Self Help Graphics & Art 2017 Year End Report
Dear SHG Family and Friends,
The Self Help Graphics & Art Board and Staff are grateful for what has been a powerful year. We kicked off 2017 with a collaborative poster-making event for the historic Women’s March, and we close the year with our Día de los Muertos exhibition that reconsiders the history and aesthetics of this cultural celebration at SHG. As part of the Getty’s PST: LA/LA region-wide initiative, we demonstrate the vital role that SHG plays in bridging Latin America and Los Angeles. These types of programs reflect SHG’s role as a gathering space that nurtures creativity at all levels and promotes community healing.
This year has been testament to the direction set forth by the implementation of a five-year strategic plan. Our board and staff have grown in size and we are poised to call Boyle Heights our permanent home; giving SHG the ability to better support and provide a pathway to economic sustainability for artists who hone their practice here and the youth who are learning the skills necessary to thrive in Los Angeles’ workforce today.
As we watch and react to the rhetoric of hate at a national level, we’re also experiencing the effects of a quickly changing and developing Boyle Heights neighborhood. The pressures of the real estate market are pushing out our long-time neighbors through skyrocketing rents, harassment and fear tactics to make way for more affluent tenants who can and will pay more. We are not immune to these forces. As many of you know, SHG was displaced from its longtime home on Cesar Chavez Blvd precisely because increased rent was no longer sustainable or fiscally responsible for the organization. It is the reason why we returned to our original neighborhood of Boyle Heights seven years ago, and it is the reason SHG’s board of directors and staff are making it a priority to purchase our building. Ownership removes the risk of SHG being displaced again. It means the permanency of a cultural anchor that reflects our Chicana/o and Latina/o community. By purchasing the building, we focus on our mission as a training ground for artists, and nurture the creative and civic voice of our community.
Looking ahead to 2018, Self Help Graphics & Art will celebrate 45 years of building community and resiliency through the arts. We invite you to join us in our celebrations of this benchmark year and see our anniversary exhibition at California State University, Los Angeles.
Thank you for valuing the role SHG plays in supporting the creativity and collective healing of our community, bridging generations of people through cultural programming and being part of a wider network of support in the Eastside of Los Angeles, and the city and county at large.
Karen Mary Davalos Betty Avila Joel Garcia
Board Chair Co-Director Co-Director