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What’s New in San Francisco - April/May 2016

What’s New in San Francisco” is compiled by the San Francisco Travel Association. Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of San Francisco Travel’s website

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FOOD & DRINK NEWS 

San Francisco is holding its breath for May 2 announcement of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards

There's no question that San Francisco is one of the culinary capitals of the world. Bon Appétit magazine called it the best food city in the country last August. Now the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards nominations are saluting the formidable talent at eleven of San Francisco's bars and restaurants.

The James Beard Foundation presents its awards annually to the chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and designers who excel on the culinary scene. There's no higher honor for professional foodies in America, like the Academy Awards of food.

Liholiho Yacht Club at the southern edge of Nob Hill was nominated as Best New Restaurant. Belinda Leong and Michel Suas of B. Patisserie, not far from the Presidio, were nominated as Outstanding Bakers, as was William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves in the Mission district.

Bar Agricole in the bustling SOMA neighborhood was nominated for Outstanding Bar Program.

Michael Tusk was nominated as Outstanding Chef and his entire team at Quince was nominated for Outstanding Service.

A trio of San Francisco chefs are up for consideration in the Best Chef: West category: Corey Lee of Benu, Matthew Accarino of SPQR and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn. You can taste Matthew and Dominique's creations on trendy Fillmore Street.

Last but by no means least, Michael Mina has been nominated as Outstanding Restaurateur. Mina has been a leader in San Francisco's culinary scene for years and owns restaurants across the city, including Bourbon Steak and RN74. Even if you don't have the chance to snag a table at one of his establishments, you can still have the authentic Michael Mina experience during your visit. Follow Michael's suggestions for the must-see, must-do and must-taste attractions of San Francisco. 

The winners will be announced on May 2, 2016. Dedicated diners should make reservations now.  Even if these nominees don’t win the ultimate prize, a fine meal will be had by all. 

 For more information, visit www.jamesbeard.org. Media contacts: Mary Blanton Ogushwitz, mary.blanton@smapr.com,  Amy SteinMagrino, amy.stein@smapr.com, 212-957-3005.     

Triple Success for San Francisco in the Annual Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants in the World

San Francisco has been named as one of the world’s hottest dining destinations, according to the fifth annual poll of readers by lifestyle publication Elite Traveler.  San Francisco boasts three restaurants on the Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants in the World placing the city only behind New York, Paris, London and Tokyo in terms of the number of restaurants included in the list. 

Leading the pack for San Francisco is former downtown pop-up restaurant Saison at 51 which moves up seven places from last year’s awards.  Following Saison is North Beach’s Coi (69) and the SoMa district’s Asian-influenced Benu (81).

According to Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association "Since the days of the gold rush, San Franciscans have always been proud of their restaurants which showcase the most innovative and diverse cuisines anywhere.  To have three of our restaurants recognized by Elite Traveler as among the top 100 in the world is especially exciting as it proves that San Francisco's culinary excellence is truly on a global scale.”

To see the top 100 list in full, visit www.elitetraveler.com.  Media contact: Sam Hall (London), Phone: 07801 562 668, sam.hall@elitetraveler.com

May 21, 2016 - 33rd Annual San Francisco International Beer Festival at Fort Mason

Take the finest beers the world stage has to offer. Pair them with San Francisco’s best brew-friendly food. Place it all on the city’s iconic waterfront. Then sprinkle with joie de vivre. That is the San Francisco International Beer Festival, the city’s original and finest beer celebration. With one ticket beer lovers get unlimited samples of hundreds of popular local and imported craft beers paired with tasty bites from SF’s best restaurants.  This year is going to be the best beer year ever. Over 100 brewers, like Dogfish Head, Magnolia, Ballast Point, Saint Archer, Fort Point and many more, will be pouring several selections each. Pair those with beer-friendly bites from Pizza Orgasmica, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Leopold’s and more! All proceeds benefit the oldest parent-run preschool in San Francisco, a nonprofit. Consider it drinking (responsibly) for a better tomorrow. It’s good beer and good times for a great cause. GA 7-10 pm; VIP Brewmasters 5 pm early entry and exclusive perks. Don’t wait – this sells out. 

For tickets and information, visit www.sfbeerfest.com.  Media contact:  Kate O’Connor, publicity@sfbeerfest.com, 650-382-3371.

Anchor Distilling Tasting Room Opens in Potrero Hill

For the first time in 23 years, Anchor Distilling Company opens its doors to the public with the launch of the Anchor Distilling Tasting Room, a unique penthouse tasting of the distillery’s signature spirits in Potrero Hill. The tasting experience kicked off on April 21 and is open every Thursday and Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Guests will begin the tour with a quick stroll through Anchor’s own edible roof garden, planted with example botanicals used to make its fine spirits. Then a beverage expert will guide visitors through Anchor’s unique production process and help them explore the flavors and aromas of Anchor’s iconic spirits. Each guest will have the opportunity to taste Junípero Gin, Genevieve Gin, Old Tom Gin, Hophead Vodka, Old Potrero 18th Century Whiskey and Old Potrero Straight Rye Whiskey.

Anchor Distilling Company is located at 1705 Mariposa St.  Tasting Tickets are $35 per person (must be 21 and over), and can be purchased online. Attendance is limited to 26 people per session, and those without reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For more information, call 415-863-5702 or visit www.anchordistilling.com.  Media Contact: Elise Freimuth,323-871-1151, elise@wagstaffworldwide.com.

Presidio Picnic Marks the Return of Spring in San Francisco

Off the Grid, Northern California’s most prolific network of street food markets, and the Presidio Trust, the innovative agency that stewards the Presidio of San Francisco, have launched another season of the Presidio Picnic, San Francisco’s favorite Sunday afternoon event.  

Presidio Picnic pairs great food experiences with the Presidio, a former Army base that’s now a dynamic visitor destination thanks to the 20-year stewardship of the Presidio Trust and its partners. This unique and family friendly event is popular with both native San Franciscans and visitors.  Situated on the sprawling Main Parade Ground with a backdrop of the Presidio’s iconic red brick Army barracks, the market offers food and drink from 34 local vendors and picturesque views of the San Francisco Bay, the city skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge.  

In addition to amazing food, a range of complimentary activities will be offered, including yoga classes, a Green Screen photo booth for “selfies” in front of one of the Presidio’s many iconic landscapes; the “Roving Ranger,” a mobile park visitor center with information about wildlife in the Presidio and free stickers and animal tattoos for kids; and park staff-led nature-based arts and crafts activities using materials found within the Presidio. The Presidio YMCA will also be on site once a month with their free Y Bike Learn to Ride program.

In addition to Presidio Picnic, patrons are invited to enjoy the many activities within the Presidio, including 24 miles of hiking trails, eight scenic overlooks, sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy, the Walt Disney Family Museum, the Officers’ Club and neighboring restaurants, including The Commissary and Arguello.

Presidio Picnics will take place every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. through October 9, 2016.

For more information, visit www.offthegrid.com.  Media contact: Madeline Janning/Taylor Tolbert , 415-274-2510, madeline@wagstaffworldwide.com, ttolbert@wagstaffworldwide.com.

