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October/November 2009: What’s New in San Francisco?

“What’s New” is a listing of new venues, attractions and activities compiled by the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.


“What’s New” is a listing of new venues, attractions and activities compiled by the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB). Past editions of “What’s New” and a list of “Recent and Coming Attractions” are available in the Media section of the SFCVB’s Web site, The next edition of “What’s New” will be sent in November 2009.

Public transit is highly recommended when visiting San Francisco. For bus schedules and information on San Francisco’s cable cars, historic streetcars and light rail system visit or call 311 (San Francisco) or 415-701-2311 if calling from outside area code 415.


“Stay & Shop SF” Includes a $50 Westfield Gift Card and Free Breakfast and Parking at Participating Hotels for Two or More Nights Hotel Stays Oct. 1, 2009-Jan. 31 2010
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB), American Express and Westfield San Francisco Centre are bringing cheer into the winter holiday with special offers for visitors for the “Stay & Shop SF” promotion Oct. 1, 2009-Jan. 31, 2010. Visitors who book a two-night minimum stay at one of 15 participating hotels on the Only in San Francisco Web site,, with an American Express card will receive a $50 Westfield American Express gift card (limit one gift card per stay), free parking and free breakfast. The “Stay & Shop SF” promotion includes hotels in the Civic Center, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Financial District and Pacific Heights areas. It is limited to the first 400 people who book a “Stay & Shop SF” package on All travel must be completed by Jan. 31, 2010.
Media contact: Angela Jackson, 415-227-2603,

San Francisco Says “Good Morning America” in New York City Nov. 30, 2009-Jan. 4, 2010
San Francisco will be showcased in one of "Good Morning America's" (GMA) holiday windows in Times Square Nov. 30, 2009 through Jan. 4, 2010. For the third consecutive year, GMA will transform its Times Square Studios into a winter wonderland by showcasing three U.S. cities in each of their three street-level windows located in the heart of New York's Times Square on 44th and Broadway. The San Francisco window will be unveiled on GMA in early December by their morning anchor team; Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, Chris Cuomo and Sam Champion, in conjunction with a live performance by "Only in San Francisco's" Beach Blanket Babylon, the world's longest running musical revue. Cast member Caitlin McGinty will sing "San Francisco" while wearing the show's signature San Francisco skyline hat which measures 11'4" tall, 10' wide and 4'4" deep and features the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, SFMOMA, a moving cable car and other city landmarks.

The "Only in San Francisco" window will portray the essence of San Francisco during the holidays. Designer and sculptor Tom Greenfield has effectively and creatively showcased many of San Francisco's most recognizable attractions and icons, including the Golden Gate Bridge; San Francisco's famed cable cars; Coit Tower; AT&T Park - home of the San Francisco Giants; the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park; Macy's Union Square and holiday ice rink; and San Francisco International Airport. Beach Blanket Babylon, which celebrates its 35th season, will also be represented, as will Wicked, which is in San Francisco for an extended engagement. The San Francisco CityPass, which provides visitors access to some of San Francisco's most visited attractions, including SFMOMA; Aquarium of the Bay; Blue & Gold Fleet bay cruise; the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, and the Exploratorium will also be represented in the "Only in San Francisco" holiday window design. In addition to San Francisco, Las Vegas and St. Louis will also be showcased.
Media contact: Bridgette Maney, director of publicity, Good Morning America, 212-456-5902, or Angela Jackson, director of public relations, SFCVB, 415-227-2603,

Crystal Cruises Returns to Port of San Francisco in 2011
Crystal Cruises has announced its return to the Port of San Francisco in 2011, featuring nine 12-day voyages to Alaska and a 19-day Panama Canal cruise to New York on the luxurious Crystal Symphony. The return of the 922-guest Crystal Symphony to the Pacific Coast is welcome news to thousands of luxury travelers in the Bay Area seeking a convenient summer holiday to Alaska, as well as global travelers. “The Port is honored to welcome Crystal Cruises and their 9,200 guests back to the beautiful San Francisco Bay,” said Monique Moyer, executive director of the Port of San Francisco.

