If you are visiting San Francisco, what should you see, eat, enoy while you are in the City by the Bay? Never fear, the San Francisco Travel Association has all the answers. A Destination Marketing Organization providing expertise not only on San Francisco, but the entire Bay Area and with more than 30,000 hotel rooms and various convention facilities, San Francisco Travel works directly with meeting planners to book meeting space and hotel rooms, assists in referring venues and banquet facilities, provides promotional materials and marketing support. All services are complimentary. For 2016, the calendar is packed with events and happenings you should not miss if you are visitor or a resident.
San Francisco Arts Commission Opens New Main Gallery in War Memorial Veteran’s Building – Jan. 22, 2016
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Galleries will celebrate the opening of a new and greatly expanded 3,000 sq. ft. gallery space in the historic War Memorial Veterans Building with the inaugural group exhibition, Bring it Home: (Re)Locating Cultural Legacy through the Body, curated by SFAC Galleries Director Meg Shiffler and independent curator Kevin B. Chen. The new Main Gallery located on the ground floor of the War memorial Veterans Building.
The Bay Lights – Jan. 30, 2016
One of San Francisco’s most beloved art installations becomes a permanent fixture in the new year. The Bay Lights, Leo Villareal’s monumental light sculpture comprised of 25,000 LED lights, will add shine and sparkle to the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from dusk to dawn, year-round. The return of The Bay Lights is in large thanks to the generosity of private donors, Illuminate the Arts and the State of California.
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives Opens – Jan. 31, 2016
Visitors will experience innovative art exhibitions, film screenings and live performances in a cutting-edge building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu
Super Bowl 50 – Feb. 7, 2016
It’s the end of the NFL season and the most-watched sporting event in the nation. On Feb. 7, 2016, Levi’s Stadium will host Super Bowl 50. The game itself will be in Santa Clara, but all the action and celebration will be in San Francisco starting Jan. 30, 2016. From Super Bowl City at Justin Herman Plaza to the NFL Experience at Moscone Center, San Francisco will be the center of Super Bowl activity. http://www.sfbaysuperbowl.com
Oscar de la Renta Retrospective – March 12-May 30, 2016
The world premiere retrospective of Oscar de la Renta’s work celebrates the life and career of one of fashion’s most influential designers. The exhibition, curated by André Leon Talley, will include more than 100 ensembles produced over five decades, and is presented in collaboration with the house of de la Renta and the designer’s family. http://deyoung.famsf.org
Counter Pulse, Opens in a New Location – March 12, 2016
After 24 years at 1310 Misson St., CounterPulse, an incubator for grassroots culture and a stage for intrepid art, launched its inaugural season in November. The season culminates March 19, 2016 with their Grand Opening Celebration at the new location, 80 Turk St. Experience a packed season of gutsy, experimental performance from the Bay Area and around the globe. http://counterpulse.org/new-home/
Minnesota Street Project Opens – March 16, 2016
Minnesota Street Project will offer affordable space for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits and retail, as well as a location in the heart of the historic Dogpatch district to put down roots and build a dynamic arts hub. Phase 1 of Minnesota Street Project will open March of 2016 at 1275 Minnesota St. in the city’s Dogpatch Neighborhood. While the first building is under construction, Minnesota Street Project will present rotating visual arts exhibits three blocks away at 2291 Third St., which will serve as Minnesota Street Project’s temporary headquarters.
Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution – March 17-July 5, 2016
The first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991) comes to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock and roll legends in the 1960s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock and roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. http://www.thecjm.org
San Francisco Giants – April 7, 2016
It’s an even-numbered year; could another World Series title be in store for San Francisco’s beloved Giants? Find out when the season gets started with the home opener at AT&T Park against the dreaded Dodgers.
The New SFMOMA – May 14, 2016
A major expansion is underway at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which has embodied bold vision and innovation from its founding in 1935. With more than 30,000 works, the SFMOMA collection is internationally recognized and continues to grow. In spring 2016, SFMOMA will reopen with nearly three times the previous capacity for the presentation of art. The approximately 235,000-square-foot expansion will seamlessly join the existing building. One of the catalysts for the expansion is the addition of the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the greatest private collections of contemporary art in the world. The new Pritzker Center for Photography will be the largest space in an American art museum dedicated to photography. The new outdoor sculpture terrace will include the biggest public living wall of native plants in San Francisco, with 16,000 native plants in a vertical garden. Nearly 15,000 square feet of art-filled free-access public space will more than double SFMOMA’s current capacity. The public galleries will open one hour prior to the museums and admission for those ages 18 and under will always be free.
Zappos Bay to Breakers – May 15, 2016
What was once a goofy local footrace has grown into a major international competition. In the Bay to Breakers race, runners traverse the city from the Financial District to Ocean Beach, passing through a number of San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. Floats may be forbidden, but you’re bound to still find some creative costumes on the route.
Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen – May 27–Sept. 5, 2016
The first North American traveling exhibition of Strandbeests—giant, wind-powered, kinetic creatures by celebrated Dutch artist Theo Jansen—will be on view at the Exploratorium from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends in 2016. Jansen’s mesmerizing lifelike figures move as familiar, yet otherworldly beings, blurring the lines between machine and animal, art and science, sculpture and performance. The exhibition will feature Jansen’s most recently realized creations; a “fossil” hall revealing the evolution of his iterative process and artistic ingenuity; videos featuring the charismatic Jansen speaking about his 25 year endeavor; artist’s sketches; and compelling, large-scale images by renowned photographer Lena Herzog.
Sites Unseen Developing the Alleys of Yerba Buena – Spring 2016
Sites Unseen, a new public art initiative, will activate seven alleyways in the downtown Yerba Buena neighborhood with dynamic installations of permanent and temporary artworks, performances, screenings and other events.
Living Innovation Zones “Block by Block” – Spring 2016
On Sept. 30, 2015, City leaders and non-profit and arts communities came together to “flip the switch” on Light up Central Market, a series of six interactive art projects including Block by Block, the latest Living Innovation Zone (LIZ). Also debuting that evening was the Central Market Showcase, a selection of prototypes that inspired connection and will serve their communities during the Market Street Prototyping Festival. http://www.sfliz.com/
Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei at the Asian Art Museum – June 17-Sept. 18, 2016
Feast your eyes on a rare presentation of more than 150 imperial artworks, many of which are making their U.S. debut, from the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Thirty extremely rare masterpieces, some created by the emperors themselves will be on view who reigned from the early 12th through early 20 centuries. The exhibition will feature paintings, calligraphy, bronze vessels, ceramics, lacquerware, jades, textiles, enamelware and documents. See them all at the Asian Art Museum. http://www.asianart.org
San Francisco Pride – June 25–26, 2016
The annual celebration of LGBT pride will focus on economic and racial equality this year, as the community and its allies gather to commemorate the successes of the past and the struggles of the present. Expect a variety of events tailored to all types, from parades to panel discussions to parties.
Eat Drink SF – Aug. 18-21, 2016
San Francisco’s annual celebration of everything edible will be back at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture next summer. Expect a who’s who of Bay Area chefs, cocktail creators and brewmasters showing off their greatest achievements, discussing the latest trends, and offering more than enough samples to share. http://eatdrink-sf.com
San Francisco International Airport’s New Control Tower Opens – Summer 2016
The San Francisco International Airport*** opens the new torch-shaped Control Tower featuring a ribbon of glass reflecting sunlight during the day and illuminated by interior lighting at night. Visitors will have the ability to stand in the Pre-security Public Corridor at the base of the tower and look straight up the tower through the skylight glass roof to enjoy the LED light waterfall.
50th Anniversary of the Black Panthers – Oct. 8, 2016–Feb. 12, 2017
The Oakland Museum of California presents We Want; We Believe: The Black Panthers. The exhibition, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, explores the how the legacy of Black Panthers continues to resonant with identity and racial concerns in the U.S. today.
Curran Theatre Re-opening – Late Fall 2016
Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran will reopen after a major restoration & renovation as a 1,600-seat venue in late 2016 with the new mission. Inspired by the unique entrepreneurial spirit of the Bay Area, as well as Shorenstein Hays’ lifelong passion for creatively daring, cutting-edge material, the Curran will provide a home for a handpicked selection of the most exciting stage works being conceived and created anywhere in the world. Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the most important productions in theater history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the most prestigious live entertainment venues in North America.
The year 2016 in San Francisco will be particularly rich with milestones and anniversaries:
40th Anniversary of Theatre Bay Area – http://www.theatrebayarea.org
Theatre Bay Area, the largest regional theatre service organization in the nation with more than 300 theatre companies and 2,000 theatre artist members, opens the door to the dizzying variety of theatre in the region with programs such as its comprehensive online calendar, “What’s Playing,” and its TIX Booth at Union Square offering discounted tickets.
50th Anniversary of the Asian Art Museum – http://www.asianart.org
The Asian Art Museum’s 50th anniversary includes the centerpiece exhibition, Emperors’ Treasure, highlighting rare imperial masterpieces making the first ever U.S. debut of this caliber of collections.
60th Anniversary of the American Conservatory Theatre – http://act-sf.org/
Since 1955, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) has nurtured the art of live theater through dynamic productions, intensive actor training in its conservatory and ongoing engagement with the San Francisco Bay Area. A.C.T. will present the groundbreaking new musical The Unfortunates Feb. 3–April 10, 2016 at A.C.T.’s new Strand Theater, which opened spring 2015. A surreal musical voyage romp through a unique mix of American genres, The Unfortunates combines the heat of a gospel revival with the sweet sorrow of the blues.
50th Anniversary of the Magic Theatre – http://magictheatre.org/
As the Bay Area’s preeminent home for new plays and playwrights, the Magic Theatre’s 2015-2016 season will culiminate with an exciting two-month playwright residency with Mfoniso Udofia who will continue work on her epic nine-play Ufot Family Cycle, of which Sojourners and runboyrun are a part.
20th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Golden Thread Productions – http://www.goldenthread.org/20
Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company to focus on the Middle East, is celebrating the season with two new plays (a world premiere and a West Coast premiere) from and about the Middle East. A grand celebration will be announced shortly.
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***The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 30 international cities on 34 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 77 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit http://www.flysfo.com.