MEDIA ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “WE ARE STILL HERE! BLACK AND LATINA WOMEN HEALTH NEEDS AND R
What: One-year anniversary of the lost art piece, Mama Sana Vibrant Woman reclaims lost iconic Eastside Austin mural.
International artist “Toofly” to repaint image on a new location in the community.
Who: Ecuador based Latina artist Toofly, Mama Sana Vibrant Women, a non-profit community organization that facilitates pre- and post-natal care to Black and Latina women in Austin.
When: Saturday, May 12th, 2- 6 pm
Where: 1917 E. 7th St. 78702, next to La Michoacana Meat Market
Contact: Paula Rojas 512-563-3113,Michelle Mejia 210-748-7173
Austin, Texas- As tensions over gentrification and explosive development have continued to shake the city of Austin, the members of Mama Sana Vibrant Woman (MSVW) have not rested to find a new home for the iconic mural that had served as the image and logo for the organization, but that last year was painted over when new owners bought the property that housed the art.
On Saturday, May 12th, 2018, a year after the loss of such mural, Maria “Toofly” Castillo, an Ecuadorian graffiti artist with a 20-year career of street art in NYC, and who had painted the pregnant black woman on the corner of 12th and Chicon St. in East Austin, will be painting the same mural at 1917 E. 7th St. 78702, next to La Michoacana Meat Market.
The members of MSVW have been working with community members as well as City of Austin departments and officials to find a suitable wall to permanently house the art piece.
“The mural is a symbol of our vision, which is a world that is more just and loving, where every mother has access to quality, attentive loving care and where every community has equitable resources to care for all families”, explained Paula X. Rojas, Director of Training and Education for MSVW.
The mural, which was one of many in a series of significant art pieces that have been lost in East Austin due to a changing in demographics and new developments, has come to symbolize the dire situation of many communities of color in the city that have been displaced and fallen victims of the process of gentrification, explained Rojas.
“Repainting this mural is so important because it represents what is happening in the city to people of color and low-income people, where market-rate developments, without policies to limit and establish a right to stay, are valued more than the health and well-being of the communities that are being displaced”, said Rojas.
On Saturday, MSVW members, volunteers, and community members will join at the mural location to celebrate and unveil the new mural. Media are invited to film the artist as she works.
“We want the Austin community to see that we are still here and that our work should not be ignored. This mural is about the people who should remain visible and in the minds of everyone in the city” said Kellee Coleman, co-founder and lifelong resident of Austin.
The United States is currently experiencing a maternal and infant health care crisis:
● Despite high levels of health care spending outpacing other developed nations, the high maternal and infant mortality rates in the United States have garnered international attention.
● Black women are three to four times more likely to die from birth-related complications than their white counterparts.
● Latina women face significant barriers accessing prenatal care as well as culturally and linguistically appropriate care services.
(for more information and recommendations for how to address this crisis, consult the latest MSVW report: https://www.msvwatx.org/nptf)
Mama Sana Vibrant Woman (MSVW) is a community organization that works to facilitate access to culturally appropriate and quality, prenatal and postnatal care for women of color in Austin and Travis County. Our Mission: To improve pregnancy and birth outcomes for communities of color in central Texas by providing education and support. Our Vision: A just and loving world where all mothers receive attentive quality loving care and where all communities have equitable resources to care for their children. https://www.msvwatx.org
Maria “Toofly” Castillo Toofly’s journey into the world of art began with her commute to public school from her Corona, Queens neighborhood.
Highly influenced by the calligraphy and illustration skills of some exceptional graffiti writers at the time, a teenage Toofly aspired to become the female version of what she most admired. By the time Toofly entered the School of Visual Arts (SVA), she had introduced her character to the walls of New York. Toofly’s constant and active role in the hip-hop community allowed her to remain true to her roots, as she continued to draw raw feelings from the ever-changing and spontaneous public art world around her. Her most recent projects include her independent artist collection made up of art prints and fashion accessories.
In 2007 Toofly co-founded a female urban art collective entitled Younity which is steadily pushing forward with visual art exhibitions and art programs for young women in the arts.
Toofly’s art and design work have appeared in various books, video, and magazines such as Graffiti Women, Burning New York, Current TV, MTV Tr3, Trace, YRB, Juxtapoz, and Marie Claire.