We did it, everyone: We made it through January.

As our collective reward, here is a roundup of all sorts of interesting events and goings-on in the Mission over the next week. Art shows abound, Black History Month has begun, and the Dolores Park playground is once again open to the public.

Take a look.

Dolores Park playground reopens

The Helen Diller playground in all its glory. Photo by Will Jarrett.

The Helen Diller playground, on the south side of Dolores Park, has reopened after several months of renovations.

The extensive restoration took longer than expected, as the playground first closed last June for an anticipated three months. The playground features several slides, hills to scamper across, swings, a sandpit and plenty of climbing equipment.

Independent Film Festival launches today

Image courtesy of SF IndieFest.

From tonight until Feb. 13, indie film lovers in the city will find their cups runneth over with a plethora of cinematic treats.

At this year’s San Francisco Independent Film Festival, filmgoers will be able to catch 65 new films from across the Bay and around the world. The films include comedies, dramas, documentaries and offerings that transcend all genre expectations.

You can watch in-person at the Roxie Theater at 16th and Valencia streets, where tickets cost $14 in advance or $15 at the door. Alternatively, you can stream from home with the simultaneous virtual festival. For true aficionados, an all-access pass is available for $100.

For a full list of titles and timings, take a look at the schedule.

San Francisco Symphony: Nielsen and Beethoven

Conductor Herbert Blomstedt. Photo courtesy of SF Symphony.

This Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., the San Francisco Symphony will perform at Davies Symphony Hall.

Their performance will include Carl Neilson’s Fourth Symphony and Beethoven’s Fifth (featuring what is certainly the most famous opening in classical music).

Take a look at the SF Symphony website for more details. Tickets are available from $20.

“Trashy City” art show

Half a dozen local artists will be showing off their latest creations at 455 A Valencia St. this Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, and refreshments will be provided.

Masks will be required for admission.

The Photography of Ivan Spane

Photos by Ivan Spane. Images courtesy of The Drawing Room.

This never-before-seen body of work from photographer Ivan “Rocky” Spane captures portraits of New Yorkers throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

The exhibition is on display at The Drawing Room, at 23rd and Capp streets, from 2 to 5 p.m. Its final day is this Saturday, so there’s still time to take a look. Entrance to the exhibition is free and prints are available to purchase.

Free gardening workshop

Image courtesy of Garden for the Environment.

You will need to travel a little outside of the Mission for this one, but it looks like it’ll be worth it.

Garden for the Environment is a nonprofit that hosts free workshops teaching San Franciscans how to grow their own plants. This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, it will be showing participants how to make compost (which includes an introduction to the garden’s industrious worms).

The workshop will take place at 1590 7th Ave. You can sign up here.

‘What If?’ free writing workshop

Image courtesy of 826 Valencia.

On Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., this one-time workshop at 826 Valencia will encourage kids to imagine the world they want to live in and write poetry based on their ideas. Children will discuss how to advocate for community change while forming their masterpieces.

The workshop has 13 spaces available, and is open to 13-to-18-year-olds. Sign up here.

Galentine’s Day Brunch

Image courtesy of District Six.

With Valentine’s Day an ominous rose-tinted glow on the horizon, District Six (located at 428 11th St.) is hosting a boozy alternative this Sunday.

There will be tunes from DJ Von Kiss, food trucks, vendors and a beer and wine garden. Tickets are available here from $5.

Lava Thomas virtual artist lecture

Lava Thomas and her piece ‘Fictitious Self Portrait.’ Image courtesy of Mills College Art Museum.

Berkeley-based multidisciplinary artist Lava Thomas is giving a virtual lecture at 7 p.m. next Wednesday. Her work often deals with “visibility, healing, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma, and oppression.”

Tickets are free. You can register for the lecture here.

Meditation in the African American Center

Disability rights activist Dennis Billups. Image courtesy of San Francisco Public Library.

Every Wednesday this month, disability rights activist Dennis Billups will lead a meditation session from noon to 1 p.m. at the San Francisco Public Library’s African American Center.

The session is secular and open to all religious and non-religious people. There will be time to ask Billups (who contributed to 2020 Netflix documentary “Crip Camp“) questions at the end.

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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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