How San Francisco helped Meklit Hadero find her voice

Here at the Red Poppy Art House, we are inspired by the budding artist community that’s right in our neighborhood, our home, the Mission. An area vibrant and filled with art of all shapes and sizes. I’ve been combing through some old memories recently, and came across this article about my dear friend, Meklit Hadero, a former Red Poppy Director, TED Global Fellow and one of our many beloved performers who also calls the Red Poppy her artistic home. I think this article really serves as a bea...
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Adrian Arias: Addicted

Adrian Arias, local poet, visual and performing artist visited the Poppy to offer the Professional Development Track a taste of his addiction. Limes. Limes for ceviche. Limes spread on the table. A lime in Adrian’s hand. He walked around the room and beckoned its scent by scraping his nail against the peel. One by one, each person sniffed the lime in his hand. In 2002, Ceviche became an art piece. Why art? Art is to “create an aesthetic, [to] share [a] vision of beauty with somethin...
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Don’t Rush to Follow the Lines

Caleb Duarte leads a figure drawing class for the Poppy’s Professional Development Track. It started with a conversation: everyone standing around the kitchen, drinking their respective coffees and teas. Then it migrated over to the main room. We had to bring in fold-up chairs as the usual comfy chairs everyone knows at the Poppy were placed in an art-piece, stacked against, with, and on top of each other as a sculpture in front of the red double doors. We sat in a circle in the main r...
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The Code of a 21st Century Museum as Lived and Labored by the DeYoung’s Coordinator of Public Programs

Photo of David Hockney’s drawings in the DeYoung’s 2013 A Bigger Exhibition There’s been a code written. What does a 21st century museum want to be? As transmuted by Renee Baldocchi, Coordinator of Public Programs at the DeYoung Museum, a 21st century museum aims to have audience engagement, create collaborative partnerships, spread information in a multi-directional manner, encourage purposeful learning outcomes, enhance knowledge, and stay open to what is new. Baldocchi began her visit ...
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A Long Road

Indira Urrutia, co-founder of Mi Cultura Art Project, visited the Poppy’s Professional Development Track to share photos of her epic journey. An image of the bicycles Indira and Marc rode on their four year journey Currently the co-founder of Mi Cultura Art Project, a company that travels to bring artistic education to youth across the Bay Area, Indira Urrutia has taken a long journey to fulfill her life’s passion. Much of what she shared with the Poppy was a particular epic journey she and he...
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We Are Acting

Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, associate professor at USF, visited the Professional Development Track during March’s evening session to discuss how performance-based art can engage and transform society. Image from a performance in Serbia as seen in Acting Together Roberto Gutiérrez Varea has been studying theater because of his belief that art can bring transformation. Why else, he cited, would artists be disappeared in his native South America if art did not have transformation power? There is ...
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Puberty: An interview with Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow

Puberty: An interview with Caleb Duarte and Mia Eve Rollow, who take on the position of one of the Poppy’s newest debuts.     The Red Poppy Art House has transformed. Yes, the inside of the physical space looks quite different, with what was known as “the coffin”- founder Todd Thomas Brown’s old peekaboo bed/the Poppy’s corner table - was traded for an ADA accessible entryway. But that is not the only transformation the Red Poppy has taken on this year. The directorial position at the Poppy has...
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Nourishing Artistic Roots

  A look into a project that feeds the creative soul of those suffering from chronic and complex conditions.  Below a grey, San Francisco, summer sky on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, a group of staff from the Red Poppy Art House had the pleasure of sitting with Sasha Silveanu, the Director of Community Engagement at Anne Bluenthenthal and Dance (ABD). Drops from the sky trickled sporadically onto our heads, leaping from our hair and nourishing the wood around us. Silveanu sat upright like a ba...
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A Fan Turned Volunteer

Most who become involved in the Poppy would agree that the place is special- it is homey, it is full of love and it contains an inimitable spirit. Nancy Appel, a volunteer with the Poppy since 2009 says that the word volunteer is fine, but “that doesn’t necessarily connote the degree of attachment.” One fateful show five years ago, Nancy took the Poppy folks seriously when they said “We’re always looking for volunteers.” “I don’t create art,” Nancy admits. “I conceived this was an artistic c...
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Listening is Teaching

Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, a cultural worker in Santa Fe, N.M. , joined PRESENCE , the Red Poppy Art House Development Cohort, on July 30 to discuss authenticity and education. Photo Credit: Ash Haywood Long dark dreadlocks frame a face holding deep brown eyes and an open, full-lipped smile. Taking risks backpacking through Mexico with her children and accepting a nonprofit directorial position, Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz is on a never-ending quest for authenticity. She uncovered that her vulnerabi...
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The Men Who Gave Name to the Art House

