Night of Ideas: Inspiring Ideas on the Future of Cities

Can our cities be locally productive and globally connected? Smart, resilient and infused with poetry and empathy? Is an innovating and inclusive city possible?

Featuring community leaders in various fields — food, technology, politics, architecture and more — Night of Ideas is a seven hour event bringing together diverse experts and the public to hypothesize what it’ll take to get to an ideal urban future.

Not just San Francisco-centered, Night of Ideas is taking place in five other cities as well, each reimagining not just how their respected cities will, and can evolve, but all cities. Night of Ideas will culminate at the San Francisco event: Saturday, February 2, 7pm to 2am.

Hosted at the San Francisco Public Library — and inspired by their Public Knowledge and After Tomorrow program — with the French Consulate and SFMOMA, the night will be anything but a snooze; programming and panels will feature not only those adept in their fields, but performances, food, drinks, music, art and yoga!

Civic Center Commons will moderate a panel at 9pm on February 2, focused on the concept of the “Welcoming City” – panelists will discuss how inclusive public spaces can serve as a model for creating a more holistically welcoming city.

Help envision the city of the future and sign up for free tickets on the Night of Ideas Eventbrite page!

Top image: © Elizabeth Leitzell (Courtesy of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Brooklyn Public Library)

2018 Holiday Season in Civic Center Commons


Along with our festive Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting on December 5, 5pm-7pm, which includes snow flurries, festive foods and drinks, a toy giveaway from the SFPD for 400 kids, and a wonderful lineup of holiday programming led by Artistic Director Nick A. Olivero — there are an assortment of other wonderful cheerful activities happening in, and adjacent to, Civic Center Commons this holiday season. Here are few highlights:

Continue reading “2018 Holiday Season in Civic Center Commons”

World Cup 2018 Finals at Civic Center Plaza

Calling all soccer fans! Cheer on your favorite team at Civic Center Plaza on July 15 at 8 am, as the two last teams battle it out on the big screen.

The live and free viewing will also feature bites and drinks from food trucks, and soccer games and activities for all ages. More info can be found at worldcupsf.com.

Please note: The semifinal games on Tuesday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 11 at 11 am have moved to Embarcadero’s Sue Bierman Park (Washington and Drumm Street). These games will also feature food trucks and activities for all!

Thanks for Joining us at the July 1st Commons Block Party

Thank you to everyone who helped make the launch to the Commons 1st Sunday Block Party a success! On July 1st, approximately 2,500 people joined us at the 1st Sunday Block Party on Fulton Street. Attendees enjoyed a special performance and juggling workshop by San Francisco’s own Circus Bella, free dance/movement workshops with Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, an interactive exhibit by the designers from NONAPS at the Village Artist Corner, block printing tutorials by Jenny Lemons, a LEGO build station by the Department of Children Youth and Families, and more! Click here to see more photos of the July 1st event on the Civic Center Commons Facebook page. 

Civic Center Commons is hosting weekend block parties on the 1st Sunday of every month now through November 4th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco Main Public Library. These FREE family-friendly events feature recreational activities for all ages, a selection of bar and street food offerings curated by Off the Grid, music and promotional appearances by Bonneville San Francisco, an open-air bazaar with one-of-a-kind goods created by local SF Etsy artisans, DIY arts and crafts activities, and other rotating attractions.  

The next 1st Sunday Commons Block Party will be on August 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Fulton Street at Larkin. This event will feature:

We look forward to seeing you out there! Learn more about August 5th event  here, and invite friends and neighbors via Facebook or Eventbrite.

It’s Springtime at the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market!

Springtime in the Commons means that the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market is brimming with new produce offerings. Whether you’re a longtime customer or new shopper, now is a great time to visit the market, which takes place in UN Plaza on Sundays from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Wednesdays from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm. Lookout for new springtime produce offerings like mulberries, zucchini, snap peas, and more. And grab some Tulips while you’re at it!

The Heart of the City Farmers’ Market has been operating in UN Plaza since 1981, and it’s no secret that this market is a major attraction in Civic Center Commons. But, did you know that the market plays a critical role in making fresh, healthy  food accessible to those in need? Heart of the City Farmers’ Market:

  • Distributes over $1 million annually in food assistance at the Market information tent;
  • Executes the largest farmers market EBT program in California (nearly 70% of EBT benefits used at San Francisco farmers markets are used at this market!); and
  • Makes over $250,000 per year in grant-funded incentives available to promote purchasing sustainable, local produce with an EBT card.

