Dick Evans captures the pulse of life in the Mission District, the San Francisco neighborhood known for its murals and Latin American culture—and more recently for its rapid gentrification. Intimate, colorful images depict a place filled with diverse residents, stately Victorian houses, hand-painted store signs, Carnaval dancers, Día de los Muertos celebrants, political activists, and its namesake, Mission Dolores (here juxtaposed against portraits of Native people and indigenous cultural objects). Poetry and quotations from Mission residents are interspersed throughout, deepening viewers’ immersion into this community. But at the heart of the book is the Mission’s famous public art: works that depict Latin American culture, resistance to political oppression, passion for environmental justice, and outrage at gentrification. Evans’s photos highlight the growing threat to the neighborhood’s character, but they also reveal the many changes that have shaped the neighborhood into its vivacious present-day identity.
Dick Evans is a San Francisco–based photographer with an interest in documenting the colorful and rapidly changing neighborhoods of the city. Born into a ranching family in Eugene, Oregon, he graduated as an engineer from Oregon State University and subsequently obtained a master’s in management from Stanford. He has spent his fifty-year career in the global metals sector, living in five countries and multiple locations in Africa, Europe, and North America. It was during these travels that he developed an appreciation for the diversity and richness of different cultures—both global and local—and an interest in documentary photography.
Juan Felipe Herrera has been the United States Poet Laureate since 2015. He was born in the small San Joaquin Valley town of Fowler into a family of Chicano migrant workers, and he grew up in the Central Valley, San Diego, and the Mission District of San Francisco. He received an Educational Opportunity Program scholarship, which allowed him to obtain a BA in social anthropology at UCLA, followed by an MA in social anthropology at Stanford and an MFA at the University of Iowa. His extensive body of poems and novels—for which he has received numerous awards and honors—often revolve around the Chicano identity in the United States and are noted for their creative structure and cadence.
Carla Wojczuk is a Bay Area visual and theater artist, filmmaker, muralist, educator, and writer who has lived and worked in the Mission District of San Francisco. She was born in Boulder, Colorado, to artistic parents who contributed to her love of the visual and written arts. She attended Smith College, where she received a BA in studio art with a minor in Spanish, and she also received an MEd in social justice education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Carla has participated in a number of mural projects in the Mission District in recent years, and she has also contributed to documentary film production and other projects related to the celebration and preservation of the vibrant culture and heritage of the Mission.