Statement Regarding La Pocha Nostra
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - Friday, August 19, 2016
As many of you know, La Pocha Nostra is no longer housed at Galería de la Raza. This transition hasn’t been easy for all the parties involved, and we sincerely apologize for any misunderstandings and perceived disrespect. As of May 2016, La Pocha Nostra has left the space they occupied since 2010, as subtenants of Galería de la Raza.
We recognize the long-time relationship between Galería and La Pocha Nostra. We acknowledge Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s leadership and significant contributions to the arts community and beyond. Galería de la Raza has also served as platform for self-expression and artivism in the Mission District.
In these challenging times in San Francisco, it is imperative for Galería to remain self-sustainable and continue to grow. The organization has undergone several positive changes in the last five years. One of them is the revival of the Studio 24 space, another is the creation of an in-house community print shop and space for art making, open to local artists, and community workshops. The shop will provide a space for artists to produce work, it will serve as a venue for community printmaking workshops, and it will be a source of earned income for the Galería through art sales.
After months of thoughtful consideration, we, the board of directors, decided to have our facilities inhabited strictly by Galería de la Raza’s programs, especially for the in-house community print shop and for that matter, we needed the space used by La Pocha Nostra.
We informed Mr. Gómez-Peña of our decision, engaged in conversations, listened to their concerns, and made every effort to accommodate La Pocha Nostra during this transition. This included forgiving thousands of dollars La Pocha Nostra owed to Galería for back rent, extending the moving period to nine months, and assisting them with labor on the moving date. We offered to connect them with our contacts and other resources to identify a new space, but our offer of assistance was declined.
We regret that we are no longer able to support La Pocha Nostra as a subtenant. The changes in sub-tenancy are not personal, and certainly not an intent to disrespect La Pocha Nostra or any of its members’ important artistic pursuits. We support the direction our current executive director has taken, and we value her vision in keeping Galería as a thriving and sustainable artistic hub.
Mr. Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra will always be appreciated for all of their past contributions to Galería de la Raza and our community. We wish them the best in future endeavors.
Board of Directors and Staff, Galería de la Raza.
San Francisco, California, July 2016.