Being a pretentious art and culture snob can get really expensive really fast. Luckily there are organizations like the Mission Arts and Performance Project that let you be bougie without making your bank account hemorrhage.
Najva Sol runs an artist collective through MAPP called the Lowbrow Society for the Arts, which puts on art shows and events in borrowed neighborhood spaces. The last event, “Urban Ho-Down,” took place in someone’s garage in the Mission. Everything was set up to look like a carnival — there was a wall of freaks, a house of mirrors, hay rides, apple-bobbing, a pie-eating contest, face-painting, accordion players, and a booth with spiked cider. And the best part is that it’s all free! There is, of course, a suggested donation of $3 to pay for supplies, but if you can’t swing it, nobody will judge you.
These exhibitions are so much better than your average art show: they’re loud, drunk, colorful, and the people in attendance aren’t all graduates from MICA with a degree in basket weaving. These MAPP people love art but don’t take themselves so seriously that they think their art is too good to be displayed on top of a barrel of hay. These people do art for broke-ass people like me.
MAPP puts on events like this twice a month, and they never charge a cent. They also run workshops, host performances, and put on exhibitions constantly. On top of that, they provide the resources for collectives like Lowbrow Society to curate shows. The only sort of downside is that MAPP is run exclusively by volunteers, so even though there is always something happening, information for the shows is almost never available until the day of. But the lack of available details makes it more exciting because you never know what’s happening and who’s gonna pop up next. And besides, it’s free, so why are you complaining?