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What’s New in San Francisco - September / October 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

Nov. 4, 2016 - James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: San Francisco

Celebrating its fourth year, the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Tour is a national culinary program that takes place in 10 cities, including San Francisco, over six weekends each fall. Taste America All-Star Anita Lo (Annisa) will collaborate with Local Star and James Beard Award-winner Charles Phan (Slanted Door), and Pastry Chef Belinda Leong (B. Patisserie) to create a one-of-a-kind four-course dining experience. This unique partnering of culinary greats will also feature a tasting reception, where Host Chef Daniel Corey (Luce), Tim Archuleta (ICHI Sushi + NI Bar), Srijith Gopinathan (Taj Campton), Brandon Jew (Mr. Jiu’s), Dennis Lee (Namu Gaji), Pim Techamuanvivit (Kin Khao), and Martin Yan (M.Y. China) will dazzle guests with their individual culinary styles. Weekend festivities will also include in-store celebrity chef appearances, cooking demonstrations, book signings, tastings and more at Sur La Table.  

For more information, visit www.jbftasteamerica.org.  Media contact: Emily Martin, 415-781-5700, emily@afandco.com

Nov. 7, 2016 –  Seventh Annual Fall Chocolate Salon at Hotel Kabuki

The 7th Annual Fall Chocolate Salon moves to a new home at the Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post. St., San Francisco.  This is the perfect place to find holiday gifts while tasting and savoring the chocolate experience in one of the world's great culinary metropolitan areas. Curated chocolatiers and artisan culinary partners include Amano Artisan Chocolates, Kindred Cooks, Heavenly Taste Toffee, Endorfin, Basel B, Rainy Day Chocolate, Fera'wyn's Artisan Chocolates and others.  

For more information, visit. www.FallChocolateSalon.com.  Media contact: Andre Crump, photos2007@cafeandre.com

Nov. 14, 2016 - Golden Gate Restaurant Association Presents New Saucy Awards® to Recognize Excellence in Bay Area Culinary Community 

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year, has announced its first-ever awards gala, The Saucy Awards®, to recognize the San Francisco Bay Area restaurant and bar community for its excellence. The Saucy Awards®, aka The Saucys, will benefit the GGRA’s non-profit, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship & Education Foundation (GGRASF), as a part of its initiative to advance and support the hospitality industry in the Bay Area.

All hospitality industry professionals and concepts, not exclusive to GGRA members, within seven Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma) can be nominated by their peers and can also nominate themselves. The Saucy Awards® steering committee consists of six industry veterans and luminaries, including Willie L. Brown Jr. (Former Mayor, San Francisco), Marcy Coburn (Executive Director, CUESA), Joyce Goldstein (Chef/Author/Consultant), Virginia Miller (Food & Drink Editor), Leslie Sbrocco (Wine Educator/TV/Author), Patricia Unterman (Food Writer and Critic/Restaurant Owner), and more to be announced.  

The winners will be announced at the first-ever The Saucy Awards® Gala on Nov. 14, 2016 at Herbst Theater followed by a reception in the Green Room. 

For more information on The Saucy Awards®, visit www.ggra.org/the-saucy-awards. 

Media contacts: Shawna Sund and Danielle Logan, 415-274-2510, shawna@wagstaffworldwide.com, dlogan@wagstaffworldwide.com

Calistoga Winery JAX Vineyards Opens Urban Tasting Room/Event Space in the Heart of SoMa, San Francisco

Cult winery JAX Vineyards has made a brazen move to the hot SoMa district of San Francisco. Having transplanted an 18-foot olive tree and 50-year-old JAX estate vines around a sleek, sizzling fire pit, the new tasting room and event space offers the ultimate Napa Valley experience without the commute.

Located just two blocks from AT&T Park, the tasting room is one of the hottest destinations to grab a glass of wine, flight or bottle with friends during Tuesday through Friday Happy Hour. Pouring a wine portfolio crafted by globally renowned winemaker Kirk Venge and sourced from Napa Valley and Sonoma County, guests can taste through an array of varietals that tell the story of JAX. The tasting room also provides an exclusive venue for private tastings and events up to 75 people.  

For more information, visit www.jaxvineyards.com.  Media contact:  Kat Milano, 415-446-9505 ext. 102, kat@jaxvineyards.com

Discover Three Happy Hours in One at Westfield San Francisco Centre

Westfield San Francisco Centre hosts 16 million visitors per year for world-renowned shopping. However, locals know the Centre for its hidden gems, M.Y. China, TAP [415] and Volta.  These popular restaurants host an irresistible happy hour every Monday through Friday. 

M.Y. China’s specialty cocktails, like Nice View, are the perfect treat after a long day of hard work. TAP [415]’s Beer Bites have guests saying, “Another order please.” While Volta’s delectable upscale bites and drinks will ensure you never skip happy hour again.

Consume, devour and indulge in delicious food and drinks from three outstanding restaurants under one roof. M.Y. China and TAP [415] share the view of Westfield San Francisco Centre’s iconic Emporium Dome, a sight that is timeless. 

Happy hours are 3-6 p.m. at M.Y. China and TAP [415] and 5-7 p.m. at Volta Modern Brasserie.

For more information, visit www.westfield.com/sanfrancisco/dining. Media contact: Samantha Matthews, 415-268-8345, smatthews@Westfield.com

Hilton San Francisco Union Square Opens 46th Floor Cityscape San Francisco Lounge

Hilton San Francisco Union Square has opened Cityscape San Francisco Lounge, located on the hotel’s 46th floor, welcoming guests from 5 p.m. to midnight nightly.

With breathtaking, 360-degree panoramic views of the entire Bay Area and San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks, the Cityscape lounge offers small plates and appetizers, signature cocktails, wines by the glass, a variety of beers on tap, fine spirits and one of the best viewing platforms in the city.

“No two days look the same from Cityscape, where San Francisco weather flows over the ever changing skyline,” said Lenny Gumm, Cityscape general manager.  

Lenny Gumm is a veteran bar and lounge manager who has held positions with several local watering holes, including Hotel Rex, One Market Restaurant, Temple Nightclub, DOSA Restaurant, La Urbana and the Four Seasons.  Gumm has also participated in local events with CUESA, SF Chefs, 7x7, and San Francisco Magazine.

In addition to general public access for individuals, couples and small parties, Cityscape also offers private corners of the lounge for groups of 20 in the Bay Section with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the entire space for up to 350 guests for a total buy out of the lounge. 

For more information, visit www.hiltonsanfranciscohotel.com or call 415-771-1400.  Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252, molly@hooklineandthinker.com

Limewood - New Restaurant at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel

A longtime hallmark of California hospitality, Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel has unveiled Limewood Bar & Restaurant, a vibrant, casual gathering place showcasing regionally-sourced cuisine.   A kitchen inspired by Bay Area artisans is complimented by a spirited bar offering house-crafted cocktails, a well-balanced wine list that highlights labels true to their varietal and sense of place, and an enviable wines-by-the-glass selection.   

Serving lunch and dinner daily, Limewood’s thoughtful and approachable menu highlights the bounties of Northern California’s sustainable farmers, ranchers, fishermen, bakers, artisans and vintners. Bartenders pour original, inventive cocktails and put their own twists on the classics.  With an emphasis on creativity and quality ingredients including fresh-squeezed juices and house-made syrups, the seasoned crew shares their legendary expertise and craftsmanship.  

