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Skywatchers Festival

 Skywatchers Festival

ABD Productions is pleased to present At The Table: VISIONS, the 8th annual Skywatchers Festival, a free, three-day arts and performance festival in the Tenderloin that highlights neighborhood challenges along with a community-driven vision for the future. The 2019 Skywatchers Festival will feature Came Here to Live, a new performance work by the Skywatchers Ensemble, a multi-media art installation, and a community dinner and dialogue about the changing neighborhood. At the Table: VISIONS will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 17 – 19 at the Kelly Cullen Community Center at 220 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco.

For the past eight years, Skywatchers has been creating and performing powerful art that emerges directly from the stories and experiences of neighborhood residents. The Festival convenes hundreds of community members along with emerging and established artists and advocates from outside the community for cutting edge and powerful performances that illuminate the beauty, diversity and challenges of the Tenderloin.

Skywatchers Festival At The Table: Visions culminates a two-year creative placemaking initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town program to amplify the rich and complex stories and talent of Tenderloin community members. In addition to daily performances of Came Here to Live, the three-day festival will feature a multi-media art installation along with a community meal and dialogue centered on housing justice and community in a changing neighborhood.

Came Here to Live will be performed by the Skywatchers Ensemble, a collaborative arts ensemble of intergenerational, mixed-ability Tenderloin residents and ABD artists. Inspired by the stories and issues facing its members, Came Here to Live offers a vision of what it means to have a seat at the table, to dismantle the table, and to create inclusion through creative resistance to systemic disenfranchisement. The performance will be followed by an engaging audience discussion of the themes presented in the show. Came Here to Live is co-created by the Skywatchers Ensemble and Bay Area artist Anne Bluethenthal, Shakiri, jose e abad, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Malia Byrne, Gabriel Christian, Dazié Grego, and Deirdre Visser with Frances Sedayao, Rama Hall, Ian Winters, and Peekaboo Jenkins.

Multi-Media Arts
The multi-media art installation will feature a collection of pieces created over the past two years by Tenderloin residents. This includes the Opulence Project, which features large-scale photo portraits of community members rendered as the god/goddess of their imagination; a video of performance interventions around hostile design; a short documentary about the Hotel Iroquois; and an exhibition of 200 handmade banners of those who died on the streets in 2018. The installation will be available for viewing one hour before each performance.

Community Meal
Hundreds of Tenderloin residents and supporters will break bread together at a free community meal sponsored by Imperfect Produce, co-hosted by Skywatchers and Farming Hope, with support from GLIDE’s Daily Free Meals program. Residents and community leaders will, in fact, have a seat “At the Table” as they engage in a discussion about issues facing the neighborhood ranging from food access to public health and safety. San Francisco’s GLIDE will support the Community Meal by providing the facility and staff to prep, cook and transport the meal.

“Here at GLIDE we understand how important the communal act of eating can be for the soul and to unify and connect socially,” said GLIDE Daily Free Meals Program Director George Gundry. “Food has such incredible power to bring people together and GLIDE is honored to support Skywatchers in this meaningful endeavor.”

"Imperfect is proud to partner with Skywatchers to support this incredibly important community gathering,” said Imperfect Produce’s Social Impact and Sustainability Manager Marlana Malerich. “We hope to see you there!"

Friday 5/17
· 5:30 - Opening Reception
· 7:00 –Performance of Came Here to Live

Saturday 5/18
· 4:00 - Performance of Came Here to Live
· 5:30 – Community Meal & Conversations

Sunday 5/19
· 12:30 – Processional from GLIDE to 220 Golden Gate
· 1:00 - Performance of Came Here to Live

The 8th annual Skywatchers Festival is made possible through the vision, generosity and support of dozens of community partners and businesses, including: Luggage Store/ 509 Community Space; GLIDE Foundation; Faithful Fools Street Ministry; Kelly Cullen Community Center; Larkin Street Youth Services; Tenderloin Museum; Demonstration Gardens; Cutting Ball Theater; SafeHouse; CounterPulse; Coalition on Homelessness; Hospitality House; Center City SRO; Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation; Tenderloin People’s Congress; Community Housing Partnership; Tenderloin Community Benefit District; and Farming Hope. Funding provided by California Arts Council, Mazza Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

For more information, visit

About ABD Productions
Led by Anne Bluethenthal, ABD Productions seeks to inspire social change through the arts. A women- and queer-centered multi-ethnic company, ABD Productions is committed to creating new dance works in collaboration with diverse communities, and to inspire creativity and confidence in others. Our performances use the vocabulary of movement to create eloquent, bold and subversive acts of art.

About Imperfect Produce
Imperfect Produce is the leading consumer brand and home delivery service for ugly produce. Founded in 2015, Imperfect has recovered more than 35 million pounds of produce that would have otherwise been discarded. Imperfect sources healthy, safe goods with aesthetic defects from farmers that would have disposed of the goods due to grocery stores' cosmetic standards, and delivers them straight to your home. To learn more about Imperfect,

Building on the 50-year legacy of Co-Founders Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, GLIDE challenges inequities and stands with the poor, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and others facing oppression, isolation and stigma, while offering a holistic, integrated model of programs and services to address the complex needs of the community. Today, under the leadership of President and CEO Karen Hanrahan, GLIDE continues to deepen its impact and extend its reach to thousands of people in need. Through comprehensive services, fearless advocacy and spiritual connection, GLIDE remains a powerful beacon of hope for a healthier, more just and inclusive city.

8th Annual Skywatchers Festival At The Table: VISIONS

Friday, May 17
· 5:30 - Opening Reception
· 7:00 –Performance of Came Here to Live

Saturday, May 18
· 4:00 - Performance of Came Here to Live
· 5:30 – Community Meal & Conversations

Sunday, May 19
· 12:30 – Processional from GLIDE to 220 Golden Gate
· 1:00 - Performance of Came Here to Live

Kelly Cullen Community Center at 220 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco

The event is free and open to the public. Free reservations for performances available at

For more information, call (215) 287-3643 or visit