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About

In 1988, our co-founders, Jill Vialet and Mary Marx committed to bringing arts education programs to East Bay schools and communities. MOCHA’s presence is felt in disinvested communities, in public and private schools, in libraries, and at our Oakland based studios and gallery.

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Using the power of art as a learning tool, MOCHA collaborates with artists, educators, parents, and students. Arts education is a vital part of young people’s social, emotional, and cultural development. Over the years, MOCHA has enhanced the lives of nearly a million children with hands-on art learning experiences through our school, community, and museum programming. We have witnessed the transformative impact of art on children’s creative thinking, cognitive development, and sense of belonging.

As a result of MOCHA’s intimate relationship with the larger East Bay community, we have seen first hand the enormous impact and psychic injury that crime has inflicted on innocent young people caught in its collateral crossfire. We recognize a new approach is necessary to deploy our art education resources for purposes of intervention and prevention. Art administered early and often is a vital ingredient required for emotional stability.

Our mission has expanded to deliver on our community’s most recent needs.

As a member, MOCHA is concerned about how rising rates of violence are affecting our children. We feel passionately that art plays a critical role in mending communities by generating opportunities to create, share, and connect in constructive ways.

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MOCHA is a cultural institution uniquely suited for this civic duty because we reach youth at an early age and can harness the power of art to heal and renew their emotional state. Where there are no words, art can articulate.

There is a revolution going on in art education, and again MOCHA is leading the charge! We will maintain and grow partnerships with local schools and libraries. Our core value of being in service to children—and providing them with the highest quality teaching artists—will always come first. Now we feel it is time to take our collaborative museum and outreach programs to a higher level of interaction.

We are reinventing the type of museum we are. In an effort to engage our connection with our community and to produce a dialogue through arts education, MOCHA is an innovative participatory museum seeking to cultivate the intelligence, passion, and energy needed for a thriving, diverse society.

 

Racial Equity in Action

MOCHA is dedicated to supporting children and families from BIPOC populations, therefore it is critical that our Board of Directors, Staff, Teaching Artists, and leadership are representative of the communities we serve. We embrace the power of art to inspire diverse youth, overturn white supremacist culture, and build towards the
liberation of our entire human family.

In March 2019, MOCHA reaffirmed equity, creativity & integrity, relationships, and solutions as our core values. MOCHA is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity. For over 30 years, we have sought out individuals from BIPOC & LGBTQ+ communities with differences in life experiences and unique capabilities to fill roles on our board, executive suite, staff, and teaching artist team. A significant part of our culture, reputation, and achievements come from our employees’ and board’s investment in MOCHA’s work and vision. MOCHA’s curriculum design includes cultural references, awareness, and engagements tailored to the student population being served.

We celebrate our MOCHA family’s difference in age, color, differently abled, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics. MOCHA’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are applicable, but not limited to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection, including community partnerships.