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Coming to San Francisco in 2016

Another historic year of openings, events and exhibitions is in store for San Francisco, with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and returning annual favorites.


The David Ireland House at 500 Capp Street Opens – Jan. 15, 2015 
After a complex restoration effort, David Ireland’s Mission District house at 500 Capp Street—the late conceptual artist’s enigmatic residence and site-specific art installation—opens to the public on Jan. 15, 2016 as the city’s first historic artist’s home. During the 30 years Ireland lived there, he embedded the house with his own pieces and transformed it into a work of art in its own right. The home is now widely admired as both the source of and repository for the influential West Coast artist’s most important artwork. Reservations are now available for scheduled tours.   

San Francisco Arts Commission Opens New Main Gallery in War Memorial Veteran’s Building - Jan. 22, 2016
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Galleries will celebrate the opening of a new and greatly expanded 3,000 sq. ft. gallery space in the historic War Memorial Veterans Building with the inaugural group exhibition "Bring it Home: (Re)Locating Cultural Legacy through the Body," curated by SFAC Galleries Director Meg Shiffler and independent curator Kevin B. Chen. The new Main Gallery located on the ground floor of the War Memorial Veterans Building.   

The Bay Lights - Jan. 30, 2016
One of San Francisco’s most beloved art installations becomes a permanent fixture in the new year. The Bay Lights, Leo Villareal’s monumental light sculpture comprised of 25,000 LED lights, will add shine and sparkle to the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from dusk to dawn, year-round.  The return of The Bay Lights is in large thanks to the generosity of private donors, Illuminate the Arts and the State of California.

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives Opens – Jan. 31, 2016 
At the Berkeley Art Museum, visitors will experience innovative art exhibitions, film screenings and live performances in a cutting-edge building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.    

Super Bowl 50 - Feb. 7, 2016
It’s the end of the NFL season and the most-watched sporting event in the nation. On Feb. 7, 2016, Levi’s Stadium will host Super Bowl 50. The game itself will be in Santa Clara, but all the action and celebration will be in San Francisco starting Jan. 30, 2016. From Super Bowl City at Justin Herman Plaza to the NFL Experience at Moscone Center, San Francisco will be the center of Super Bowl activity.   

“The Hunger Games: The Exhibition” Opens at the Palace of Fine Arts Exhibition Hall in San Francisco Feb. 13, 2016
“The Hunger Games: The Exhibition,” the highly anticipated new traveling exhibition based on the blockbuster movie franchise, will open in the Innovation Hangar at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, the next stop on its global tour, on Feb. 13, 2016 (the closing date has not been announced).

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.

The San Francisco engagement follows a successful New York premiere at Discovery Times Square.

The blockbuster “The Hunger Games” franchise, one of the most successful motion picture franchises of all time, has already grossed more than $2.8 billion at the global box office and sold 82 million books around the world.  The fourth and final chapter, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” has grossed over $500 million worldwide in more than 90 countries and is currently playing on over 30,000 screens around the world.

For more information on the exhibition or to purchase tickets, visit

Oscar de la Renta Retrospective - March 12-May 30, 2016
The world premiere retrospective of Oscar de la Renta’s work at the de Young celebrates the life and career of one of fashion’s most influential designers. The exhibition, curated by André Leon Talley, will include more than 100 ensembles produced over five decades, and is presented in collaboration with the house of de la Renta and the designer’s family.   

CounterPulse, Opens in a New Location - March 12, 2016  
After 24 years at 1310 Misson St., CounterPulse, an incubator for grassroots culture and a stage for intrepid art, launched its inaugural season in November.  The season culminates March 19, 2016 with their Grand Opening Celebration at the new location, 80 Turk St. Experience a packed season of gutsy, experimental performance from the Bay Area and around the globe.   

Minnesota Street Project Opens - March 16, 2016 
Minnesota Street Project will offer affordable space for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits and retail, as well as a location in the heart of the historic Dogpatch district to put down roots and build a dynamic arts hub. Phase 1 of Minnesota Street Project will open March of 2016 at 1275 Minnesota St. in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood. While the first building is under construction, Minnesota Street Project will present rotating visual arts exhibits three blocks away at 2291 Third St., which will serve as Minnesota Street Project’s temporary headquarters.  

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution – March 17-July 5, 2016
The first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991) comes to the Contemporary Jewish Museum.  Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock and roll legends in the 1960s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock and roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.  

San Francisco Giants - April 7, 2016
It’s an even-numbered year; could another World Series title be in store for San Francisco’s beloved Giants? Find out when the season gets started with the home opener at AT&T Park against the dreaded Dodgers.   

The New SFMOMA - May 14, 2016
A major expansion is underway at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which has embodied bold vision and innovation from its founding in 1935.  With more than 30,000 works, the SFMOMA collection is internationally recognized and continues to grow.  In spring 2016, SFMOMA will reopen with nearly three times the previous capacity for the presentation of art.  The approximately 235,000-square-foot expansion will seamlessly join the existing building.  One of the catalysts for the expansion is the addition of the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the greatest private collections of contemporary art in the world.  The new Pritzker Center for Photography will be the largest space in an American art museum dedicated to photography.  The new outdoor sculpture terrace will include the biggest public living wall of native plants in San Francisco, with 16,000 native plants in a vertical garden.  Nearly 15,000 square feet of art-filled free-access public space will more than double SFMOMA's current capacity.  The public galleries will open one hour prior to the museum's and admission for those ages 18 and under will always be free.   