The Yard Welcomes Belcampo Meat Co. and Crêperie Saint Germain and Street Soccer USA Park

The Yard at Mission Rock, a pop-up village created from 13 repurposed shipping containers, has several new features to explore.  Visitors will find Anchor Brewing’s revamped beer garden, where Anchor’s internationally renowned brews and Yard-specific drafts are poured on 18 taps.  The Yard has added Bay Area-based Belcampo Meat Co. to the beer garden with a menu including burgers and hot dogs made with grass-fed organic beef, sourced from their own sustainably managed farm in Northern California.

The Courtyard has also added Crêperie Saint Germain, with an array of salads, sandwiches, paninis, soups and crepes complemented by pressed juice and a thoughtfully curated selection of beer and wine. 

The Street Soccer USA Park rounds out The Yard’s new additions with a 12,000 square foot field that will run daily youth and adult soccer leagues, as well as pick-up play.

Open 365 days a year, The Yard activates a portion of Giants Parking Lot A, at the corner of Third Street and Terry Francois Boulevard.  The Yard Community Calendar presented by Bank of America provides weekly and monthly community and cultural events, from pop-up markets to a summer outdoor film series.  

For more information, visit www.theyardsf.com.  Media contact: Laura Nichol, 415-972-1827, lnichol@giantsenterprises.com

Capo’s Pizzaiolo Matt Molina Wins 2016 International Pizza Expo “Best of the Best” Challenge

Capo’s head chef Matt Molina took home top honors at this year’s “Best of the Best” competition at the 2016 International Pizza Expo, the largest pizza show in the world and host to the World Pizza Games and International Pizza Challenge. Molina’s winning pizza, The Crown Point, now available at Capo’s, is a cast-iron baked pizza topped with sharp cheddar, mozzarella, garlic, red onion, peppadew peppers, broccolini, wild arugula, basil, balsamic reduction, oregano, and grated Parmesan. 

Paying homage to Capo’s 1920’s theme, Molina named his creation after the town of Crown Point, IN where Prohibition-era gangster John Dillinger famously broke free from the local jailhouse. The moniker is also a clever nod to Molina’s 2014 American Pan Division winning pizza, The Dillinger, which was also named for the outlaw. The Crown Point is available for $37. 

For more information, visit www.tonygemignani.com.  Media contact: Katherine Williams/Nicole Kilian, kwilliams@wagstaffworldwide.comnicole@wagstaffworldwide.com, 415-274-2510.

Wine Road Celebrates 40 Years

Wine Road is an organization of 200 wineries and 50 lodgings in Northern Sonoma County, spanning the Russian River, Alexander, and Dry Creek Valleys. Throughout 2016, Wine Road is celebrating its 40th “ruby” anniversary, culminating with a “Ruby Affair” gala on May 14 and a “40 Years of Cheers” community event in July. Wine Road is not actually a “road” in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved highway, but more of a treasure map and travel resource for those looking to explore the many jewels nestled among the hills and valleys of a region where fresh air, fine wine and exquisite cuisine await those who traverse it. Request a complimentary Wine Road map, or create your own custom map for your trip. Media contacts: Charlotte Cleary, (charlotte@wagstaffworldwide.com) or Marla McLaughlin (marla@wagstaffworldwide.com). 

ARTS & CULTURE NEWS

Weekends Through May 1 and Weekends May 14-June 12, 2016 - Bay Area Children’s Theatre Presents World Premiere of Rickshaw Girl and Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In A Play!   

In Naima’s Bangladeshi village, boys can work for pay, but girls are expected to stay home and help with the cooking and the cleaning. Naima is smart and artistically gifted, but her family is so poor that she can’t go to school anymore, and she worries that her younger sister will have to leave school next.  Her hard-working father is exhausted, and she desperately wants to help him earn more money.  But how?

Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) brings Naima’s daring adventure to the stage with its world premiere of Rickshaw Girl by playwright Aditi Kapil, adapted from the award-winning novel of the same name by local author Mitali Perkins.

Rickshaw Girl will be performed on weekends through May 1, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 Fourth St.  

Families should expect  happy high jinks galore—and a wonderful time, with music and rhyme—as  Mo Willems’ two most unlikely pals sing and dance (well, Gerald tries to dance) through the joys and trials of friendship in the Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) production of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In A Play!   

The production comes to the Children’s Creativity Museum Theater on weekends May 14, through June 12, with performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  

For more information, visit www.bactheatre.org.   Media contact: Vivian Auslander, vivian@vivianauslander.com, 510-524-2941.

Through May 30, 2016 - Oscar de la Renta: The Retropective at the de Young 

The worldpremiere retrospective of Oscar de la Renta’s work celebrates the life and career of one of fashion’s most influential designers. The exhibition at the de Young Museum includes more than 130 ensembles produced over five decades, and is presented in collaboration with the house of de la Renta and curated by former American editor-at-large for Vogue André Leon Talley. The garments are organized into several thematic sections: early work; Spanish, Eastern, Russian and garden influences; daywear and eveningwear; and ball gowns and red carpet ensembles. The presentation traces his rise and role as designer for many of the most influential and celebrated personalities of the 20th and 21st centuries. Gowns worn by former First Lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Taylor Swift, Penélope Cruz and Amy Adams will be among those on view.

For more information, visit www.deyoung.famsf.org.   Media contact: Erin Garcia, egarcia@famsf.org, 415-750-8904. 

Through July 5, 2016 - Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution at the Contemporary Jewish Museum 

The first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991) is now on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through July 5, 2016.  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.  

Learn more at www.thecjm.org. Media contact: Nina Sazevich, nina@sazevichpr.com, 415-752-2483.

Through Aug. 7, 2016 - “Dancers We Lost: Honoring Performers Lost to HIV/AIDS” at the GLBT History Museum

The GLBT History Museum presents a special traveling exhibit beginning April 1, Dancers We Lost: Honoring Performers Lost to HIV/AIDS. Featuring beautiful photographs and other documentation, Dancers We Lost is a comprehensive dance history project honoring performers who died due to complications of HIV/AIDS. The exhibit runs through August 7 at the GLBT History Museum.  

The Dancers We Lost project includes an arts and public history exhibit showing the dancers in their prime performing in myriad venues, including Broadway and Las Vegas shows, dance concerts, TV variety shows, films, ballet, music videos, and commercials. There also is a planned searchable database and biography file of each of the dancers.

The AIDS pandemic struck the performing arts particularly hard. Dancers We Lost is an important step in documenting and bringing to light the lives and contributions of performers, most of whom tragically died young. With an exhibit about their work and a database providing accurate information about their lives and careers, Dancers We Lost ensures they will not be forgotten, anonymous virtuosos.

For more information, visit www.dancerswelost.org.  Media contact: Marke Bieschke, 415-517-5910, markeb415@gmail.com

Through Sept. 11, 2016 - Leo Villareal’s Buckyball at the Exploratorium 

Buckyball, a towering 25-foot illuminated sculpture that features two nested geodesic spheres will be on display at the Exploratorium, Pier 15, March 5-Sept. 11, 2016. Inspired by the shape explored by futurist and inventor Buckminster Fuller, Buckyball is the creation of New York–based artist Leo Villareal, celebrated in San Francisco for his monumental public sculpture The Bay Lights.

Comprised of 4,500 LED nodes arranged along a series of pentagons and hexagons, Buckyball is animated by custom software programmed by Villareal to display more than 16 million distinct colors. The lights dynamically shift and fade in both sequenced patterns and random order, generating vibrant hues that will enliven the Exploratorium’s public space in both daylight and moonlight.

