VALLEJO -- TJ Walkup said he began his punk days as a "mohawk Christian punk" teenager in Napa.
Now he's channeling his creative side as a documentarian and artist.
Working together with his wife, Christina, Walkup's latest endeavor is a four-day Mocktoberfest, described as a punk and edge arts festival. The event began Saturday and continues Friday in Vallejo.
"Punk is a really amazing creative community," Walkup said. "It's intelligent. It's both juvenile and grown up."
Walkup said he felt accepted in the punk community as he was growing up.
"The punk community didn't care what you're into," he said.
Through the art and music festival, Walkup said he wants to give Vallejo "a look into a culture that it's never seen."
The festival will showcase Bay Area artists, including those from Vallejo and surrounding cities. Walkup also said it's important to keep the festival family-friendly and for all ages.
"The popular view of punk is violence, people throwing rocks," he said. "But those are just (expletive). Violence is oppressive and the punks that I know from the '70s understand anarchism as peace. It's social, not political."
The theaters will not be serving alcohol, and drugs and violence will not be tolerated, Walkup said.
In addition to promoting Vallejo as the next cultural city, the Walkups are also using the volunteer-run festival to raise money for a greater cause.
The proceeds collected from tickets will benefit a youth music program created in partnership with the Mira Theatre Guild. Ten teenagers, ages 12 to 18, will be chosen randomly to receive an instrument of their choice and 10 music classes each of the musical genre they prefer.
The application will be available online at www.Mocktoberfest.org and at the festival.
Music teachers are also still needed for the program.
Walkup said the festival is just an addition to the evolution that he sees in Vallejo.
"The culture is stewing in the downtown area and Mare Island," he said. "I think this will be a permanent change."
He said Mocktoberfest will be a curation of punk, and also described it as an "edge arts festival."
"I want a discussion to happen ... what punk is," Walkup said. "Edge art is anything that inspires thinking. I can't define punk to everybody."
He encouraged attendees to wear zombie costumes to win door prizes. A custom guitar made by local guitar maker Tony Schroom with the festival's mascot, Mocky, the mock turtle, also will be available as a raffle prize.
But most important, Walkup said he wants people to have fun.
"We want to create an environment for folks to come out and have fun, and go home thinking about it, just to want to come back and experience it all over again," he said.
Walkup said punk will thrive in Vallejo.
"Vallejo is a beautiful town, where punk will flourish because people are frustrated," he said. "If it was still the city of opportunity, the opportunity is here, it is to change the image."
For more information and to see the show's lineup and time, visit www.Mocktoberfest.org.
What: Mocktoberfest in Vallejo
When & Where: 2 p.m. Friday, Bay Terrace Theater, 51 Daniels Ave.; 6:30 p.m. Saturday, The Empress Theatre, 300 Virginia St.; 2 p.m. Oct. 27, Bay Terrace Theater, 51 Daniels Ave.
Price: $10 for a night
Hometown: Napa, San Francisco, Vallejo
Family: Wife Christina and daughter Aurora, 3
Quote: "We want to create an environment for folks to come out and have fun, and go home thinking about it, just to want to come back and experience it all over again."