For more information, visit www.fairmont.com.  Media contact:  Nichole Dupre, 510-549-8509, Nichole.Dupre@Fairmont.com.  

 ARTS & CULTURE NEWS

San Francisco Opera Unveils New Permanent Photography Exhibition, “Looking Through the Lens: The Glory of San Francisco Opera, Past and Present”

A new, permanent photography exhibition, “Looking Through the Lens: The Glory of San Francisco Opera, Past and Present,” has just opened in the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, on the fourth floor of the Veterans Building. The exhibition features 135 photos drawn from the Company’s archives and illustrates San Francisco Opera’s rich 94-year history. Many of the photographs in the exhibition have never before been published, displayed or seen by anyone outside of the Company staff and archive volunteers. “Looking Through the Lens” was curated by the Company’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Jon Finck. “The images capture those special moments that communicate why opera is so extraordinary. I’m proud of the exhibition and grateful that as a Company, we can offer the public this glimpse into the amazing artistry of San Francisco Opera.” Highlights of the collection include Italian soprano Claudia Muzio as Tosca, Plácido Domingo in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” Renée Fleming in “Rusalka” along with many unforgettable moments from the War Memorial Opera House stage. The exhibition is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.  in the Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave.

For more information, visit  www.sfopera.com.  Media contact: Jeff McMillan, 415-565-6451, jmcmillan@sfopera.com

Through Oct. 9, 2016 – “Ed Ruscha and the Great American West “at the de Young Museum

This exhibition at the de Young explores Ed Ruscha’s engagement with the American West and its starring role in our national mythology. The Fine Arts Museums have a long relationship with Ruscha, having acquired the artist’s complete graphic archive in 2000, including all published editions of his prints and a pledge to acquire those made in the future. This exhibition draws heavily from the institution’s permanent collections, and reinforces a commitment to bringing major exhibitions of postwar American art to the Bay Area.  This thematic exhibition of 99 works is organized into several sections including Ruscha’s vast horizons, gas station architecture, billboards and roadside signs, Los Angeles apartment buildings, the Hollywood sign, imagery drawn from Western films, topographic street grids and text-based works. 

For more information, visit deyoung.famsf.org. Media contact: Miriam Newcomer, 310-592-5238, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Through Oct. 9, 2016 – “King Charles III” at American Conservatory Theater’s Geary

American Conservatory Theater kicks off its 50th subscription season with the 2015 Oliver Award–winning Best New Play, “King Charles III.” With its witty echoes of Shakespearean drama, Mike Bartlett’s brilliant contemporary work of speculative history blurs the boundaries of truth and tragedy. Queen Elizabeth is dead. Prince Charles ascends to the throne, but what kind of ruler will he make for this once-united kingdom? Flanked by wife Camilla and sons William and Harry, Charles challenges an uncompromising Parliament, but it is his daughter-in-law, Princess Kate, who shows the real ambition for the sceptered isle. Is Charles the man who would be king, or was he born to succeed only in name? Nominated for five 2016 Tony Awards, this imaginative glimpse of future history is a theatrical event of crowning achievement. “King Charles III” is a coproduction with Seattle Repertory Theatre and Washington, D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Tickets are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415-749-2228 or visiting www.act-sf.org.   Media contact: Kevin Kopjak, 415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.

Through Oct. 16, 2016 – “Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall”at the GLBT History Museum

Through Oct. 16, 2016, the GLBT History Museum will present a historical retrospective of erotic illustrations by artists who worked for gay men's magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. "Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall" originated at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. The San Francisco show is its only scheduled West Coast appearance. 

Curated by artist Robert W. Richards, this exhibition of a largely forgotten body of work not only explores the male form, but also offers an examination of erotic fantasies as experienced through publications that were available at nearly every newsstand in America, but that men often hid under their mattresses for fear of being discovered. 

"Many of the early magazines pretended to be bodybuilding, strength and health journals," says Richards. "Sometimes they were called anatomy guides for artists. However, most of the men bought these magazines because they were gay. It was nearly their only opportunity to see handsome, well-made, virtually naked men. Buying one of these publications required an act of courage, especially if the small-town drugstore owner had known the buyer and his family most of their lives."

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

Through Oct. 30, 2016 - “Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum 

“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and “A Clockwork Orange” are just a few of Stanley Kubrick’s films that are now considered to be among the most influential masterpieces in motion picture history. “Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition,” the first dedicated to Kubrick’s life and work, presents materials from the private estate of the film director, inaccessible until 2003, and 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.

Some of the approximately 800 objects on view include annotated screenplays, production photography, lenses and cameras, set models, costumes, and props. Among the iconic items are the little dresses of the sisters from The Shining, the ‘Born to kill’ helmet of Private Joker from “Full Metal Jacket,” and a model of the centrifuge from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” 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.

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

Through Dec. 18, 2016 – “Home Land Security” at Presidio’s Fort Winfield Scott

Occupying a suite of former military structures in the Presidio overlooking the San Francisco Bay, “Home Land Security” brings together works by contemporary artists and collectives from around the globe to reflect on the human dimensions and increasing complexity of national security, including the physical and psychological borders we create, protect and cross in its name.

The exhibition extends FOR-SITE’s focus on provocative art about place, inviting viewers into decommissioned batteries, an administrative building, and a chapel — some open to the general public for the first time — that served for decades as key sites in the U.S. Army’s Coastal Defense System. The 16 featured artists represent diverse points of origin — including China, Cuba, Iran, Israel, Poland, South Korea, Syria, the United States and Vietnam — underscoring the universality of themes of home, safety, and defense in an increasingly pervasive climate of fear and distrust. The artworks, which encompass media ranging from painting and sculpture to video and performance, respond to both personal and cultural concerns, with the historic sites of Fort Winfield Scott providing a new context for signature pieces and a showcase for site-specific commissions.

“Home Land Security” builds on previous artistic collaborations with the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and commemorates the park service’s centennial. 

Participating artists: Shiva Ahmadi, Tamman Azzam, Tirtzah Bassel, Yashar Azar Emdadian, Al Farrow, Díaz Lewis (Cara Megan Lewis and Alejandro Díaz-Perera), Liza Lou, Mandana Moghaddam, Trevor Paglen, Shahpour Pouyan, Michele Pred, The Propeller Group (Matt Lucero, Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn, and Phunam Thúc), Do Ho Suh, Bill Viola, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Yin Xiuzhen. 

For more information, visit www.for-site.org.  Media contact: Robyn Wise, 415-269-7043, wiserobyn@gmail.com

Through 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 through 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/exhibitions.  Media contact: Victoria Rainone, WDFM@demonstratepr.com, 415-660-9971.

Through Jan. 15, 2017 – “Shortening: Making Irrational Rational,” New Art Exhibition by Nelson Saiers on Alcatraz

Alcatraz, best known for the historic federal penitentiary and occupation by the Indians of All Tribes, also has a long tradition of welcoming artists to provoke thought about freedom and incarceration.  Starting in mid-July, the National Park Service and Nelson Saiers - artist and math Ph.D. - are opening an installation called “Shortening: Making Irrational Rational.”  The exhibit will be installed in the New Industries Building, which will be open July 15, 2016 through Jan. 15, 2017, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.  Access to the exhibit is included in the ferry price and can be purchased at www.alcatrazcruises.com

“Shortening: Making Irrational Rational” incorporates properties of the number Pi, prison vernacular and NFL football jerseys to weigh in on the "irrationally" long prison sentences given for minor, nonviolent drug offenses and the need to shorten those sentences.  The installation will show the first 200 digits of Pi on 100 NFL football jerseys.  

For more information, visit www.alcatrazcruises.com. Media contact: Molly Blaisdell, 925-300-7252, molly@hooklineandthinker.com

Through May 28, 2017 – SFJAZZ Fifth Anniversary Season

SFJAZZ is presenting its Fifth Anniversary Season since the SFJAZZ Center’s opening in January 2013. The Center has been recognized as one of the best performing arts centers in the country receiving numerous architecture, design, and acoustic awards. 

The Fifth Anniversary Season kicks off Sept. 8, 2016 with four evenings with Pat Metheny, the 20-time Grammy-winner and towering figure in the world of jazz guitar.

Other programming highlights includeJulian Lage Trio, Billy Hart with Ethan Iverson, Mark Turner & Ben Street, Chick Corea with Eddie Gomez and Brian Blade, Ludovico Einaudi, GoGo Penguin, Brad Mehldau’s Highway Rider with Joshua Redman, Joel Harrison 5 with Brian Blade, Van Morrison, Trumpet Festival, SFJAZZ Collective, Mariza, Diego El Cigala, Burt Bacharach, Chucho Valdés with the Joe Lovano Quintet, Dorado Schmitt & Django All-Stars, Petra Haden & Jesse Harris, Robert Glasper Experiment, Aaron Neville, New Year’s with Maceo Parker, Chris Botti, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, John Santos Sextet, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Cookers, Paris Combo, Dianne Reeves, Scott Amendola Quintet with Nels Cline, Goran Bregovic, Miguel Zenón Quartet, Destani Wolf, Tiffany Austin, Jackie Ryan, Laurie Antonioli, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley, Brian Blade, Anoushka Shankar, Max Raabe & Palast Orchester, Hermeto Pascoal, King Sunny Adé, ECM Festival, Nels Cline: Lovers, SFJAZZ Poetry Festival, Juan de Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars, Dayna Stephens, Patrick Wolff, Howard Wiley, Mad Duran, Omar Sosa, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Gerald Clayton, Eliane Elias, A Tribute To Ernesto Lecuona with Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Michel Camilo, and more.

For more information, visit www.sfjazz.org.   Media contact: Marshall Lamm, 510-928-1410, marshall@sfjazz.org. 

Oct. 7-15, 2016 - Litquake 2016

Litquake is a literary festival founded by and run by writers Jack Boulware and Jane Ganahl. Sometimes eccentric, often quixotic, but always very much of its time and place Litquake is unafraid of politics, unafraid of comedy and unafraid of wearing its heart on its sleeve. It’s about writers, the way they think, readers and the way they think and bringing them both together. One of their mottos: “Put down the books and get out of the house!”  Highlights for 2016 include an in-conversation evening between Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Michelle Tea; Thomas Dolby of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame comes to the festival with his new memoir, while another evening sees a virtual Pulitzer-Palooza when four Pulitzer winners sit down to discuss what they do. Also 50 Years of Hunter S. Thompson, “New York Times”bestselling author of thrillers John Lescroart; National Book Award winning poet Claudia Rankine, and a day dedicated to food, With Eat, Drink and Be Literary. Close to 20,000 attendees will see and hear 900 authors over the nine days of the festival including the notorious, not-to-be-missed closing night Lit Crawl through the Mission District on a Saturday night. 

For more information, visit www.litquake.org.  Media contact:  Liam Passmore, 415-218-1544 (c); 415-865-0860 (p), liam@shaveandhaircut.biz

Oct. 8, 2016-Jan. 19, 2017 – “The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of 17th Century France” at the Legion of Honor

The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of 17th-Century France” is the first major exhibition in the United States devoted to brothers Antoine, Louis and Mathieu Le Nain, who created some of the most beautiful and enigmatic works of art in history. Organized in conjunction with the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX, and the Musée du Louvre-Lens in France, this presentation features more than 40 of the brothers’ masterpieces and spans their full artistic achievement.

For more information, visit legionofhonor.famsf.org. Media contact:Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Oct. 9 and 29, 2016 — Fantastic Fall Events at Grace Cathedral

Isabel Allende, the activist and world’s most widely-read Spanish-language author, will join the dean of Grace Cathedral, Malcolm Clemens Young, for a conversation on feminism, social justice, politics and home on Oct. 9, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The Forum at Grace Cathedral is always free and open to all. 

Grace Cathedral will transform into a grand movie palace for special Halloween screenings of the chilling 1922 silent horror classic “Nosferatu” with thrilling accompaniment by virtuoso organist Dorothy Papadakos. An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” “Nosferatu” remains to many viewers the most unsettling vampire film ever made. Tickets are on sale now for showings on Oct. 29, 2016 at 7 and 9 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.gracecathedral.org/events.  Media contacts: Kelly Costello, 417-749-6323, kellyc@gracecathedral.org and Lynn Aylward, 240-330-7343, lynna@gracecathedral.org

Oct. 15-16, 2016 - 13th Annual San Francisco Trolley Dances Travels from the Castro to the Financial District   

On Oct. 15 and 16, 2016, San Francisco Trolley Dances (SFTD) returns with performances from the Castro to the Financial District/South of Market. An annual, admission-free festival that takes place each October, SFTD has been dubbed “art for citizens” and “a gift to the city.” Twelve tours are scheduled over the weekend, six each day starting at 11 a.m., 11:45a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Each tour runs approximately two hours.

The festival aims always to be eclectic with a presentation of a variety of dance styles. This year, audiences will get a taste of classical Indian dance, dance theater, contact improvisation, traditional Filipino folk dance, and much more. Featured performers include Chitresh Das Dance Company, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, James Graham Dance Theatre, Monique Jenkinson aka Fauxnique, Laura Elaine Ellis, Parangal Dance Company and Epiphany Productions. Live music will accompany many of the performances.

The tours start at the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library, and audiences are advised to arrive early to register. At each site, trained volunteers greet audience members, and act as guides leading audiences along the performance journey. Attendees have the option to walk or bike to the performance sites on their own. 

Route maps will be available on site and online at www.epiphanydance.org.   Media contact: John Hill, 510-435-7128, johnhillpr@gmail.com.

Oct. 15-16, 2016 – Treasure Island Music Festival

The tenth annual Treasure Island Music Festival returns to the San Francisco Bay on Oct. 15-16, 2016 with a stellar lineup of performances in a mix of genres including indie rock, hip-hop, electronica, and more. Among this year’s performers are Ice Cube (joined by MC Ren and DJ Yella of N.W.A.), Sigur Rós James Blake, Zhu, Purity Ring, Glass Animals, Duke Dumont, Tycho, Young Thug, Mac DeMarco, and more. There are no overlapping sets so music fans never miss a note of their favorite artists.  Festival attendees can also enjoy an array of activities beyond the music, including the iconic 60-foot Century Ferris Wheel surrounded by an ever-changing and diverse mix of interactive art installations and roaming performers, as well as some of the best cuisine the Bay Area has to offer. Weekend and daily passes are available now.  Daily lineups have also been released. And check out the official night shows with Dan Deacon, Pantha du Prince, Deerhunter, and Kero Kero Bonito. 

For more information, visit treasureislandfestival.com.  Media contact: Trey Hicks, 512-382-9017, trey@giantnoise.com

Oct. 15-16; Oct. 22-23; Oct. 29- 30 and Nov. 4-5, 2016 – SF Open Studios

San Francisco is the home to the largest open studios event in the country.  SF Open Studios offers visitors the chance to see the city through the eyes of its artists, and discover one-of-a-kind and original artworks. The 2016 edition will feature a gamut of approaches and disciplines, including glass and interactive light installations, assemblage, night photography and jewelry, as well as visual art, dioramas and sculptures made from wood and (ironically in tech-drenched San Francisco) discarded computer parts.

Spanning four weekends—each taking place in a different section of the city—the year kicks off at the sprawling array of studios at Hunters Point and Islais Creek. Tucked away in a section of the city often overlooked by visitors, those who make the trek will be rewarded with stunning views and vistas, and get entrée to perhaps the city’s busiest and most productive artists enclaves.

Weekend # 2 includes studios in North Beach, the Marina and SOMA as well as the Lower Haight among others.  Weekend # 3 takes you out to the Sunset and Richmond Districts as well as out to the Presidio and on the final weekend the Mission, Castro, Noe Valley and Glen Park neighborhoods take center stage.

For more information, visit www.artspan.org/home.   Media contact:  Liam Passmore, 415-218-1544 (c); 415-865-0860 (p), liam@shaveandhaircut.biz.

Oct. 17-Nov. 6, 2016 – Harvey Fierstein’s New “Casa Valentina” at New Conservatory Theatre

New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) opens its 2016-17 season celebrating its 35th anniversary in October, with the regional premiere of “Casa Valentina” by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (“Torch Song Trilogy,” “Kinky Boots,” “Newsies,” “La Cage aux Folles”). “Casa Valentina” is Fierstein’s first play in almost 30 years and NCTC’s production follows its premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway. In summer 1962, most men who went to the Catskills went to escape the heat. Others made their way to Casa Valentina, an inconspicuous bungalow colony catering to a discreet clientele: heterosexual men who would escape their families to spend their weekends safely dressing and acting as women. Based on real events and infused with Fierstein's trademark wit, “Casa Valentina” offers a glimpse into the lives of a group of "self-made women" as they search for acceptance and happiness in their very own Garden of Eden. "Never underestimate Harvey Fierstein's gift for revealing new worlds within worlds we think we know well,” says NY Newsday. “Moving, beguiling and, yes, again historically significant.” Casa Valentina runs Oct. 7- Nov.  6, 2016. Tickets available at www.nctcsf.org or by calling 415-861-8972.

Media contact: Ben Randle, 415-694-6156, ben@nctcsf.org

Oct. 18–Nov.12, 2016 – “The Hard Problem”at American Conservatory Theater’s Geary Theater

Tom Stoppard continues his long-term collaboration with A.C.T. and Artistic Director Carey Perloff on his first new play in nearly a decade, “The Hard Problem” a provocative drama of sex, science, and supercomputing. Razor-sharp psychology grad Hilary wins a prestigious brain research position that forces her to confront her lover (and math tutor) in a fight to defend the soul, altruism, and even God from modern science. But as she competes for funding against a rival project racing to unlock the mathematical secrets behind stock market risk, Hilary realizes that her biggest threat is closer to home—her own genetic secret. From one of theater’s greatest voices, “The Hard Problem” shows Stoppard at his best as he dives deep into this compelling conflict of mind versus matter. 

Tickets are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415-749-2228 or visiting www.act-sf.org.   Media contact: Kevin Kopjak,415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.

Oct. 21, 2016- Jan. 15, 2017 – “The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe” at the Asian Art Museum

Bloody battles, daring rescues, passionate romance and a shape-shifting monkey warrior. This fall, the Asian Art Museum presents “The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe,” an exhibition of ancient and contemporary artwork depicting sacred stories that together are as old as the Bible, longer than the Odyssey, and a source of creative inspiration across southern Asia.

One of the world’s great adventure stories, the Rama epic teems with excitement as well as moral quandaries that continue to shape how we view our lives today. This expansive exhibition features works from 1,500 years ago to today, illuminating through art, live performance, and masterful storytelling the enduring values and timeless appeal of key characters: Rama, the legendary prince; Sita, his long-suffering love; Hanuman, their faithful monkey lieutenant; and Ravana, the 10-headed lord of the demons. 

Unprecedented in scale and scope, the tale is told through 135 sculptures and paintings, masks, puppets and examples of temple architecture originating from India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia and borrowed from museums across the U.S., U.K. and Europe. On view only at the Asian Art Museum.

For more information, visit www.asianart.org,  Media contact: Zac Rose, 415-581-3560, zrose@asianart.org

Nov. 2- Dec. 31, 2016 - Disney’s “The Lion King” Returns to SHN’s Orpheum Theatre 

Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, Disney’s “The Lion King” will once again leap onto 

SHN’s Orpheum Theatre stage in San Francisco on Nov. 2, 2016 for a limited engagement of nine weeks through Dec. 31, 2016.      

The North American touring productions of “The Lion King” have been seen by more than 17 million theatergoers and grossed more than $1.2 billion to date.  Since its Broadway premiere on Nov. 13, 1997, 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), “The Lion King” is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years.  

“The Lion King” won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.”  “The Lion King” has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.  

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor, first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.   

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from “The Lion King” animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of “The Lion King” is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.” 

Tickets are available for purchase at the SHN Orpheum Theatre Box Office, online at www.shnsf.com and by phone at SHN Audience Services at 888-746-1799.

Media contact: Andi Wang, 415-551-2052, awang@shnsf.com.  

Nov. 5, 2016-Feb. 26, 2017 – “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” at the de Young

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will host “Frank Stella: A Retrospective,” a comprehensive presentation surveying the career of this towering figure in Post-war American Art. Approximately 50 works, including paintings, reliefs, sculptures and maquettes, represent Frank Stella’s prolific output from the late 1950s to the present day and reveal the artist’s dramatic influence on the cultural landscape over the last six decades.  

For more information, visit deyoung.famsf.orgMedia contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-750-3554, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Nov. 5-March 12, 2017 – “Danny Lyon: Message to the Future“ at the de Young

The exhibition assembles 175 photographs and related films and ephemera to highlight Lyon’s concern with social and political issues and the welfare of individuals considered by many to be on the margins of society. The presentation includes many objects that have seldom or never been exhibited before and offers a rare look at works from Lyon’s archives alongside important loans from major public and private collections in the United States. This is also the first exhibition to assess the artist’s achievements as a filmmaker.  

For more information, visit deyoung.famsf.orgMedia contact: Miriam Newcomer, 415-357-4000, mnewcomer@famsf.org.

Nov. 9-13, 2016 - Napa Valley Film Festival - The Ultimate Film, Food and Wine Experience

The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) lights up wine country at the most colorful time of year, Nov. 9-13, 2016.  NVFF presents more than 120 new independent films and sneak previews of awards season contenders in 13 beautiful venues throughout the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga.  Interact with more than 300 filmmakers at screenings, wine tastings, culinary demos, special events and winemaker dinners. Attend the red carpet Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, VIP parties and more. There are several ways to participate, from the most once-in-a-lifetime VIP Experience to Pass Plus and Festival Pass levels and the new Mid-Week Passes, Day Passes for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and even last minute single screening tickets.  All passes are sale now.  To purchase passes and get the most up to date information on the complete film lineup, celebrity tributes and special event details, visit www.nvff.org.  Check out highlights from the 2015 NVFF here: www.bit.ly/NVFF15Sizzle.  The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, CA. 