The spherical, soccer ball–like form of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, which informs Villareal's work, was discovered in a carbon molecule by scientists in 1985. It was coined the "Buckminsterfullerene" or "Buckyball" in homage to him and has since been avidly researched by scientists and material engineers.

The installation is free and publically-accessible on Pier 15 along The Embarcadero throughout the exhibition.  For more information, see www.exploratorium.edu. 

Media contact: Shannon Eliot, seliot@exploratorium.edu, 415-528-444

Through Sept. 25, 2016 - Altered State: Marijuana in California at Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Museum of California presents the first-ever museum exhibition to focus on the science, history, sociology, politics, and issues that surround marijuana in California today and make it one of the State’s hottest topics. Designed as a catalyst for conversation and reflection around the marijuana plant, its uses, evolving public attitudes, and the complex policy and social issues surrounding it, the exhibition explores the many ways that people consider cannabis, presented through the perspectives, knowledge, and opinions of a diverse range of community members and groups. With marijuana increasingly in the news, and California on the verge of making important decisions around marijuana that will impact people living in this state, the exhibition provides a community space where people can come together to learn, question, discuss, and add their voice to the different points of views surrounding this complex and evolving topic.  Divided into ten sections, the exhibition explores topics such as “Sacred Ganja”, “Profitable Pot”, “Criminal Dope”, “Medical Marijuana”, “Evil Weed”, and others.

For more information, visit www.museumca.org.  Media contact: Scott Horton shorton@museumca.org, 510-229-9739.

April 22-May 1, 2016 - Leap Into Bay Area Dance Week

The 18th annual Bay Area Dance Week (BADW) brings the vibrant world of Bay Area dance to the public, offering more than 400 events, completely free, April 22 - May 1, 2016.

BADW includes workshops, performances, classes, open rehearsals and more. First time dancers can try their hand (and feet) at a variety of dance styles, art lovers can go behind-the-scenes and see how dances get made, or wannabe divas can unleash their inner pop star while learning music video routines. This 10-day festival reflects the unending generosity of the local dance community, and offers the public a chance to enjoy some of the region's artistic riches completely free of charge.

Presented during and as part of the nationwide festival National Dance Week, the Bay Area's edition has grown to be the nation's largest celebration. BADW draws more than 20,000 attendees each year to events in San Francisco, the East Bay, North Bay and South Bay.

This year's festival runs April 22-May 1, 2016, kicking off with everyone's favorite, One Dance, led by the Rhythm & Motion Dance Program at Union Square on Friday, April 22 at 12 p.m. This year's One Dance was created by dance lovers from the Bay Area and beyond. Participants posted videos of themselves to Instagram or Facebook rocking a brand new or iconic dance move. The online submissions were compiled into an epic dance number that anyone can learn. The public can go online starting in mid-March to preview the steps at www.bayareadance.org, attend a live rehearsal, or just show up at Union Square and go for it.

Media contact: Mona Baroudi, mona@monabaroudipr.com, 415-615-2735.

April 27-Sept. 18, 2016 – The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) explores the influence of model, actress, and singer Grace Jones. The exhibition brings together more than 20 works by an intergenerational group of artists working primarily in photography, video and performance. Some artists pay direct tribute to Jones while others demonstrate a Jones-like sensibility in their engagement with the black body and queer identity.   Central to the exhibition are vintage album covers and performance videos highlighting the music and stage personae that made Jones a cultural icon, and one of the most important performers to emerge in the late 20th century. Featuring work from artists such as Jacolby Satterwhite, Xaviera Simmons and Simone Leigh, this exhibition looks to Grace Jones as a cultural and artistic idol.

For more information, visit www.moadsf.org.  Media contact: Sharif Frink, 415-358-7200, sfrink@moadsf.org

May 2016 - San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage  

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with three programs aboard the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, and ongoing exhibits including: the Grace Quan, a replica of a San Francisco Bay Shrimping Junk, and “Chinatown” an immersive experience about the onboard living conditions of Alaskan cannery workers.

“The Sea of Invisible Riches: Asian Americans and the Alaska Salmon Grounds, 1880-1929” is a facilitated dialogue exploring the role Asian Americans played in the struggle for immigration rights in the decades bordering 1900. Sundays, May 22 and 29, 1:00-2:30pm

“Hostile Territory on Land and Sea: Asian Cannery Workers in the Alaska Packers Association” explores the role Balclutha played in transporting Asian cannery workers to Alaska for the canned salmon trade. Sundays, May 1 and 15, 2:15-3:00 p.m.

“Cannery Life: Tour and Discussion” is a facilitated dialogue to help understand the working experiences of Asian American cannery workers in the late 1800s. Saturdays, May 21 and 28, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

 Admission to Balclutha: adults $10, ages 15 and under free (with adult supervision), free with National Park passes and for active military with current I.D. Admission to Hyde Street Pier, Visitor Center, and Maritime Museum: free.

 For more information, visit  www.nps.gov/safr.  Media contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006, lynn_cullivan@nps.gov

May 18, 2016-Jan. 9, 2017 - Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio at the Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio, on view from May 18, 2016 to Jan. 9, 2017.  This never-before-seen exhibition created by the museum allows visitors to discover the artistic process and step behind-the-scenes to explore how one of the most influential animated films in history was produced: Walt Disney’s 1940 feature-length masterpiece Pinocchio.

Guest-curated by John Canemaker—an Academy Award®, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher, and author—this immersive exhibition invites the visitor to experience the production processes of the pre-digital era, providing a glimpse into how legendary animators worked and thought. Pinocchio inspired advances in character development and three-dimensional design, and the exhibition allows guests to enjoy the art created by the animators and designers of The Walt Disney Studios to create the stunning work featured in the film.

Featuring more than 300 objects, this unique, original exhibition takes a closer look at the settings, color, mood, character relationships, style, and costumes of this remarkable film, which has dazzled audiences for more than 75 years.

Learn more at www.waltdisney.org.  Media contact: Victoria Rainone, WDFM@demonstratepr.com, 415-660-9971.

May 25-29, 2016 - San Francisco Symphony and All-Star Cast Present a New Semi-Staged Production of Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town 

Michael Tilson Thomas, along with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), the SF Symphony Chorus, and an all-star Broadway cast and creative team present a new semi-staged concert production of Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town at Davies Symphony Hall, May 25-29, 2016. The production features veterans of stage and screen Tyne Daly and David Garrison as narrators, plus stars of the 2014 Broadway revival Clyde Alves as Ozzie, Jay Armstrong Johnson as Chip, Tony Yazbeck as Gabey, Megan Fairchild as Ivy, and Alysha Umphress as Hildy. They are joined by special guests Isabel Leonard as Claire, Shuler Hensley as Judge Pitkin, and Sheri Greenawald as Madame Dilly. Building on his 1992 production that was recorded by Deutsche Grammophon, Michael Tilson Thomas has conceived this new staging of the work utilizing theatrical elements such as lighting, video projections, costumes, and choreography.

