DJ Femme Papi at Acción Latina: The ’80s Matter in the Mission opening event; photo: Nick DeRenzi

PACHANGA: The ’80s Matter in the Mission

Acción Latina Community Residency

Related Exhibition Acción Latina: The ’80s Matter in the Mission

Thursday, Apr 6, 2023

5–8 p.m.

Koret Education Center, Floor 2

Free and open to the public; museum admission is not required.

This event occurs on a First Thursday, when museum admission is free for Bay Area residents.

Join us for an evening of live music, film, and spoken word in celebration of Acción Latina: The ’80s Matter in the Mission, an exhibition paying tribute to the organizers and artists who lived and worked in the Mission District in the 1980s. Check out a new installation by artist Tanya Orellana, hear from filmmaker Vero Majano and writer Norman Zelaya, shop at booths featuring local vendors, and enjoy performances from Afro-Colombian Marimba band Neblinas del Pacífico, among other attractions!

Co-curated by Fátima Ramírez + Paul S. Flores.


5–6 p.m. Vendor booths open in Helen and Charles Schwab Hall, Floor 2

5:30–6 p.m. DJ La Femme Papi

6:05–6:10 p.m. Talk: Tanya Orellana

6:10–6:30 p.m. Poetry reading: Nina Serrano

6:35–7 p.m. Film screening: Why I Ride: Low and Slow film, co-directed by Vero Majano and Debra Koffler

7:15–7:30 p.m. Reading: Norman Zelaya

7:30–8 p.m. Performance: Neblinas del Pacifico

About the participants

Vendor booths will feature Mission Native, San Fam, Meztli, Chris “L7” Cuadrado, and Audrey Castro.

DJ La Femme Papi is a queer Salvadoreñx DJ from San Francisco centering femmes & fhems/QTIPOC/immigrants.

Tanya Orellana designs performance spaces for theater and opera. Originally from San Francisco, she has been a core member of the award-winning ensemble Campo Santo since 2008, participating in their intimate new work process conceptualizing and designing sets alongside the writing process. Her design collaborations include the world premiere of The Heath, by Lauren Gunderson directed by Sean Daniels at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (Lowell, MA), the Mexican premiere of Angels in America directed by Martín Acosta at Teatro Juan Ruiz de Alarcón (Mexico City, MX), The Industry’s Sweet Land, a world premiere opera, directed by Yuval Sharon and Cannupa Hanska Luger at L.A. State Historic Park, Native Gardens by Karen Zacarias directed by Rebecca Rivas at TheatreSquared (Fayetteville, AR), SAPO by Culture Clash at The Getty Villa (Los Angeles, CA), Casa de Spirits written and directed by Roger Guenveur Smith at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum (San Francisco, CA) and Dry Powder directed by Jennifer King at Aurora Theatre (Berkeley, CA). Orellana received her MFA in Scenic Design from CalArts (2017) and is the 2016 recipient of the Princess Grace Fabergé Theatre Award. Her design work on Angels in America was presented in the U.S. Emerging Designers Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial 2019. She is a member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and USA Local 829, and is an organizing member of La Gente: The Latinx Theatre Design Network.

Nina Serrano, who was born in 1934 in New York City in the middle of the Great Depression, learned that hard times are struggle times when people have to come together and help each other. She grew up in Latino and other immigrant communities with deep personal and cultural connections. These roots inspire her creative work about women and Latino-American culture and interest in portraying characters seeking their own path to change and creative fulfillment through social justice activism. Serrano’s journey to a life as a writer went through many artistic phases, including training in theater, studying anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, and travelling with student peace groups to forbidden Soviet Russia and revolutionary China during the Cold War in the 1950s. While raising a family and teaching, Serrano has worked in theater, radio, and film. She helped make movies about Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Salvador Allende’s Chile, and Sandinista’s Nicaragua. In Cuba, she met Salvadorean-exiled poet Roque Dalton and they co-authored a TV drama about the folkloric Dalton Gang and saw it produced on Cuban television. This instantly made her a writer. Serrano’s writing, poetry, and radio broadcasts express the inspiration gained in her support for human rights, peace, and social justice within the Latinx-American culture and traditions over the decades and across the continents.

In the eighties, in San Francisco’s Mission district on Friday and Saturday nights, the streets would be packed with a parade of candy-apple paint and shiny chrome, lowriders cruising up and down Mission Street, whose sidewalks were filled with young Latinos and other spectators who came for the weekend ritual to gather, socialize, and dance to oldies. Through lowriding, young Latinos expressed cultural pride and claimed their public space, which became threatened by police harassment when anti-lowrider traffic laws changed the dynamics of the community. Why I Ride: Low and Slow (2010) takes you on a cruise with the Mission District’s original lowriders who reminisce and tell their own story of organizing resistance to San Francisco City Hall for their rights to public space, inspiring the founding of La Raza Park and a new generation of community activists. This film, a moving photo album documenting local history, features rare 16mm footage shot by the Mission Mediarts crew in the early eighties.
Total run time: 25:00
Produced by: Conscious Youth Media Crew + the Ray Balberan Mission Mediarts Archive
Co-Directed by: Debra Koffler + Vero Majano

Norman Antonio Zelaya was born and raised in San Francisco. He has published stories in ZYZZYVA, NY Tyrant, 14 Hills, Cipactli, Apogee Journal, among others, and he was a 2015 Zoetrope: All-Story finalist. He is a founding member of Los Delicados, and has performed extensively throughout the United States with them. Zelaya has appeared on stage, in film, and in the squared circle as luchador, Super Pulga. Currently, he lives and works in San Francisco’s Mission District as a special education teacher. Orlando & Other Stories is his first published book.

Marimba de chonta music was developed by Black and Indigenous communities in the Pacific Coast of Colombia and Ecuador. It is a music of spirituality and everyday life, of celebration and resistance; a joyful community experience featuring powerful percussion, dynamic polyrhythms, and interwoven multi-part harmonies. Neblinas del Pacífico hail from Colombia, the Bay Area, and Canada/Holland/Indonesia, and are based in La Mission and East Oakland. They study and share this music in the spirit of respect and solidarity with the maestrxs and communities who are the guardians of this music.

Acción Latina is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 that is dedicated to promoting cultural arts, community media, and civic engagement as a way of building healthy and empowered Latinx communities.

Accessible seating is available at this event.

Major support for education and public programs associated with Pan American Unity and Diego Rivera’s America is provided by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

Major support for First Thursdays is provided by the Hearst Foundations, illy, and United Airlines.

Generous support is provided by Nancy and Alan Schatzberg and Kay Harrigan Woods.

Additional support is provided by the Kelson Foundation and Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.