Author: Alfredo Casuso

SanFranDISCO Roller Rink Outside SF City Hall Extended

Media Contact:
DP&A, Inc, David Perry / (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperrycom

SanFranDISCO Roller Rink Outside SF City Hall Extended!

Holiday Music Joins Mix

Popular Venue Featuring World Class Skate Experience Open Through January 31, 2023

Initiative Sponsored by San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, SF Office of Economic & Workforce Development and Civic Center CBD

20 December 2022 – San Francisco, CA:  Buoyed by enthusiastic eight-wheelers — veterans and new initiates to the family-friendly, open-air experience – SanFranDISCO( has extended its initial Holiday Season schedule for another month, through January 31, 2023.  Initially opened in mid-October, the newly constructed 5000 square foot roller rink has enlivened the Civic Center’s Fulton Plaza under the tutelage of legendary skate master David Miles, Jr. founder of the City’s popular “Church of 8 Eight Wheels” located in Western Addition.

San FranDISCO is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 8pn. Youth under 18 years can skate for $5, and people 18 and up for $15 (admission fees cover entrance and skate rental). With offerings for everyone, the rink is a welcomed new outdoor entertainment amenity for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. 

From now through New Year’s, Holiday Music will be part of the roller tunes mix every hour.

“I’m happy our families, kids, and residents are going to be able to come down to roller skate right across from City Hall at Fulton Plaza,” said Mayor London Breed, herself an avid roller skater with “The Church of 8 Wheels” when the Rink opened in October. “Bringing our City back is going to require everyone in our community working together on ideas like this rink that get people excited about San Francisco. I want to thank Civic Center Community Benefits District for their support of this project and we are proud to partner with Church of 8 Wheels, a San Francisco institution.” 

San FranDISCO is one of many new concepts derived from the City’s Economic Recovery plan to prioritize the City’s downtown area by bringing families, residents, and visitors back to San Francisco public spaces and businesses. 

“Bringing families, workers, residents and visitors here to San FranDISCO is the goal of the events and activities the City is hosting as part of our economic recovery,” said Kate Sofis, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Transforming our public spaces for unique activities such as a roller rink speaks to the fun and spirit of San Francisco and we look forward to having many more events that bring people together and support our local businesses over the next few months.” 

In addition to the high-quality rink flooring protected from the elements with a roof canopy, the rink facility features restrooms, a skate rental kiosk, and ample public seating areas where anyone can enjoy watching skaters in action. Instructors will offer 90 minute skating sessions at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm and a two-hour session from 6pm to 8pm evenings Wednesdays through Sunday. 

Programming at the rink will complement and support other initiatives in the area as part of the Civic Center Initiative, such as the re-opening of the Café Kiosk in Civic Center Plaza, now operated by Assembly Café; the addition of new weekday musical performances and food trucks to Civic Center Plaza; the enhanced seasonal produce offerings at the long-standing Heart of the City Farmers Market happening Wednesdays and Sundays in UN Plaza.

“The rink is truly a bright spot and an indication of where people are with returning to public life. People need people, and they want to do fun things with others in unique and interesting places,” said Tracy Everwine, Executive Director of the Civic Center Community Benefit District. 

“It’s a new day for outdoor skating in San Francisco and the entire Bay Area skate community is buzzing.” said Church of 8 Wheels founder David Miles. “This downtown rink, which is opening during National Roller-Skating month, is new, fresh, very San Francisco and will connect even more people to our City’s skate culture and one another.” 

San FranDISCO Fulton Plaza Roller Rink is sponsored by Mayor London N. Breed, the City of San Francisco and OEWD, and in partnership with the Church of 8 Wheels, the Civic Center Community Benefit District, the San Francisco Public Library, and the Asian Art Museum.  For more information, please visit 


December 31th is Deadline for Submission to 20th Anniversary International Ocean Film Festival

media contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry /  (415) 676-7007 / 

December 31th is Deadline for Submission to 20th Anniversary
International Ocean Film Festival

February 13 is Student Submissions Deadlines

Global Filmmakers encouraged to submit works that inspire people to appreciate & care for the ocean by revealing its wonders through independent films.

20th annual celebration of features films about marine life, the ocean, coastal cultures and conservation takes place in San Francisco April 13 – 16, 2022 

16 December 2022- San Francisco, CA:  San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival is gearing up for its signature 20th annual Festival, April 13 – 16. Filmmakers around the world are encouraged to submit their films for consideration by December 31. The deadline for student filmmakers is February 13. Open to middle and high school students internationally, the student filmmaker contest offers prizes of up to $500 per category.  Entry details for both competitions may be found online at

“For two decades, we have been saving our oceans one film at a time,” said Ana Blanco, Executive Director for the International Ocean Film Festival. “The artistry we have experienced over 20 years is sublime. The education and environmental activism, priceless. It’s been an honor for us to be a champion for the ocean for global audiences of all ages.”