Tickets are available at sfsymphony.org, by phone at 415-864-6000.  Media contact: publicrelations@sfsymphony.org, 415-503-5474

June 3-19, 2016 -San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Features 32 Dance Companies, 14 Premieres And More Than 400 Performers

More than 400 dancers and musicians from 32 top Bay Area dance companies representing more than twenty world cultural traditions, 12 world premieres, and two North American premieres will headline the 38th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, June 3-19. One of the largest and most celebrated events of its kind, the 2016 Festival returns to the historic Palace of Fine Arts Theatre for three weekends of performances following a free public opening celebration and performances in San Francisco City Hall’s rotunda on June 3.

Three different programs will be presented at the Palace of Fine Arts June 4- 5, June 11-12 and June 18-19, featuring dance traditions and innovations from Bolivia, Cambodia, China, the Congo, Egypt, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Okinawa, the Philippines, Scotland, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Tajikistan, and the U.S. 

For more information, visit www.sfethnicdancefestival.org.  Media contact: Scott Horton  Scott@shcommunications.org 510-229-9739.

June 9-Sept. 11, 2016 - Wild West: Picturing America’s Frontier Special Exhibition at the Legion of Honor

Mined from the wide-ranging collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Wild West explores artistic responses to the natural and cultivated landscapes of the western United States from the frontier era to the present. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, historical artifacts and ephemera in a thematic presentation that celebrates the abundance and diversity within the region’s physical environment. This is a companion exhibition to Ed Ruscha and the Great American West on view this summer at the de Young. Artists on view will include Albert Bierstadt, Maynard Dixon, Eadweard Muybridge, Chiura Obata, Frederic Remington, Ed Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud.

Media contact: Erin Garcia, egarcia@famsf.org, 415-750-8904.

June 30–Oct. 30, 2016 - Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Renowned Jewish filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was known for exerting complete artistic control over his projects; in doing so, he reconceived the genres in which he worked.  Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition , June 30–Oct. 30, 2016 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, covers the breadth of Kubrick’s practice, beginning with his early photographs for Look magazine, taken in the 1940s, and continuing with his groundbreaking directorial achievements of the 1950s through the 1990s. His films, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Shining, Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, and more, are represented through a selection of annotated scripts, production photography, lenses and cameras, set models, costumes, and props. In addition, the exhibition explores Napoleon and The Aryan Papers, two projects that Kubrick never completed, as well as the technological advances developed and utilized by Kubrick and his team.  The exhibition is organized by the Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Christiane Kubrick, Jan Harlan, and The Stanley Kubrick Archive at University of the Arts London.   

Learn more at www.thecjm.org Media contact: Nina Sazevich, nina@sazevichpr.com, 415-752-2483.

July 7-18, 2016 - Flower Piano Returns to the San Francisco Botanical Garden 

This July, for twelve days only, San Francisco Botanical Garden (SFBG) once again becomes the city’s own outdoor concert hall with the return of Flower Piano, where everyone is invited to play and listen. On July 7 – 18, 2016, visitors are encouraged to seek out one of the twelve pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within SFBG’s 55 acres and play what they like, from Bach to boogie-woogie. On select days, professional pianists will be scheduled to perform as well, and the public is welcome to watch the performances.  Back by popular demand and now in its second year, Flower Piano is a project of artists Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell.  Flower Piano takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and is free with regular Garden admission. San Francisco Botanical Garden is located at 9th Ave and Lincoln Way just inside Golden Gate Park. 

For more information, visit www.sfbotanicalgarden.org. Media contact: Nina Sazevich, nina@sazevichpr.com, 415-752-2483.

Phase One of the Minnesota Street Project Now Open

Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, the new Minnesota Street Project offers affordable and economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits. Inhabiting three warehouses, the project seeks to retain and strengthen San Francisco's contemporary art community in the short term, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination in the long term. Founded by entrepreneurs and collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport, Minnesota Street Project was inspired by the couple's belief that philanthropic support for the arts today requires an alternate model—one suited to the innovative nature of Silicon Valley and the region as a whole.  Their vision of a dynamic, self-sustaining enterprise that shares its economic success with arts businesses and professionals aims to encourage heightened support for the arts from newcomer and established patrons alike. Phase 1 of the Minnesota Street Project opened in March at 1275 Minnesota St.  

For more information, visit www.minnesotastreetproject.com.  Media contact: Press@minnesotastreetproject.com, 415-243-0825. 

Asian Art Museum Unveils New Installation by Liu Jianhua

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Asian Art Museum has unveiled a major new installation by renowned contemporary artist Liu Jianhua. A gift from the Society for Asian Art entitled Collected Letters, the site-specific commission by the society on behalf of the museum is now on view in the second-floor Loggia.

Inspired by the museum building’s original incarnation as the San Francisco Main Public Library, Liu has created a multi-ton installation composed of suspended, commingled white porcelain forms: the letters of the Roman alphabet and the radicals that make up Chinese characters. For these Collected Letters, Liu designed bold typographical forms sculpted and fired in Jingdezhen, the centuries-old capital of Chinese porcelain production.

“It’s a study in the unity of differences. English and Chinese. Accessible and esoteric. Reverence for the past and exploration of the new,” explains Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Karin Oen. “At the same time, the simple beauty of fine porcelain serves as an alluring starting point for visitors to engage with the museum’s ceramics collection, one of the most significant holdings of East Asian ceramic art in the world.”

Learn more at www.asianart.org. Media contact: Zac Rose, zrose@asianart.org

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES NEWS

The Hunger Games: The Exhibition Open at the Palace of Fine Arts Exhibition Hall 

The Hunger Games: The Exhibition,” the highly anticipated new traveling exhibition based on the blockbuster movie franchise, has opened in the Innovation Hangar at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts for an extended engagement.

The exhibition invites visitors to step inside and explore the world of Panem as created by the films. Hundreds of authentic costumes and props, high-tech and hands-on interactives and detailed set recreations reveal the amazing artistry and technology that brought these incredible books to life. Visitors will follow Katniss Everdeen's inspirational journey, from her humble beginnings in District 12 to her emergence as the Mockingjay, sparking curiosity and excitement. The exhibit will feature seven galleries including District 12, Tribute Train, The Capitol, Making the Games, District 13, Fan Gallery and Katniss’s Journey.

Highlights include iconic costumes from the films, such as the Girl on Fire dress, the Mockingjay dress and the Mockingjay armor; key artifacts including the Mockingjay pin, Cinna’s sketchbook and Katniss’s bow; and interactives, including an explorable map of Panem, gamemaker’s control table and a stunt choreography interactive.

For more information on the exhibition or to purchase tickets, visit www.thehungergamesexhibition.com.  Media contact: Andrea Bertolini, ABertolini@alliedim.com, 415-591-9614. 

May 15, 2016 - Zappos.com Bay to Breakers, An Untraditional Tradition Since 1912

San Francisco’s Zappos.com Bay to Breakers has run continuously for more than 100 years as a staple to the City by the Bay. With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from the Embarcadero, the 12K race runs west through the city and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach. A quintessential San Francisco experience since 1912, the race is interwoven into the fabric of the city and is a true reflection and celebration of life between the breakers and the Bay.

The 2016 edition will take place on May 15. Participants join tens of thousands costume-clad runners through some of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city. This year’s race has a throwback ‘80s vibe with all participants receiving an Under Armour Runners’ T featuring a Rubik’s Cube and a finisher medal designed after an old-school boom box.  These are just a few of the many perks runners receive when they register for an experience that can only happen in San Francisco

For more information and registration, visit www.zapposbaytobreakers.com.  Media contact: Chris Holmes, cholmes@teamwass.com, 310-407-0200.