Media contact: Ron Hofman, 310-550-7776, ron.hofmann@bwr-pr.com.

Nov. 11-Dec. 18, 2016 - New Conservatory Theatre Center Presents Regional Premiere of Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet”

On Nov. 11-Dec. 18, 2016 New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) will present the regional premiere of Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize Finalist, “Sons of the Prophet”, to be directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle. Karam, who recently won the Tony Award for his play “The Humans,”was named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Sons of the Prophet, his refreshingly honest take on how we cope with wounds that just won’t heal. If to live is to suffer, then Joseph Douaihy is more alive than most. With unexplained chronic pain and the fate of his reeling family on his shoulders, Joseph's health, sanity, and insurance premium are on the line. In addition to its Pulitzer honors, “Sons of the Prophet “received Best Play awards from New York Drama Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel Awards, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, hailing the discovery of an “important playwright in Stephen Karam” (New York Magazine). “Explosively funny” (“The New York Times”), “Sons of the Prophet” is the funniest play about human suffering you'll ever see. Tickets are available at www.nctcsf.org or by calling 415-861-8972.

Media contact: Ben Randle, 415-694-6156, ben@nctcsf.org

Nov. 17, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017 – “Luzia” by Cirque du Soleil Under the Big Top at AT&T Park

“Luzia” takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. Freely inspired by Mexico, “Luzia” is a poetic and acrobatic ode to the rich, vibrant culture of a country whose wealth stems from an extraordinary mix of influences and creative collisions – a land that inspires awe with its breathtaking landscapes and architectural wonders, buoyed by the indomitable spirit of its people. The tableaux of “Luzia” weave an intricate, contemporary mosaic that awakens your senses and transports you to a place suspended between dreams and reality. Featuring a cast of 44 performers from diverse artistic backgrounds, “Luzia” surprises with acrobatic performances breaking down the barriers, such as integrating rain and water into contemporary circus disciplines.  It is performed under the redesigned white and gold Big Top at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Tickets range in price from $49–$185 and are available by visiting www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia or calling 1-800-450-1480. Media contact: Kevin Kopjak, 415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.

ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES NEWS

Oct. 1, 2016 - Celebrate Bay Day

Save The Bay, the region’s largest organization working to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay, has announced the first ever Bay Day, to be held on Oct. 1, 2016. 

Bay Day is like Earth Day…for San Francisco Bay. It is one official day every year for the entire Bay Area to celebrate the bay. Families, communities, and businesses throughout the region will celebrate Bay Day in their own unique ways proving that all are undoubtedly united by San Francisco Bay pride. 

San Francisco Bay is wild and alive. It’s the largest and most ecologically important estuary on the west coast. On Bay Day, a number of museums, aquariums, wildlife refuges, recreation parks, restaurants, cultural attractions, community organizations, and small businesses all around the Bay Area will host special bay-themed programs for residents to explore, enjoy and learn more about the bay.

Cities around the bay such as San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose have already taken the lead on officially declaring Bay Day for their communities. Whether it’s exploring, learning, or playing, there is something for everyone to do on Bay Day.  

For more information, visit www.bayday.org. Media contact: Aziza Jackson, 510-463-6815, ajackson@saveSFbay.org

Oct. 1, 2016 - Movie Night at the Yard Season Finale

As part of their Community Calendar presented by Bank of America, and in partnership with San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation, The Yard hosts “Movie Nights“on a large inflatable outdoor screen placed in front of the Giant Steps at The Yard on Oct. 1.  The Yard at Mission Rock is located at the corner of Third Street and Terry Francois Boulevard, across from AT&T Park. This event is free and open to the public.  

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

Oct. 6, 2016 – Madame Tussauds Welcomes Bollywood Stars

Madame Tussauds San Francisco will host its Bollywood launch event at the attraction’s Fisherman’s Wharf location (145 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94133) on Thursday, October 6 at 7 PM with appetizers from Kasa Indian Eatery, performances by Bollywood dance troupe, Nachle SF, as well as the reveal of Madame Tussauds’ Bollywood wax figure set, which will include Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. Guests interested in attending must RSVP on the Eventbrite link, www.eventbrite.com. Admission is free.  

Following the event, Madame Tussauds San Francisco will host the Bollywood stars through the opening of Madame Tussauds Delhi in early 2017. It will be the company’s first attraction in the country.  

The world-famous interactive wax attraction in Fisherman’s Wharf is home to an abundance of celebrities, including local luminaries Tony Bennett, Harvey Milk, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Clint Eastwood plus Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, Betty White, Elton John and Serena Williams, just to name a few. The figures represent individuals who have achieved iconic status, ranging from President Obama to Peter Dinklage. Each figure takes our team of 20 skilled artists three to four months to create at a cost of approximately $350,000 each.

For more information, visit www.madametussauds.com/sanfrancisco. Media contact: Caroline Stegner, 310-854-8149, cstegner@rogersandcowan.com.   

Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22, 2016 - Cow Palace Hosts 70th Grand National Livestock Expo, Horse Show and Rodeo

During the annual Grand National Livestock Exposition, Horse Show and Rodeo, the Cow Palace is filled with the ultimate western experience including an agriculture exhibition, a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) rodeo and a classic western marketplace with mechanical bull rides, live music, BBQ, shopping and more. 

The family-friendly event takes place over two weekends, Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22, 2016. The Livestock Exposition, Horse Show, Interactive Agricultural Area and Marketplace are free to the public.  Paid tickets are required for the Grand National Rodeo.

The Rodeo, produced for 47 years by Cotton Rosser and the Flying U Rodeo Co., features traditional rodeo events, including bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing to name a few. An annual highlight for the rodeo community is the contest for “Miss Grand National Rodeo Queen,” who serves as a goodwill ambassador for the sport of rodeo. 

Exhibitors will show cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and rabbits, along with photography and fine art inspired by agriculture and western lifestyle. 

For more information, visit www.cowpalace.com/events.  Media contact: Paloma Concordia, 415-992-1428, paloma@papalodown.com

Oct. 28, 2016 - The San Francisco Dungeon Introduces “Escape Alcatraz” Drop Ride  

The San Francisco Dungeon on Fisherman’s Wharf will unveil their new “Escape Alcatraz” drop ride attraction over Halloween weekend, featuring the only underground free-fall ride in the United States. The 60-minute attraction’s new finale stays true to The Dungeon’s always gripping and interactive journey that explores the city’s dark and sinful past from the pre-Gold Rush era to Alcatraz (1849-1907). Full of laughs and screams, The San Francisco Dungeon brings together a stellar cast of professional theatrical actors and features gripping storytelling, special effects, and fully themed, 360-degree stages and scenes. The “Escape Alcatraz” drop ride and show culminates in a heart-pounding jump and escape from the infamous island prison into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay. The below sea-level construction of the new ride and permanent attraction will be complete in time for Halloween with a grand opening celebration set for Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. The first 300 visitors to arrive dressed in Halloween costume will experience the attraction for free. The San Francisco Dungeon attraction runs continuously from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days a year on Fisherman’s Wharf at 145 Jefferson St. 

For more information, visit sanfrancisco.thedungeons.com  Media contact: Trisha Clayton, 415-346-4565, t.clayton@comcast.net, and Cameron Rogers-Polan, 310-995-0045, cameron.rogerspolan@yahoo.com.