The Port of San Francisco has begun development of Pier 27 as the city’s primary cruise terminal, taking over the role currently filled by Pier 35, a two-berth facility located near Fisherman’s Wharf. The new Pier 27 Cruise Terminal will meet the latest industry standards and be built and operated employing the highest environmental and sustainable practices available. A shore-side power hook-up is expected to be on line in 2010, which will allow equipped cruise ships to reduce air emissions to near-zero. The Port will convert the existing maritime shed into a 120,000-square-foot terminal and incorporate an adjacent open-space plaza. The renovated Pier 27 will meet the evolved security and passenger-handling demands of the cruise industry, while also being configured to allow recreation and special event uses. For information visit or call 415-274-0400.
Media contacts: Michael Nerney, 415-274-0416, or Renée Dunn Martin, 415-274-0488,

EVENTS Open Studios Offers Month-Long Citywide Event for Art Lovers Through Nov. 1, 2009
ArtSpan’s Open Studios, the largest open studios event in the nation, with 600-plus participating artists over five sequential weekends, runs through Nov. 1, 2009. This free-for-all citywide exhibition includes challenging installation work, painting and photography to furniture, glass, wearable art, fiber arts, ceramics, mixed media, drawing and more. With more artists per square foot than any other city in the country according to the NEA, there’s a lot to see and buy. SF Open Studios is also an ideal opportunity to visit tucked away neighborhoods. Dozens of signs on front doors or garages inviting passers-by to come in are often a surprise even for neighbors who don’t realize they are living near an atelier. Select neighborhoods will be featured each weekend. For information visit or call 415-861-9838.
Media contacts: Liam Passmore, 415-865-0860, or Wendy Norris, 415-307-3853.

It’s Story Time Again: Litquake Celebrates 10 Years of “Literary Mayhem” Oct. 9-17
The West Coast’s largest independent literary festival returns to San Francisco on Oct. 9 with "Black White and Read," a gala opening night at the Green Room, 401 Van Ness Ave. On Oct. 14 best selling author Amy Tan will be “braised” by fellow literary lights Armistead Maupin, Roger McGuinn and Andrew Sean Greer as part of Barbary Coast Award festivities that promise to be “more than a tribute, but less that a roast.” The city’s lit scene will really shake it on Saturday, Oct. 17, for the infamous Lit Crawl. Fifty-six venues, more than 300 readers plus 15 street food carts will transform San Francisco’s Mission District into a literary playground. Phase one, 6-7 p.m., includes readings from local lit organizations, reading series and indie publishers; phase two, 7:15-8:15 p.m., features antics along Clarion Alley, social publishing with Sribd, 826 Valencia, a beekeeping store and more; phase three, 8:30-9:30 p.m., presents publication-curated readings and themed fun from various local publishers. It promises to be SRO and organizers recommend that crawlers use public transit, arrive early, wear comfortable shoes and follow Twitter for updates. For a complete schedule of events and ticket purchase visit
Media contact: Liam Passmore, 415-865-0860,

Lodi Vintners Produce Inaugural Treasure Island WineFest on Oct. 11, 2009
Vintners in Lodi, Calif., located 96 miles east of San Francisco, will provide visitors access to their products at the inaugural Treasure Island WineFest, Oct. 11, 2009, taking place the last day of Fleet Week. In addition to sampling wines from 45 Lodi wineries, there will be live music and guided tasting seminars. There will be an air show flying simultaneously, promising incredible views for attendees. The cost of admission will be $55 in advance or $65 at the door. The Lodi wine region produces more than 60 grape varieties, from the traditional Cabernet and Chardonnay to exciting new varietals such as Vermentino and Tempranillo. The region has experienced exponential growth since the early 1990s, with more than 75 wineries now bringing international attention to the local industry. Festival hours are 1 to 5 p.m. For information or or call 877-367-4757.
Media contact: Anna Goehring, 877-367-4757,

Two-Day Treasure Island Music Festival Returns Oct. 17-18, 2009
The third annual Treasure Island Music Festival, hailed as the West Coast’s most anticipated boutique music festival, will return to San Francisco Bay Oct. 17-18, 2009. Set against panoramic views of the city by the bay, the Treasure Island Music Festival will offer an electronic and dance centric lineup on Saturday, Oct. 17 and an indie rock lineup on Sunday, Oct.18. With two stages and no overlapping sets, fans can enjoy every note of every act. MGMT, The Flaming Lips and The Decemberists are among the more than two dozen groups in the lineup. In addition to the tunes, there will be a 60-foot tall Ferris wheel, an interactive art tent, a vendor village showcasing local designers and an array of healthy and affordable food and beverages. For information visit
Media contact:

Art Exhibition Wonderland Encompasses 16 Site-Inspired Projects by 53 Artists in San Francisco’s Tenderloin Neighborhood Oct. 17-Nov. 15, 2009
Created by 53 artists in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, Wonderland is 16 site-inspired projects that will be on view Oct. 17-Nov. 15, 2009. Artists represented in Wonderland worked over the year with the Tenderloin community including nonprofits, religious organizations, schools, local arts associations and the public to develop their works of art. New York-based curator Lance Fung, who also has ties to San Francisco, created Wonderland to continue his exploration of collaboration, community and social exchange through the process of making contemporary art. Opening activities are scheduled for Saturday, Oct.17 in Boeddeker Park, Eddy and Jones Streets. Events include public performances, poetry readings, interactive activities for children and music. The exhibition and all opening events are free and the public is encouraged to attend. For information visit
Media contact: Barry Beach, 510-725-2780,

San Francisco Film Society Unreels New Cinema by the Bay Festival, Oct. 22-25, 2009
The San Francisco Film Society is producing a new Cinema by the Bay (CBTB) festival, Oct. 22-25, 2009. Celebrating Bay Area filmmaking the four-day festival will feature new work produced in or about the San Francisco Bay Area and provide a compelling window into Bay Area film culture and practice at its best. CBTB includes features, shorts, narratives, documentaries and live performances from well-known and emerging local talent, and explores the rich experimental traditions of the Bay Area by co-presenting the San Francisco Cinematheque's tribute to one of its key figures: Chick Strand, a long-time advocate for the art of avant-garde filmmaking. For information visit
Media contacts: Hilary Hart, 415-561-5022, or Bill Proctor, 415-561-5024,

Fabulous Food Festival Returns to Concourse Exhibition Center Nov. 7-8, 2009
San Francisco's second annual cornucopia of culinary delights, The Fabulous Food Festival, will return to the Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St., Nov. 7-8, 2009. Doors are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At $10 per person, this is a festival for “all the people” with an energetic festival/marketplace atmosphere, stocked from beginning to end with must-see and must-experience demos and lectures, live musical entertainment, and a slate of surprising giveaways and prizes. More than 150 exhibitors will offer free samples and products for purchase. More than 20 different food categories will be featured - everything from chocolate to cheese and sauces to soup. Highlighted over the entire weekend will be a full schedule of cooking demos and lectures by well-known Bay Area chefs, authors and food experts staged on the main floor. For information visit or call 415-388-7208.
Media contact: Larsen Associates, 415-957-1205,

OVO, Cirque du Soleil’s Latest Big Top Touring Production, Makes U.S. Premiere in San Francisco Nov. 27, 2009
Tickets are on sale for OVO, Cirque du Soleil’s latest big top production, making its U.S. premiere in San Francisco Nov. 27, 2009, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. After a limited run in San Francisco, OVO will open in San Jose Feb. 4, 2010. OVO, which means “egg” in Portuguese, utilizes this timeless symbol of the life cycle and adapts it to a colony of insects who are awestruck and intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears in their midst. A cast of 54 performing artists from 13 countries will make the teeming world of these quirky critters come alive. A stunning trapeze act employing the skills of six flyers is the biggest of its kind ever presented under Cirque du Soleil’s distinctive blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top). The finale features 20 artists running, jumping and leaping straight up a 26-foot vertical wall. Look for the Grand Chapiteau at AT&T Park, corner of Third Street and Terry A. Francois Boulevard. For information visit
Media contact: Kevin Kopjak, 415-296-0677,

More Holiday Hits: Snowflakes on Market Street, The Nutcracker, Ice Rinks, Craft Fairs and Symphony Offerings Enliven San Francisco Bay
In addition to OVO, Cirque du Soleil’s festive holiday offering, there’s a whole stocking-full of fun planned in San Francisco this winter. A full holiday calendar of events will be posted on starting Nov. 15, 2009. Here’s just a preview of what’s to come: From mid-November until early January Market Street from Kearny to Sixth Street will be adorned with 116 illuminated snowflakes. For information visit
Media contact: Carolyn Diamond, 415-362-2500,

Ice rinks at the Embarcadero Center ( and Union Square ( or call 415-781-2688) open on Nov. 11, 2009.
Media contacts: Embarcadero Center: Barbara Mendoza, 415-772-0730,; Union Square: Molly Blaisdell, 925-388-0164, or Kristi Frank, 650-631-4297,

