San Francisco Arts Activation + Urban Prototyping Festival


Some local kids adding one of the first contributions to the ArtisMobilus mural, envisioning what people would like to see in San Francisco’s Central Market.

October was a big month for arts engagement in San Francisco’s challenged Central Market district, with multiple events at the heart of them – 24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival, 2 Blocks of Art, and the Urban Prototyping Festival, to name a few. Of course, we can’t help but get involved – we love art and participation, both of which are much needed just outside of our front door! We worked with these events to make it all happen – thanks to many efforts from our team of incredible volunteers and volunteer performers. We look forward to many more.


ArtRobics dancing in the street.

Our activities began in September 2012, with performances from Gamelan X – who captivated passers-by and filled the streets and alleys with rhythm and dance. Just outside of HQ, at the corner of 6th and Market, community members painted a map of their ideal city on the side of portable mural ArtisMobilus. Across the street, the City of Awesome project, run by artist Todd Berman, gathered people together to create a community painting featuring participatory portraits created by kids and adults alike. Finally, ArtRobics got people moving in the street in a fun participatory combination of art, aerobics and disco.

On October 19, we participated in the second art walk, with performances from the Loyd Family Players, and the mobile mural was also completed.


The completed mural, touched by many, many local hands.

The next day was the San Francisco Urban Prototyping (UP) Festival, produced by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA). Like 24 Days of Art/2 Blocks of Art, UP also activated the space in Central Market, with particular focus on the 5M district  – a collection of blocks at the intersection of 5th St. and Mission. The event showcased a series of digital, physical, replicable, open source, documented, replicable, and affordable projects, all designed with the intent of improving San Francisco and cities with similar problems. We provided entertainment for festival-goers in Hallidie Plaza, featuring Gamelan X and Bad Unkl Sista.

The feedback on these engagements from our community has been phenomenal. We hope to keep working together to bring this kind of energy to Central Market. More fun work and play is on the horizon.

For more information on these events, visit:

24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival: www.centralmarketarts.org
2 Blocks of Art: www.urbansolutionssf.org/news_events/artwalk.html
SF Urban Prototyping Festival: sf.urbanprototyping.org