June 4-5, 2016 - Union Street Festival Returns 

The Union Street Festival is back for its 40th year. Set on historic Union Street (from Gough to Fillmore), this free festival takes place on June 4-5, 2016 and features great food, continuous live entertainment, unique and original artwork and plenty of activities for kids. Back by popular demand, the festival fashion show will be located on Union Street at Gough and will showcase the fabulous neighborhood boutiques, men’s clothing stores, salons, shoe stores, thrift shops, jewelry stores and more. There will be two shows per day, both Saturday and Sunday. Additional entertainment in between each set will include a pet fashion show. 

For more information about the event call 800-310-6563 or visit www.SRESproductions.com.  Media contact: Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793, denise@deniselamottpr.com 

June 11-12, 2016 - 62nd Annual North Beach Festival Returns 

The 62nd Annual North Beach Festival helps kick off the summer on June 11-12, 2016.   Located in the historic North Beach district of San Francisco, San Francisco’s version of Little Italy, and the home of the famed beat generation, the festival will feature more than 125 arts and crafts booths, food vendors, multiple stages of live entertainment, Italian street painting, beverage gardens, kids’ chalk art area and the blessing of the animals. This free festival takes place on Grant Avenue between Columbus and Filbert; Columbus Avenue between Broadway and Green; and Vallejo and Green streets between Grant Avenue and Columbus. On Saturday and Sunday at 2-3 p.m., enjoy the long-running tradition of the Blessing of the Animals ceremony in The Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, 610 Vallejo St.

For more information about the event call 800-310-6563 or visit www.SRESproductions.com.  Media contact: Denise Lamott, 415-381-8793, denise@deniselamottpr.com

Madame Tussauds Welcomes New Stars of Technology, Sports and Television

Madame Tussauds San Francisco has scored a hat-trick releasing three cultural superstars to kick-off 2016. First up, Madame Tussauds revealed their brand new figure of Apple-co-founder Steve Wozniak during his keynote address at Silicon Valley Comic Con. The Woz now stands next to Steve Jobs in the wax attraction’s world leaders room. Next, Madame Tussauds headed to Oakland and introduced NBA MVP Stephen Curry to his doppelganger. The Golden State Warrior holds a dynamic pose in their sports room. Finally, the Fisherman’s Wharf attraction revealed Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage will be their next wax figure. Lord Tyrion will join the A-List at the end of April – just in time for the sixth season of the Emmy-award winning show. Madame Tussauds is a fully interactive attraction where guests are encouraged to get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities.   

Learn more at www.madametussauds.com. Media contact: Jesse Russell, Jesse.Russell@merlinentertainments.biz, 415-757-2721. 

Nob Hill Spa Offers Hanakasumi Cherry Blossom Ritual

Inspired by Japantown’s Cherry Blossom Festival, the Nob Hill Spa offers the Hanakasumi Cherry Blossom Ritual.  Experience the ancient art of beauty with this relaxing body ritual inspired by Japanese tradition. The soothing journey begins with the application of a warmed exfoliating cream infused with cherry blossom and rice powder. A second massage using an exfoliating glove softens skin and invigorates the body. A unique foot massage based on reflexology revives vital energy. Finally, guests enjoy a full body massage with melted aromatic Shea butter to bring bliss and balance. (80 minutes, $220).

For more information, visit www.thescarlethotels.com.  Media contact: Kelsey Gummow, kgummow@graham-associates.com, 415-986-7212.

Mission Bicycle Company Builds Custom Bikes, Offers New Tours

Mission Bicycle Company was formed in 2008 with a simple premise: to build the most beautiful, practical and customizable bikes on the market. Each bike is designed by its rider and then built by hand in San Francisco.   The company recently introduced three guided bicycle tours of the city.

On the 1906 Earthquake Tour, the small group rides through stories from the earthquake and fire, the aftermath for the residents who remained, and the physical impacts still present today. Using landmarks and historical photographs riders see the "gateway to the Pacific" then and now, and even hear the 42-second quake reimagined in theater sound.

The Mission District Secrets Tour meanders through mural covered alleys, hidden earthquake remnants, a secret bookstore and San Francisco's most vibrant park. The tour stops at some of the Mission's quirkiest and most respected institutions and includes lunch at a 98-year-old diner and ice cream parlor.

The Welcome to San Francisco Tour gives new residents the tools to become expert San Francisco commuters. Guides cover essentials like the Wiggle cross-town route, popular lane connections, route planning to avoid hills and where riders should or shouldn't lock up. The tour explores how to connect with bike community events.

For more information, visit www.missionbicycle.com.  Media contact: Jefferson McCarley, jefferson@missionbicycle.com, 415-683-6166.

Incoming! New Planetarium Show at California Academy of Sciences

Explore the past, present, and future of our Solar System at Incoming!, a new planetarium show narrated by George Takei. Learn how asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout its history, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping the world we know today. Discover what these impacts from above can teach us—and how scientific advances may allow us to find and track cosmic threats before they reach our planet.  Daily 30-minute showings in Morrison Planetarium. Tickets are free with admission to the Academy and can be picked up at the Planetarium kiosk.  For more information, visit www.calacademy.org.  Media contact: Kelly Mendez, 415-379-5133, kmendez@calacademy.org

Tideline Water Taxi Offers McCovey Cove Floaters Club for Watching Giants Game from the Water

AT&T Park’s waterfront location creates a unique way to experience a San Francisco Giants game.  Tideline Water Taxi’s guests bob in the “splash zone” just beyond the outfield in McCovey Cove while enjoying live streaming of the game, beer and snacks.  Members of the McCovey Cove Floaters Club float in the cove for the whole game for $10 or purchase a 10-game package for $50.

For more information, visit www.tidelinewatertaxi.com.  Media contact: Nathan Nayman, 415-339-0196, nathan.nayman@tidelinemarinegroup.com.

Trip+Me Helps Travelers Explore Freely and Plan Intelligently

Designed to make life easier for travelers, Trip+me is a new cloud–based application that connects insightful trip ideas to a personalized itinerary.   Travelers can be inspired by hundreds of sample trip itineraries and browse hundreds of thousands of attractions, restaurants, hotels, shops information in a visual, easy-to-follow format.   The trip ideas are displayed by destination by day in list and map views and can be easily personalized by adding schedules, routes, hotels and flights.  The calendar function is particularly handy for those who want to add their own events.  The bookmarked destinations, activities and attractions make it easy for planning on the go.  For people who travel in groups, sharing trip plans via email or social media is just one click away.  The app is available for download from App Store for iPhone and iPad users.  A lighter version is available in Google Play.  Trip+me is developed by Jovia Inc.  Learn more at www.tripplus.me

Media contact: Ying Liu, yliu@joviainc.com, 408-827-1316.

Harrington Galleries Celebrates 50 Years

Celebrating 50 years of serving San Francisco and the Bay area, Harrington Galleries, at the corner of 17th and Valencia streets, offers a mixture of vintage, antique and new contemporary home furniture and accessories.  Often times the store features unusual, unique and one-of-a-kind treasures.  All inventory is curated with a commitment to reuse, repurposing heirloom pieces and sourcing new sustainable inventory which will enhance the eclectic vitality of Bay Area homes.

The 15,000 square foot showroom is complemented by an online webstore, www.harringtongalleries.com.  The online shop features additional choices and nationwide shipping for inspirations such as the well known and popular line of chemical free customizable sofas and the recently introduced Urbano Bedroom Collection, made in California using only reclaimed wood and natural finishes. 

Harrington Galleries envisions itself as an integral participant in the distinctive flavor of the Mission District and the Bay Area.   The store espouses neighborhood values by sponsoring and participating in events such as Carnival, Cinco de May, Gay Pride, Sunday Streets, Lit Crawl and Dia de Los Muertos.   Harrington Galleries’ location, at the corner of 17Th and Valencia streets has given this family business a unique perspective on the power and strength of community.   

For more information, visit www.harringtongalleries.com. Media contact: Fiona O’Connor Devereux, 415-861-7300 info@harringtongalleries.com

Incredible Adventures Unveils Multi-Day California Tours Beyond the Bay Area  

Incredible Adventures, San Francisco's green outdoor travel company, is launching two tours to take passengers throughout California in bio fueled mini-coaches. Expanding upon current trips to Yosemite, Muir Woods and Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, these tours embark on a coastal road trip down Pacific Highway 1 or an epic Sierra Mountain adventure.

From San Francisco down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles (and/or back), passengers visit Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur and more. This three-day journey is packed with unique food and activities, state park hikes and includes a tour of historic Hearst Castle with an option to see the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. In the evenings, guests relax at comfortable hotels and have opportunity to explore the area’s nightlife.

The second itinerary showcases the best of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in four days. Passengers see Yosemite Valley, the Giant Sequoias, Mammoth Lakes, Bodie ghost town, Devil's Postpile and Ansel Adams Wilderness and Lake Tahoe. Activities may include hiking, biking, stand-up paddleboarding, gondola and ferry rides, and even a night at the casinos. Accommodations range from a rustic mountain resort to a sustainable hotel built of recycled materials.

For more information and reservations, visit www.incadventures.com.  Media contact: Jessa Venegas, jessa@incadventures.com, 415-642-7378

HOTEL NEWS

Hotel Zeppelin Launched in San Francisco  

Viceroy Hotel Group has announced the launch of Hotel Zeppelin San Francisco, which opened last month at 545 Post St. Set in an historic building, two blocks from Union Square, Hotel Zeppelin celebrates San Francisco's tradition of counter culture with a mischievous approach to design.  The hotel has 196 rooms and suites.

Acquired as the former Prescott Hotel in early 2015 by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB), the property is managed by Viceroy Hotel Group, now their second San Francisco establishment in just three years, following Hotel Zetta’s widely acknowledged success.  Hotel Zeppelin delivers a provocative style that fosters innovation, collaboration and an inspired experience unlike anything offered in San Francisco.   Amenities include 3,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, a game lounge and a café.

Syncing with the bustling heartbeat of San Francisco, Hotel Zeppelin will be incorporating a café curated by Bulldog Coffee for guests and locals alike. Zeppelin Café will serve Bay Area favorites including Sightglass Coffee, Dynamo Donuts, and provisions from Jane.

For reservations and more information, call 415-563-0303 or visit www.hotelzeppelin.com. Media contact: Nancy Uber, 415-672-2950, nancy@nupr.com.

Hilton San Francisco Union Square Completes $25 Million Renovation

The Hilton San Francisco Union Square – the largest hotel on the West Coast – completed a $25 million renovation including the launch of two new food and beverage outlets, a full lobby transformation and room design upgrades. The hotel’s new look is high on style with a personality that resembles the city’s detailed steel structures and famed San Francisco bridges. With on-the-go business and leisure travelers in mind, the hotel’s refresh includes: Herb N’ Kitchen, a grab-and-go marketplace with fresh, local and seasonal fare, a buzzing, lively Lobby Bar with signature cocktails and seating customized for networking and remote working, refined lobby décor and customized, energy-efficient lighting and updated accommodations with dark woods and ocean-inspired colors.

For more information, visit www.hiltonglobalmediacenter.com.  Media contact: Shea Oliver, 212-868-1900, ext. 559, soliver@quinn.pr

Clift Hotel Introduces Bee Sanctuary and Cocktail Herb Garden 

CLIFT welcomed some unusually busy guests in 2015 – honeybees. (View video on the bees here.) Originally, the Rooftop Bee Sanctuary was home to 100,000 bees, but that number has since increased to more than 800,000. Housed in hives on the roof designed to mimic the city below – complete with miniature skyscrapers and the gold dome of City Hall – the honeybees have been working hard. Their delicious output can be sampled in a variety of ways on the new spring menu. On the small bites menu, served nightly in the Redwood Room, patrons can nosh on a compressed watermelon salad with lavender-infused honey or on the ever-changing Chef’s Pintxo (Tapas) Platter, served with house honey. The honey is featured in two new signature cocktails as well: 49er Tea Time (black tea-infused whiskey, housemade honey syrup, lemon juice) and Peerless Purple (housemade lavender-infused gin, housemade honey syrup, lemon juice, lavender bitters). The spring menu also features items that incorporate herbs from the CLIFT’s new and on-site Cocktail Herb Garden, such as the adobo style baby back ribs with red cabbage and lemongrass mango slaw, and the Vietnamese chicken bun with pickled veggies and garlic chives.

For more information, visit www.backofhouse.morganshotelgroup.com.  Media contact: Heather Noll, heather@chalkboardcomm.com, 415-290-2891.

New Clement Palo Alto  

When The Clement Palo Alto opened its doors in March 2016, it was heralded as one of the most innovative, personalized and unique luxury hotels in the country.  With 23 spacious and richly appointed 650-square-foot one-bedroom suites, the Clement Palo Alto sets a new standard for luxury accommodations in a contemporary residential-style atmosphere.  While unparalleled service is key to any great luxury hotel, the Clement Palo Alto takes it to another level with an all-inclusive concept, including personalized concierge services, breakfast, lunch and dinner in an on premise location of the guest's choice.   All wine, beer and cocktails, in-room mini-refrigerator and fully-stocked Guest Pantry, available around the clock, are just a few of the amenities included in this all-inclusive experience.  The Clement Palo Alto is also “all-exclusive,” catering exclusively to guests’ personal tastes and desires. No detail has been overlooked, from the guest's favorite sparkling water and snacks in the mini-fridge to the plush Stearns & Foster European pillow top California King beds with luxurious Frette bed linens.  

For more information, visit www.theclementpaloalto.com. Media contact: Marci Bracco Cain, marci@chatterboxpublicrelations.com, 831-747-7455

June 15, 2016 - Rush Creek Lodge Ready to Open in Yosemite Region  

Rush Creek Lodge, the first resort to open in the Yosemite region in more than 25 years, is now accepting reservations for stays beginning June 15, 2016. 

Located less than a mile from the park’s west entrance, the 143-room rustic modern resort is nestled on 20,000 wooded acres. Ideal for creating unforgettable getaways inspired by nature, the resort’s Lodge rooms, suites and hillside villas all feature decks overlooking the wilderness, the majority with sunset views.

The Restaurant at Rush Creek offers fresh, hearty California cuisine.  The open display kitchen showcases a wood-fired oven and cozy hearth, and features indoor/outdoor seating options.  

