Friends At Mafundi (F.A.M.) Friends At Mafundi (F.A.M.)

Friends At Mafundi (F.A.M.)

The coalition of artists and residents in the Los Angeles community of Watts invests in expertise and resources that restore public art programs and maintain spaces dedicated to the neighborhood's artistry and creativity.



Sustaining the Culture and Traditions of Watts

Friends At Mafundi (F.A.M.)

The southern Los Angeles community of Watts has always been a magnet for artists. After the Watts Uprising in 1965, a youth group converted an abandoned furniture store into a performing arts center and named it the Watts Happening Coffee House. In 1967, the group formed the Mafundi Institute in the coffee house, bringing together a collective of Watts artists, musicians, and writers under the leadership of Father Amde Hamilton of the pioneering political poetry group the Watts Prophets. In 1970, a new building across the street was used to house the Institute's expanding arts, culture, and social programs. Known as the Watts Happening Cultural Center — or more commonly, the Mafundi Building — the space continues to promote community engagement and Black empowerment. 

In 2019, when the Mafundi building was threatened with demolition, a community coalition formed Friends At Mafundi (F.A.M.) to help sustain the history, culture, and traditions of Watts. Its immediate goal was to protect the Mafundi Building from demolition and prevent future threats by ensuring that it is granted historical and cultural designations. By advocating for the preservation and restoration of the building, F.A.M. is leading the efforts to return the building to its place as one of the most prominent cultural arts centers in Los Angeles and transform it into a state-of-the-art cultural hub and exhibition space for the people, by the people of Watts.



GRoW Support


General Operating Support 


General Operating Support


Event Support