Skip to content

Art tells the story of Community Coalition


The Community Coalition (CoCo) will host on Saturday, July 27, an open house party and mural vote from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its headquarters, 8101 S. Vermont Ave.

The social justice non-profit organization has for 25 years been an evolving establishment to help people gain power of their own community. Finally, CoCo was able to buy and renovate its headquarters.

One major aspect that will represent change is the outdoor renovation of the parking lot. This renovation will transform the space into a multi-use lot that will be green, supply the headquarters with solar energy, and will feature a mural that represents the resistance and the change the community of South L.A. believes in.

This renovation is made possible through a Community Development Block Grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, administered by the City of L.A.’s Housing and Community Investment Department.

Here are the two semi-finalists.

Fabian Debora, a muralist originally from El Paso, Texas, serves the Community Connection Director at Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network.

“For me everything is based around my experience. Being that I’m a person of color, of Mexican-American descent. For me, anytime that I gain the opportunity to speak on behalf of the people has always inspired my art,” Debora said. “I think that art is a powerful tool and if I have that gift then that’s great. I can use it to change conditions, or bring awareness [to current events]. I can communicate how I am elevating my subject matters within the people and my imagery. For me it’s a responsibility as an artist to be able to speak on behalf of my people from past to present and future.”

Michael Massenburg is a multi-medium artist from San Diego. His public artwork clients have included Verizon, MTA Metro, and ESPN.

“Earlier in my career I wanted to create work that kind of connects with to where I live and the community,” Massenburg said. “I didn’t want to make paintings and drawings just to be making them. But also something that has some meaning, that has some impact, and also do some things that are community oriented, as far as being active in the community where we’re doing volunteering, activism and stuff like that, policies and different things. I wanted to make a difference. So when I got a chance to meet up with CoCo I really love what they stood for regards to empowerment of the community, in regards to all the things they have done in the past, since the beginning up until now.”

Massenburg said his mural is about empowerment and transformation. “With that, my use of some of the historical elements focuses on us creating generational ties, which I believe is critical in our development of a brighter future,” he said.

Vote here: