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Emerging from the 1965 Watts Uprising, the Mafundi Institute, an organization of Watts artists, musicians and writers, was incorporated in 1967 and established a community arts program that began at the Watts Happening Coffee House at 1802 103rd St. In 1970, the Watts Happening Cultural Center (WHCC)/Mafundi Building was built at 1827 East 103rd Street to serve as the new and final home of the Mafundi Institute and its expanding activities. Organizations like the Watts Writers Workshop (which produced the renowned Watts Prophets) and other arts-centered programs shared the space and their instructors.


Because of defunding, internal struggles, and FBI infiltration, the Watts Happening Cultural Center closed its doors in 1975. The building was later occupied by other community-based organizations, including the Watts Credit Union. Currently it serves as home to the reimagined Watts Coffee House, the Los Angeles Education Corps, and most recently a temporary space for Homeless Free America. For more information on the uncertain future of the Mafundi Building see our petition.

Below is a list of who's who of the Mafundi Building along with linked articles to their involvement and association to the building. ​​

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