Brava! Theater

11 10 2008

Did you know there’s a theater here in San Francisco just for us Urban Cowgirls?

I’ve seen so many wonderful, eclectic, colorful shows at Brava! Theater Center on 24th Street (at York) in the Mission District. The first event I went to there happened even before the space was officially re-opened, and we sat on bleachers in a dripping old theater. My friend JJ says she used to go to movies there when she was a kid for $0.10 a show!

In the last decade or so, the theater has been lovingly and beautifully renovated by people who are committed to the artistic expression of women, people of color, and youth, and to community transformation through the performing arts. By my measure, they’re doing a great job!

Events in the upcoming season include free writing workshops with Josephina Lopez, the author of Real Women Have Curves, a run of Friends, (no, not the sitcom; the 1964 Absurdist Classic written by Japanese playwright and novelist Kobo Abe), comedies, mariachis, healers, movies (try Harold and Maude on Valentine’s Day), classes, an all-day MLK celebration, music from around the world, and more more more!

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Balmy Alley – Murals in the Mission

10 06 2008

 (www.SpiritInTheCity.com)

Besides my home, I think Balmy Alley is my favorite place in San Francisco.  I always take out-of-town guests here.  It is a tasty bite of the best that San Francisco has to offer.  This little street in the Mission, off of 24th Street (between Treat Avenue and Harrison Street), is lined on both sides with colorful murals.  Each one tells a story. Some are whimsical, many are more serious, grappling with important issues affecting our global community.  Some of them are older, dating back to the 1980’s, some are brand new. All of them are beautiful. 

There are many other murals around the City, especially in the Mission. Precita Eyes is a collaborative nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching and beautifying urban environments and educating communities about the process and the history of public community mural art. They involve all kinds of people in the creation of murals that reflect their particular concerns, joys and triumphs. They have an amazing program for kids. I’m a card-carrying member. If you enjoy the colorful Mission District, I encourage you to support this organization, too!

The best way to see Balmy Alley and the other Mission murals, of course, is on foot. You can do it on your own, or Precita Eyes offers weekly Mission Trail Mural Walks on the weekends.

What’s some of your favorite public art in San Francisco?