1997 was the year when Mujeres de Maiz first took root in Highland Park, Northeast Los Angeles, at the PRC – Popular Resource Center/ Centro Regeneracion. The PRC was an organizing space for community activists and artists where countless grassroots meetings, fundraisers, exhibits, and underground artistic events took place. Radio Clandestino and the National Committee for Democracy in Mexico were two of several groups that were housed within the PRC’s walls. In addition, artists such as Aztlan Underground, Quetzal, Blues Experiement, In Lak Ech, Ollin, Quinto Sol, Nuke, Omar Ramirez and Mujeres de Maiz utilized the PRC space to create, collaborate, perform, cultivate and plant their seeds of creative knowledge within the Northeast Los Angeles communities.
Over thirty years had passed since the height of the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements, yet women’s voices were continually absent from the established platforms of representation. In an effort to unite women and provide a space for their voices, Felicia Montes joined forces with Claudia Mercado by co-hosting the PRC’s Radio Clandestino women’s show Lucha Por Tu Voz. At the same time, they formed the performance, poetry and song group In Lak Ech. With the desire to share the mic and stage with more women, they welcomed the suggestion to organize a show for International Women’s Day. With this intention in mind, a call out was made to all women artists to share their art regardless of age, ethnicity or level of training. Thus, on June 29, 1997, Mujeres de Maiz – an all woman performance show, a one-night multi-media exhibit and a self-published “Zine’- was born.