The Golden Gate Express, a garden railway exhibition featuring G-gauge model trains, a landscape of dwarf plants and replicas of 18 of San Francisco’s landmark buildings steams into the Conservatory of Flowers, Nov. 19, 2009-April 18, 2010. For information visit or call 415-831-2090.
Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483,

The third annual Holiday Artisan Fair takes place Nov. 20-21 at the de Young Museum. The fair features the work of 17 of the Bay Area’s finest artisans, as well as an expanded selection of unique gifts, books, objects, and jewelry from noted designers and publishers featured in the Museum Store. For information visit or call 415-750-3600.
Media contact: Robin Wander, 415-750-2604,

Scrooge, Tiny Tim and others return in Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol Dec. 3-27, 2009. For information visit or call 415-749-2ACT (2228).
Media contact: Evren Odcikin, 415-439-2418,

Shoppers looking for unique substitutes to mass-produced goods will be delighted with the original hand-made offerings at the Celebration of Craftswomen, Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 5-6, 2009; unique crafts and art pieces by more than 200 of America's finest women artists support programs for women and girls. For information visit or call 650-615-6838.
Media contact: Larsen Associates, 415-957-1205,

The Nutcracker, set in 20th century San Francisco, returns to the Opera House Dec. 8-27, 2009 for 31 performances. For information visit or call 415-865-2000.
Media contact: Meredith Nonnenberg, 415-865-6607,

Fisherman’s Wharf reprises its holiday boat parade on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. More than 100 boats festooned with lights and holiday decorations will parade along the waterfront. For information visit or call 415-673-3530.
Media contact: Rick Lenat, 415-546-0800,

The San Francisco Symphony offers more than two dozen special concerts and performances for the holidays. Audience favorites include Deck the Hall, Dec. 13; Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf narrated by Linda Ronstadt, Dec. 13; Holiday Pipe Dreams with organist David Higgs, Dec. 13; Colors of Christmas featuring Peabo Bryson, Jennifer Holliday and Sheena Easton, Dec. 14-16; Choral Christmas Spectacular, Dec. 17-19; a special appearance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to “spice up the holidays” on Dec. 19; kid-sized classical concerts on Dec. 20, and a festive New Year’s Eve gala on Dec. 31. All holiday program details are available at or call 415-864-6000.
Media contact: Public Relations, 415-503-5474,

TRANSPORTATION Intra-Park Shuttle Rolls Through Golden Gate Park Year-Round Weekends and Holidays
Twenty-four seat, ADA-accessible alternative energy (compressed natural gas) shuttles now operate year-round in Golden Gate Park. Stops include several popular park attractions such as the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum. The shuttle will operate every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and major holidays and public school vacation breaks, including the winter and spring breaks. There are a total of 15 shuttle stops throughout the park, including ones at the Great Highway and the nearby UCSF garage. Shuttle service costs $2 for an all-day round-trip fare. Visitors with disabilities and children under three years ride free. The holiday shuttle schedule includes the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Winter Break (Dec.19-31, 2009) and SFUSD Spring Break (April 5-8, 2010). Detailed route maps are available online at
Media contact: Elton Pon, 415-831-2782,

Rerouting for Private Autos on Market Street Takes San Francisco’s Storied Thoroughfare in a New Direction
The Better Market Street Project, a collaborative effort to redesign San Francisco’s most important thoroughfare, has launched a pilot program affecting eastbound traffic. Starting Sept. 29, 2009 and continuing for approximately six weeks, drivers of private vehicles – taxis, public transit and delivery vehicles are exempt – are encouraged to turn at 10th Street and will be required to turn at Eighth Street. Motorists turning right on to Market Street from Seventh Street will be required to turn right at Sixth Street. “The pilot program on Market Street is the beginning of San Francisco’s comprehensive evaluation of our needs for Market Street and our capacity to reinvent it as an inviting public space,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., executive director/CEO, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. For information visit
Media contact: Judson True, 415-606-9281,

Parking Lots and Tunnel Areas on South Side of Golden Gate Bridge to Close for Repairs on Five Weekends Through Oct. 26, 2009; Bridge Remains Open to Traffic
The south side Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza and visitor areas will experience five weekend closures to accommodate construction improvements in the area through Oct. 26. The bridge roadway will remain open during all construction. Improvements include:

