From film screenings to history talks, live performances to art exhibitions, the Tenderloin Museum has quickly become a hub for affordable—and often free—events celebrating the neighborhood’s rich history and diverse community.
Program manager Katie Conry attributes the museum's success to building relationships with many of the community’s existing assets, from institutions like the Asian Art Museum to grassroots community arts organizations like Skywatchers. Those partnerships will be showcased this Saturday, July 16th, when entry to the museum will be free of charge to all for the Tenderloin Museum's first-anniversary celebration.
If you're interested in quietly perusing the museum's permanent collection, full of artifacts and insights on the neighborhood's history from 1906 to the present, plan to stop by between 10am and 1pm. After that, the museum will be abuzz with free performances and historical discussions on the hour, until the doors close at 9pm.
From 1-4pm, events will focus on youth. The afternoon kicks off with magic lessons, followed by storytellers from the Asian Art Museum and a performance by Vocal Chords, Larkin Street Youth Services' youth choir.
After 4pm, the programming takes a turn toward the mature, with a discussion of the Black Panthers’ history and impact on the civil rights movement; a celebration of “resistance to oppression" through music, dance and spoken word with Skywatchers; and an hour of live jazz performances. And after sold-out shows at the museum and the Mission's Roxie Theater, Aunt Charlie’s Dream Queens Revue Drag Show will return to the museum to close out the night.
The museum's store will also be transformed for the day into an exhibition of all of the artists who’ve displayed and sold their work in the space over the past year. That includes the museum's first artist-in-residence, Ryan De La Hoz of CoolTry; Nan Castle, a local photographer who captures “ghost advertisements” painted on the neighborhood’s historic buildings; and Temporal Cities, a project focused on illuminating the neighborhood's diversity.
While the Tenderloin Museum's anniversary will be a "greatest hits" of sorts, Conry said plenty of exciting new events and exhibitions are on tap for the year to come. The museum is currently working with the Castro's LGBT History Museum to kick off a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Compton's Cafeteria riot, which will take place later this month. And in early August, the museum store will host an exhibition created by children in Glide's summer art program.
Overall, the Tenderloin Museum has done a "good job" of celebrating artistic work being created in the community, Conry concluded. While that work will continue, the goal for this next year is creating some original work as well.
To kick off that initiative, the Tenderloin Museum is contributing funds from a recently secured grant to help James Hoskins, director of the Aunt Charlie's-centric documentary Beautiful By Night, produce his next film, which will focus on the San Francisco Night Ministry.
The full schedule for the Tenderloin Museum's first-anniversary celebration is available here. To stay up to date on future events at the Tenderloin Museum, keep an eye on the Hoodline events calendar.
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