The first 1,000 feet of the mural is completed entirely in 1976. Ten artists led the design and painting: Kristi Lucas, Christina Schlesinger, Judith F. Baca, Judith Hernandez, Ulysses Jenkins, Gary Takamoto, Arnold Ramirez, Olga Muniz, Charlie Brown, and Isabel Castro. The artists led teams made up of 10 youth, who impacted the development of the images. Their familial histories, experiences, artistry, and likeness are incorporated into the mural.
With no prior mural making experience, pairs of youth translated blueprints of images to scale. While one measured the blueprint, another outlined the image on the grid-like pattern on the wall. The process became like connecting the dots as the youth brought the mural to life.
In the last summer of production on the mural’s first half-mile, the Tujunga channel flooded abruptly. Artist and assistant project director Beatrice Plessnor ensured all the young mural makers made it out of the channel safely, but she was swept seven miles down. Rescued by the fire department, Bea survived.