Kids can enjoy a zip-line adventure, cannonball into the 2,400 square foot, solar-heated, salt water pool or pan for gold in the creek. 

Adult guests can head to the hills for a crowd-free, guided hike offered by the resort’s full-service recreation department  featuring over 30 guided excursions and wellness programs, or steal away for a soak in the hot tub just for grown-ups.

Rush Creek Lodge’s grand opening on June 15, 2016, coincides with the centennial celebration of the National Park Service and marks the 126th anniversary of one of America’s most beloved parks, Yosemite.

For more information, visit www.rushcreeklodge.com.  Media contact: Sally Haims, sallyh@graham-associates.com, 415-986-7212.

The Inn at Newport Ranch Adds the Ranch’s Redwood and Fireside Spa on the Mendocino Coast

In September 2015, on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California, a breathtaking oceanfront getaway — The Inn at Newport Ranch — officially opened the Main Inn to great acclaim. And now, after much anticipation, the innkeepers have announced that as of February 2016, the Ranch’s Redwood House -- home to three luxury suites, each boasting stunning architecture and design – and Fireside Spa are now open to the public as well. Located three-and-a-half hours north of San Francisco and twenty miles north of the historic town of Mendocino, the newly constructed Inn at Newport Ranch is part of a 2,000 acre coastal cattle ranch on the site of the former town of Newport and its lumber chute. With more than a mile of oceanfront, three miles of ridge tops, panoramic coastal views and 20 miles of world class hiking and riding trails through redwoods and along the coast, the ranch is a unique private domain for those enjoying the North Coast’s many recreational opportunities and delights, and is an ideal destination for vacations, small conferences, retreats, family reunions, weddings, and special events.  Private events at the ranch can accommodate up to 99 day guests and 30 overnight guests.  

For more information or reservations call 707-962-4818 or visit www.theinnatnewportranch.com. Media contact: Heather Noll, heather@chalkboardcomm.com, 415-290-2891. 

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO)

SFO Posts Highest Rate of International Traffic Growth Among U.S. Airports

 The International Trade Administration (ITA), an agency of the Department of Commerce, reported that San Francisco International Airport (SFO) experienced the highest rate of international passenger traffic growth of any airport in the United States for 2015.  SFO posted a nine percent increase in international travelers, ahead of other major international gateway airports such as New York-JFK, LAX and Miami.

“Through our pursuit of smart traffic growth, SFO achieved a new milestone in 2015, serving a record 50 million total passengers,” said Airport Director John L. Martin.  “The ITA report on international traffic growth further highlights the success of our efforts, which include improved facilities, a keen eye on cost control, and an unwavering commitment to the guest experience.”

In 2015, SFO welcomed the following new airlines and new flights:

April – Turkish Airlines launched nonstop service to Istanbul

May – Swiss International added flights to Zurich

June – China Southern began nonstop service to Guangzhou

September – COPA launched with nonstop service to Panama City

December – Air India launched the first nonstop flight from the U.S. West Coast to Delhi

December – Qantas returned to SFO, with nonstop service to Sydney

In 2016, SFO adds the following new service:

March – United Airlines began nonstop service to Tel Aviv

May – Air Berlin launches with nonstop service to Düsseldorf

May – United Airlines begins new nonstop flights to Xi’an

June – United Airlines begins the first U.S. nonstop flight to Singapore

June – WOW Air launches nonstop flights to Reykjavík

June – Fiji Airways inaugurates nonstop service to Nadi

July – United Airlines begins nonstop service to Auckland

July – United Airlines launches nonstop service to Hangzhou

Nationally, the ITA reported record international traffic of 209.1 million passengers traveling to and from the United States in 2015, an increase of six percent over the previous year.  The study also noted that nationwide traffic to and from China increased by 25 percent in 2015.

United Airlines Announces Nonstop Service between SFO and Hangzhou, China, Beginning July 13, 2016

On March 8, 2016, United Airlines announced plans to launch nonstop flights to Hangzhou, the capital of China's Zhejiang province, on July 13, 2016. The announcement, which is subject to government approval, will be the fifth city in mainland China served by United and the 14th destination in the Asia/Pacific market served from SFO. United plans to operate three nonstop flights per week, using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft

SFO Launches First-in-US Airport Butler Service

On March 9, 2016, SFO officially launched its newest amenity, unveiling an Airport Butler concierge program. This customizable service, the first of its kind in the United States, provides assistance for departing, arriving and connecting passengers. From check-in assistance to personal shopping, Airport Butler offers a variety of services that can be tailored for any type of passenger, including travelers with small children, senior citizens, even travelers seeking language assistance while at SFO. The service can be reserved at www.airportbutler.com or by calling 855-822-9868.

SFO Food and Beverage Honored in USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards

San Francisco International Airport scored multiple awards for its food and beverage programs in the annual USA Today Readers’ Choice awards.  The Airport was honored as 10Best winner in the “Best Airport for Dining” category, and Lark Creek Grill, located in Terminal 2, was named on the 10Best list for “Best Airport Bar/Restaurant Wait Staff”.

Media contact: Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport, Doug.Yakel@flysfo.com, 650-821-4000.

MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS

APRIL 2016

APRIL 21-MAY 5
San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF)
Various locations, 415-561-5000 
www.sffs.org
The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation. Last year's festival featured 263 screenings of 158 films from 51 countries.  

APRIL 22-MAY 1
Bay Area National Dance Week
415-920-9181
www.bayareandw.org
Bay Area National Dance Week is expecting its biggest festival to date, with an anticipated 600-plus free events including classes, performances, open rehearsals, lecture demonstrations, and the return of the popular Kickoff Event on Friday, April 22 in Union Square at noon.

APRIL 27-MAY 1
Art Market San Francisco
Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason
www.artmarketsf.com
The Bay Area’s only contemporary and modern art fair, Art Market San Francisco welcomes more than 70 established galleries, as well as innovative newcomers from across the country presenting a significant selection of contemporary and modern works of art.

APRIL 28-MAY 6
SFUSD Arts Festival
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Civic Center, 415-581-3500
www.sfusdartsfestival.org/
The Asian Art Museum teams up with the San Francisco Unified School District to present a celebration of student creativity and arts education showcasing visual and performing arts by 11,500 students from 250 schools.

APRIL 29-May 1
New Living Expo
San Mateo County Event Center, 415-382-8300
www.newlivingexpo.com
Each year more than 10,000 attendees flock to New Living Expo to learn, explore, and even be transformed by thought provoking speakers, stimulating workshops, and unique products and services that support wellness.

APRIL 29 – MAY 1
Progressive Insurance San Francisco Boat Show
McCovey Cove and Pier 48 adjacent to AT&T Park
www.sfboatshow.com 
Showcasing hundreds of boats for sale on land and in water, plus dozens of exhibits featuring the latest marine accessories and gear; visitors will also have an opportunity to take boating lessons, try stand up paddle boarding and attend sailing seminars.

APRIL 30-MAY 30
San Francisco Decorator Showcase
415-447-5830
www.decoratorshowcase.org
With more than 35 years of excellence in design and the decorative arts and 20,000 visitors annually, this event is nationally recognized as one of the premier showcase houses in the country.