  • Repaving tourist parking lot located on the southeast side of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Repaving and adding lighting to the Bridge employee parking lot, southwest side of Bridge
  • Modifying the utilities and improving the drainage in the tunnel under the Toll Plaza
  • Repaving the roadway in tunnel under the Toll Plaza
  • Improvements for persons with disabilities in several areas

For information and updates on closures visit or call 511 or 415-455-2000 (outside San Francisco Bay Area).
Media contact: Mary Currie, 415-923-2222,

PERFORMING ARTS Rent Returns for Limited Engagement at Curran Theatre Through Oct. 18, 2009
Adam Pascall, Anthony Rapp and Gwen Stewart will reprise the roles they originated on Broadway in Rent: The Broadway Tour. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical written by Jonathan Larson returns to San Francisco’s Curran Theatre, 445 Geary St., Oct. 6-18. Inspired by Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent celebrates a community of artists struggling with the tough realities of today’s economy. The song “Seasons of Love,” which opens with the words “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes" (the number of minutes in a calendar year), quickly became the anthem for the millennial generation. Seats in the first two rows of center orchestra and the first row of side orchestra will available for $20 for all performances. These tickets may be purchased on the day of show only and are available two hours prior to performance at the Curran Theatre Box Office. Limit of two tickets per person; cash only, these tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Valid ID must be presented at the time of purchase. Tickets are void if resold. For more information visit
Media contact: Jennifer McVey, 415-551-2075,

Behind the Emerald Curtain: Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tours of Wicked Offered Before Matinees Starting Oct. 17
Tickets are on sale for “Behind the Emerald Curtain” tours of Wicked starting Oct. 17 before select matinee performances. These rare “insider” tours offer an exclusive look at the creative journey of Wicked. Hosted by cast members of the show, the tours will be offered every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. beginning Oct. 17 at the Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St. The 90-minute experiences gives audience members a unique opportunity to see what makes a spectacular musical come alive, from design and production to performance and marketing. In addition to the ongoing Saturday tours, there will be special tours on Wednesday at 10 a.m. during the holiday season Nov. 4, Nov. 25, Dec. 9 and Dec. 23. Private tours are also available for large groups on Wednesday mornings, or at other times, subject to availability, by calling SHN Group Sales at 415-551-2020 or e-mailing Tickets are $30 (does not include admission to show) and are available for purchase at, at, by calling Ticketmaster at 415- 512-7770 and at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office. For information about Behind the Emerald Curtain, visit
Media contact: Jennifer McVey, 415-551-2075,

New Musical Act Her Rebel Highness Debuts at Pier 39’s J'LaChic Theater 39 Nov. 13, 2009
Her Rebel Highness, a fully choreographed musical act with three female vocalists, dancers, 18th century costumes, baroque-pop songs and theatrics, makes its debut on Fri., Nov. 13, 2009 at J'LaChic Theater 39 at Pier 39, Beach Street and The Embarcadero. The show's central theme is empowerment and founder Velia Amarasingham explains, "A significant part of the inspiration for this piece comes from all of the independent and career-focused women I have met since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from Sydney, Australia, more than 10 years ago." This inspiration has evolved into a new production that stars a soul singer, a mezzo soprano and a pop vocalist who take on the personas of rebellious 18th century princesses, determined to break out of their stereotypes and to take control of their destinies. Two modern dancers complete the line-up and the music transitions from baroque to pop as the princesses reveal more and more of their modern attitudes. Show time is 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13. The evening will begin with guest performances by burlesque dance troupe, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, and magician Heather Rogers; tickets range from $25-$30; group discounts available. For dates and locations of future performances and more information, visit
Media contact: Velia Amarasingham, 415-902.8536,


San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Launches New Audio Tour
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park has created an innovative audio tour that allows visitors to use their mobile phones to connect with local maritime history. Narrated by park rangers, the audio “voyage” includes recordings that provide insight into the historically significant ships and resources at the park. The tour also explores the lives and stories of those who made a living off of the sea. The tour transports listeners back to the 19th century world of sailing and steam ships, the heart and soul of California’s maritime history. The tour also explores contemporary issues such as climate change. Callers can listen to the recordings from any phone by dialing 415-294-6754. There are 28 topics at eight stations throughout the park, located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, visitor center, Aquatic Park Historic District and a maritime library. For information visit or call 415-447-5000.
Media contact: John Cunnane, 415-561-7170.

