Arts+Culture:San Diego is a coalition of over 100 arts and culture organizations dedicated to strengthening our diverse cultural ecosystem and achieving the Penny for Arts and Culture funding plan in San Diego.

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  • Cassie Kaawaloa

Meet Marcela Mercado - District 9

Updated: Sep 6, 2019


Marcela Mercado has been a resident of City Heights since she was 6 years old. Having been a part of this community for 32 years, she has seen it flourish and loved every minute of seeing the diversity and character of this community come together. Marcela is an active community volunteer with a goal to continue to see it grow. She takes great pride in being a community activist because this is no longer just her community, but also where she’ll raise her three children. She hopes they too will take pride in where they live and call home.


Marcela is involved in the Fern Street Circus, Parks and Recreational activities, Dia de Los Muertos en City Heights Celebration and the Hoover Cluster Wellness Council. She is currently a Community Assistant for the San Diego Unified School District, allowing her to facilitate outreach to families in the South East communities. She works with parents and their children to provide any needed resources from food bank information to recreational activities.


This position has allowed Marcela to see the immense amount of resources that are available but out of reach to so many people that are either afraid to ask or aren’t even aware of the programs available to them. Marcela has also learned to become vulnerable with others because everyone is going through something, and no one should be alone. Her organization advocates for mental health, with a goal for the parents they work with to be kind to themselves so that they can share that with their children and spouses.


District 9’s arts and culture is unique because of the different programs for many needs, such as Baile folklorico dancing and mariachi, Somali cooking classes, Circus classes, Vietnamese dancers, and so much more. All of these programs share a goal of providing healthy outlets for all members of the community. These programs share a goal of keeping participants active in healthy and appropriate settings, so that they can one day can contribute to their community. Ultimately, District 9 takes pride in its diversity and community.


Marcela looks forward to being a member of the Arts+Culture: San Diego Community Advisory Council because she knows that she can have a voice in a safe place. She also looks forward to council members sharing their knowledge and experience, allowing her to grow as an individual. Marcela comes to the table with an open mind and eagerness to become a better community member.