The Mission has played host to immigrants for more than 200 years. Spanish padres chose the sunny enclave for their first North American church in 1776; Victorian Gold Rushers who arrived in the 'hood in the 1850s were followed by successive waves of Irish, German, and Italian newcomers. Even in modern times the area is a landing spot for greenhorns, as those new to the city move there for the relatively cheap rents, displacing the Latino settlers who claimed the region as their own in the 1950s.
The district's most recent changeover is the subject of "It Happens in the Mission," an exhibit that addresses the locale's place in the city's immigrant experience. Inspired by The Mission Movie, a feature-length docudrama set for 2004 release, the show's nostalgic works document life in the neighborhood. Those who have called the Mission their own will find people and places they recognize; one piece by photographer Gabriela Hasbun and writer Deldelp Medina brings together photos of longtime local businesses with moving accounts of the workers within. The exhibition opens tonight at 6 (and runs through Dec. 13) with a free reception at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama (at 17th Street), S.F. Call 863-2141 or visit www.soex.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Mosh for a cause
Throw a rock in this town and odds are you'll hit a musician square in the jaw. This city (which was built on rock 'n' roll, after all) is jammed with the musically inclined, and they all share the same dream -- to make beautiful sounds and get paid for it. Sadly, most are unsigned, unknown, and will never make the connections that could transform their fantasies into reality. But a new nonprofit organization, Unsigned Artist, wants to rescue these up-and-comers by teaching them the skills they need to make it without getting ripped off in the process.
Help local musicmakers raise funds for this worthy cause at the daylong psychobilly festival Cowapunka. The event features performances from six melodiously aggro bands, including Mojo Apostles, Double-Wyde, and Sammy Shakes, plus a fashion show from avant-garde clothier Somac. The moshing starts at 3 p.m. at Club Galia, 2565 Mission (at 22nd Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 970-9777.
-- Sunny Andersen
Bring Your Beret
S.F.'s latest muralist? You!
OK, so the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market has fancy-schmancy gourmet goods. But the dressed-down weekly fruit-and-veg fest on Alemany has something more decorative going on, with a planned 4,180 square feet of murals designed by Precita Eyes artists and painted by -- well, by you, if you participate in "Community Mural Painting," the largest group painting project in San Francisco history. Artisans have provided the outlines; the details you fill in will be displayed for decades to come. The daubing begins at 11 a.m. (and continues each Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 28) at the Alemany Farmers Market, 100 Alemany. Admission is free; call 285-2287.
-- Joyce Slaton
Emma Clifford is one of the founders of WildAid, whose high-profile work to save the animals at the Baghdad Zoo was noted recently in the New York Times. This evening Clifford discusses her Animal Balance program, addressing feral dog and cat populations. Apparently, household pets gone wild are threatening native animals in a very delicate ecosystem: the Galápagos Islands. She speaks at 5:30 p.m. at Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market, S.F. Admission is free; call 421-4687 or visit www.staceys.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser