Since 1978, everyone who has ever come to an event, a class or a meeting at La Peña, who has ever eaten a Chilean empanada in the café, has entered the mural, merging for an instant with the figures joined in Canción de la Unidad / Song of Unity. The poets, musicians, workers and leaders of liberation movements gathered in the mural are vivid reminders that our cultural work is founded on a multitude of voices raised in songs of struggle, of movement and social change. Innumerable people have stepped into the mural over the years to carry on this work as volunteers, staff, artists, donors, and activists organizing locally and in solidarity with movements for social justice around the world. Together we have created a unique space where new voices emerge from, and blend with, deep traditions. We are grateful to the many supporters who encourage, inspire and enable us to continue this work in the spirit of Canción de la Unidad.
Sadly, the mural is badly deteriorated and beyond repair. Earlier this year, we announced a plan to remove it and replace it with a new mural. Many people were enthusiastic about envisioning an updated “2nd Skin” refreshing La Peña’s façade. A number of other people, however, raised strong objections, and the plan was withdrawn. We are now negotiating with the 2012 Mural Committee and Ray Patlan, one of the original muralists, on a plan to replicate the Song of Unity mural. For more information, click here.