Celebrate Mayfair Launches with Fiesta Navideña

Posted by Mayfair in Blog on January 25, 2017

Children stomp on stage and sway folkloric dance steps from the Sinaloa region of Mexico. The cinnamon sweet smell of freshly made churros wafts  through the evening air. Youth and families pose for pictures in front of a freshly painted mural. These were some the sights and sounds of the inaugural Mayferia at the School of Arts and Culture at MHP on Friday December 9, 2016. Our December Mayferia event was the first in a series of community festivals presented as part of the the School of Arts and Culture’s year-long Celebrate Mayfair project.

Celebrate Mayfair is a unique community development project funded by the Knight and James Irvine foundations. This Celebrate Mayfair project is grounded in the belief that shared arts and cultural experiences can strengthen bonds between community members and help them to shape the future of their neighborhood.  

San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood is culturally rich and historically significant for many reasons. Cesar Chavez lived and organized his first boycott in the Mayfair. Colorful murals adorn many walls in the area telling the story of this dynamic and changing part of America’s 10th largest city. The Mayfair also has its share of challenges. One in three Mayfair residents live in poverty, and the neighborhood has become a city-identified “Gang Hot Spot.” Illegal dumping and graffiti also plague pockets of the community.

Over the course of the next 12 months, the School of Arts and Culture at MHP—in collaboration with community partners such as Somos Mayfair. Grail Family Services, Amigos de Guadalupe, and Veggielution—will facilitate activities aimed at celebrating the talent, beauty, and history of the Mayfair neighborhood. Through this process of empowerment and celebration, we hope to reinforce the pride, togetherness, and do-it-yourself mentality among residents of the Mayfair.

Celebrate Mayfair Programs and Events

Mayferia Events: Mayferia events will be showcases for local talent and a place for residents to learn about community resources. The upcoming dates for Mayferia event are March 19, July 21, and September 10. All events take place in 2017.

Beautifications: The School of Arts and Culture at MHP will be working with community stakeholder organizations and residents to identify and beautify three blighted areas in the Mayfair. The School will leverage its relationships with local artists to help transform spaces into inviting areas where residents will want to congregate.

Community Pride: In alignment with upcoming Mayferia events and community beatifications, the School of Arts and Culture will also facilitate a community pride marketing campaign. We will work with community stakeholder organizations to identify slogans and imagery that capture the beauty and vibrancy of the Mayfair

Resident Artist Program: We are looking for Mayfair residents who cook, create arts and crafts, sing, dance, draw, paint etc. Residents will be eligible for stipends to participate and exhibit at Mayferia events, as well as take part in professional development  seminars with established artists from across the Silicon Valley.

If you are interested in performing, vending, or participating in any of the upcoming Celebrate Mayfair project activities please contact Rosa Castañeda Celebrate Mayfair Community Liaison (rosa@celebratemayfair.org)