The Festival accepts films of all genres that focus on any of the varied aspects of our big, blue ocean. Subject matter ranges from, but is not limited to, marine wildlife, conservation efforts, ocean environments, coastal cultures, ocean sports and exploration, ocean heroes, and innovative technology designed to help protect the ocean. Films can be documentaries, narratives, shorts, animation, and full-length films from around the world. A number of finalists from the main film festival program will be selected to participate in the world-renowned International Ocean Film Festival Traveling Program. This year’s film categories include Environmental, Marine Sciences/Wildlife, Exploration & Ocean Sports, Coastal Island Culture. Animation, Conservation, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Shorts and Female Directors.

Since its launch in 2004, the San Francisco-based International Ocean Film Festival has attracted thousands of spectators of all ages from around the world, including film enthusiasts, sea athletes, educators, and environmental supporters. Since then, the Festival has presented over 815 films from 40 different countries and featured post-film Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, special panel discussions with content experts, and the Annual Free Student Education Program. It was the first event of its kind in North America, inspired by the well-established ocean festival in Toulon, France, which has continued to draw large audiences for more than 40 years.

The 20th International Ocean Film Festival runs April 13 – 16 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. The International Ocean Film Festival is a 501(c) 3 non-profit. 

Drama Desk and Obie Award Winning Dark Comedy by Samuel D. Hunter A BRIGHT NEW BOISE

 media contact:  David Perry / (415) 676-7007 /

Drama Desk and Obie Award Winning Dark Comedy by Samuel D. Hunter
A BRIGHT NEW BOISE continues 15th Season for Dezart Performs

January 13 – 22

30 November 2022 – Palm Springs: Acclaimed playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s “humorous and touching exploration of faith and family” ( A BRIGHT NEW BOISE continues the historic 15th season for Dezart Performs of Palm Springs  ( “This clear-eyed comedy (that) will lift your heart” (Time Out New York) runs January 13 – 22 at the Pearl McManus Theatre in downtown Palm Springs.

In A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, we find ourselves in the bleak, corporate break room of a craft store in Idaho. Will (Eric Patrick Harper), who has fled his rural hometown after a scandal at his Evangelical church, comes to the Hobby Lobby, not only for employment, but also to rekindle a relationship with Alex (Jacob Cherry), his brooding teenage son, whom he gave up for adoption several years ago. Alex works there along with Leroy (Austin Minard), his adopted brother and protector, and Anna (Lea Madda), a hapless young woman who reads bland fiction but hopes for dramatic endings. As their manager, foul-mouthed Pauline (Nicole Delsack), tries ceaselessly to find order (and profit) in the chaos of small business, these lost souls of the Hobby Lobby confront an unyielding world through the beige-tinted impossibility of modern faith.

“This is a play that I’ve long wanted to bring to the Valley and now felt like the right time,” said Dezart Performs founding artistic director Michael Shaw who is directing A BRIGHT NEW BOISE which runs for 90 minutes without intermission. “It deals with playwright Hunter’s recurring themes of familiar alienation, physical challenge, and how faith is exposed in the secular, corporate world.”

The recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “Genius Award”, Hunter is also a writer and producer for the hit television show BASKETS.  Premiered at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, the movie WHALE starring Brendan Fraser and based on Hunter’s play of the same name, is scheduled for wide screen release December 9.

“[Samuel D. Hunter] is one of the finest playwrights at work today” (The Wall Street Journal). His writing “brings humanity and humility to his repressed characters as they struggle to connect and find a means of self-expression”  (Theatermania) and  “Hunter’s sense of place is richer and more peculiar than any other American playwright working today” (The New York Times).

Following A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, Dezart Performscontinues its season with the critically-acclaimed comedy with perhaps theatre’s longest title ever, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT THE MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY (March 3 – 12). The season closes out with the acclaimed new buddy comedy THE GARBOLOGISTS (April 14 – 23).All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Ticket prices are $39 – $50. Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

15th Dezart Performs’ Season Listing


 January 13 – 22, 2023

Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Dark comedy

2011 Obie Award winner for Playwriting

2011 Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Play



March 3 – 12, 2023

Written by Halley Feiffer


“[A FUNNY THING HAPPENED…is] a play that is as deeply felt as its name is long. – The New York Times 

“The play is as defiantly unconventional as its title, but it is also satisfying in traditional ways.” – The Los Angeles Times

“Feiffer again demonstrates a talent for crafting caustically sharp comic dialogue.” – The Hollywood Reporter



April 14 – 23, 2023

Written by Lindsay Joelle

New comedy/drama

“THE GARBOLOGISTS takes us on a ride of sadness, joy, anger, disbelief, and understanding.” –Grid Magazine

