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StoryCorps: Paint and pride in the Mission

Mia Gonzalez and Linda Wilson


The Mission District is famous for its vibrantly colored murals, and some of the oldest murals can be found in Balmy Alley.

Mia Gonzalez started the mural project in the early '70s when the alley was a run down little street that connected 24th Street with nearby Precita Park. She wanted to make the alley safer for the kids who were walking through on their way to the park. What she didn't expect was that it would launch a new wave of women muralists working in a strong Chicana tradition. Gonzalez sat down in the StoryCorps booth with art archivist Linda Wilson to talk about change, paint and pride.

MIA GONZALEZ: We asked if it was okay for us to paint their fences. They thought it was a gimmick and we said no it wasn't.



Click the audio player above to listen to the conversation.


This story was produced by KALW's Lisa Bartfai and facilitated by Sophia Simon-Ortiz for StoryCorps San Francisco. If you want to interview a loved one for StoryCorps at the San Francisco Public Library, you can make an online reservation here.