David Aaron Smith's portrait of Gwendolyn Westbrook. Rights to David Aaron Smith.

A failure to launch (thanks COVID-19!)

As you probably already know, Fourth of July will not go off with a bang in San Francisco this year. Like most of the Bay Area, SF’s annual fireworks celebration is canceled. As we’ve noted, city leaders recently asked everyone to stay home. However, some cities in the region are trying to put on virtual and distanced celebrations — check them out on this list compiled by the  Mercury News

But, then again maybe sparks will fly (and possibly much, much closer to your house at that.) Reports of illegal firework lightings have skyrocketed in the past few weeks. Sorry, dogs.  

This weekend: get your wheels turning

Join San Francisco historian and author Chris Carlsson on the Labor History Bike Tour as he analyzes monumental events like the 1934 General Strike and its aftermath and the pre-urban history of Native American slavery. The ride kicks off this Sunday July 5, from noon to 4 p.m., though riders can leave at their convenience.  Meet at 518 Valencia St. and dress appropriately for the ride and weather. It is suggested that riders pay $20 to $50 to benefit Shaping San Francisco. For more information, call 415-608-9035 or visit Shaping San Francisco.

Mark your calendars for these virtual events: 

Artistic prowess meets artificial intelligence

Gray Area’s next edition of its “Patch Connect” series invites three artists who use data and tech tools to elevate their artistic vision. The featured artists Mimi Ọnụọha, Toby Schachman and Philipp Schmitt are also all researchers with concentrations in technology. Learn how the outlook of photography can be transformed by computer code, data collection, artificial intelligence and spatial reasoning. The virtual talk will be on July 9 at 7 p.m. Donations between $5 and $20 are recommended, but not required. Reserve your tickets here. For more information call (415) 843-1423 or visit Gray Area’s website.  

Break out the popcorn

Have you seen it — er, I mean, her? Roxie Theater begins showing Mission-centered and Latino films, HAVE YOU SEEN HER, LA MISIÓN? on July 10 as a part of its short film program and virtual cinema. Documentaries like the 1998 film Ni aquí, ni allá (Neither Here, nor There) by Nora Cadena explores the ups and downs of living as a Mission street vendor and immigrant.

New Mission, directed and produced by former Mission Local editor Armand Emamdjomeh, captures the transformation of the neighborhood from 2008 to 2010. On July 15 at 6 p.m., there will be a live Q&A with curators and filmmakers moderated by the director of San Francisco Latino Film Festival, Lucho Ramirez. Donations of $5 to $20 are recommended. For more information, contact isabel@roxie.com or call 415-431-3611 ext. 103. 

Get to know the Bayview in a new way

Artist David Aaron Smith found items off the street and repurposed into life-sized portraits of Bayview residents, who he interviewed last fall, as a part of his project titled “RE-PLACED REVISITED.”

Smith’s work aims to highlight how much a community can be affected by those who neglect it and those who deliberately lift it up. The gallery missed its original opportunity to be seen at the Bayview Opera House due to coronavirus, but can now be viewed at the Drawing Room Annex by appointment only until July 15.

You can interact with the works and hear interviews from the people featured online, though it is highly recommended to see the works in person. The Drawing Room Annex’s current hours are Thursdays through Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Email info@drawingroomsf.com or courtney@curatedstate.com to make your appointment. 

See more featured events here.

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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