering.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Mural Music & Arts Project (MMAP) is the most fulfilling organization I've ever worked with. Working with MMAP does not feel like a job or a non-profit. It feels like working with a family and families constantly grow. This means that it is open to change and accepts new ways of teaching and new ways of knowing. MMAP is a place that allows you to educate and inspire in creative and even unorthodox methods that I believe need to be instituted in the public schools. I served as a history and art instructor under the "History Through Hip-Hop" branch. In the early 2000s it was not common place to see Hip-Hop as genuinely academic. Back in high school, I had to really push the administration to acknowledge a Hip-Hop history essay, album, concert, and documentary as a legitimate senior project. A couple years after my graduation, I was at Stanford University looking for a summer job where I could use my passion for the arts and Hip-Hop to teach the youth in the local East Palo Alto community. I had just about given up my dream until I was referred to what was then called the East Palo Alto Mural Arts Project. I was brought on board to a new branch, History Through Hip Hop, that was intended to teach literary techniques, music production, and hip-hop history to middle school and high school students. It was a dream encounter to say the least. Over the next 7 years, we expanded the small branch into a full fledged program, mentoring hundreds of local youth, building a professional recording studio, recording albums, performing at events around the bay, and establishing a youth run blog. It was great yet tough to hear them say that they wished History Through Hip-Hop was how school was. It was great to hear that our youth dreamed about a Hip-Hop education system but tough to hear that their experience in school was so lousy. MMAP allowed me to teach how I thought the youth would understand, through rhyme. In class, we used language that would both reach them and challenge them, mixing vernacular with SAT words. It was very important to me that I had the freedom to do this and MMAP allowed me to mold the culture of the program. And that is what a family allows as well. As family's expand, new cultures are wedded together and the larger family is molded in new ways. This is how it feels at MMAP. You have a voice; you have a way. If there is one phrase that sums up MMAP, I'd have to quote Kanye West and say, "This is family business."

Angela R.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I'm an Advisory Board member of MMAP and have been involved with the organization since 2001. MMAP is family to me. I believe all those that are involved in the organization will speak the same. Not only does this organization inspire youth through the arts, but it also creates additional family support for youth that need it most.

This organization is not only about outcomes, but also about creating a support system for everyone involved. At it's core, MMAP is about a love for the arts and love of community. I'm truly honored to be a part of such a fantastic organization and proud of the work we have done in the lives of the youths and the communities we've served.

Olatunde S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

If MMAP was a tech company, it would be Apple - innovate, cool, powerfully-led (shout out to Sonya, Eug & crew) and most importantly, a life-changing experience. Once you a part of MMAP, you go all-in. I started with the Teen Mural Program, fell in love with the youth, the ideas, the leadership, the artwork and now I commit nearly all of my time and thought to pushing the mission of MMAP forward. This is a worthy cause, a worthy company. MMAP's programs are like Apple's products, if you don't know, you better ask somebody!
P.S. I am now a staff member of MMAP, but didn't have that option on "your role." :)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MMAP not only provided me an exciting and rewarding work experience, it also gave me a second home and family. The culture of love and support that is practiced and promoted is truly unique and has an incredible impact on the many communities that it serves. From mural's to performances, to curriculum and workshops MMAP does every thing in its power to encourage and benefit the youth. I am proud to have been a part of it, and happy to know that I will always be family. The leadership skills, relationships, and experiences I gained are enough for a lifetime.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began my relationship with MMAP as a junior undergrad. I currently volunteer as a classroom assistant for HEArt and a drama instructor for HHH. I have always been amazed and honored at the level of responsibility that program directors have given me. They are helpful and encouraging as I grow into my role within the organization.

I am glad to volunteer at MMAP and would encourage others to do the same. The youth are inspiring and the staff is supportive! You will get out more than you put in.