Zappos Bay to Breakers - May 15, 2016
What was once a goofy local footrace has grown into a major international competition. In the Bay to Breakers race, runners traverse the city from the Financial District to Ocean Beach, passing through a number of San Francisco’s many neighborhoods. Floats may be forbidden, but you’re bound to still find some creative costumes on the route.  

Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen – May 27–Sept. 5, 2016
The first North American traveling exhibition of Strandbeests—giant, wind-powered, kinetic creatures by celebrated Dutch artist Theo Jansen —will be on view at the Exploratorium from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends in 2016. Jansen’s mesmerizing lifelike figures move as familiar, yet otherworldly beings, blurring the lines between machine and animal, art and science, sculpture and performance.  The exhibition will feature Jansen’s most recently realized creations; a “fossil” hall revealing the evolution of his iterative process and artistic ingenuity; videos featuring the charismatic Jansen speaking about his 25-year endeavor; artist’s sketches; and compelling, large-scale images by renowned photographer Lena Herzog.  

Sites Unseen Developing the Alleys of Yerba Buena – Spring 2016
Sites Unseen, a new public art initiative, will activate seven alleyways in the downtown Yerba Buena neighborhood with dynamic installations of permanent and temporary artworks, performances, screenings and other events. 

Living Innovation Zones “Block by Block” - Spring 2016
On Sept. 30, 2015, City leaders and non-profit and arts communities came together to “flip the switch” on Light up Central Market, a series of six interactive art projects including Block by Block, the latest Living Innovation Zone (LIZ). Also debuting that evening was the Central Market Showcase, a selection of prototypes that inspired connection and will serve their communities during the Market Street Prototyping Festival.

Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei - June 17-Sept. 18, 2016
Feast your eyes on a rare presentation of more than 150 imperial artworks, many of which are making their U.S. debut, from the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Thirty extremely rare masterpieces, some created by the emperors themselves will be on view who reigned from the early 12th through early 20 centuries. The exhibition will feature paintings, calligraphy, bronze vessels, ceramics, lacquerware, jades, textiles, enamelware and documents. See them all at the Asian Art Museum.  

San Francisco Pride - June 25–26, 2016
The annual celebration of LGBT pride will focus on economic and racial equality this year, as the community and its allies gather to commemorate the successes of the past and the struggles of the present. Expect a variety of events tailored to all types, from parades to panel discussions to parties.  

Eat Drink SF - Aug. 25 - 28, 2016
San Francisco’s Eat Drink SF annual celebration of everything edible will be back at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture next summer. Expect a who’s who of Bay Area chefs, cocktail creators and brewmasters showing off their greatest achievements, discussing the latest trends, and offering more than enough samples to share. 

San Francisco International Airport Control Tower - Summer 2016  
San Francisco International Airport opens the new torch-shaped Control Tower featuring a ribbon of glass reflecting sunlight during the day and illuminated by interior lighting at night. Visitors will have the ability to stand in the pre-security public corridor at the base of the tower and look straight up the tower through the skylight glass roof to enjoy the LED light waterfall.

50th Anniversary of the Black Panthers - Oct. 8, 2016–Feb. 12, 2017
The Oakland Museum of California presents "We Want; We Believe: The Black Panthers." The exhibition, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party, explores how the legacy of Black Panthers continues to resonant with identity and racial concerns in the U.S. today.    

Curran Theatre Re-Opening - Late Fall 2016
Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran will reopen after a major restoration and renovation as a 1,600-seat venue in late 2016 with a new mission.  Inspired by the unique entrepreneurial spirit of the Bay Area, as well as Shorenstein Hays’ lifelong passion for creatively daring, cutting-edge material, the Curran will provide a home for a handpicked selection of the most exciting stage works being conceived and created anywhere in the world.  Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the most important productions in theater history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the most prestigious live entertainment venues in North America.      

The year 2016 in San Francisco will be particularly rich with milestones and anniversaries:

  • 40th Anniversary of Theatre Bay Area
    Theatre Bay Area, the largest regional theatre service organization in the nation with more than 300 theatre companies and 2,000 theatre artist members, opens the door to the dizzying variety of theatre in the region with programs such as its comprehensive online calendar, “What’s Playing,” and its TIX Booth at Union Square offering discounted tickets. 
  • 50th Anniversary of the Asian Art Museum
    The Asian Art Museum’s 50th anniversary includes the centerpiece exhibition, "Emperors’ Treasure," highlighting rare imperial masterpieces making the first ever U.S. debut of this caliber of collections.
  • 50th Anniversary of American Conservatory Theatre  
    Since 1955, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) has nurtured  the art of live theater through dynamic productions, intensive actor training in its conservatory and ongoing engagement with the San Francisco Bay Area. A.C.T. will present the groundbreaking new musical "The Unfortunates," Feb. 3–April 10, 2016 at A.C.T.’s new Strand Theater, which opened spring 2015.A surreal musical voyage romp through a unique mix of American genres, "The Unfortunates" combines the heat of a gospel revival with the sweet sorrow of the blues. 
  • 50th Anniversary of the Magic Theatre
    As the Bay Area's preeminent home for new plays and playwrights, the Magic Theatre’s 2015-2016 season will culiminate with an exciting two-month playwright residency with Mfoniso Udofia who will continue work on her epic nine-play "Ufot Family Cycle," of which "Sojourners" and "runboyrun" are a part.
  • 20th Anniversary of San Francisco's Golden Thread Productions 
    Golden Thread Productions, the first American theatre company to focus on the Middle East, is celebrating the season with two new plays (a world premiere and a West Coast premiere) from and about the Middle East.  A grand celebration will be announced shortly.  

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