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The Estria Foundation

Mission | Company Values | Team Bios


Mission

The Estria Foundation creates art in public spaces locally and globally with artists, youth, educators, and activists in order to raise awareness and inspire action in the movement to resolve human and environmental issues.

The Foundation

The Estria Foundation (TEF) is a non-profit organization working to create social change through the creation of art. TEF was founded by Estria Miyashiro and Jeremy LaTrasse in 2010. It is dedicated to creating lasting systemic social change by empowering local communities to work collectively and participate in our global network. We work towards a society that places value on people and the environment above the accumulation of wealth.

10 Points of Unity

These ten points of unity define the politics of The Estria Foundation and guide our work.

  • Free Speech
    We support freedom of expression, without fear of persecution.
  • Human Rights
    We believe in the protection of human rights.
  • Creativity
    Creativity leads to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, with tolerance, openness, improved problem-solving, and increased self-confidence.
  • Self-Determination
    We support efforts for people to determine their own future.
  • Racial, Class, Gender, and Sexual Orientation Equality
    We oppose racism, classism, and gender and sexual discrimination.
  • Personal and Professional Development
    We believe on-going study makes people more effective leaders for achieving social change.
  • Youth as an Integral Part of Society
    Youth must be included in decision-making, and be given all opportunities for learning.
  • Environmental Consciousness
    We encourage environmental consciousness and rally communities’ efforts to ensure the survival of the human race and other living creatures.
  • Corporate Responsibility
    We encourage companies to have a positive impact on people and the environment.
  • Engagement
    We require engagement from stakeholders and a sense of ownership among the local people where our projects are located.

Company Values

  • Humility
  • Honesty
  • Forgiveness and Trust
  • Equality and respect for diverse groups and opinions
  • Efficiency; do more with less
  • Solidarity; stand together on issues publicly
  • Agreement to disagree, speak with respect and recognize when it’s time to move forward
  • Strive continually to improve
  • Respect; for the office and community
  • Individual accountability and collective responsibility
  • Balance, we encourage each other to enjoy all aspects of life
  • Integrity; be real
  • Quality; if we do something, we do it right
  • Remain open to change
  • Inspire creativity, passion, optimism and fun

Team Bios

Erin Yoshi

Executive Director

Born in Los Angeles, CA. Erin Yoshi was inspired at an early age by her parents to create. She was influenced by stories of her family’s experiences during the Internment Camps of WWII, which instilled curiosity for human capacity and politics of power. Her foundation as a community organizer has influenced her art and project themes. Yoshi tells stories and shares emotional expression with delicate brush strokes. Her artwork reflects of the struggle within communities, and the paradigms of social injustice and class struggles.

Yoshi is a member of the  Trust Your Struggle Collective, Cause of Insanity (Con Ojos Indígenas), and Few and Far Women.  She previously was the Interim Director of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.  Her works have been featured in the Huffington Post, Good Magazine, 12 oz Profit, Fox TV, SF Chronicle, SF Bay Guardian, Vibe, Urb, Ruckus, Spirit Magazine, El Tiempo and Time Out New York.  Yoshi has made her imprint creating murals in Mexico, the Philippines, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Chile and across the United States.

Estria Miyashiro

Creative Director

Estria Miyashiro has been spray painting for over 30 years, and is recognized around the world as an urban art living legend. As a pioneer in an arts movement that is arguably more influential than the classical renaissance, he is acknowledged as a valued historian, and also a community leader who is helping to awaken the social and political consciousness of graffiti writing art.

Originally from Honolulu, Estria moved to The Bay Area in the 1980′s during San Francisco’s “Golden Age Of Graffiti.” He is credited with pioneering important painting techniques, and is the originator of the “stencil tip.” His murals are known to be whimsical, cultural, political, and vibrant, with a focus and dedication to uplift the communities they serve. His graffiti art background has led him to produce innovative projects as an educator, entrepreneur, and social activist. From the city streets, to executive suites, Estria has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, as well as high profile corporations. In 2007, he co-founded the “Estria Battle”, a nationwide urban art competition that honors and advances creativity in the Hip Hop arts. In 2010 He co-founded the Estria Foundation, a community-based organization dedicated to lasting systemic and social change.

