San Francisco Flips the Switch on Central Market Street

Ceremonial Lighting Event on Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at 1028 Market Street


Caitlin Scott, Full Court Press Communications
Office: 510.550.8176; Cell: 916.505.8641

Gina Simi, San Francisco Planning

WHERE: The Hall, 1028 Market Street
WHEN:    Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 – 8:00pm
6:30-7 pm: Dance performance on ‘Block by Block’ by Amara Tabor-Smith, Debby Kajiyama and Jose Navarrete
7 pm: Thanks and Acknowledgments by John Rahaim (SF Planning); Deborah Cullinan (YBCA); Shelley Trott, Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Krista Canellakis (MOCI); Mohammad Nuru (DPW)
7:30 pm: Flip of the Switch on Light Up Central Market!

SAN FRANCISCO – City leaders will join the non-profit and arts communities to celebrate a number of groundbreaking programs designed to spark the imagination of the Central Market neighborhood through the arts, community interaction, and civic innovation. Light Up Central Market, made possible by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation; Living Innovation Zones, managed by San Francisco Planning, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission; and the Central Market Showcase, a collaboration between the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), San Francisco Planning, and the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation will take center stage as a ceremonial flipping of a light switch illuminates a series of art projects along Market between Fifth and Seventh Streets.

“The City is supporting the arts by creating affordable spaces for artists to showcase their work,” said Mayor Ed Lee.  “This Living Innovation Zone initiative is a great addition to our transforming Central Market neighborhood that is becoming a vibrant hub for the community with new jobs, new homes, world-class small businesses and thriving community-oriented arts organizations.”

Light Up Central Market illuminates a series of six site-specific projects including four murals by artists Clare Rojas, Jenny Sharaf, Mark Bode and OSGEMEOS, the building façade of the Luggage Store Gallery, and a 10 x 24-foot interactive bench. This project celebrates the vibrancy and spirit that infuse the neighborhood and contributes to its identity as an epicenter for arts and technology. The Luggage Store Gallery received a $100,000 Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant to lead this collaborative effort with Nighthouse Studio and Hyphae Design Laboratory. Additional funding was provided by Group I, The Hall and the Tenderloin Community Benefits District.

“The Luggage Store Gallery was a natural partner for this project. They have been a key fixture on Market Street for nearly three decades and have an incredible history of bringing together dynamic artists on meaningful projects,” said Dr. Jen Rainin, CEO of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “Collaboration is a tenet of our work and Light Up Central Market is a brilliant example of how cross-sector partnerships are delivering innovative public art projects to engage a diverse mix of people.”

The hub of Light Up Central Market is Block by Block, a spectacular 10 x 24 foot illuminated bench that stacks, swings, pivots, and suggests a playful re-configurability. Block by Block is the latest installment from San Francisco Planning’s Living Innovation Zones (LIZ) program. Living Innovation

Zones are temporary art installations on Market Street that creatively activate public space and encourage people to connect with each other and their city. Block by Block, is a one-year kinetic installation created by Marisha Farnsworth and Hyphae Design Laboratory with sound by Floor van de Velde of Nighthouse Studio. The structure, composed of wood and illuminated plastic blocks, is open for occupation and interpretation – a platform for viewing, performing, protesting, playing – and for simply enjoying life on the block.

“The City recognizes the vital role that art plays in strengthening community,” said John Rahaim, Director of San Francisco Planning. “Programs like Light Up Central Market, LIZ, and the Central Market Showcase shine a light on the public’s growing appetite for opportunities to participate in creating their own neighborhoods. When the City partners on projects such as these, we are taking a position that art is a legitimate public purpose. I’m proud that San Francisco Planning is a partner in programs that help artists of the highest caliber bring their unique vision to Central Market.”

Also installed on Market Street is the Central Market Showcase, a selection of prototypes that inspired connection among people along the central artery of our City during the Market Street Prototyping Festival in April 2015.
“The response to the Market Street Prototyping Festival has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Deborah Cullinan, Chief Executive Officer at YBCA. “Together, we brought inspiration, joy, and connection to our City’s streets. The Central Market Showcase allows us to revisit some of the projects from this year’s Festival in order to continue learning and furthering our community engagement in preparation for next year.”

Featured prototypes include Bench-Go-Round, an interactive public seating installation that encourages connection and play between pedestrians; The People’s Table, a public ping pong table; Common Ground, an interactive landscape powered by connections between strangers and the common ground;  and Tenderloin ExerTrail, an accessible, scalable, outdoor urban exercise path along Market Street. Also, in collaboration with residents, artists, and community based organizations and City agencies, Outpost will unveil a new series of experiments exploring the future of Market Street co-curated by the Studio for Urban Projects, the Luggage Store and YBCA. The Central Market Showcase will be on Market Street between 6th and 7th Streets from September 27 – October 25.

About the Luggage Store Gallery
The Luggage Store Gallery is a non-profit, artist-run multidisciplinary arts organization, founded in 1987 and located on Central Market Street, that  builds community by organizing multidisciplinary arts programming accessible to and reflective of the Bay Area’s residents. More at

About the Kenneth Rainin Foundation
The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of all our programs. Our vision is guided by the belief that change is possible through inquiry, creativity and compassion. More at

About San Francisco Planning Department
The San Francisco Planning Department, under the direction of the Planning Commission, plays a central role in shaping the future of our City by generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code. For more information, visit

The LIZ Program is managed by an interagency team: co-led by the Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, the San Francisco Planning Department and the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC). Other agencies within the City are brought in as needed. More at

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation's most innovative contemporary arts centers. Founded in 1993, YBCA's mission is to generate culture that moves people. Through powerful art experiences, thoughtful and provocative content, and deep opportunities for participation, YBCA is committed to creating an inclusive culture that awakens personal and societal transformation.
YBCA presents a wide variety of programming year-round, including performing arts, visual arts, film/video and civic engagement. YBCA venues include the Forum, Screening Room, Galleries and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. For tickets and information, call 415.978.ARTS (2787).


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