New Walt Disney Family Museum Opens in Presidio of San Francisco Oct. 1, 2009
Three historic buildings within the Presidio of San Francisco now house The Walt Disney Family Museum. Ten galleries are devoted to the inspiring story of Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse, Disneyland and the global yet distinctly American company that bears his name. Disney’s story is portrayed through drawings he made in his youth; drawings and cartoons from his first company, Laugh-O-gram Films; early drawings of Mickey Mouse; storyboards, a Disney innovation; the technically innovative Multiplane Camera; the narrow-gauge Lilly Belle train he built for his Hollywood home and a model of the Disneyland that sprang from his imagination. The Disney family is represented in photographs, artifacts, home movies and personal correspondence. More than 200 video monitors are incorporated in the museum as well as a wide range of materials and technologies, including interactive displays. The museum also includes a 123-seat screening facility, a learning center, a store and a café. All admission to the museum is by timed entry tickets. A full complement of film screenings and special events are also scheduled at the museum. Admission is $20 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 6-17, children under 6 free with adult admission and $15 for seniors. The museum opened Oct. 1, 2009. For information and tickets visit
Media contact: Elaine Mellis, 415-345-6893,

Several San Francisco institutions are heralding the opening of the Walt Disney Family Museum with special concerts and exhibits. On Oct. 16 the San Francisco Symphony pays tribute to Disney with a special concert featuring music from such classics as Fantasia, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and others. For information visit www.sfsymphony.orgor call 415-864-6000.
Media contact: San Francisco Symphony Public Relations Department, 415-503-5474,

Through Jan. 10, 2010 the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St., explores the creation of one of Walt Disney Studios’ most enduring films in Once Upon a Dream: The Art of Sleeping Beauty. The exhibit includes pencil art and model sheets to animation cels, color guides and behind-the scenes photographs. Almost 10 years in the making, Sleeping Beauty, was the last Disney film to use fully hand-inked animation cels and one of only two ever filmed in 70mm widescreen. A box-office hit when it premiered in 1959, it’s now renowned as one of the most beautiful and beloved animated films ever made. For information visit or call 415-CAR-TOON (227-8666).
Media contact: Andrew Farago, 415-227-8666, ext. 313,

Asian Art Museum Exclusive: Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam & Burma, 1775-1950 on View Oct. 23, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010
From Oct. 23, 2009-Jan. 10, 2010, the Asian Art Museum showcases Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam & Burma, 1775-1950. The exhibition features more than 140 artworks drawn exclusively from the museum’s collection, one of the largest and most important collections of 19th-century Siamese and Burmese art outside of Southeast Asia. On view are ornately carved furniture, lavishly decorated miniature shrines, gilded statues, elaborately illustrated manuscripts, colorfully detailed paintings, and mirrored and bejeweled ritual objects. The Asian Art Museum organized Emerald Cities and serves as the exhibition’s exclusive venue. The museum’s holdings in Southeast Asian art increased dramatically in 2002 from a generous donation of artworks – including many rare sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts – from Doris Duke’s Southeast Asian Art Collection. Over two-thirds of the artworks on view in Emerald Cities are from this collection, once housed at Duke Farms, Duke’s principal residence in Hillsborough, N.J., where for many years they remained largely unknown both to the public and specialists. The museum spent more than five years to complete an extensive conservation project to preserve and stabilize these very fragile artworks. Emerald Cities provides the opportunity for their public debut. For information visit or call 415-581-3500.
Media contact: Michele Dilworth, 415-581-3713,

40th Anniversary Celebration at Exploratorium Kicks Off with a Jolt on Nov. 5, 2009
In November 2009, the Exploratorium's celebrates its 40th anniversary. It was in 1968 that San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, the last remnant of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, was restored. Noted physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer, brother of J. Robert (father of the atom bomb), proposed that this cavernous structure house a science museum, or rather, an "Exploratorium," to promote understanding. In 1969, with no publicity or fanfare, the Exploratorium opened its doors to display a few exhibits. Today, the Exploratorium is considered the prototype for hands-on museums around the world, and a leader in the movement for museums as educational centers. A series of events to mark the 40th anniversary is planned. Among them are: Nov. 5 – “Dr. Megavolt,” Austin Richards, Ph.D., will electrify visitors to the Exploratorium After Dark event with 14-foot electrical arcs from his high voltage Tesla Coil. 6-10 p.m. Nov. 7-8 - Free celebratory weekend includes three joyous shows of bubble magic with Tom Noddy, as well as behind-the-scenes tours with key staff, including tours of the machine shop, where all the exhibits are made; science demos led by the Exploratorium’s Explainers; crafts demos, such as violinmaker, blacksmith, and other DIY artisans; a special 40th anniversary film screening of Zea (1981, 5 min.), by Andre and Jean-Jacques Leduc — a visual tour-de-force that transforms the commonplace, first screened at the original Bubble Festival in 1983, over 500 exhibits and a free commemorative brochure/program. Nov. 15 - K.C. Cole, the author of Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up — a memoir/biography of her mentor, will be joined by David Perlman, the San Francisco Chronicle’s eminent science writer, for a wide-ranging conversation looking at the origins of the Exploratorium.

