Community-run Filipino night markets launch 3rd season in new SoMa location

Community-run Filipino night markets launch 3rd season in new SoMa location

Images courtesy of UNDSCVRD and Kultivate Labs

By Carrie Sisto - Published on July 16, 2019.

A Filipino-themed seasonal night market launches its third season this weekend on Stevenson Street in an effort to activate the northernmost reaches of SoMa.

The UNDSCVRD night market, curated by Kultivate Labs in collaboration with SoMa Pilipinas, will occur three times this year on Stevenson between 6th and 7th streets, with additional monthly markets being hosted in other SoMa locations. The first installment will take place on Saturday, July 20.

Map of the 2019 UNDSCVRD location.

The UNDSCVRD market partners view the third season's new location as a challenge to activate, but they have received widespread support from new partners in the new location, according to Desi Danganan, executive director of Kultivate Labs. 

“Residents, businesses, and property owners have been looking at ways to revitalize this forlorn stretch of SoMa,” Danganan said.

“Montesacro laid the ground work by putting up string lights on 6th and Stevenson Street and residents of the nearby Seneca Hotel will be putting up a mural on that corner,” Danganan added. The 196-unit residential hotel, which has watched over the neighborhood since its construction in 1911, is currently owned and operated by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

The Seneca Hotel at 6th and Stevenson. | Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

The mural supported by this new partnership is the first to be painted on the hotel, according to Danganan.

The night markets will transform the “undiscovered” block of Stevenson and the adjacent parking lot at 1064 Mission St., “by creating a vibrant village of Filipino-American music, art, dance, and retail,” Danganan said. 

“Revitalizing that zone is [going to] be a heavy lift and we’re happy that we’re partnering with our neighbors in the area to make all of this happen,” he said. “When the Night Markets are over we’re leaving a positive imprint in the area."

Performers on stage at the 2018 UNDSCVRD Night Markets.

Kultivate has partnered with Zendesk and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development to build an “out-of-this world immersive street art basketball court to bring the community together at UNDSCVRD,” Danganan said. The court will be painted on on the parking lot at 1064 Mission St., and will remain in place after the night markets occur.

Diagram of the planned half-court basketball court on the underutilized parking lot, to be installed as part of the night market's activation. 

The Kultivate Labs team attributes significant economic results to the past two seasons of UNDSCVRD, including $250,000 and $270,000 in economic activity at the market and nearby businesses during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, by attracting people to the SoMa Pilipinas cultural district that otherwise may not have visited.

UNDSCVRD is also “working alongside local properties and a Stevenson Street Working Group to paint murals on Stevenson Alley,” Danganan said.

Map of the 2019 Night Market location and Stevenson Alley.

The Mid-Market Community Benefit District, San Francisco Parks Alliance and other local organizations will bring additional pop-up recreation activities and new lighting to this block of Stevenson Street over the course of the next several months, according to Paloma Concordia, spokesperson for the events and founder of PapaLoDown

The next UNDSCVRD night market will coincide with SoMa's August 18 Sunday Streets event on Folsom Street between 6th and 8th streets. After this weekend, the market will occur again in the Stevenson Street location on the third Saturdays of September and October, but the location for the holiday-themed pop-up market later in the year has not yet been determined, Concordia said.

Kultivate expects that next year’s season of UNDSCVRD night markets will occur at yet another location in the SoMa Pilipinas cultural district. 

“We’re like the traveling circus bringing our brand of fun, food, shopping, and family friendly vibes to different 'undiscovered' areas,” Danganan said.

Saturday’s event runs from 4-10 p.m. and is topped with a performance by Joceyln Enriquez, a San Francisco native pop and dance artist of Filipino descent. A list of food and craft vendors and other community activities is available on the event website here