“Lindsay Joelle’s finely crafted play is laced with wit and wisdom.” – Broadway World

“[THE GARBOLOGISTS] is delightfully intimate, surprising, and profound, filled with sometimes unexpected laughter and even tears..” – onStage Pittsburgh

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San Francisco’s Union Square Alliance Presents Winter Wanderland”

Media Contact:  DP&A, Inc. / David Perry 
(415) 676-7007 / 


San Francisco’s Union Square Alliance Presents 
“Winter Wanderland” 
November 25 – December 24 

 An Enchanting Holiday Village with local merchants, artists, and performers to brighten and revitalize the Heart of the City  

Opening Celebration on Friday, November 25 at 4pm 

* Marisa Rodriguez, Union Square Alliance
* Alex Bastian, Hotel Council of San Francisco
* Cammy Blackstone, AT&T 
* Former SF Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.

25 November 2022 – San Francisco, CA. San Francisco’s Union Square leans into old-world meets new-world traditions this holiday season with its new Holiday Campaign: Winter Wanderland in Union Square, presented by Union Square Alliance ( “Winter Wanderland” invites visitors to explore the first Holiday Village in Union Square en route to The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink Presented by Kaiser PermanenteMacy’s Great TreeSan Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Union Square 36th annual Holiday Windows, and the Bill Graham Menorah. “Winter Wanderland” encourages locals and tourists alike to “wander” throughout the district, exploring all the holiday activations, old and new, while re-discovering the heart of the City, Union Square, this holiday season.  

The Winter Wanderland’s Holiday Village at Hallidie Plaza (Powell & Market Streets) will open to the public from 12pm-7pm on “Black Friday,” November 25 through Saturday, December 24, with a kick-off opening ceremony at 4 pm on Friday, November 25. 

“Winter Wanderland will transform Hallidie Plaza into a festive holiday village,” says Marisa Rodriguez, Executive Director of Union Square Alliance. “Local, handmade gifts, holiday tree decorations, snow flurries, sweets, and warming drinks enhance the space, along with live family-friendly entertainment like magicians and carolers, and a larger-than-life Snow Globe photo opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy.”

There’s no place like Union Square for the holidays, and this year is even grander than years past. Three years after COVID, our spirit of optimism and renewal will bring new visitors and Bay Area natives to the area’s hotels, restaurants, cocktail lounges, art galleries, theaters, and world-class retail destinations. 

Through November and December, events and promotions throughout Union Square will be updated regularly at and on our popular InstagramFacebook and Twitter accounts. Hashtags: #WinterWanderlandSF #WinterWanderlandinUnionSquare #UnionSquareSF

“The more, the merrier is more than a cliché; it’s a proven activation strategy,” notes Rodriguez, whose efforts over the last year have led to increased foot traffic, and sales, in the area. Additionally, a resolute commitment to and resources for public safety has brought a palpable appreciation from visitors and area businesses. “The activation of public spaces is one of the best ways to restore and reimagine the heart of San Francisco. This is a part of our strategic plan to revitalize the downtown core.” 

Concurrent with and an important part of “Winter Wanderland” is the annual illumination and Holiday decorations throughout the district, including twinkling lights, snowflakes, and oversized ornaments, each uniquely painted by local artists, displayed along the Cable Car Powell Street line. This “Ornament Trail” includes a QR coded scavenger hunt with prizes for participants.

The “Winter Wanderland” holiday village is a pilot program in collaboration between Willy Bietak Productions, owner and operator of The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink presented by Kaiser Permanente, and the Union Square Alliance. “Ice skating is a celebrated holiday tradition in Union Square,” said Willy Bietak of Willy Bietak Productions. “We are so thrilled to be back on the ice for our 15th season. In collaboration with the Alliance, we are looking forward to making the combination of the rink and the Holiday Village a captivating annual event.”  

The 2022 Union Square Winter Wanderland Holiday Village is presented by the AT&T Brand Experience store at 1 Powell. Visit the store to unwrap possibilities all season long. Shoppers can try a variety of interactive experiences featuring the latest technology, take holiday photos, and shop a wide selection of the season’s hottest gifts.

Safety continues to be a top priority. 24/7 private security will be in place within the Holiday Village, in addition to the popular retired Police Officers Program, augmented by active-duty members of the SFPD, SF Travel Welcome Ambassadors, and Union Square Ambassadors throughout the district team-up to support a welcoming outdoor environment for all to enjoy. 

