Quantcast

Mayor's Budget Earmarks $150K For SoMa Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District

SoMa Pilipinas Float. | Photo: SoMa Pilipinas/Facebook
By Nathan Falstreau - Published on June 07, 2017.

Last April, the Board of Supervisors voted to designate part of the South of Market neighborhood as a Filipino Cultural Heritage District, SoMa Pilipinas.

This year, Mayor Ed Lee released a budget that earmarks $150,000 for the district to create new programing and support Filipino-owned businesses in the neighborhood. 

“The Filipino community has a long and storied history in the city of San Francisco,” Lee said in a statement. “These investments signify our commitment to preserving the neighborhood as the cultural, economic and social core for Filipinos in the city and the families and seniors who call it home." 

Pistahan Parade down Market Street, 2016. | Photo: SoMa Pilipinas/  Facebook

Cultural districts are specific areas of the city that are identifiable by the cultural, artistic, and economic activity of the neighborhood, much like the Calle 24 Cultural District in the Mission. 

“The community has identified economic vitality and quality of life as priorities for desired outcomes," Office of Economic and Workforce Development program manager Diana Ponce De Leon told us. 

Today, South of Market is saturated with technology firms and rising glass towers, the neighborhood is home to a vibrant Filipino community with deep historical roots. According to the 2010 US Census, more than 5,000 Filipino-Americans still call the area home.

“Historically, the Filipino-American community has made the South of Market their home,” District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim told KQED News in 2015. “There’s a lot of history of nonprofit community-based services and organizations, as well as small businesses, that have served this community.” 

The Old Mint and Chronicle building. | Photo: Shawn S./Flickr

SoMa Pilipinas may be made up of a combination of activities, people, and community-based organizations, but the impetus for the creation of the cultural district was also a response to a fear of displacement.

Part of the investment from the city will help fund what SoMa Pilipinas is calling creative night markets, set to occur every third Friday at the historic Old Mint building located at 5th and Mission Streets starting August 18th.

“The concept for the Night Market came from the community, it was community-driven," said Ponce De Leon. "The goal is to support Filipino start-ups in a way, as a lot of these businesses don’t have brick and mortar locations. [The Night Market] activates that space in a great way that supports their vision.”

A Filipino night market in Malaysia. | Photo: Alexander S./Flickr

"Night Markets will showcase artists and vendors that represent the emerging culture of Filipino-Americans involved in music, visual arts, fashion, design, retail, food, technology, social activism, and health and wellness," wrote Ellen Canale, chief deputy director of communications for the mayor's office.

"[It] will be an opportunity for the whole community—city-wide and regionally—to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of SoMa Pilipinas," she continued.

"While only a year old, the Filipino Cultural Heritage District has great momentum and we look forward to our continued partnership,” said Lee. 

Nov 25, 2020
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Castro gets second Shared Spaces street closure, Noe Street goes car-free this Sunday

SFMTA approved the Castro Merchants' request to close Noe Street between 16th and Market Streets and Beaver Street. Castro residents will be familiar with the footprint as it's the same one used for Castro Farmers' Market on Wednesdays. Read More

Nov 25, 2020
San Francisco Upper Haight

Citing pressures of the pandemic, Haight Ashbury T-Shirts to close this winter after 43 years

After 43 years in business, the family-owned Upper Haight mainstay Haight Ashbury T-Shirts is closing permanently at the end of the year, citing the economic pressures of a pandemic that's killed virtually all tourist traffic to the neighborhood. Read More

Nov 25, 2020
San Francisco Union Square

Martin Yan’s Westfield Centre restaurant M.Y. China closes permanently

A lucrative location was rendered a terrible location when the pandemic hit, and Martin Yan’s namesake foray into shopping mall chic has closed. Read More

Nov 23, 2020
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Castro Muni station elevator project delayed, Harvey Milk Plaza redesign slowly moves forward

Hoodline has learned that the construction of a new glass elevator at Castro Muni station and Harvey Milk Plaza (Market and Castro Streets) has been delayed until fall 2021. Read More