==San Francisco: Mission District

The Mission District, also commonly called "The Mission", is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California, USA, named after the sixth Alta California mission, Mission San Francisco de Asis. The area occupies land previously divided into ranchos owned by Spanish-Mexican families such as the Valencianos, Guerreros, Dolores, Bernals, Noes and De Haros. The neighborhood is ethnically and economically diverse, with a population that is half Latino, a third White, and 11 percent Asian.[1] The Mission District is part of San Francisco's supervisorial districts 5, 9 and 10.


The Inner Mission was viewed as a Latino neighborhood through much of the 1960s and 1970s. However, the Mission today is both the nexus of the Chicano and Latino community and a neighborhood of artists and hipsters. While Mexican, Peruvian, Salvadorian, and other Latin American restaurants are pervasive throughout the neighborhood, residences are not evenly distributed. Most of the neighborhood's Latino/a residents live on the eastern side.[citation needed] A fusion of the conceivably disparate cultures is evidenced by the many colorful Latin American themed murals throughout the neighborhood.[citation needed] Numerous Latino/a artistic and cultural institutions are based in the Mission. The Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, established by Latino artists and activists, is an art space. The local bilingual newspaper, El Tecolote, was founded in 1970. The Mission's Galería de la Raza, founded by local artists active in el Movimiento (the Chicano civil rights moment), is a nationally recognized arts organization. Late May, the city's annual Carnaval festival and parade marches down Mission Street. Meant to mimic the festival in Rio de Janeiro, it is held in late May instead of the traditional late February to take advantage of better weather.[citation needed] Beginning in the 1980s many Central American banks and companies set up branches, offices, and regional headquarters on Mission Street.[citation needed] Due to the existing cultural attractions, relatively less expensive housing and commercial space, and the high density of restaurants and drinking establishments, the Mission is a magnet for young people. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Valencia Street corridor had a lively punk night life with several clubs including The Deaf Club and Valencia Tool & Die and the former fire station on 16th Street, called the Compound, sported what was commonly referred to as "the punk mall" an establishment that catered to punk style and culture. On South Van Ness Target Video and Damage Magazine were located in a three story warehouse. An independent arts community also arose and since the 1990s, the area has been home to the Mission School art movement. Many studios, galleries, performance spaces, and public art projects are located in the Mission, including the Clarion Alley Mural Project, Project Artaud, Southern Exposure, Art Explosion Studios, Artist Xchange, Theatre Rhinoceros, Artists' Television Access, and the oldest, alternative, not-for profit art space in the city of San Francisco, Intersection for the Arts. The Roxie Theater, the oldest continuously operating movie theater in San Francisco, is host to repertory and independent films as well as local film festivals. The neighborhood was dubbed "the New Bohemia" by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1995 (see link below). The cultural shift, often referred to as gentrification, led to tension and the founding of the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition by local Supervisor Chris Daly.

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