Voice of the People

By Caitlin Hamer

Vox Pop Breathes New Life into Downtown Stockton

Downtown Stockton is bursting with creativity. As makers, musicians, and artists converge into this once abandoned part of the city, good things are starting to grow. Among those good things stands Vox Pop.

First launched in July of 2018, Vox Pop was founded by Mariah Looney, a non-profit campaign coordinator, and Aly Montez, a commercial and fashion photographer. Loosely translated from the Latin term Vox populi, which means “voice of the people”, Vox Pop has lived up to its name by serving as a venue, an event space, a studio, and whatever else the city needs it to be.  

“When Mariah and I talked about the idea of opening a creative space, it really came from a raw desire to bring something simple and transparent, that exists sort of as a safe space, to change people’s perspectives of downtown and Stockton as a whole,” says Aly.

“We knew that we wanted to be downtown over anywhere else because it is changing and evolving so quickly that we felt it was the right space to exist and evolve in,” adds Mariah.

And when they met the place that would become Vox Pop, it was love at first sight. The 2,500 square foot space in Downtown Stockton, located just off Janet Leigh Plaza, has already drawn in plenty of crowds. By hosting events like Finding Emo, Symposium, and Hella 90s, as well as teaming up with local artists for original shows, Vox Pop has singled itself out as the kind of safe, multipurpose, and easily accessible spot that many have complained couldn’t be found in Stockton. And while it may be most widely known as a venue space for art shows and concerts, photographers can also rent it out as a studio, and it can also be used as a space to hold events – anything from political conferences to baby showers. Got an idea? They’re ready to collaborate. Vox Pop is both a space for established Stockton events, as well as a place where new events can take root and flourish.

The amount of love and dedication that has been poured into Vox Pop is incredible to see, but it’s equally inspiring to see how much love it’s gotten back from the community.

 “Your city, be it Stockton, or wherever else, is the effort and love you put into it,” insist Aly and Mariah. “We will be here as long as people want us to be.”

Pay a Visit To:
Vox Pop
159 N. Hunter St., Stockton
(209) 636-4564