The mission of MOCHA is to ensure that the arts are a fundamental part of the lives of all children through hands-on art experiences, arts training and curriculum for educators, and advocacy for the arts.
What we do
MOCHA is committed to providing quality hands-on art experiences for children and their families.
We strengthen our community by nurturing young people’s creativity, curiosity and educational success through hands-on arts programming in our museum, school and community sites.
We emphasize outreach to economically at-risk communities. A pioneer in arts education, MOCHA provides training and tools for educators, parents and youth development professionals.
Our museum offers a broad variety of programs including interactive exhibits, artists-in-residence, open studios, art parties, field trips, and art camps. MOCHA teaching artists lead residencies in Bay Area schools, libraries and after-school sites through our School and Community Programs. We also support educators and teachers in integrating art into their curriculum and school culture. Our programs reach over 35,000 children and family members each year.
Three central beliefs characterize our approach:
1) We believe in the power of hands-on art. Whether it is painting, clay, stop-motion animation or collage, MOCHA kids learn by making art.
2) We believe that all children should have access to quality arts experiences and emphasize outreach to low-income communities.
3) We believe in working with educators to provide professional development and advocate for integrating arts into learning environments.
Why it matters
When young people are immersed in creative activities, the results are profound. Students improve skills in critical-thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and communication. They develop a great deal of confidence and self-esteem from the experience of accomplishing a project and being able to talk about their process with their peers. Finally, as recent studies have shown, integrating arts into core curriculum areas not only encourages engagement in subject matter but also can be linked to overall student achievement.
MOCHA was founded in 1989 by Jill Vialet and Mary Marx to help families and communities celebrate the art and creativity of their children. In the early 1990’s MOCHA developed artist residency programs in partnership with local schools and brought children’s art exhibits to community sites, including hospitals and city buildings. We have partnered with numerous arts and educational organizations to develop programs related to literacy, healing and community empowerment. In 2013 we moved to a beautiful historic building, 1625 Clay Street. We believe that this location will enhance our presence as a leading East Bay cultural institution, allowing us to provide more services and new programming to families and youth, and help the city create more family-oriented destinations in the downtown area.