For complete details on Exploratorium anniversary events, visit or call 415-561-0360.
Media contact: Leslie Patterson, 415-561-0377, or Alex Smith 415-561-0367,

Cartier and America Opens at Legion of Honor for Exclusive Showing Dec. 19, 2009-April 18, 2010
Cartier and America covers the history of the House of Cartier from its first great successes as the “king of jewelers and jeweler to kings” during the Belle Epoque and into the ‘60s and ‘70s when Cartier supplied celebrities of the day with their jewels and luxury accessories. Derived mainly from the private Cartier Collection housed in Geneva, the spectacular array of more than 200 objects includes jewelry of the Gilded Age and Art Deco periods, as well as freestanding works of art such as the famous Mystery Clocks. The exhibition, Dec. 19, 2009-April 18, 2010, is exclusive to the Legion of Honor. Marking Cartier’s 100 years in the United States, the exhibition concentrates on pieces owned by Americans, including a pair of rock crystal and diamond bracelets worn by Gloria Swanson in the movie Sunset Boulevard and the exotic flamingo brooch made for the Duchess of Windsor. Private lenders have contributed significant pieces to the exhibition. For the first time, an American museum will feature the personal jewelry of Princess Grace of Monaco from the time of her wedding to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, in 1956. Lent by H.S.H. Prince Albert II, these pieces include her engagement ring; a diamond necklace and more informal gold brooches. For information visit or call 415-750-3600.
Media contact: Robin Wander, 415-750-2604,

California Academy of Sciences Draws More Than Two Million Visitors in First Year; Second Year Ushered in with New Planetarium Show and Maya Lin Sculpture
The California Academy of Sciences, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, marked its first year with the debut of Maya Lin’s final public memorial. The site-specific sculpture, entitled “What is Missing?” is the first component of a multi-sited, multimedia artwork dedicated to raising awareness about the crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss. The “What is Missing?” sculpture consists of a “listening cone” with a screen located within featuring 20 minutes of video footage and sound recordings that link extinct as well as threatened and endangered species to the habitats and ecosystems that are vital to their survival. The Academy is the only institution in the world to house two permanent sculptures – an artwork and a memorial – by Lin. On Sept. 26 a new show premiered at the Morrison Planetarium:Journey to the Stars. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, the all-digital production explores the life cycles of stars, traveling 13 billion years into the past, when the first stars were born. Since opening day on Sept. 27, 2008 more two million people have visited the California Academy of Sciences. For information visit or call 415-379-8000.
Media contact: Helen Taylor, 415-379-5128,

FAMILY NEWS Target Family Day Offers Free Admission to Four Museums in Yerba Buena Gardens Area; Two Performances by Circus Bella Add to Fun on Oct. 18, 2009
Target Family Day on Sunday, Oct. 18, will transform San Francisco’s Yerba Buena arts district into a huge family block party. SFMOMA, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Museum of the African Diaspora, Zeum and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival will team up with Target for a non-stop day of free family fun. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the day will also include hands-on art making activities and special family friendly performances. For details or call 415-391-2000.
Media contact: Nina Sazevich, 415-752-2483, or Angela Jackson, 415-227-2603,

SIGHTSEEING AND TOURS Sealed With A Kiss Casino Tours Makes a Match with Bay Area Casinos
Sealed With A Kiss Casino Tours has partnered with San Francisco Bay Area transportation companies to provide transportation to and from newer, luxurious casinos, throughout the Bay Area. Event planner Jessica Castle-Harris, who specializes in weddings, has added a few thoughtful touches to make the trip seem shorter: movies, a snack and smooth jazz on the sound system. Cost is $50 per person; advance reservations required. Group rates available for 30 or more. Departs Saturday and Sunday year-round at 8 a.m. and returns to San Francisco by 5 p.m.; weekday option available by reservation. For information visit or call 415-516-8788.
Media contact: Jessica Castle-Harris, 415-516-8788,,

