The second annual MOCA Community Day at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is centered around the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. We invite our communities to join together for a day of service, discussion, and creative activation around this urgent topic impacting our city and its citizens. This year’s focus is the youth population affected by the crisis, and how creative experiences can spark change. Presented in partnership with My Friend’s Place, Skid Row Housing Trust, and Subliminal Projects, with additional partners to be announced, Community Day features performances, information booths, workshops, and activities over the course of the day.
Skid Row Housing Trust
Skid Row Housing Trust provides permanent supportive housing so that people who have experienced homelessness, prolonged extreme poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction can lead safe, stable lives in wellness. Now in its 30th year, the Trust has 26 buildings in LA County, 24 of which are in Downtown LA with 3 more in construction in Skid Row. Nearly 2,000 people currently call a Trust community their home. When a new resident moves into a Skid Row Housing Trust apartment, Peer Advocates greet that resident with a Welcome Home Kit filled with the essentials to start a new chapter right–sheets, bath and kitchen towels, pots and pans, dish soap, laundry detergent, utensils, plates, etc. But it’s the personal touches that make it special. MOCA Community Day attendees are asked to write a welcome home letter congratulating the resident on their move in, and sharing words of encouragement as they move into this next step of breaking the cycle of homelessness for good.
Piece by Piece
A partner with Skid Row Housing Trust, Piece by Piece provides low-income and formerly homeless people free mosaic art workshops using recycled materials to develop marketable skills, self-confidence, earned income and an improved quality of life. With the help of MOCA Community Day attendees, Piece by Piece will create mosaic picture frames for residents who are moving out of homelessness and into their forever home at a Skid Row Housing Trust community. The Trust provides Welcome Home Kits to new residents moving in and Piece by Piece’s masterful, heartfelt frames will be a welcome surprise in the kits to truly help someone feel at home.
My Friend's Place
For more than 30 years, My Friend's Place has been working to assist and inspire homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. My Friend’s Place began in 1988 as a volunteer-led, mobile meal program that distributed sack lunches to homeless youth in Hollywood. Today, My Friend’s Place has grown into a dynamic resource center offering robust programming to meet the existing and emerging needs of more than 1,400 young people ages 12 to 25 experiencing homelessness each year, helping them move toward lives of wellness, stability and self-sufficiency. Sewing Workshops at My Friend's Place are held twice weekly and promote creative engagement for the youth community. Youth often attend to mend a backpack or pants, and that in turn leads to learning the foundations of sewing. Three amazing instructors teach the basics of hand and machine sewing, working side-by-side with young people to envision creative hand-made and fashion-based projects. MOCA Community Day visitors will get to try their hand at sewing during our workshop pop-up, working alongside some of our talented instructors and youth.
The Corner Collective
Most of the finished projects from the sewing workshop are sold in the small social enterprise at My Friend's Place, called The Corner Collective. Driven by the creative energy of young people engaged in programming at My Friend’s Place, The Corner Collective is an income-generating enterprise that offers youth experiencing homelessness an opportunity to build skills, engage in self-expression through a variety of mediums, and earn income through their creative endeavors. Eighty percent of each item purchased from The Corner Collective goes directly to the young artist, while the remaining twenty percent supports creative programming for more than 700 young people each year at My Friend’s Place. Be sure and stop by the special Corner Collective Pop-Up Shop at MOCA Community Day to shop one-of-a-kind art and design pieces!
Self Help Graphics & Art
Founded in 1973 in the heart of East Los Angeles, Self Help Graphics & Art is dedicated to the production, interpretation, and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latina/o artists. Our multi-disciplinary, inter-generational programs promote artistic excellence and empower our community by providing access to space, tools, training and capital. Join Self Help Graphics & Art's Barrio Mobile Art Studio (BMAS) in creating mono-silkscreened posters responding with creative initiatives for change. Founded in 1974 and re-launched in 2014, BMAS takes art creation to the streets with arts programming that features both youth and multi-generational workshops.
Subliminal Projects is a multi-functional project space and gallery established by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin in 1995 as a way to introduce skateboard culture and design to the art world. The concept grew and found roots later in Los Angeles, at a time when many artists found themselves shut out by the art scene. Subliminal Projects will host a workshop titledFolk Medic, led by Los Angeles artists, Ako Castuera, Kris Chau, and Hellen Jo, an extension of their successful 2018 three woman exhibition at Subliminal Projects. This program is a meditation on mask and zine making, providing accessible artistic ways for young people to connect and share their personal experience with each other, underscoring the idea that we are not isolated but on a collective path.
About the Artists:
Kris Chau is a first generation Vietnamese Chinese American from Honolulu, Hawaii whose parents are Refugees from the Vietnam War. Her work is an ever-evolving language of symbolism gathered from different cultures and mythologies, as well as the healing arts of just painting your questions, answers, hurts, and joys.
Ako Castuera is an Okinawan-Mexican American artist from Los Angeles. Her sculptures combine animal, human, botanical and architectural elements suggesting a world of fluid borders and intangible connections. She is also known for her work as a storyboard artist and writer on the television show Adventure Time.
Hellen Jo is a second generation Korean American from South San Jose; she has been living in Los Angeles for eight years. Her work depicts sullen, disaffected teenage girls in paintings, comics, and illustration. She has a special fascination for the AZN schoolyard bullies of her late nineties adolescence.