Oct. 29, 2016 – San Francisco Costume Dash Coming to Golden Gate Park

The inaugural San Francisco Costume Dash 5k/10k is coming to Golden Gate Park, just in time for Halloween.  Last year’s debut Costume Dash race in Boston saw thousands of runners fly through the heart of the city while fully decked-out in their craziest Halloween costumes.  On Oct. 29, the fun is hitting the West Coast for the first time.

The new event series is being brought to the city by Rugged Races, the company behind the wildly popular Rugged Maniac Obstacle Race series, who have been bringing successful events to the Bay Area since 2013.

The race will start at 8:30 a.m. with the entirety taking place at Golden Gate Park, where prizes will also be awarded for the best costumes and top finishers at an awards ceremony post-race.  The fun continues after the run with an after-party at some of San Francisco’s best bars for runners 21 and over. 

Runners ages 10 and up can register online at www.CostumeDash.com through Oct. 26.  Registration is $25 for early signups until Aug. 26, $35 until Sept. 30, and $45 until Oct. 26.

Media contact: Mike DeCarlo, 908-902-8413, mike@scrimshawpr.com

Nov. 17, 2016-Jan. 7, 2017 – “Butterflies & Blooms” at the Conservatory of Flowers

Get eye to eye with a butterfly in the exhibit “Butterflies & Blooms” coming to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park this fall. The popular exhibit returns by overwhelming demand to San Francisco’s beloved Victorian greenhouse, transforming its Special Exhibit gallery into a beautiful and intimate cottage garden aflutter with hundreds of butterflies on the wing including magnificent monarchs, western swallowtails, painted ladies and more. Walk among a wide variety of brightly colored blossoms like zinnias and daisies while free-flying butterflies flit from flower to flower, drinking nectar and getting covered in pollen. These goodwill ambassadors of the insect world provide a fascinating demonstration of plant pollination in action. The Butterfly Bungalow at the entrance to the gallery also allows you to observe the pupae in their chrysalis stage. You never know, you may be lucky enough to catch the moment when one of these delicate beauties emerges.

Visitors learn about the mysterious process of metamorphosis, butterfly anatomy, pollinators’ critical role in the life cycle of plants and more through fascinating interpretive signs throughout the gallery.

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

Through Aug. 31, 2017 – National Park Service’s Every Kid in a Park Program

Building upon the Centennial of the National Park Service this year, the NPS is extending the Every Kid in a Park program for a second year in 2017.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is valid through Aug. 31, 2017. After completing a fun educational activity on the website, the child can download and print a pass. 

Locally, the printed pass can be traded for a more durable annual Every Kid in a Park pass at the three national park sites with entrance fees: Muir Woods National Monument, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and Pinnacles National Park

The pass grants free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults to most federally managed lands and waters, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.   

Visit www.EveryKidinaPark.gov for more information.  Media contact: Nathan Hale Sargent, 415-561-4732, hale_sargent@nps.gov.                                                                                                        

Bay Area Children’s Theatre to Create New Musicals for 2016-2017

The Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) will bookend its 2016-2017 season with two original musicals inspired by popular children’s books.

The company opens its season with a show for all ages, “Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site—The Musical,”a tune-filled re-imagining of the “New York Times” bestsellingpicture book about hard-working construction vehicles by Sherri Duskey Rinker, with illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld.  

BACT will complete its musical arc next spring with “Fly Guy, the Musical,” inspired by the New York Times bestselling series about a boy and his pet fly by author-illustrator Tedd Arnold.  

Families can enjoy BACT productions weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 Fourth St., on the following dates:

  • Nov. 19-Dec. 18, 2016:  “Seussical”(ages 3 and up)
  • Feb. 25-Mar. 19, 2017: “Pippi Longstocking”(ages 5 and up)
  • May 20-June 11, 2017: “Fly Guy—the Musical”(ages 4 and up)

To purchase tickets and learn more, visit www.bactheatre.org or call 510-296-4433.  Media contact:  Vivian Auslander, vivian@vivianauslander.com

San Francisco Zoo and Gardens Introduces New Animals and Exhibit

On Aug. 19, 2016 the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens welcomed its newest residents, Coquerel’s sifakas, to a newly built exhibit in the Thelma and Henry Doelger Primate Discovery Center.  Four-year-old “Karen” and three-year-old “Neil” love to leap, hop and play all day.  Sifakas are a species of lemur, distinguished by their unique methods of movement, including jumping great distances between trees and skipping slightly sideways on the ground.  

Sifakas are an endangered animal found only on the island of Madagascar.  The exhibit features custom-built artificial Malagasy plants, including an 18-foot fony baobab tree.  A local artist worked directly with SF Zoo animal staff to ensure every detail, from branch angles to knothole placements, best-suits the animals and is as functional as it is aesthetically appealing.  Adjacent to the main space is a “day room” which is visible to the public and gives the animals a second space in a controlled climate. 

The new exhibit is a figurative extension of the existing Lipman Family Lemur Forest, and was made possible by the generosity of longtime SF Zoo supporters Barry and Marie Lipman.  At 1.5 acres, the forest is the largest lemur habitat in the country, with seven different species and 19 total lemurs.  

In June, the Zoo welcomed three Mexican gray wolf brothers into Wolf Canyon. 

For more information, visit www.sfzoo.org.  Media contact:  Rachel Eslick, 415-753-7201 x 8129, rachele@sfzoo.org.     

Stow Lake Boathouse for Family Fun, Romance, Good Food and Special Events

Stow Lake has been providing a fun family and romantic cruises on its picturesque waters since 1893.  Located in the heart of Golden Gate Park, it is a hidden gem in the big city.  The fleet of American-made boats available for rent includes rowboats, electric boats and pedal boats seating one to four boaters. All motorboats are electric powered and silently glide across the serene waters of Stow Lake.  The popular Boathouse was completely renovated in 2013 and now offers indoor seating.   The café at Stow Lake Boathouse serves a variety of healthy food, great coffee and beverages.   When possible, ingredients are sourced locally to offer organic and sustainable food that is healthy for people and the environment. The Boathouse also recognizes the historical nature of Stow Lake’s food choices and continues to offer the popular pink popcorn.  

The Boathouse is also available as a venue for events, birthday parties, graduations, wedding receptions and more.    

For more information, visit www.stowlakeboathouse.com or call 415-386-2531.  Media contact: Lorena Serrano, manager@stowlakeboathouse.com

Seek Fine Art Digital Art Gallery Connects Users with Galleries, Artists and Art

Seek Fine Art is a new digital art gallery guide that makes finding, viewing and purchasing art a breeze. Founded in Mill Valley, CA, the app showcases galleries and their works, artists and events by location, from well-known places to the hidden gems, so you can curate your own San Francisco art experience. The app is beautifully designed, with a laser-cut focus on art and the user experience. Galleries update their profiles with high-quality images of artwork, which users can then “like” and “follow” for notifications on any new artwork. With scroll and swipe features and social media connectability, the app is enjoyable and engaging. 

Still, art is best seen in-person and Seek Fine Art opens up a world of opportunities to discover art, meet new people and buy art that fits any budget. Use the app to surround yourself in paintings in a Noe Valley gallery or to join a vibrant underground art event downtown. Not every piece will give you goosebumps, but the app hopes to help you find art and even take it home with you. Seek Fine Art is the biggest art network in the world; use it wherever your travels take you.

For more information, visit www.seekfineart.com.   Media contact:  Molly Moses, 805-952-3560, molly@seekfineart.com.  

