The GENERATIONS OF HOPE MURAL is the first public mural commissioned by Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) in partnership with Frank McCoppin Elementary School, painted by muralists Erin Yoshi and Frankie Gamez. The mural was completed in July 2018. The community mural aims to be a leading example of:

  • Investing in San Francisco’s arts and culture by adding cultural value and beauty to the Richmond District.
  • Transforming public space to honor and reflect the legacy and contributions of local communities – Asian American women artists and the Richmond District community.
  • Providing inspiration for younger generations of artists and creatives.


**SEPTEMBER 28 – SAVE THE DATE! The mural will have its official unveiling celebration on Friday, September 28 at Frank McCoppin Elementary School from 3:00-6:00pm.**



The mural is a result of the Mural Muses Project, conceptualized during Asian American Women Artists Association’s 25th anniversary in 2014 as a commissioned mural to honor its mission of ensuring visibility and documentation of Asian American women in the arts. In 2015, AAWAA partnered with Frank McCoppin Elementary School to do the mural at the school as part of its new redevelopment. Over a series of workshops with AAWAA artists, Frank McCoppin parents, students, teachers, and the greater Richmond District, the concept for the mural was created by artists Erin Yoshi, Frankie Gamez, and Cece Carpio. After multiple rounds of sketch edits, the mural was painted in July 2018 by Yoshi and Gamez. This project was funded by Indiegogo campaign backers as well as a Special Project Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.



Left Panel: The young girl is growing and blooming like the flower in her hair.  The fish flags are a Japanese symbol for Kids Day, a celebration of youth.  The loveable sea turtle is an animal the kids in the Richmond neighborhood are familiar with because the school is located close to the San Francisco Academy of Science’s aquarium. The Dragon is Frank McCoppin Elementary School’s official school mascot.  

Center Panel: McCoppin Elementary School is known for its robust literacy initiative. At the center, there is a group of diverse students watching their books come to life, representing the possibility of imagination and adventures come to life when you read.  The phoenix represents rebirth as the school has been under redevelopment. The completion of the mural is a celebration of an exciting, new phase for the school. The little house in the corner is symbolic of cultural heritage rendered in the traditional pagoda style house.  

Right Panel: There are three women highlighted in the this panel. The woman crouching is an elder who has paved the way through the life she has created symbolized by the painting of the river.  The origami boats are an homage to waves of migration that have come to this land. The tall woman in the clouds has one of the traditional pagoda style houses on her head, symbolizing her connection to homeland. This image is also based upon artwork from AAWAA artist Cynthia Tom, giving homage to the artistic achievements of Asian American Women in the arts.  The butterfly symbolizes transformation and growth. The stairwell is a pathway climbing up to break cultural and gender glass ceilings.



Erin Yoshi – Born in Los Angeles, Yoshi’s artwork goes beyond the easel. Her work is rooted in historic cultural memories and informed by global conditions to inspire, engage, and transform space. Yoshi is a member of Trust Your Struggle Collective,  COI (LA), and APC (Colombia). She holds an MBA in International Sustainability. She managed two public art non-profits as Executive Director of Estria Foundation and Interim Director of Mural Conservancy LA. Yoshi has murals in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Philippines, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, and the US.

Franceska “Frankie” Gamez – Born in Manila, Philippines and raised in the Bay Area, Gamez resides in Sacramento where she has a practice in mixed media sculpture as well as mural painting. She received her degree in Fine Art at CSU Sacramento. Her practice in arts has led to dynamic bouts in music, writing, art conservation, and project organization. She has existing murals in Sacramento, SF Bay Area, and Washington D.C. Along with being a full-time artist, she is co-director of 1810 Gallery in Sacramento and member of M5 Arts Collective.

Cece Carpio – Born in the Philippines, Carpio resides in the Bay Area. Her work tells stories of immigration, ancestry, resistance, and resilience. She’s exhibited in the Philippines, Fiji Islands, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Italy, Norway, and the US. She’s been awarded NY Foundation of Art’s Immigrant Artist Fellowship, Café R.E.D & La Botica Espacio Cultural Xela’s teaching residency (Colombia), and KulArts’s residency. She guest lectured at New School (NYC), CA College of Arts (Oakland), and produced work for Multicultural Community Center (UC Berkeley). Carpio collaborates with Trust Your Struggle and True Colors Mural Project (Berkeley City College), and teaches at East Oakland School of Arts.


Melanie Elvena, Project Creator & Director

Aaron Yen, School & Community Liaison

Diana Li, Intern

Elisa Gyotoku, Copywriter

Desi Daganan, Crowdfunding Consultant



Principal Bennett Lee

Frank McCoppin Parent Teacher Organization

San Francisco Unified School District

San Francisco Arts Commission

Mural Workshop Participants



This project is funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission through its Special Project Grant and the generous contributions of our donors from our Mural Muses Crowdfunding Campaign:


Kathleen Bancod

Arlene Biala

TJ Basa

Ellen Bepp

Ann Chee

Michele Chee

Catherine Choy

Lisa Chiu

Jennifer Chu

Desi Danganan

Shari DeBoer

Melanie Elvena

Rose Elvena

Kathy Fujii-Oka

Kalvin Henely

Nancy Hom

Shirley Huey

Bonnie Kwong

Eva Lee

Michelle A. Lee

Diana Li

Cathy C. Lu

Charlotte Makoff

Jamie Mancini

Eric Mar

Oliver Mok

Katie O’Connell


Katherine Salazar-Poss

Shizue Seigel

Cindy Shih

Judy Shintanti

Jason Su

Karen Ta

Irene Wibawa

Darnell Witt

Sarah Wong

Denis Yap

All of our Anonymous Backers


Interested in participating in this project or have further questions? Please contact AAWAA’s Programs Manager and Project Direcotr, Melanie Elvena, at