CIIS Faculty Member Sandra M. Pacheco Joins Red Poppy Art House Leadership TeamPosted on Jun 4 2013

By Zack Rogow

CIIS core faculty member Sandra Pacheco recently joined the leadership team of the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. Located in the heart of the Mission District, “The Poppy,” as it’s known to regulars, has been a hub for music, visual art, performing arts, and social activism for the past ten years. Many performers have gotten their start there, including Meklit Hadero, and Rupa and the April Fishes.

“The Poppy is going through a transition as it enters its second decade,” explains Pacheco, who teaches in the Bachelor of Arts Completion program at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). “I see many possibilities for collaboration with CIIS, with the Institute’s goal of engaged scholarship.” Pacheco plans for some CIIS classes to be held at The Poppy, and that students will learn there how a grassroots arts organization can sustain itself while serving a community.

She also hopes to root the Red Poppy Art House more deeply in the Mission neighborhood. “What about the upstairs neighbors?” Pacheco asks. “What kind of programming would they like to see at The Poppy? How can The Red Poppy address the issue of gentrification in the Mission?”

Pacheco is also excited about The Poppy’s dynamism, and what CIIS students can learn about change in the artistic and political spheres. “The doors of The Poppy are open whenever we can keep them open,” she describes. “The Poppy is not a cafe, not an art gallery, not a performance venue, but if you come in and want coffee, maybe someone will make you coffee. If you want to show art or play music, that could also happen. We don’t want to get caught up in the business of always preparing for the next show. It’s a dynamic, fluid space—a space for social transformation. That’s part of the magic of The Poppy.”

Zack Rogow

Zack Rogow is senior editor at CIIS. His writings include a recent book of poems, "My Mother and the Ceiling Dancers," from Kattywompus Press.



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