First and foremost, our goal is to restore Atwood’s vital cultural landmark in the form of Manuel Hernandez-Trujillo’s mural. In doing this, we can uplift a community of deep familial bonds from the struggles of the past by restoring a symbol of their shared history. The mural is more than a decorative painting to us. It has spread its roots and message to us over the past 40 years of its existence, and has earned its place in our hearts. With the goal of preserving such an integral piece of Atwood, Orange County, and Chicano history, we look forward to the complete restoration of the mural taking place.
However, our mission is not limited to the restoration of the mural. Our mission, by nature, is one of preservation and hope that extends to countless other threatened murals, and their respective communities. This is not an isolated incident. With success in Atwood, we can reinvigorate and protect murals and other cultural art throughout the county. We ask that you continue your support for causes like ours beyond Atwood, and carry the spirit into your own homes and communities.
Joe, Bernice, Joshua & Xochitl
“Should we be inclined to look for elements used as vital forces in revitalizing and developing our communities, one cannot overlook concrete evidence of the importance that mural painting, history’s oldest art form, holds either in primitive societies or in the developed world. Whether it is to create a better environment in our industrial centers; as an extension of architecture, in our city rehabilitation; or to enhance our educational programs - murals record our social history .”
-Manuel Hernandez-Trujillo / Dancing with the Sun: The Artwork of Manuel Hernandez Trujillo
A son of Atwood, Joe not only grew up in the neighborhood, but his Grandmother was an early community activist. Esther Gonzales was also a daughter of Atwood who lived through the Orange County Flood of 1938 and later in the 60’s, was involved with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Community Action Council (CAC), Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and many other groups. Esther’s community action efforts addresses common issues that many Mexican American communities experienced. Joe has worked for many years to honor his Grandmother in different ways and to bring programs for the community and it’s kids, back to the neighborhood. After turning his own life around, he wanted to give back even more to the youth of his community to help them see opportunities that he himself had disregarded as a youth. While he and his family no longer reside in Atwood, he visits often and stays in touch with the community. Joe has been a voice for the Atwood community and had it not been for his efforts to restore the mural, this project wouldn’t have happened.
A daughter of Atwood herself, Bernice and Joe grew up together in the community. After a few life chapters apart, their paths crossed again and are now happily married. Their love for each other is just as strong as their love for their community. Bernice has been instrumental in encouraging Joe through his many attempts with the City and plays an integral role in gathering information about what is going on in the community. With her guidance and skills, the project team has been able to gather critical historical data and mural memorabilia.
A minister, artist and activist, Joshua has been an active member of the Placentia community for many years. With roots in the local area, Joshua’s approach is to use art to connect the community and to cultivate a community united in their love & commitment to Placentia. His work reflects issues that are going on in the streets to city hall. Joshua is constantly working towards mentoring youths and strengthening tutoring opportunities through the Placentia Community Collaborative, his church and other community partnerships. Joshua brings such valuable skills, connections, and experiences to this project and he does it is all with heart.
A daughter of Santa Ana and the Muralist, Manuel Hernandez-Trujillo. It was a beautiful sunny day in December of 2018 when by complete chance, she met a friend of Joe’s who then got them connected about the mural. While she knew about the mural, that December was the first time she had visited as an adult and fate took over that day. She learned that day that no one knew who the artist was as it had never been documented within the community and that many community members had attempted to research it to no avail. One thing led to another and once Xochitl felt just how much the mural meant to the community she was fully committed to the restoration project.
Yorba lind arts alliance foundation
The Alliance exists to Promote, Educate and Create. Supporting North Orange County arts community is what the Alliance does. The arts has the capacity to bring people together. They are organizing our artists and consulting with conservators for the longterm health of the mural.
Placentia Community Collaborative
Placentia has resources and the collaborative helps us connect the community and organizations to support our neighbors. They Collaborative will be running our resource fair and listening to how our Placentia organizations can support the communities goals.
Community Resources found here: Website