The Red Poppy Art House, named so after lines from Pablo Neruda’s poetry, was graced by an old friend and the spearhead of the first English language feature-length documentary about Pablo Neruda. “There is a natural impulse, a natural vocation, a natural calling that a poet feels,” relayed Mark Eisner, editor of “The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems,” a man dedicated to uncovering and sharing Neruda’s life and influence, and a member of the Red Poppy family since its infancy. Eisner, also th...
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Funding: The Great Taboo

Nancy Quinn, creator of “The Quinn List,” offers her expertise on creating relationships and speaking on behalf of one’s art and arts organization. On July 16, PRESENCE, the Red Poppy Art House Development Cohort, convened around a canvas-turned-table and welcomed their guest, Nancy Quinn. Quinn has over 25 years of grant writing experience, with a focus on small organizations. One may wonder what exactly does small mean? A small staff? A small physical space? Or a small budget? In the case o...
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Resident Artist Tiffany Austin discusses “The Beat Down” on Running the Voodoo Down

Interested in learning more about our Resident Artist, Tiffany Austin? Listen to her talk about the glitzy, glamourous and not-so-glamorous moments that have shaped her career on a podcast interview with Running the Voodoo Down. In an episode titled "The Beat Down," Tiffany and other artists talk about an experience all musicians share - getting your butt kicked onstage - and share their thoughts on being out of your element and getting by. Searching for the spirit of the sounds that move...
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“Edutainment” at the Red Poppy Art House

On June 21, 2014 Candice “Antique” Wicks facilitated a performance workshop at The Red Poppy Art House on recognizing and channeling relational privilege. Candice “Antique” Wicks is an “edutator,” one who blends education with entertainment. Last week, Wicks led a room of workshop attendees into an exploration of how the “text of our lives” shapes our relationships. According to discoveries by neurophysicist Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti and scientist Dr. Laila Craighero, the chemicals in one’s ...
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Notes of History Rendered Into Melodies of the Future

  Marcus Shelby inspires PRESENCE, the Red Poppy Art House Development Cohort, with his artistic process and snippets of his life’s journey. Following an hour of discussion, Marcus Shelby, composer, teacher, bassist, and Artist In Residence at Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, sat down to play the piano placed against the red curtain and evoked Duke Ellington’s “On A Turquoise Cloud.” Immediately after, his iPod was plugged into the speakers and PRESENCE, the Red Poppy Art House Devel...
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Poppy Mornings

Someone asked me the other day what it means to work at the Poppy? Well my response went something like this... Every Wednesday morning we meet. In between the hugs and the catching up we manage to conduct a meeting about the Poppy and more importantly the space as a whole. This is the best part of my week: the breakfast I get to share with these people and the discussions we have. The Poppy is sort of like our unruly child, something that we manage, plan, negotiate and tinker with week by ...
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Keeping the Poppy in San Francisco…

 Greetings Poppy Family,    If you are a fan of the Red Poppy Art House, then this is an important message for you to read.   We've been pouring our hearts and minds into the labor of bringing you the best artistic programming that we are able to offer here in the Bay Area. Now we need you to have our back.   We have some exciting news and big challenges ahead, but first we need to let you know about the financial reality of our little house of magic.   ...
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The Poppy’s Summer Updates

Dear Red Poppy Art House Family, As this year marks our 10 year anniversary, we're taking some time off from regular performance programming to focus our attention on sprucing up the Poppy and to enable collective reflection, imagination, creation, and preparation for new programs. Our doors are still wide open for the Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP), Family Art program on weekends and other public events over the summer. In fact, we're currently gearing up for the next MAPP on Au...
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A Letter From Our Founder: Todd Brown

  Dear friends of the Poppy,   In 2013, the Red Poppy will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary! However, before we get there, I want to share a thought: The Red Poppy Art House does not really exist. What does exist is a room within a building on the corner of Folsom Street and 23rd Street in San Francisco. The room has a closet, a bathroom, and a not-so-entirely-random assortment of things, such as speakers, chairs, sound equipment, etc. This room is owned by a landlord, Curt...
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Poppy Talk: Jascha Hoffman Plays Tribute to Caetano Veloso

RP: Your previous works have been described as "deceptively simple, deeply weird Pop songs”. You are also working on songs based on recent obituaries, however you are taking a pit stop with Brazilian Tropicalismo. What drew you to Caetano Veloso? JH: For the last few years my main focus has been on composing and recording my own pop songs. A couple of summers ago at a wonderful Brazilian music camp, I wandered into a beginning bossa nova guitar class and learned a few jazz chords. Since I hav...
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Poppy Talk: Adam Theis of Jazz Mafia on Left Coast Strings, Live Film Scores and Musical Venues

Adam Theis is one of the busiest and most talented musicians in the Bay Area. He is the founder of multiple groups and ensembles including; The Jazz Mafia Symphony (for which he created the groundbreaking Brass, Bows and Beats), Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Realistic Orchestra, Brass Mafia, and the recent Left Coast Strings, which will be performing this Friday, September 28th at the Red Poppy Art House. This ensemble features new works written by Theis for the unique instrumentation of strings ...
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The Red Poppy and Family Art Needs Us!

The Red Poppy and Family Art needs you!   Have an extra flash drive, camera, or laptop collecting dust in your closet? Consider offering for a good cause to the Red Poppy Art House! Operating on a tiny budget and the generosity of hundreds of volunteers, the Poppy requires the above equipment to keep our information organized and provide the tools we need to write grants, sustain ourselves and document our great programming. Help us continue to serve our community better. Don't ...
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Mijo de la Palma: A Ray of Caribbean Light Over This (Other) Great City by the Sea

  Being Puerto Rican, a recent arrival to San Francisco and being thousands of miles away from the Isla del Encanto, Borikén, Puerto Rico (it has so many names to those who know of it and its rich history) I fell into absolute nostalgia when I first heard Mijo de la Palma, a musical act that I had not encountered while I was living in San Juan, a city that like San Francisco lies by the sea. His sounds are remittent to nova trova, rock del patio, música jíbara and all the music made ...
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Threading the Needle: An Interesting Exhibit at the SFO Museum

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"Threading the Needle: Sewing in the Machine Age traces the development of the domestic sewing machine from the 1850s to the 1970s and celebrates over one hundred years of sewing. Pattern illustrations featured in the exhibition highlight ladies homemade fashions throughout the decades." -SFO Museum curators As a cultural observer one of the things I like to do every time I cross security at the San Francisco Airport (SFO) is take some time and look at the exhibit on the long corridor that le...
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RED Talks at the Poppy beginning Saturday June 2!

Red Poppy Art House is thrilled to launch our new series entitled RED Talk.  RED Talks will consist of a presentation and topic of interest across a wide range of topics.  Does "RED" stand for anything?  Yes.  Really Excellent Discussions. The inaugural RED Talk will be by Stanford Neuroscience Expert Patrick House.  Full description can be found below. Date:  Saturday, June 2nd Time:  10:30 PM - 11:30 PM Admission:  FREE!  Please join us for MAPP! RED Talk Presents Leashed to Your Cat:...
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AMALGAMATION: A Project About Networks, Systems and Communities – Summer 2012 Artistic Residency

Liberating the objects and their meaning from their cells.
      From May 31-August 2, 2012 at the Red Poppy Art House Thanks for the participation of those who left their mark on the grid! The Project's Thesis   This project seeks to integrate the residency of artist Ralph Vázquez-Concepción at the Red Poppy Art House, the Family Arts Program of the Poppy, local residents and artists as well as invited artists from abroad to participate in a dialogue about what the terms ‘networks’, ‘systems’, and ‘community’ mean to...
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Steam & Ice: The Recent Work of Hiroyo Kaneko

Currently on view at the Red Poppy Art House is the work of photographer Hiroyo Kaneko (b.  Aomori, Japan) which explores the relationship between her subjects and the element of water in two very poetic contexts, in the steamy bathhouse and the outdoors as an accumulation of snow. The exhibition showcases two parallel series of photography, selected by Exhibitions Director Marisa Aragona, based on the poetic relationship of the subjects in Kaneko’s photographs and the mutable element of water. ...
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Moyurbando: The Recent Work of Maykel Vargas

Currently on view at the Red Poppy Art House is a collection of recent paintings by Maykel Vargas (b. 1977, Cuba) which explores the arcane language of the primitive and the shamanistic. His works are of an Expressionist nature, which explores themes of the mystical and ancestral forces in nature as were represented and worshiped by our indigenous ancestry, or even the African deities, also carried over by our ancestry, which laid the laws that governed the natural world. The paintings are a win...
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Alexis Amann: Meanwhile. . .

Amann Double Ophelia Millais hearts - detail
Alexis Amann: Meanwhile . . . 
 Exhibition of paintings at The Red Poppy Art House
 Artist reception: Thursday, September 29, 6-9pm The Red Poppy Art House is excited to present Meanwhile. . ., an exhibition of Alexis Amann’s recent paintings exploring monster women, demons, Ophelia, witches, baby belugas, fish-headed persons, and the complications of having too many or not enough eyes. Amann’s acrylic gouache paintings and installations on cut paper contain layers of worlds populated...
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