Cultural Preservation

 Dia de los Muertos Procession 1977, Evergreen Cemetary, Boyle Heights, CA

Dia de los Muertos Procession 1977, Evergreen Cemetary, Boyle Heights, CA


Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) recognizes and acknowledges that these lands are Tongva territories and the space at which SHG resides was first called Apachiagna and is currently known as Boyle Heights.

Our work honors the living history and the current struggles of the Tongva, Chumash, and Tataviam, the original peoples of this land and the first displaced by colonialism. The programs provided by SHG serve to usher our communities closer to equity and to reclaim, recover, redeem, and restore cultures and traditions through the arts.

As a cultural bridge to the past, present, and future, SHG inspires the creation and promotion of new works by Chicana/o and Latinx artists using experimental and innovative printmaking techniques and other visual art forms and media. SHG is the intersection where arts and community meet, providing a forum for local and international artists to thrive. SHG promotes a value system that encourage spirituality and creative heart, inclusion, social consciousness, innovation, integrity and accessibility.

A former redlined neighborhood, Boyle Heights experienced blight and disinvestment for decades before today’s market made it the hottest real estate in the country.  We acknowledge the accelerated process of gentrification in Boyle Heights and across Los Angeles that puts our community, including artists, at risk of displacement, banishment and removal. As an arts-based organization, our approach to this issue is to ensure that our community has a permanent anchor on the eastside through stewardship of our home, continue to provide resources and reflect our culture to the wider community in perpetuity. We will champion efforts that take a systemic change approach to prevent displacement of families and small businesses and look to examples like Oakland's Black Cultural Zone, San Francisco’s Legacy Business Registry and Preservation Fund  and Community Arts Stabilization Trust.

A 2017 report by PolicyLink finds that arts and culture are essential components of “an equity framework” because they “reflect the assets of communities and enable cohesion” in a diverse nation. “The tools of arts and culture can accelerate equity” by building opportunities to a broader network and mitigate displacement and alienation of residents, particularly in the context of redevelopment. SHG supports a thriving community and brings and promotes economic relief and benefit to a broad range of constituents, sharing economic prosperity. 

We look forward to continue working with our extended SHG family, community members, partners and decision makers to address gentrification, displacement and the variety of issues spurred by inequitable investments.

In solidarity,

Self Help Graphics & Art