The Kenneth Rainin Foundation awarded $545,000 in grants through its Open Spaces Program to help fund ten public art projects in either the early development or production phase. Grants support nonprofits to partner with artists to create temporary, place-based public art projects that reflect and engage the diverse communities of San Francisco and Oakland.
“Grantee projects are using sculpture, storytelling and performance to explore unique local histories,” said Adriana Griñó, Arts Program Officer. “They’re addressing issues relevant to diverse Bay Area communities such as the importance of Ohlone language restoration, nuances of the global Black experience, and solidarity between Asian and Latinx immigrant communities.”
In acknowledgment of the ongoing impact of public health orders on the ability to work in public space, the Foundation created two application tracks to support either the early-stage development or production of temporary public art projects. The aim of the early-stage funding is to support artists and organizations with the important iterative planning, relationship building and experimenting phases that are so often critical to the success of public art projects. Grantees were also provided additional funds to support the documentation of their projects.
The 2022 Open Spaces Program grantees are using a breadth of artistic practices to push boundaries and innovate the field of public art. They are also nurturing deep, durational relationships. Friends of Peralta Hacienda and Dance Mission Theater demonstrated strong partnership with the Bay Area Ohlone community. Others like CounterPulse and 500 Capp Street are celebrating San Francisco’s Transgender communities through gathering and performance. And Chapter 510 Ink and Temescal Telegraph Avenue Community Association are lifting up underrepresented histories in Oakland, including that of Swan’s Market and the legacy of the Black Panther Party in the Temescal District.
These projects were selected by a panel of jurors. The panel included Jocelyn Jackson, co-founder of People’s Kitchen Collective, 2017 Open Spaces Program grantee and founder of JUSTUS Kitchen; Perana Reddy, artist & community fellow, Recess and think tank member, Creatives Rebuild New York; and Weston Teruya, artist and member of Related Tactics Collective.
Development Support Grants
Development Support grants, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000, fund early-stage projects for community engagement, planning sessions, partnership cultivation prototyping and more.
Orquídea/Orchids – The 500 Capp Street Foundation and lead artist Marcel Pardo Ariza will create a physical space in the David Ireland House to gather intergenerational stories, images and visual ephemera focused on trans joy and creative resilience.
Temescal Illumination Project: Exploring the legacy of the Black Panther Party in Temescal – Temescal Telegraph Avenue Community Association and lead artist Tion “Bukue One” Torrence will partner with artists and the Oakland community to illuminate, explore and celebrate the contributions of the Black Panther Party and African American community to Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood.
TERRAIN VAGUE — Pieces of Home – Tableau Stations and lead artist Isak Immanuel will collaborate with Marina Fukushima, Surjit Nongmeikapam and Mercy Housing to create an intergenerational and multi-disciplinary performance that engages questions of transforming and repurposing urban spaces for affordable housing in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
Production Support Grants
Production Support grants, ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, support the full production of ambitious, temporary public art projects. Supported activities include performances, community engagement and installation fabrication.
‘One Thing About Us? We Move!’ – Afro Urban Society and lead artists Nkeiruka Oruche, Muisi-Kongo Malonga, Levi Allen and Reggie Edmonds/Rich Oak are partnering with Black Cultural Zone and Asé Arts to create a series of town square-style performances, outdoor workshops, cross-cultural community conversations, visual installations and a short spoken word dance film at Liberation Park.
Oakland Belonging: A Youth-Led Oral History of Swan’s Market – Chapter 510 Ink and lead artists Elena Botkin-Levy and Vernon “Trey” Keeve III will create a two-year oral history and performance project centering Oakland’s Swan’s Market, a culturally vibrant and historic venue at the intersection of four diverse Oakland neighborhoods.
How I Keep Looking Up/Como Sigo Mirando Hacia Arriba/仰望– Chinese Culture Foundation Of San Francisco and lead artist Christine Wong Yap will work with multilingual and multiracial Chinese and Latinx immigrant communities to create flags that represent power and resilience. The flags will be unveiled as a procession in San Francisco’s Lunar New Year Parade to illuminate immigrant culture in the public sphere.
The Show – CounterPulse and lead artist Mica Sigourney will create a large-scale outdoor Drag performance event, celebrating the living oral, dance and embodied tradition of the queer community from which Drag arises. Collaborators include Honey Mahogany, Glamamore, Joanna Haigood and Clement Hil Goldberg.
sii agua sí – Dance Mission Theater and lead artist collective Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers (FLACC) will honor the blocked, soil-filled waterways that once flowed through Mission Dolores and the 5,700 Indigenous ancestors buried in the cemetery.
Indigenous Voices: De-Colonizing Peralta Hacienda – Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park and lead artists Walter Hood, Linda Yamane and Michael Moran will lift up Ohlone language restoration, culture and identity through the creation of sculptures in Peralta Hacienda that represent the words for Sun (Gismen), Moon (Kormey) and Water (Sii), in Chochenyo.
An Intentional Shift – NOW Hunters Point and lead artists Liz Ogbu and Kristin Damrow will create a live, outdoor dance performance that explores how communities inhabit space, how spaces influence bodies, how design can bring communities together, and how history is held in individual and collective bodies.