This American Life
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Cary Cordova on the Mission District's Artistic and Political Heritage

51 min
at 10:00 AM
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Murals are seen December 23, 2006 on Balmy Alley in San Francisco's Mission District.  (Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

In her new book “The Heart of the Mission: Latino Art and Politics in San Francisco,” Cary Cordova explores a cultural renaissance that started in the Mission District in the late 1960s and continued through the ‘90s. The art, then as now, mixed with politics often. Early iterations of the now-popular Día de los Muertos procession mourned victims of AIDS and wars in Central America. A popular 1974 mural critiqued its own corporate sponsor, while other muralists worked with the Black Panthers. Cordova joins us to discuss the book, and how the Mission of today is responding to the rise of the tech industry, a shortage of affordable housing and rapid gentrification.


Cary Cordova, author, “The Heart of the Mission: Latino Art and Politics in San Francisco”