Excelsior Action Group’s Three Year Public Art Project Honors Community’s History
(San Francisco – October 29, 2013) On Friday, November 1, the Excelsior community will join together at the site of the Ever Upward sculpture, the neighborhood’s first, for an unveiling ceremony. In Latin, the word “Excelsior” means “Ever Upward.” Driven by passionate community members, visionary local artists, and a committed nonprofit, the Excelsior Action Group, the Ever Upward project installed a sculpture at the corner of Geneva Avenue and Mission Street to mark the southern gateway to San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood. Ever Upward was conceived through a community design process led by Excelsior artists Isis Rodriguez and Jason Gilmore that included over 200 local participants. Standing 14-feet tall, the forged metal flame atop the mosaic column was erected in honor of the neighborhood’s long tradition of immigrants and working class families who endeavor to raise themselves ever upward.
The concept of the Ever Upward project first arose during the 2009 Excelsior Art Summit, at which over 50 local artists of all ages and mediums convened with community stakeholders to dialogue about projects for the neighborhood. Artists called for a project to mark the gateways to the Excelsior Community, most notably our bustling southern gateway at the intersection of Geneva Avenue and Mission Street. Over the past few years the Excelsior Action Group has executed earlier phases of the gateway project, including a garden and mosaic installation at Geneva and Mission in 2009 and a mural spanning the 280 overpass at the neighborhood’s northern extremity in 2010. In 2012, the Excelsior Action Group received a Community Challenge Grant from the City of San Francisco to begin a robust community design process and install a piece of public art at the southern gateway. Over the course of six public meetings with the help of over 200 community members, the design concept for Ever Upward was born. The most salient ideas that came from our community process described the Excelsior neighborhood as a landing point for immigrants and working class families who strive to raise themselves ever upward.
A tremendously talented and dedicated project team has organized to bring this project to life. Isis Rodriguez, an award-winning international artist based in San Francisco’s Excelsior district, designed the metal sculpture. Jason Gilmore, a local artist and educator who has worked on murals in the Excelsior, designed and helped to construct the mosaic for the column. Aurelio Lofaro, an Italian master blacksmith of Old World Ironworks fabricated the metal sculpture. An extremely dedicated team of local volunteers lead by Grace D’Anca and Deborah LeDet committed almost every Saturday from March to October 2013 to create the mosaic panels. Suaro Cervantes, master grouter and associate of Precita Eyes, led a team of volunteers to install the mosaic designs on the sculpture’s column. The Excelsior Action Group, a neighborhood nonprofit organization, managed the project under the leadership of Corridor Manager and Excelsior native, Nicole Jesslyn Agbayani. Project funders included the S.F. Community Challenge Grant program, District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the San Francisco Foundation, the Max and Anna Levinson Foundation, the Jewish Home of San Francisco, and many local businesses and resident donors. Finally, hundreds of Excelsior community members have dedicated their ideas, energy, and time to move this project forward.
Please join us Friday, November 1, 2013 at 5:00 PM at the site of Ever Upward as we unveil and celebrate this incredible piece of community art work. It will truly be a proud moment in our neighborhood’s history!
Join us at the Ever Upward Unveiling!
Friday, November 1, 2013
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
5098 Mission Street (corner of Geneva and Mission), San Francisco, CA 94112
Followed up community celebration at Rincon Latino, 5080 Mission Street, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
This fall, the Excelsior Action Group (EAG) is piloting the Excelsior Community Market with a dynamic set of preview market days. The Excelsior Community Market (ECM) provides a centralized place where residents, entrepreneurs, and people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, making a range of activities and affordable amenities easily accessible right in the heart of the Excelsior's Persia Triangle. On September 29, EAG hosted the first preview event of the Excelsior Community Market which occurred in conjunction with the Excelsior Festival and Sunday Streets. The first ECM preview day attracted over 500 attendees! On October 13, the second preview event featured twice as many vendors, live music, and a very popular pumpkin giveaway sponsored by The Garden Project. This Sunday, October 27, EAG will host the final ECM preview day. We invite you to join us, enjoy the event, and help to shape the Excelsior's first community market for its first full season in 2014!
The final ECM preview day will occur Sunday, October 27 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Bank of America parking lot, 15 Ocean Avenue. The market will feature an array of vendors, including artisans Fresh Coast, Squishy Sushi, Yarn & Clay; local business Excelsior Yoga; tasty treats from Estrellita's Snacks; and interactive sculpture by Out of Site Youth Arts Center. Our street stage will feature acoustic performances by local bands SF Jam Station and Adelante Unplugged. There will also be fun giveaways this week from the Garden Project and a free raffle! As always, the market is a great place to bring the kids, featuring hula hooping, a rainbow art screen, jewelry making, free balloons, and Excelsior temporary tattoos. Excelsior Festival t-shirts will be available again, in case you missed your opportunity to buy one during the Festival. This week, we encourage market attendees young and old to come in their Halloween costumes! Looking forward to finishing our preview season with one last great event!
Please join us for the FREE Excelsior Community Market preview day:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Bank of America parking lot, 15 Ocean Ave.
For more information, contact Nicole at (415) 585-0110 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Join us at the next Excelsior Collaborative meeting for more information: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at EAG's office, 35 San Juan Avenue, SF CA 94112.
Excelsior Action Group Organizes 2nd Excelsior Community Market Preview Day
(San Francisco – October 10, 2013) On September 29, the Excelsior Action Group hosted the first preview event of the Excelsior Community Market which occurred in conjunction with the Excelsior Festival and Sunday Streets. The Excelsior Community Market (ECM) provides a centralized place where residents, entrepreneurs, and people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, making a range of activities and affordable amenities easily accessible right in the heart of the Excelsior's Persia Triangle. The first ECM preview day attracted over 500 attendees, showcasing a sample set of vendors and offering a variety of fun children's activities.
The next ECM preview day will occur this Sunday, October 13 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Bank of America parking lot, 15 Ocean Avenue. The market will feature additional vendors like local business Excelsior Yoga, free performances by local bands including SF Jam Station and Beauty Operator, a vegetable, pumpkin and seed giveaway in partnership with the Garden Project, and a free raffle. The market will also include even more children's activities this week including hula hooping, a rainbow art screen, jewelry making, free balloons, and Excelsior temporary tattoos. There may even be surprise guest appearances from the Excelsior Smurf and Mickey Mouse! Excelsior Festival t-shirts will be available at the event, in case you missed your opportunity to buy one during the Festival.
The idea of the Excelsior Community Market arose from the confluence of several projects that the Excelsior Action Group has been spearheading over the years. First, the Excelsior Art & Music Festival that has occurred annually at the Persia Triangle for over a decade demonstrated how a market could be a valuable platform for community-building in Excelsior’s diverse neighborhood. Second, the results of a Business Attraction Needs Assessment conducted by the Excelsior Action Group last year exhibited the need for temporary space to be created for business types not currently available in the Excelsior Commercial Corridor, such as bike repair, family activities, and a plant nursery. In addition, the market provides a local space for fostering entrepreneurship and skills-building among residents in Excelsior. Lastly, the Excelsior Action Group has been working with a broad coalition of community organizations and local city agencies to activate, beautify, and make safer the heart of the Excelsior at the Persia Triangle. A seed grant from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s Invest in Neighborhoods program has enabled the preview season of the ECM to flourish, creating a fun and immediate solution to meet all of these needs.
Join us at the 2nd Excelsior Community Market preview day!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
15 Ocean Avenue (parking lot), San Francisco, CA 94112