Hours for the “Winter Wanderland” Holiday Village are:  

  • November 25 – December 24*: 12 pm – 7 pm, daily

*Closed on 11/28, 11/29, 12/5, 12/6 and hours are subject to change  

About Union Square Alliance:
The Union Square Alliance serves members and creates a high-quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the district’s future success. Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco, an international destination where visitors enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces found only in the City by the Bay. A lively 27-block community surrounding Union Square Park in the heart of San Francisco makes up the Union Square Alliance. It is bordered on the north by Bush Street, on the east by Kearny Street, on the south by Market Street, and on the west by Taylor Street. For more information on the Alliance, go to

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Union Square Alliance Announces Strategic Plan for Downtown Economic Health

Media contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry / (415) 676-7007 /  

Union Square Alliance Announces Strategic Plan for Downtown Economic Health

22 November 2022 – San Francisco. The nonprofit Union Square Alliance ( has unveiled an in-depth strategic plan for the area’s economic recovery and continued sustainable development. Intended to be a critical forward-looking document, the plan seeks to outline, as specifically as possible, how the Union Square District must evolve in order to continue to be an economic engine for the rest of the City.  The plan was developed by the Alliance and its board members and stakeholders, working closely with City staff from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), The San Francisco Department of Planning and the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority (SFMTA).  The plan was unveiled today during an event in Union Square Plaza with local businesses, community, and civic leaders in attendance. The plan’s executive summary is available online at

“As we put the pandemic behind us, the Alliance remains very optimistic about Union Square’s future,” said Marisa Rodriguez, CEO of Union Square Alliance. “We are excited about this recovery plan and the fundamental role the Alliance plays in forging a strong future for the heart of San Francisco.”

The Plan includes five key goals, with priority action items under each.  The Alliance intends to begin working immediately with the City to put these priority actions in place. 

Union Square’s vibrancy is a critical element of our Downtown recovery. As the City continues to adjust to a new normal, we are finding ways to help areas like Union Square that saw the greatest impact because of changes to office reporting and tourism,” said Mayor London Breed. “This plan lays out clear, achievable actions to ensure Union Square continues as the beating heart of our City. This is a real opportunity for San Francisco and we will continue working with the Union Square Alliance and partners to bring innovative and forward-looking strategies to the area.”

Here is what the Plan will accomplish:

1) Promote a Safe and Welcoming Environment

Working with all of our City department partners, we will maintain our strong emphasis on keeping the Union Square District Clean and Safe.  We will add a new focus on cleanliness and safety at entry points like our garages and our transit stations.  We will also work with SFMTA to develop even safer and convenient ways to access parking for visitors in the central part of the Union Square District.

2) Ensure all floors of Union Square buildings are occupied with vibrant activities

We will do everything necessary to make sure all floors of our historic buildings are full of diverse and lively uses, generating activity in the district and tax revenue for the City.  We will work with our City partners to revisit zoning controls in Union Square, to ensure they facilitate a resilient, mixed-use downtown neighborhood.  We will work with building owners and brokers to seek out and attract game-changing new tenants to the district.  We will work with the City to identify programs and incentives to attract more food and beverage and additional cultural activities.

3) Create authentic “Only in San Francisco” marketing tools for Union Square to highlight its unique vibe

The Alliance will tailor its marketing campaigns to highlight the uniquely urban nature of Union Square, with cable cars, art and culture, bustling streets, beautiful architecture, and a variety of close by attractions and neighborhoods.  We will partner with major institutions and arts groups to promote public art, light installations, and indoor galleries.  We will increase participatory and cultural programming in the plaza and throughout the District, such as dance, skating, art, and music.

4) Activate and upgrade outdoor public spaces, focusing on Union Square, Hallidie Plaza, Powell Street and key alleys

We will work with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to deepen our partnership around Union Square Plaza so the Alliance can enhance music, events, and art programming in the Plaza as well as increase the range of everyday activities and pop-ups in, with a focus on food vending and temporary activation.  We will develop plans to transform Powell Street over time into a unique cable car-centered promenade between Market and Post street.  We will explore creating intimate “urban rooms” in alleys such as Maiden Lane and Campton Place, using seating, lighting, flowers and other unique elements.

5) Promote the Union Square Alliance’s organizational health and sustainability

The Alliance will continue refining its staffing structure and relationships with City staff and decision-makers to provide the best possible service to its members and the larger Union Square Community.

“Our historic, iconic Union Square is a key piece of San Francisco’s revitalization efforts with untold potential and opportunity. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with the Union Square Alliance on an exciting, realistic vision for the future,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents District 3, including much of Downtown San Francisco. “The Strategic Plan appropriately prioritizes safety and cleanliness, while also revisioning new uses for this historic neighborhood that will draw tourists and locals alike.” 

About Union Square Alliance:
The Union Square Alliance serves members and creates a high-quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the district’s future success. Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco, an international destination where visitors enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces found only in the City by the Bay. A lively 27-block community surrounding Union Square Park in the heart of San Francisco makes up the Union Square Alliance. It is bordered on the north by Bush Street, on the east by Kearny Street, on the south by Market Street, and on the west by Taylor Street. For more information on the Alliance, go to

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