SPORTS 2009 Emerald Bowl Set for Saturday, Dec. 26 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park
The 2009 Emerald Bowl, college football’s only postseason bowl game to match opponents from the Pacific-10 and Atlantic Coast Conferences, will be played Saturday, Dec. 26 at AT&T Park in downtown San Francisco, the home of the San Francisco Giants. The game will be played in prime time for the fourth consecutive season. This year’s Emerald Bowl will have a 5 p.m. (PST) kickoff. The #4 or #5 Pacific-10 representative will meet the #5, #6 or #7 ACC squad. Team selections will be announced in early December. Last year’s Emerald Bowl paired the California Golden Bears vs. the Miami Hurricanes, with the Bears posting a 24-17 win. For information visit or call 415-947-BOWL (2695).
Media contact: Doug Kelly, 916-649-0552, or

“Right Up Your Alley” – Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center Completes Renovation
Located on the rooftop level of Moscone South, San Francisco’s major convention facility, the Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center has just completed a major renovation of its alleys and public areas, installing a state-of-the-art scoring system with LCD and automated bumpers. Available for corporate events, employee recognition parties, media events, team-building and other special events, the 12-lane center is part of a two-sport complex that also includes year-round ice skating. Located at 750 Folsom St., the center has a full-service snack bar and offers “survival bowling,” where the weakest bowler gets voted off the lane, and free skate rentals on “cheap skate” Wednesday nights for ice skaters. For information visit or call 415-820-3532.
Media contact: Paige C. Scott, 415-820-3527,

HOTELS Hilton San Francisco Adds Union Square to Its Name Effective Sept. 29, 2009
San Francisco’s largest hotel, the Hilton San Francisco, has added Union Square to its name and is now known as the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Located at 333 O’Farrell St., the 1,908-room hotel is just two blocks from Union Square. The hotel has also launched a new Web site: The hotel recently completed a $13 million renovation project which yielded an additional 13,600 square feet of meeting space, for a total of 134,500 square feet of function space; Urban Tavern, a new dining destination; a 13,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, Nourish by Spa Chakra & Health Club; and a Starbucks outlet in the lobby. For information visit or call 800-HILTONS.
Media contact: Scott Baublitz, 415-923-5085,


Arrivals and Departures: Upcoming New Airlines and Routes at SFO
The following new airlines and routes will be added at San Francisco International Airport in the upcoming months:

Nov. 17, 2009 JetBlue adds Ft. Lauderdale as a new destination, with one daily service with A320 aircraft. Nov. 18, 2009 Virgin America adds Ft. Lauderdale as a new destination, with twice daily service with A320 aircraft.

SFO’s Terminal 2 Reaches Construction Milestone; Slated to Open in Spring 2011
San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 was “topped off” on Sept. 10, 2009. The event signified the installation of the last major steel beam in the construction project. Airport Director John L. Martin and representatives from Virgin America and American Airlines participated in the topping off ceremony. When completed in spring 2011, the $371 million renovation will yield 14 gates, 13 narrow-body and one wide-body; more than 575,000 square feet of public space; unique retail including a marketplace and spa; children’s play areas, and the first restaurant program at an airport to have a Slow Food focus.

SFO Airport Offers New “Climate Passport” Carbon Offset Kiosks; First Program of Its Kind in a U.S. Airport
Three new “Climate Passport” kiosks have opened post-security in SFO’s International Terminal and Terminal 3. Travelers can also access “Climate Passport” through SFO’s Web site, Using the kiosks or the Web site, travelers can easily calculate the carbon footprint of their flights to determine the amount of carbon offsets needed to address the greenhouse gas impact. When the amount is set, 3Degrees, a San Francisco-based carbon and renewable energy marketing firm that manages the “Climate Passport” kiosks, sources carbon offsets from the San Francisco Carbon Fund and The Conservation Fund’s Garcia River Forest Project, a conservation-based forest management program located in Mendocino County, to ensure that an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases has been reduced. SFO is the first airport in the United States to support local climate friendly projects.

For information visit Media contact: Michael C. McCarron, 650-821-4000,

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