The Heart of the City Farmers’ Market has been a true pioneer in making healthy eating accessible to all by accepting various forms of payment (such as EBT and WIC). We hope you’ll stop by the market to do your shopping and support the many small farmers who are bringing the bounty of spring to UN Plaza!

 

StreetBeats at the Village Artist Corner

Facilitated by Dr. Elliot Gann, aka Phillipdrummond of Today’s Future Sound, StreetBeats: An Exploration of Culture through Hip-Hop is an intergenerational activation exploring the many different ways to experience and engage with Hip Hop at the Village Artist Corner (aka the Art/Lit Living Innovation Zone) on the first Sundays of March, April and May 2018.

Curated by the Asian Art Museum and San Francisco Public Library, the Village Artist Corner, outside the Asian Art Museum on Fulton Street at Larkin Street, serves as a venue for art to inspire change through shared experiences through rotating murals and monthly participatory programming created by the Village Artist-in-Residence.

The March and April 1st Sunday StreetBeats Workshops brought members of the public together to learn from professionals instructors on the many ways Hip Hop has shaped culture – from mixing songs with Daryl Anthony Mc Gee, Ko Wong-Horiuchi, Mike Maitre’d Cochran aka Maitre D , dance like a b-boy or b-girl with Rahman Jamaal Mc, listen to original beat sets from Knxout, Phillipdrummond aka Philthydrummond aka Pd, and Aye, Yu of The Soul Dojo, and practice how to put together freestyles on the fly with with Marlon Richardson.

Join the Asian Art Museum and StreetBeats at their last of 3 installments of this activation on Sunday May 6th from 11am – 2pm at the Village Artist Corner!

Images by Justin Yee / Asian Art Museum.

Lava Mae’s Pop-Up Care Village

With dozens of resource tents and tables flanking the steps of the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), multilingual signs waving in the wind directing guests, and a stream of volunteers in bright blue shirts ready to help, Lava Mae hosted an employment-focused Pop-Up Care Village in the Commons on March 27th. The event provided a one-stop-shop for employment services for people experiencing homelessness, from free job preparedness advice, to hygiene kits, adult education opportunities, clothes, health services, food, books, and haircuts.

Founded in 2013, Lava Mae is a non-profit organization that fosters Radical Hospitality – transforming how essential services are deployed to unhoused individuals in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Converting buses into showers and toilets, Lava Mae has served over 10,000 guests providing much needed access to hygiene resources. Lava Mae offers free hot shower services in the Commons every Tuesday from 8am – 1:30pm adjacent to the SFPL on Fulton Street and hosts Pop-Up Care Villages quarterly.

At the quarterly Pop-up Care Villages, many partners work together to provide key services for Lava Mae’s guests in one centralized location. Partners include: Project Homeless Connect, SFPL, San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium’s Street Outreach Services, GLIDE, Code Tenderloin, Toolworks, Episcopal Community Services – Adult Education CenterOne Degree,  and others. Beyond convening  partners, Lava Mae also creates a vibrant street fair atmosphere at their Pop-Up Care Villages – with brightly colored Civic Center Commons bistro tables for breakfast and lunch, cornhole games and musicians playing for the guests.

If you want to join Lava Mae’s efforts to practice Radical Hospitality, volunteer as a group or individual to help support these community events.

Compton’s Queens in UN Plaza

On February 21st, the Tenderloin Museum sponsored a pop-up drag performance during the Heart of Heart of the City Farmers’ Market, featuring the cast and creators from the The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.  With appearances by Collette Le Grande, Shane Zaldivar, Donna Personna, Pleasure Bynight and Miss J, the outdoor performance drew crowds of Farmers Market shoppers, local workers and residents who got a sneak peak of the talented performers bringing the story of protest from drag queens and their allies against police harassment at the Tenderloin’s Compton’s Cafeteria.

The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, an original, interactive theater experience inspired by the historic riots that launched transgender activism in San Francisco, runs through May 4, 2018. Play patrons convene for an evening breakfast at the New Village Cafe where a 12 person cast dramatizes the inequalities facing the transgender and drag queen communities and their acts of resistance.

Don’t miss this unique play about a key historic movement in the Tenderloin community – buy your tickets now!

Images from Civic Center Commons.