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Francisco Aquino talking with youth at his mural. Photo by Michele Kraus.

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StreetSmARTS is a partnership between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works that connects established urban artists with private property owners to create vibrant murals and make the property less likely to be vandalized. Since the program launched in 2010, the mural sites have seen a dramatic decrease in tagging. Listen to this podcast to learn about the program and hear an artist profile on StreetSmARTS artist Francisco Aquino, who started doing graffiti in the early days of hip-hop.

Special thanks to Paper Son for allowing us use of his re-mix, “Old Man Raps.”

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Art in Storefronts Launch. Photo by Genevieve Masse

Art in Storefronts Launch. Photo by Genevieve Masse


This episode of Deep Roots looks at Art in Storefronts, our innovative pilot program that transformed the streetscape in four San Francisco neighborhoods: Central Market, the Tenderloin, the Bayview, and the Mission. Vacant storefronts with boarded up windows became destinations for vibrant contemporary art. This summer, visit Art in Storefronts in Chinatown. The launch party is Friday, June 11 from 5-7 in Wentworth Alley.

The podcast features the voices of Art in Storefront artists Leanne Miller, Liz Maher, Malik Seneferu, Kristine Mays, Jonathan Burstein, and the husband and wife team of Kelly Ording and Jetro Martinez; State Senator Mark Leno; and people who joined us at the first round of launch celebrations.

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Image by Melanie Cervantes


I’ve been eager to do something with Smith & Mighty‘s song “No Justice,” ever since I first heard it while Janaka Selekta lived with me in 2002. Freedom Archives’ 10th anniversary seemed like a perfect time to work it in to a project.

Freedom Archives has over 8,000 hours of audio and video tape of some of the progressive movement’s most important voices and actions. More importantly, they keep these voices alive for people to access today through an accessible archive, revealing documentaries, and innovative projects like the Vinyl Project, an album of progressive soundbites to be used by DJs, musicians, MCs, and activists.

To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they threw a party at 330 Ritch in San Francisco. One of the giveaways was a CD made up of the many songs musicians have created using the archives along with mixes interns have created as they developed their ProTools chops and their consciousness.

I remixed this song with clips on police brutality from the Vinyl Project along with Oscar Grant footage I found on YouTube.

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The second episode of Deep Roots offers a rare look at the sculpture in City Hall of civil rights leader and San Francisco hero, Harvey Milk; its sculptor; and its meaning to the city and the community that it represents.

The podcast shares anecdotes from Milk’s friends and colleagues including: Charlotte Coleman, the first lesbian bar owner in San Francisco; Anne Kronenberg, Milk’s campaign manager; Harry Britt, Milk’s successor to the Board of Supervisors; photographer Daniel Nicoletta; Assemblyman Tom Ammiano; and Eugene Daub, the bust’s sculptor.

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President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act includes $30 million for expanding the Small Business Administration’s Microloan program. These loans of less than $35,000 put money into the hands of small business owners who don’t have any collateral, but who stimulate the economy by putting money back into their communities.

Entrepreneur, Paula Tejeda could benefit from one of these microloans. She says a lack of working capital is the biggest challenge to running her small storefront where she sells Chilean empanadas.

These pocket-sized meat pastries are a popular to-go food in Chile and Paula says they’re best eaten with a glass of wine. This story shows you how that combination sparked an idea in Paula to take the empanadas out of her store, Chile Lindo, and over to the local bars to stir up some business.

Collaborator: It was really fun to work with photographer Myleen Hollero on this and the slideshow is on the California Report and Latino USA’s websites.

Broadcast History:
KQED’s California Report
NPR’s Latino USA
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio

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Charles Blackwell teaching at LightHouse

Charles Blackwell teaching at LightHouse


The Community Arts and Education Program launches Deep Roots by featuring a behind-the-scenes tour of WritersCorps and the LightHouse for the Blind’s Insights exhibition.

WritersCorps is wrapping up its 15th year of placing professional writers in community settings to teach creative writing to youth. Hear from Chrissy Andersen-Zavala, former WriterCorps teacher; Annie Yu, a WritersCorps student; and Lina Morales, senior program officer at the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families.

Insights is a juried art exhibition for blind and visually impaired artists, produced by LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Charles Blackwell, who has shown his artwork in Insights and teaches art in LightHouse’s education and recreation program, talks about his paintings, the importance of the art program, and the role of artists in society.

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We close out this podcast mini-series with writer and performer, Samantha Chanse , who has worn just about every possible APAture hat: from emcee in 2001 to coordinator in 2002 to featured artist in performance/theater in 2008.

After serving Kearny Street Workshop for seven years with four different staff titles, she passes on years of institutional knowledge today as a board member.

Perhaps Sam’s longevity with the organization can be credited to a passion for her community and an uncanny ability to laugh at herself.

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Mark Baugh-Sasaki
Mark Baugh-Sasaki is a busy sculptor and installation artist. He’s shown all over the Bay Area including Swarm Gallery, Diablo Valley College art gallery, and Triton Museum of Art, and had a solo show at 5 Mined Fields Studio.

Yet he still donates his gallery installation skills generously to KSW.

A fine artist as well as a community artist, Mark is in the midst of fundraising for a six-month art installation at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley by invitation of the Hayes Valley Arts Coalition. Care to contribute?

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robin2
Robin Sukhadia says he performed in APAture 2007 to represent South Asian artists in the festival. “Asia is a massive part of the world and we need to do more to bring all of the communities within Asia together.”

Although his APAture performance blended classical North India music mixed into a contemporary context, Robin promotes traditional Indian music through his teachings and performances. “There’s something to be said about respecting thousands of years of culture and history,” says Robin.

Robin’s musical ensemble, PremaSoul, performed in the Shifted Focus Performance Night combining sacred Indian and soulful American sound.

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matthew
Matt Abaya teaches digital multimedia and video production to East Palo Alto youth and uses technological tools to make high concept, low- to no-budget films.

But back in the day, Matt helped launch the first APAture. Besides curating the APAture film night, he contributed an illustration of Asians with sunglasses for one of the APAture 2 t-shirt designs.

Matt is soooo O.G., he references Yahoogroups’ predecessor, eGroups in this following clip from 2000.

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