MAY 2016

MAY 1 
How Weird Street Faire
Howard and Second Streets
www.howweird.org
Billed as a “street fair for the 21st century,” the event includes nine stages of music over seven city blocks; food and vendors from around the world, and educational booths.

MAY 1-OCTOBER 31
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 
Yerba Buena Gardens, 415-543-1718
www.ybgf.org
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival encompasses nearly 100 artistic, cultural and community events from May through October in Yerba Buena Gardens. Events include popular and operatic music series, cultural festivals, dance performances, international music concerts, visual art exhibits, theater and spoken word performances.

MAY 7   
Uncorked – The San Francisco Wine Festival
Ghirardelli Square, 415-775-5500
www.ghirardellisq.com
Enjoy tastings from a variety of Bay Area wineries and experience the ambience of the waterfront and entertainment throughout Ghirardelli Square and along Beach Street.

MAY 7  
Cinco de Mayo
Dolores Park, Dolores Street between 18th and 20th Streets
www.mncsf.org and www.sfcincodemayo.com
Bring a picnic basket and enjoy music, kid’s activities, entertainment, food, arts and crafts all day. Family-friendly, alcohol free.

MAY 9-15
SFMade Week   
Citywide, 415-408-5605
www.sfmade.org
SFMade presents a week-long celebration of San Francisco’s vibrant manufacturing sector;  discover locally made products, the people who make them and where to buy them.

MAY 15
Bay to Breakers
The Embarcadero to the Great Hwy., 415-231-3130
www.zapposbaytobreakers.com
Since 1912, tens of thousands of people have gathered in San Francisco to see the world's largest footrace unfold as more than 70,000 costume-clad runners and walkers make their way from San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from the Embarcadero, to the Great Highway where the breakers crash onto the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach.

MAY 19-JUNE 5
San Francisco International Arts Festival
Fort Mason Center
www.sfiaf.org
Performances by more than 70 theater, dance and music ensembles from the Bay Area and 10 countries unfold in the space of three action packed weeks. The festival features a major arts exhibition as well as multiple educational, residency and outreach activities.

MAY 21   
Asian Heritage Street Celebration
Civic Center Plaza and Little Saigon, 510-637-0455
www.asianfairsf.com
A celebration of all Asian cultures, the Asian Heritage Street Celebration promotes and fosters Asian Pacific American identity; live entertainment and more than 100 vendors makes this one of the largest pan-Asian events in the U.S.

MAY 21
San Francisco International Beer Festival
Fort Mason Center, Festival Pavilion
www.sfbeerfest.com
Sample more than 300 incredible beers from some of the best craft brewers in the world as well as a variety of offerings from some of San Francisco’s best restaurants. Must be 21 or over to enter.

MAY 28-29
Carnaval 
Mission District, 415-206-0577
www.carnavalsanfrancisco.org
Celebrating its 38th anniversary, this is San Francisco's version of Mardi Gras and one of the largest annual public events in the city. It features exotic Carnaval dancers with a mixture of Latino, jazz, samba, Caribbean influences. Festive parade on Sunday morning draws upon a broad cultural pageantry.

MAY 29
Alcatraz Challenge Swim
www.alcatrazchallenge.tricalifornia.com 
1.5 mile swim course begins near Alcatraz Island and finishes at the East Beach of Crissy Field located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Presidio Park. 

JUNE 2016

JUNE 2-5
San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Castro Theatre, 415-777-4908
www.silentfilm.org
The San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents silent films accompanied by live music. This festival promotes silent film as art and historical record.

JUNE 2-9 
Best of PlayGround
Thick House, 1695 18th St., 415-992-6677
http://playground-sf.org/bestof/
PlayGround, San Francisco’s incubator for a new generation of playwrights, caps off its season with the Bay Area’s largest celebration of new works for the stage and screen – the annual PlayGround Festival of New Works.

JUNE 2-9
AIGA San Francisco Design Week
www.sfdesignweek.org, 415-626-6008  
With more than 60 studio tours and 75 events throughout the week featuring tech inventions to culture changing products, human centered design, and emerging fashion to international architecture, San Francisco Design Week is an opportunity to experience the region’s unique design talents, impact and innovations.

JUNE 2-16
San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (SF DocFest)
Roxie, Brava and Vogue Theaters, 415-662-FEST(3378)
www.sfindie.com 
These documentaries, while exploring fun and lighthearted subject matter, often uncover serious truths. Produced by the SF IndieFest.

JUNE 4-5
Union Street Festival
Union Street between Gough and Steiner, 800-310-6563 
www.unionstreetfestival.com 
Now in its 40th year, this is one of San Francisco’s largest, free art festivals offering an organic farmers market, arts and crafts created with recycled and sustainable materials, eco-friendly exhibits, gourmet food booths and live entertainment. It features clothing, jewelry and fashions from Union Street area merchants, as well as Craft Beer and Wine Tasting Pavilions. 

JUNE 3-19 (Three Weekends)
Ethnic Dance Festival
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 415-474-3914
www.worldartswest.org 
Returning to the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, the first two weekends of the Ethnic Dance Festival will feature different groups of artists. The final weekend will feature the screening of a new documentary film about the festival, along with special dance and music performances highlighting exciting innovations happening in the Bay Area dance community.

JUNE 7-19 
San Francisco Jazz Festival
SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., 866-920-5299
www.sfjazz.org
For more than 30 years SFJAZZ presented the San Francisco Jazz Festival in venues around the Bay Area; with the opening of the SFJAZZ Center in 2013, the festival is now concentrated in the Center and the surrounding neighborhood and offers more than 30 shows. 

JUNE 11-12
North Beach Festival 
Near Washington Square Park
www.sresproductions.com
San Francisco's oldest street fair delights with juried arts and crafts, live entertainment, Italian street painting, kids’ chalk art area, animal blessings, gourmet food booths, beverage gardens and other surprises. Presented by the North Beach Business Association. 

JUNE 12
Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon
Marina Green, 424-653-1900
www.escapefromalcatraztriathlon.com 
The 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz, 18-mile bike ride and eight-mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with a finish at Marina Green draws some 2,000 triathletes/relay teams annually. 

JUNE 16-19
San Francisco Black Film Festival
African American Art and Culture Center and other Bay Area Venues
www.sfbff.org
This celebration of African American cinema and the African cultural diaspora showcases a diverse collection of films from emerging and established filmmakers; more than 10,000 films have been screened from around the world since the inaugural festival in 1998.

JUNE 16-26
Frameline 40, San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival
Castro Theatre, 415-703-8650
www.frameline.org
Legendary showcase of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema screens groundbreaking documentaries, features, touching short films and cinematic classics. 

JUNE 19-AUGUST 21 
Stern Grove Festival 
Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd., 415-252-6252
www.sterngrove.org 
The Stern Grove Festival celebrates the season of free Sunday concerts featuring renowned music and dance groups set in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater in the heart of San Francisco.

JUNE 25-26
San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade
Embarcadero to Civic Center, Market St., 415-864-0831 
www.sfpride.org 
San Francisco's 46th annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride culminates with a festive parade from the Embarcadero to the Civic Center on June 26.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel, read the Visitors Planning Guide or call 415-391-2000.  San Francisco Travel also operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets and on the lower level of Macy’s Union Square.  For more information, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel.   

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 39 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 free upgraded 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 www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on www.twitter.com/flysfo and www.facebook.com/flysfo

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