Art Changes Lives 2021, the annual art gala for Creativity Explored, kicks off on April 23.

Apply for $10.9 million in city grants for small businesses

San Francisco and Mayor London Breed this week announced a new $10.9 million dollar grant program that will give grants to certain storefront small businesses affected by pandemic economic loss.

Small businesses will receive grants of $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the number of staff each business had pre-pandemic. More than 1,400 businesses will be selected, and grants will be divided into two categories. The first is the Small Business Storefront Equity program, which is earmarked for businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic, serve low-income neighborhoods and have not received any local, state or federal aid. The second is the Community Storefront Anchors program, which will go to longstanding businesses that contribute to the “culture” of the city in certain corridors. The city aims to give out all $10.9 million by July. Apply today, here

A new preschool hits the Mission

Mission Kids Preschool and the city have launched a new preschool facility at 969 Treat Ave. The new space broadens Mission Kids’ scope to serve 100 families, twice its previous capacity. Mission Kids Preschool’s enrollment is about 40 percent Latinx, 15 percent Black, and 15 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, and more than 75 percent of these families get tuition subsidies.

The project was made possible by $2.5 million from city’s Child Care Facilities Fund and another $2.4 million in New Markets Tax Credits from the Office of Early Care and Education and the Low Income Investment Fund, and $450,000 through San Francisco’s Complete Neighborhoods Program. Multiple community partners, like Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, MEDA, Dolores Street Community Services and more, also assisted in completing this project. 

Creativity Explored 

During the pandemic, longstanding traditions and events required some touch-ups. So Creativity Explored, the Mission gallery and nonprofit art center that features artists with developmental disabilities, stitched up a new way to ring in its annual art gallery.

The main fundraising event, Art Changes Lives 2021, asks participants to join their neighbors virtually to fashion a digital community quilt. Thanks to a free, interactive game, participants can design their own quilt patch and watch the quilt expand as others add their own. Or, bidders may take their pick at three Creativity Explored artists works, which will be up for auction. Feel like playing with the big dogs? Upgrade your tickets to VIP and join the Happy Half Hour mixer and receive a VIP Party Kit. 

Join in on April 23. Happy hour kicks things off from 5:30 to 6 p.m., then transitions to the general live event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Grab tickets anytime before noon on the day of, though VIP Party tickets should be purchased by April 12. Tickets start at $50. 

If you just can’t wait, bid on more than 75 Creativity Explored artists’ pieces from April 16 to April 23 in the silent auction. All proceeds go back to Creativity Explored’s programs and artists. 

And in case these activities won’t suffice, Creativity Explored, at 3245 16th St., plans on celebrating ahead of the gala, too. 

Roxie Virtual Theater presents Tales of the Four Seasons

As the famous Broadway hit Rent goes, “how do you measure a year?” Apparently, they’re measured in French romance films spanning close to two hours (at least if you were to ask Eric Rohmer, a comedic screenwriter and director).

The Roxie Theater, at 3117 16th St., revives Rohmer’s four ‘90s films A TALE OF SPRINGTIME, A TALE OF WINTER, A TALE OF SUMMER, and a TALE OF AUTUMN which have been restored and updated, thanks to the American film administrator Janus Films. The tetralogy hits the Roxie virtually on April 23. Ask for screening links; tickets for each film cost $10 for Roxie members and $12 for nonmembers. Tickets for all four cost $40 and can be purchased here. Contact or go to Roxie’s website for more information. 

Bless the Familia Santana 

Come bless the Santana Family and La Familia Santana Mural on Saturday, April 10, at the 24th St. Mission BART Plaza. The Santana Family Mural Project Team, Mission Art 415 and several other organizers invite everyone to come out and honor the artwork with them. Congueros, drummers and any other percussionists are invited to bring themselves, their instruments, and their own chairs or stools to complement their performances. 

Support Asian neighbors

Bay Area community nonprofits, groups, skate stores and food trucks are teaming up for an event Sunday to show support for Asians amid increasing anti-Asian violence and hate. There will be grub from the Misson’s very own Señor Sisig on 990 Valencia St., Da Poke Man, and Vegan Mob. A portion of the sales will go toward buying safety kits for Asian elders. The gathering is put on by a variety of local groups like All in SF, INDIKA, Atlas, FTC Skateboarding, DLXSF, The City Eats, and Vibes & Smiles. The event promises activities like giveaways, blasting tunes, games and “positive vibes.” Come by City Station at 701 Valencia St. wearing a mask on Sunday, April 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“Canciones en tiempos de Covid”

Bad Bunny isn’t the only one who dropped a quarantine album. While most of the world was stuck at home, Miguelito Martinez and Luna Carmen mixed up some songs to transform them into new genres. The pair took a few tunes from composers like Ruben Blades, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Tomas Mendez, and tinkered with them until they had a “rock song turned into a bolero,” and “salsa converted into blues.” Hear it for yourself at a free online concert on April 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. that features other live music from Jackie Raggo and Pedro Pastrana. The performance will be streamed on Facebook and Youtube. Contact the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts at for more information. 

You, the next keeper of “Keeper of the Fire”

Calle 24 Latino Cultural District implores lovers of poetry, film and activism to consider donating to the half-hour documentary “Keeper of the Fire,” which is being fiscally sponsored by Acción Latina on 2958 24th St. “Keeper of the Fire” follows the life of poet and activist Alejandro Murguia, who traveled to Nicaragua, Mexico City, and spent much of his time in the Mission District advocating against gentrification. Murguia was also the first Latino poet laureate of San Francisco, and won two American Book Awards.

Erick Arguello, founder and president of Calle 24, said, “We know first-hand how the arts and activism are an integral part of social movements. We ask you to donate to help keep the fire alive. This film will preserve and tell our stories to raise awareness and to continue the struggle for a just and equitable world.” So far, the GoFundMe, created last week, raked in just over $2,000 of the $30,000 goal. If you feel so inclined, donate here


Your contribution is appreciated.

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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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