Jonathan Darr

Director of Development

Since 1994, Jonathan Darr has worked as a fundraiser and activist with local and national social justice, arts education, and health organizations. He served on fundraising or executive teams for AIDS Services of Austin, the National Organization for Women, Stand for Children, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, and Young Audiences of Northern California. Most recently, he led fundraising and communications efforts for People’s Grocery and managed the annual campaign for the San Francisco Food Bank.

Jonathan has taught community grant writing workshops, served as a grants panelist for arts and youth projects, led strategic planning processes, and planned a broad variety of educational programs and fundraising events. He served on the Boards of Directors for Brava Theater and the New College Alumnae/i Association. He currently volunteers for the People’s Kitchen, a community cooking and dining event benefiting social change organizations in the Bay Area.

Jonathan earned a BA in Womens’ Studies and Literature from New College of Florida.

Mahea Akau

Mele Murals Coordinator

Born and raised in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i, Mahea was influenced by her Hawaiian grandparents on the importance of ‘ohana (family) and the inherent kuleana (responsibility) one has to perpetuate their Hawaiian culture. This upbringing laid the foundation for Mahea’s passion and dedication to support the efforts of cultural awareness and preservation within her community and abroad.

For the last 12 years, Mahea has worked in project management, event planning and promotion for numerous community events including the Ironman World Championship and the Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i – a race which she help create to give residents of Hawai’i an opportunity to compete on an International level with the best in triathlon.

Mahea has connected The Ironman Foundation with youth, cultural, arts and health non-profits in need of support to sustain vital programs in the communities they serve. Recognizing the international stage she help create, Mahea saw these world-renowned sporting events as opportunities to educate international visitors about Hawai’i’s rich culture and traditions by making kupuna mentors in the creative process and by giving cultural practitioners a platform for their voices to be heard.

Nancy Hernandez

Water Writes Program Manager

Nancy has spent the past 15 years of her life incorporating art into the Bay Area movements for social justice. Gaining political education through the student walkouts against California’s anti-immigrant Prop 187, she joined the Schools Not Jails movement and stepped to the forefront of the NO ON PROP 21 campaign to fight the criminalization of youth and the growing prison industry. She helped build a student-run center to support matriculation of students of color and mobilized thousands to fight fee increases and budget cuts to education. She created art that was used a part of San Francisco’s monumental stance against the Iraq war and the May 1st movement for immigrant rights. A founder of the Ethnic Studies Conference, she has consistently worked towards incorporating art and people’s history into education

She worked in San Francisco’s Mission District for over 10 years to address the root causes of gang related violence. She was able to use silkscreening, stenciling, clothing design, graffiti and muralism to bring together youth from across gang lines. She taught high school for 3 years at June Jordan, a small public Social Justice-focused High School. Her students were able to work with local graffiti legends to paint the walls of the school with their ideas. Through her local organizing and travels to Cuba, Panama, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Palestine, she has developed a dedication to the worldwide struggle for self-determination and human rights. Currently on the board of World Bridges, and Youth Together, she has committed her life work to empowering the next generation of youth to change the world and advance social justice through community organizing and the arts.

Maria Jenson

Public Relations Director

Maria is the founding director of ArtPadSF, which launched in May 2011 at the Phoenix Hotel, San Francisco. She is a member of Artadia, a prestigious art organization and serves on the Executive Committee of ArtTable and is active in the community working with groups to provide opportunities for youth to explore their creativity. Previously Maria was the founder and director of Salon Oblique, a contemporary exhibition space and art consultancy established in Venice, CA. In 2010, she also served as the director of an independent emerging art fair in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach. She has mounted numerous exhibitions debuting a wide diversity of artists from California and beyond.

Thitiwat Phromratanapongse

Volunteer

Thitiwat Phromratanapongse was born and raised in southern California in 1989 and currently resides in Oakland. His works vary in medium, from pen and pencil to acrylics, oils, even computer-generated art, but his preferred medium is spray paint. Phromratanapongse received his B.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA in the summer of 2011 and has been working with the Estria Foudation since the fall of 2012.

Thaven Rajanakhan

Volunteer

Thaven is a young artist out of Berkeley who is currently attending the Academy of Art with a major in graphic design. He is working with the Estria Foundation to learn and gain an in depth experience with community development through the creation of public arts. He plans to spread his passion and knowledge to his homeland of Cambodia.