Valencia Street is about to get lit.
That’s right: for the first time ever, Valencia Street will be “all lit up” from 14th to 24th Street. The celebration will also include appearances by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a mariachi band, and speeches from elected officials according to Manny Yekutiel, owner of Manny’s on 16th Street and board member of Valencia Corridor Merchants Association. The official lighting ceremony kicks off at 8 p.m. tonight and promises to be brilliant.
Move your feet
Get up and move your feet, because Dance Mission Theater, at 3316 24th St., will feature free dance performances that will travel around the neighborhood. It’s GRRRL Brigade pays homage to women writers through their choreography “HERSTORY,” which audience members can see at 1 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, at 23rd and Bartlett streets.
Not quite tapped out yet? Catch another show at the 24th Mission BART Plaza on May 16 at 2 p.m. for a dance performance put on with ABD Productions and its main program Skywatchers, which aims to center performances on the experiences of formerly unhoused Tenderloin residents. The tandem production is called “From Containment to Expansion,” and features dance, spoken word, and music in order to depict the lives of Tenderloin residents and the plight of Black Lives Matter. Though it is free, reserve your tickets here. Donations to Dance Mission Theater are welcome; do so here.
Let the show begin! Roxie Theater reopens May 21
How about a round of applause? It turns out the beloved Roxie Theater at 3125 16th St. is set to welcome back adoring fans on May 21 and wastes no time in screening Cinema Paradiso, a nostalgic story recounting a filmmaker’s childhood as he connects with film from his village.
The theater is also stoked to present the film The Story of a Three-Day Pass on May 22 at 6 p.m. and on May 30 at 4 p.m. The 1968 feature film debut by Melvin Van Peebles, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, follows an African American soldier stationed in France who takes a three-day leave in Paris and falls in love with a white woman. Critics noted the well-balanced humor and political commentary on racism at the time, and said that this type of film “could never have been made in America.”
On May 14, the Roxie is also running the film via its online channel, Roxie Virtual Cinema, in collaboration with Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and The Smith Rafael Film Center. Screening links are available. Visit Roxie Theater’s website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Buy tickets here.
Mission art students — The Early Years
Some of the neighborhood’s very own Cesar Chavez Elementary and Mission Education Center students will have their work featured in an art exhibition titled, “New Growth 2021, Courage in Creativity.” Root Division, a San Francisco visual arts nonprofit, holds free art classes for more than 1,000 underserved students aged 5 to 24 each year. Studio artists volunteer one to three hours a week to develop lessons and activities for the students in its afterschool program, and each year the artwork is celebrated through an exhibition. Come see the young brilliance between May 4 and May 15 at Root Division on 1131 Mission St. Appointments for the gallery are necessary. Contact 415-863-7668 or rootdivision.org for more information.
Calling all artists: Leave your mark on a Capp Street home
Your craftsmanship could join the ranks of the Mission’s painted gems. A private homeowner is seeking a local artist to affix a mural to a wall in front of their garden at their Capp Street home. The maximum budget checks out to $5,000 for time and materials, in addition to other costs associated with the scope of the project. If you wish to apply, send over an artist bio, a summary of your mural idea, rough sketches of the piece, a proposed budget and examples of past work. Inquiries and applications can be sent to email@example.com by May 17.
SFMOMA presents Nam June Paik and continues photo gallery of the Mission
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is wired to be the sole United States location of the video art icon, Nam June Paik. Paik made his name as one of the first artists to play with video, and gained acclaim for envisioning the “electronic superhighway” in 1974. Check out his life’s works starting Saturday May 8 on Floor 4.
Looking for other exhibits to peruse while you’re there? Head over to Erina Alejo’s powerful photography exhibit of the Mission. Alejo documented seven miles of Mission Street through a series of intimate photos during the pandemic, crossing into SoMa, Excelsior and finally, the Mission, for the Covid-19 themed exhibit “Bay Area Walls.”
“I wanted to walk along the street where I’ve lived for most of my brief life so far — and walk along it intensely — to see, hear, feel, smell, interact, and sense it,” Alejo says. “I saw that the hardships of the small business workers and artists, half of whom are immigrants — if not all working and middle class — had only intensified since the onset of the pandemic.” See it on Floor 3.