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Saturday, March 30, 2013

SFAC and SFPUC Support Arts in the Bayview


SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2013 - The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announce a partnership to bring a robust suite of arts investment activities to the Bayview neighborhood.  With a two-year funding commitment from the SFPUC, the SFAC will implement arts programming that aligns with the mission and core values of the SFPUC. These investments will provide expanded access for Bayview residents to create and participate in vibrant cultural activities throughout the community.

A new two-year grant program will award grants of up to $10,000 for local artists and arts organizations to create projects that culminate in free public events. The SFAC and KALW 91.7 FM radio will jointly commission six radio segments that highlight the sights and sounds of Third Street, including audio portraits of people and venues in the community and music from local producers.  The SFAC will also reprise its popular Art in Storefronts program along Third Street, enabling artists from the neighborhood to create original works of art in underutilized commercial spaces.  The activation of vacant storefronts increases foot traffic, beautifies the space and promotes its use to long-term renters, and instills a sense of neighborhood pride. 

"The SFPUC has a long history of operating in the Bayview, and this investment affirms our commitment to helping create healthy, vibrant communities in the areas in which we operate. These investments will also generate business and create opportunities for residents to celebrate the neighborhood's rich history," said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr.

The SFPUC is investing in the arts in accordance with its 2011 Community Benefits policy, which affirms the Agency's goal of creating positive effects in communities impacted by the SFPUC's operation and improvement of its water, wastewater and power services. The SFPUC seeks to be a good neighbor to those whose lives or neighborhoods are directly affected by its activities.

"The SFPUC's important community arts investment will help build the capacity of the Bayview's creative community and bring new awareness to the incredible work being generated there," said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. "We look forward to working with the Bayview community and welcoming the rest of the city to the neighborhood to see the impact the arts are making."

A major highlight of the efforts to raise the profile of community arts in the Bayview is the renovation of the Bayview Opera House, Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre and surrounding plaza. The SFAC has engaged Bayview residents and community members in the design and development of this project, which will kick off later this year. The SFPUC has contributed $250,000 toward the plaza redesign, which is being led by acclaimed landscape architect Walter Hood. 

In addition, the SFAC will expand several of its existing programs in the Bayview and throughout District 10.  WritersCorps, the award-winning creative writing program for youth, will engage students ages 14 to 24 in an eight-week writing workshop at the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, College Track SF and the 3rd Street Youth Center & Clinic.  The SFAC will expand StreetSmARTs, a joint project with the Department of Public Works which aims to prevent graffiti vandalism by teaching youth the difference between sanctioned and illegal art. Four mural artists will teach "where art lives" at El Dorado Elementary School, Visitacion Valley Middle School, Bayview YMCA and George Washington Carver Elementary School.  The SFAC will also recruit mural artists with roots in the Bayview to create six new murals along the Third Street Corridor, from Newcomb to Revere streets. The completion of the murals will culminate in a community-wide celebration, sponsored by the SFPUC and organized by the SFAC and the Bayview Opera House on June 20, 2013.  The 3rd on Third art celebration will also feature pop-up galleries and performances in participating restaurants and retail spaces.

h/t A. Ekanem

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