March is here and spring is finally peering over the horizon. As the days get longer and — fingers crossed — warmer, find out what is going on in your neighborhood.

Hot tip: Read to the end to find out how to get yourself some free fries, hot chocolate, movie tickets, and more this weekend…

LGBTQIA+ immigrant vigil

National Detention Watch is coordinating a national day of action today, in opposition to the detention and deportation of immigrants in the United States.

As part of the day, San Francisco’s Rainbow Beginnings has organized a vigil in remembrance of LGBTQIA+ immigrants who died in detention or after having been deported to dangerous parts of the world. The vigil will take place on Harvey Milk Plaza at 5:30 p.m.

State Sen. Scott Wiener and other local politicians are expected to speak at the vigil. More information on the day of action can be found on the National Detention Watch website.

Get your watercolor on at Bernal Public Library

Image from San Francisco Public Library.

If you feel like getting creative and meeting new people, the Watercolor Community of San Francisco is meeting at Bernal Public Library this Friday from 1 to 5 p.m.

All ages are welcome for “an afternoon of watercolor creation, critique, applause, suggestions and motivation.” The event is free and registration is not required, but participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies.

Concert with Conversation: Ulysses Owens Jr.

Image from Eventbrite.

This Friday from 6 to 7 p.m., Grammy Award-winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. will perform at the 544 Capp Street Community Music Center, and tickets are free.

Owens has seven albums to his name and is the author of multiple books about drumming and musical success. For this concert, Owens will be accompanied by pianist Adam Shulman and bassist Michael Zisman. There will be time for questions after the performance.

Tickets can be reserved here. If you are unable to snag one in time, you can watch the event from the comfort of your home; it will be live-streamed for free on YouTube.

CoffeeShop Ukraine donations

Photo taken by Christina Rumpf, courtesy of Unsplash.

CoffeeShop, the Mission café run by Olga Boiko and her husband since 2012, is holding a fundraiser for Ukraine.

Starting this Saturday and running for one week, they will be selling special tote and coffee bags, with all funds to be split between a Ukrainian defense fund and a Ukrainian shelter for children and mothers.

You can visit their stores at 3139 Mission St. or 2761 21st St., or see their website.

Free outdoor comedy at Golden Gate Park

Image from Eventbrite.

If you’re willing to trek over to Golden Gate Park this weekend, the “Blankets and Wine Comedy” set is worth taking in.

The audience is encouraged to bring along blankets and wine to enjoy a fresh line-up of up-and-coming local comics each week. The free festivities begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the polo field bleachers.

Take a look at the event page to find more details.

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts selects new director

Dr. Martina Ayala. Image courtesy of Francisco Gómez.

After 26 years of leadership, Jennie Rodriguez has stepped down as Executive Director of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Dr. Martina Ayala has been selected to replace her as the art nonprofit’s next leader.

Ayala has 35 years of experience with higher education and social service nonprofits. She is an award-winning filmmaker and has also curated art exhibits in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Her scholarly work is wide-ranging and includes a focus on Chicano film, literacy through the arts, social justice, immigrants, and trauma informed care.

“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me,” Ayala wrote in a press release. “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead such a great organization. The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts is resilient, and I know we can move forward and continue to provide excellent arts and cultural programing to our community and beyond.”

SF Arts Commission seeks water-themed artwork

Image from Arts Commission website

The San Francisco Art Commission has put out a call for local artists to pitch ideas for two huge new pieces of artwork at 2000 Marin St.

The artwork will adorn two 43-foot-high facades on the Public Utilities Commission’s new campus. The new campus will house the City Distribution Division, which deals with San Francisco’s water distribution, so the artwork should be water-themed.

According to the commission, the artworks should “reflect the SFPUC’s mission to provide their customers with high quality, efficient and reliable power, water, and sewer services in a manner that is inclusive of environmental and community interests.” The budget is $1,859,000.

The deadline for applications is March 28. You can find out more and read about eligibility requirements on the San Francisco Art Commission website.

Manny’s trash pickup

Image from Eventbrite.

If you’re looking to do some good for the community, meet new people, or just get out of the house for the first time in two years, look no further.

In partnership with yoga studio Haum, Manny’s is organizing a neighborhood trash pickup this Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m. All equipment will be provided, and volunteers will set off from Manny’s, at 3092 16th St.

The best part? Anyone who takes part will earn a host of discounts and perks from local businesses for the rest of the day. That includes half-price shots at Bond Bar, free hot chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate, free fries from Beehive Bar, a free movie ticket from Roxie Theater, and much more.

You can register for the event, and find a full list of discounts and perks, on Eventbrite.

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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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