Muir Woods Planning Reservation System for Fall 2017

A reservation system will be implemented at Muir Woods in Fall 2017 to manage visitation so all can have an ideal park experience while minimizing impacts to the old-growth redwood forest.  It is anticipated that summer weekends will welcome 4,000 visitors to this national park unit.  This will be a one-third reduction in visitation, returning to the levels of summers 5-10 years ago.  Reservations will be spread throughout the day so traffic on the roads and parking demand will be reduced. Also, more visitors will be arriving via the park's shuttle.  Capacity levels will be set lower during the shoulder periods of spring and summer and much lower during the winter time for a quieter experience for those seeking that special time among the redwoods.  Through the reservation system, the park will still welcome one million visitors through scheduling throughout the day or through the week rather than bunching arrival on weekends or mid-day.  

There will also be a separate reservation system for the commercial operators who bring visitors to the park.

Advance reservations will be available on-line or by phone, that those coming on foot or bicycle will not need reservations and school groups will continue to be welcome.   A prospectus for a reservation system concessionaire will be released before the end of 2016 and many details not yet available.  

Complementing the reservation system will be the first revamp in nearly 50 years of parking lots, trails and facilities in the entrance area to provide a welcoming arrival experience welcoming and set the tone for a first class visit to a national park while fully protecting significant natural resources.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm. Media contact: Mia Monroe, 415-561-4964, Mia_Monroe@nps.gov

HOTEL NEWS

Hotel Grace Becomes the Alise
Name: The Alise
Former name: Hotel Grace
Location: 580 Geary St. at Jones, San Francisco, CA 94102
Union Square
800-227-4223
www.thealise.com 
Rooms: 93
Completion date: September 2016
Media contact: Trisha Clayton at Andrew Freeman & Co; t.clayton@comcast.net or 415-706-3462

Pineapple Hospitality announced that the name of their new San Francisco property has changed to The Alise. The hotel has been operating in preview mode as Hotel Grace while construction, design elements, and custom art installations were in progress.

The 93 room hotel is located steps from Union Square, top theatres, Nob Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, cable car lines and more. Designed with deep respect for the building’s 103-year-old history, the fully renovated and reimagined property has been modernized from top to bottom with thoughtful design details at every turn.

One of seven properties owned and managed by Pacific Northwest-based Pineapple Hospitality Company, The Alise is the first Pineapple hotel to open in San Francisco.

The Alise welcomes visitors with an interactive lobby experience including elegant furnishings and natural light. Guests can indulge in daily cupcake and coffee service, while a “musical mezzanine” complete with a Ferrari red player piano floats above it all.

Guestrooms have a cheerful color palette of vibrant yellow against muted gray with custom fabrics and finishes that lend an air of subtle sophistication. Design elements and amenities include modern touches like ultra-high-speed WiFi, air conditioning, upgraded sound proofing and thoughtful lighting, with traditional touches of dark wood floors, and elegant lamps.

All-Inclusive The Clement Hotel Opens in Palo Alto 
Name: Clement Palo Alto
Location:711 El Camino Real. Palo Alto,
Completion Date: March 2016
www.theclementpaloalto.com 
Rooms: 23 one-bedroom suites
Media contact: Marci Bracco Cain, 831-747-7455, marci@chatterboxpublicrelations.com 

The Clement Palo Alto opened its doors March 2016.  

With 23 spacious and richly appointed one-bedroom suites, The Clement Palo Alto sets a new standard for personalized luxury accommodations in a contemporary residential-style atmosphere.  It is one of the most innovative, personalized and unique luxury hotels in the country.

While unparalleled service is key to any great luxury hotel, The Clement Palo Alto takes its impeccable service 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 (stocked with the guest's favorites), and fully-stocked Guest Pantry available around the clock, are just a few of the amenities included in this all-inclusive experience.  No detail has been overlooked at The Clement Hotel, 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.

The Clement Palo Alto's all-inclusive services and amenities include:

  • All-inclusive breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
  • All-inclusive wine, beer and cocktails (charges apply for premium brands)
  • All-inclusive in-room dining and mini-bar
  • All-inclusive fully-stocked Guest Pantry available around the clock
  • All-inclusive Business Center and high-speed Internet
  • All-inclusive valet parking
  • All-inclusive twice-daily housekeeping services, overnight shoe shine services and personal concierges
  • All-inclusive gratuities

The Clement Palo Alto is located across from Stanford University and next to downtown Palo Alto, just 45 minutes south of San Francisco and only 30 minutes north of San Jose.

Graton Resort & Casino Announces Nov. 15 Public Opening of Resort’s Hotel Expansion

Graton Resort & Casino, a resort, gaming and entertainment destination located in Sonoma County’s wine country, has begun accepting hotel reservations in anticipation of the public opening of the resort’s expansion on November 15, 2016.  The $175 million 342,000 square-foot expansion will offer guests a full-service 200-guestroom resort and spa experience on top of the previously existing $800 million casino and entertainment facility that opened in November 2013.

Highlights of the expansion include:

  • A six-story hotel with 200 guestrooms and suites ranging from more than 500 square feet to 2,600 square feet 
  • An opulent lobby and lounge 
  • A 10,000-square-foot spa and adjacent fitness center
  • 20,000-square-feet of newly added event and convention space 
  • An outdoor resort-style pool area 

In addition, Graton Resort & Casino will continue to feature its array of award-winning restaurants and casual dining options, more than 130 popular table games, an exciting selection of 3,000 slot machines, a private poker room and a high limit casino area.

For more information, visit www.GratonResortCasino.com or call 707-588-7070. Media contact:   Morgan Moore, GratonPR@glodownead.com

Napa Valley’s Silverado Resort and Spa Plans New Mansion Gardens

Recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, ranked “A Gold Venue” by MyWedding.com, and named one of Golfweek’s “2016 Best Resort Courses,” Silverado Resort and Spa has announced the addition of 30,000 square feet of new function space, scheduled for completion in late 2016.  

Located adjacent to the recently renovated 15,000-square-foot conference center, the Mansion Gardens will serve as an additional outdoor venue for weddings, social occasions and receptions for conference groups.  The seasonal 5,000-square-foot pavilion will feature heating and cooling, sidewalls, blackout curtains, doors, lighting and power to create the perfect environment for all types of events.

The Mansion Gardens will add to Silverado Resort’s 17,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 15,000 square feet of outdoor spaces including the signature wine country Grove, Fairway Deck and Arbor. In addition to meeting space, the resort features 370 guest rooms, two PGA Championship Golf Courses, a 16,000 square foot spa,  several restaurants and lounges, 10 tennis courts and 10 swimming pools.  A California landmark for more than 140 years, it is ideally situated in the Napa Valley with over 400 wineries nearby.  

For more information, visit www.silveradoresort.com or call 800-532-0500.  Media contact: Julie Maurer, 707-257-5408, Julie.Maurer@SilveradoResort.com

MEETINGS AND CONVENTION NEWS

JP Graphics Acquires “A True Game Changer,” the Bay Area’s First HP Indigo 1000 in a Commercial Print Environment

Meeting and event planners can take advantage of the Bay Area’s first HP Indigo 1000 printer, available exclusively from JP Graphics beginning in October 2016.  Owner Joan Escover calls this “a true game changer for clients,” with a wide variety of advantages including:  

  • The ability to personalize, print and die cut faster and at less cost than ever before.
  • A one-day turnaround, instead of the usual five days – especially helpful for those last minute speakers’ bios. 
  • With the largest digital sheet fed press – B2 Size (20 x 29 inches) – printing large posters becomes extremely affordable.
  • Matches or even exceeds offset, allowing them to be used interchangeably
  • Seven colors, including white
  • Compatible with more than 2800 certified substrates – from 45-pound text to 150-pound cover and 3-18 point in thickness – coated, uncoated and SBS board for folding cartons.
  • 175-line screen

“These days, personalization is everything.  The package is often more important than the contents.  With these new capabilities, our customers can dare to be different,” Escover said.

