“San Francisco has always been a mecca for artists who wanted to attempt something innovative or outside of the mainstream," founder Joe Goode said in a statement. "I don’t want to see that go away."
Nominated by Mayor London Breed, the nonprofit has officially joined the ranks of the "longstanding, community-serving businesses" that have established themselves in San Francisco neighborhoods for at least three decades.
"[JGPG] has been tackling some of this generation's most urgent and painful issues, including AIDS, drug abuse, gender identity, aging and isolation," Mayor Breed wrote in a letter. "Their work has influenced dance theater, nationally and internationally."
To see what's new with JGPG, Hoodline dropped by the nonprofit's Annex, which is located inside Project Artaud's arts complex, at 401 Alabama St. (and 17th) to learn more.
"It has been interesting to see a performance-focused business as part of that historic preservation list," JGPG communications and program manager Melissa Lewis said. "It is important to be recognized as an arts business."
JGPG moved into their current home in 2011. In addition to JGPG's own shows, the building also serves as an affordable rehearsal and performance studio. Artists can rent the venue for rehearsals, classes or performances.
"It's a community hub for a lot of young and established artists," Lewis said. Since ODC is located nearby, the local dance community is already used to coming to this area of the city. "People come here from the East Bay," Lewis said.
JGPG plans to work on some space improvements, like better sound protection and accessibility upgrades, over the next year.
JGPG also gets a new executive director this month. Michelle Lynch Reynolds has taken over the position from Adriana Marcial, who moves on to become deputy director at the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Lynch Reynolds previously worked as the program director at the San Francisco-based Dancer's Group.
"Sharing stories through movement is such a simple idea – with the power to change lives – and Joe does just that," Lynch Reynolds said in a statement. "Educational programs bring this power further out in the world, and the Annex as a home base for the company and fellow dance-makers means that dance can remain a part of San Francisco's cultural landscape."
Goode himself works on several initiatives, including youth education in Bay Area high schools through movement, storytelling, and song. Once a month, he invites everyone who is interested to a "Movement for Humans" class at the Alabama Street building. Participants can expect accessible and easeful movement, Lewis said, while all ages and bodies are welcome. For this all-levels class, no experience is required.
The next "Movement for Humans" class takes place on Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m.–12 p.m., no RSVP is required, $10–$20.
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