For more information, visit jp-graphics.com or contact Delicia Niami, 408-372-5500, delicia@jp-graphics.com

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO)

SFO Hosts Ready Set Fly Event for Individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) hosted its latest Ready Set Fly event on Sept.10, providing a real-world experience of air travel to individuals and families with autism and developmental disabilities.  The event, developed in partnership with The Arc San Francisco, provided guidance and specialized support to families as they participate in an air travel practice that includes ticketing, security and boarding of an aircraft provided by United Airlines specifically for the event.

Now in its second year at SFO, Ready Set Fly is unique among airport programs supporting individuals with autism and developmental disabilities because of the extensive educational component and the focus on clinical and behavioral strategies to ensure success.  SFO has previously partnered with The Arc San Francisco to provide training and education for airport staff with the goal of providing improved support and assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families.

“We are proud to once again offer this unique educational experience at SFO,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero.  “Our goal is to be an exceptional airport in service to our communities, and the Ready Set Fly program demonstrates our commitment to make air travel easier and more accessible to all.  We thank our partners at The Arc San Francisco and United Airlines for making this latest event possible.”

“The onboard experience helps participants get a real feel for a trip by air - and all families deserve the opportunity to fly,” said The Arc San Francisco CEO Dr. Glenn Motola.  “Just as important is an understanding of how to prepare, and that’s what our pre-boarding workshop provides.  From assessing your child’s tolerances and triggers to understanding airport rules, regulations and supports, families who are prepared will have a much more relaxing, comfortable trip - and that’s our goal.”

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

MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS

SEPTEMBER 2016

SEPTEMBER 21-25  
Fall Big Book Sale
Fort Mason Center
www.friendssfpl.org
Held at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, the Annual Big Book Sale will feature over 500,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl and other forms of media in over 100 categories.

SEPTEMBER 23-25  
Oktoberfest By The Bay
Pier 48 near AT&T Park, 888-746-7522
www.oktoberfestbythebay.com
Bringing Munich’s autumn beer festival to the Bay, Oktoberfest features non-stop singing, dancing, music, German food and beverages.

SEPTEMBER 24 
Sausalito Floating Homes Tour
Sausalito, 415-332-1916
www.floatinghomes.org
Self-guided tours include access to dozens of the most unique homes in the world; docents are onboard to describe Sausalito’s incredible waterfront style and to answer questions.

SEPTEMBER 24-25
Muni Heritage Weekend
Citywide
www.streetcar.org/ 
Featuring vintage streetcars, special cable cars and possibly the introduction of one newly restored vehicle, the event celebrates San Francisco’s diverse and fascinating public transit history.  

SEPTEMBER 25
Folsom Street Fair 
Folsom Street between Eighth and 13th Streets, 415-777-3247
www.folsomstreetfair.com
The “daddy of all leather celebrations,” the Folsom Street Fair is the largest leather, alternative and fetish street fair in the world drawing some 400,000 attendees annually, dressed in leather, rubber, uniforms, drag or very little at all.

SEPTEMBER 30 – OCTOBER 2
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park
www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com
This free celebration of music in the park includes a who’s who of top entertainment.

OCTOBER 1-NOVEMBER 6
ArtSpan/SF Open Studios
Various locations, 415-861-9838
www.artspan.org
San Francisco’s most exciting artists open their doors to the public and reveal their latest projects, how they work and what’s for sale.

OCTOBER 2
Castro Street Fair
Castro Street, 415-841-1824
www.castrostreetfair.org
Arts and crafts booths, live entertainment, dancing and music are all part of the fun at this gay-friendly street festival.

OCTOBER 6
Union Street Wine Walk
Union Street from Gough to Steiner and Fillmore Street from Union to Lombard, 800-310-6563,
www.sresproductions.com
Restaurants and merchants along Union Street offer hors d’oeuvres and wine samples; attendees who wish to sample purchase tasting wristband prior to event and receive wine glass and map with all tasting locations

OCTOBER 6-16
Mill Valley Film Festival
CineArts@Sequoia and 142 Throckmorton (Mill Valley), Century Cinema (Corte Madera) and Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), 415-383-5256
www.mvff.com
Presented by the California Film Institute, the Mill Valley Film Festival celebrates the best in independent and world cinema; founded in 1978 it has established an impressive track record for launching new films and filmmakers.

OCTOBER 7-10
Fleet Week San Francisco
Aquatic Park and Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, 650-599-5057
www.fleetweeksf.org
Fleet Week is the Bay Area’s opportunity to honor the nation’s men and women of the Navy and marine services. Navy ship tours and air show. Reserved seating and corporate packages available.

OCTOBER 7-15
Litquake
Citywide
www.litquake.org
A San Francisco literary festival showcases hundreds of the Bay Area’s finest writers for a week of readings, discussions, films, cross-media happenings and more.

OCTOBER 13-16  
Sundance Stompede
Various locations, 415-820-1403
www.stompede.com
San Francisco’s annual Country Western weekend for the LGBT community and friends. Join hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls as they dance their feet off with three days of workshops and three nights of open dancing.

OCTOBER 14-15, 21-22
Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show
Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., 415-404-4111,
www.grandnationalrodeo.com
Bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, saddle bronco riding, team and tie-down roping and bull riding are among the competitive events.

OCTOBER 15
Potrero Hill Festival
Potrero Hill, 22nd Street between Missouri and Arkansas Streets
www.potrerohill.biz
The Potrero Hill Festival returns with a full day of fun, food, music and community activities. There will be special activities for the kids, including a puppet show and a petting zoo.

OCTOBER 15-16
Treasure Island Music Festival 
www.treasureislandfestival.com
Internationally renowned artists gather for a spectacular two-day, outdoor concert festival featuring electronic music and indie pop, local designers, artists, food and beverage. The two festival stages are erected on Treasure Island offering amazing views of the bay and the San Francisco skyline.

OCTOBER 15-16
San Francisco Trolley Dances
www.epiphanydance.org
Site-specific performances parallel major Muni routes; artists and ensembles are matched with specific sites to create 8- to 15-minute pieces in response to the physical environment, architecture and history of the area.

OCTOBER 20-23
San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Brava Theater Center
www.sfdancefilmfest.org
A four-day event featuring the best dance films from around the world — and San Francisco’s own backyard. From feature documentaries on choreographic luminaries to innovative experimental shorts, the festival offers something for dance aficionados and newcomers alike.

OCTOBER 22
San Francisco Barbecue Festival
The Yard at Mission Rock
www.sfbbqfestival.com
A celebration of the best Bay Area BBQ, this event includes local BBQ, a beer garden, music, games and the latest in BBQ tech all right in the backyard of AT&T Park.

OCTOBER 27-30
San Francisco Fall Antiques Show
Fort Mason Center, 415-989-9019
www.sffas.org
The oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast. The show includes 60 distinguished antiques dealers from America and Europe selling a broad range of antique merchandise.

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.sftravel.com, 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.sftravel.com.   

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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