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Commons on 3rd Thursdays Enlivens Plazas Around SF’s Tenderloin & Central Market

media contact: David Perry / (415) 767-1067 /

Commons on 3rd Thursdays Enlivens Plazas Around SF’s Tenderloin & Central Market / #commonsthursdays

Public Private Partnership Brings Family-Friendly Inclusive Event
Featuring Food, Fun and Festivities to Center of the City:
July 20, August 17, September 21 & October 19: 4pm – 8pm

Extensive programming provided by Another Planet Entertainment, Asian Art Museum,
Noise Pop, Off the Grid, SF Recreation & Parks and People in Plazas

Office of Economic & Workforce Development and Civic Center CBD
Coordinate Inaugural Series

13 July 2017 – San Francisco, CA: “The public space should be intentional,” opined acclaimed American artist Janet Echelman, known internationally for her outdoor installations. “It should be obvious that you belong.” Instilling just such a sense of “intentional belonging” for San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Central Market environs is the goal of the Commons on 3rd Thursdays ( / #commonsthursdays) an ambitious public-private effort spearheaded by the Office of Economic & Workforce Development in partnership with a wide range of nonprofits and cultural groups.

The eponymous series of family-friendly and inclusive “happenings” will take place from 4pm – 8pm on July 20, August 17, September 21 and October 19 with plans already under discussion for a Holiday period series. With free programming provided by People in Plazas, Another Planet Entertainment and Noise Pop, food and over-21 beverages will be for-sale from Off the Grid and a host of activities provided by San Francisco Recreation & Parks. In addition, the Asian Art Museum will offer extended evening hours with the Civic Center Community Benefit District providing event coordination and staffing.

“With the ‘Commons on 3rd Thursdays’ series of events, San Francisco is working with our community groups and private partners to enliven public spaces within the Civic Center neighborhood,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “These spaces play a critical role in our civic life and provide areas where San Franciscan families can come together to connect and unite around our shared values. With new housing opportunities attracting more families to this neighborhood, it is important that we foster a unified gathering place at the Civic Center.”

The “Commons on 3rd Thursdays” series of events grew out of the Civic Center Commons Initiative: a strategy to significantly improve the day-to-day safety, comfort and experience of the three public spaces between Market Street and City Hall. The goal: transform the area’s public spaces into a unique gathering place that works for everyone, every day, especially for families and children who live and work in the Tenderloin and Central Market areas. The initiative is led by the City and County of San Francisco and its community partners to create a unified, inclusive civic commons.

The goal of the overall effort is to increase regular programming in Civic Center Plaza, UN Plaza, and Fulton in between the Asian Art and the Library. Over the coming months, the effort intends to rebrand the whole area as a ‘commons’ and begin to manage it as a single civic gathering space that is open, accessible and attractive to everyone, especially area residents.

All three of the linked public spaces – UN Plaza, Fulton Street between the Library and the Asian Art Museum and Civic Center Plaza — will be programmed during the Commons on 3rd Thursdays, including food trucks and bar trucks provided by Off the Grid. Another Planet Entertainment will be booking emerging local artists for the main stage on Fulton Street, kicking off the series with Bay Area powerhouse Sal’s Greenhouse. Noise Pop and People in Plazas are programming stages and additional activities at Civic Center and UN Plazas.

“We are very pleased to be involved with the formation of the Commons on 3rd Thursdays,” said Mary Conde of Another Planet Entertainment.  “It’s an excellent opportunity for a meaningful public/private partnership.”

Of course, where there is entertainment, there is food. Stepping up to the plate to provide the culinary experience of the Commons on 3rd Thursdays is Off the Grid.

“Off the Grid is thrilled to expand on our footprint around Mid-Market and be a part of this terrific collaboration with the City, Another Planet, Noise Pop and others,” said Off the Grid Founder Matt Cohen. “We are honored to play a part in bringing more great food to Civic Center for this Thursday evening experience.”

Confirmed Off the Grid vendors for the Commons on 3rd Thursdays, include: Limon Rotisserie (Peruvian), The Boneyard (BBQ), Frozen Kuhsterd (Desserts), Kurotaka Ramen (Japanese Ramen), Gaga’s Rollin Diner (Southern), Hula Truck (Asian Fusion), Cochinita (Mayan Cuisine)

“People make public spaces great,” said Tracy Everwine, Civic Center CBD Executive Director, the nonprofit providing event coordination. “This giant block party is a great addition to the calendar. We’re going to see people from all over meeting up with friends and family here — on the City’s front porch.”

“The measure of any great civilization is its cities,” said legendary social thinker and activist John Ruskin. “A measure of a city’s greatness is to be found in the quality of its public spaces, its parks and squares.” With the Commons on 3rd Thursdays, once again San Francisco proves its motto: the City that knows how.

Below: information and details about the Commons on 3rd Thursday community partners:

About Another Planet Entertainment

Another Planet Entertainment, LLC (Another Planet) was created on July 18, 2003 when Gregg W. Perloff, President/CEO of Bill Graham Presents, left to build his own company. Since its inception in 2003, Another Planet Entertainment has been honored by a vote of its concert industry peers for a total of 14 nominations and 4 wins by Pollstar Magazine. In 2016, Gregg Perloff received the “Promoter of the Year Award” from Pollstar Magazine.

Another Planet is the exclusive promoter for the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, the Fox Theater in Oakland, The Independent, a 500-capacity nightclub in San Francisco, and Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre in Lake Tahoe. In 2010, APE was honored to be awarded the exclusive contract to operate the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, a flexible capacity multi-use event and concert space that holds up to 8,500. Another Planet also successfully produces three major festivals – Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival (beginning in 2008), Treasure Island Music Festival (beginning in 2007) and Life is Beautiful (beginning in 2013).

Another Planet Entertainment has produced well over 5,000 events with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Neil Young, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Kanye West, Muse, Robert Plant, Phish, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Kenny Chesney, Adele, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Simon & Garfunkel.

July 20th Acts from Another Planet

DJ Funklor: 4pm – 5:15pm

Rojai: 5:15pm-6pm

Sal’s Greenhouse: 6:30pm-8pm

About the Asian Art Museum:

The Asian Art Museum is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures from throughout Asia spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking. Open until 9 pm on Thursdays and Fridays through Sept 29.

About The Civic Center Commons Initiative

The Civic Center Commons Initiative is a strategy to significantly improve the day-to-day safety, comfort and experience of the three public spaces between Market Street and City Hall. Civic Center Commons is the first step in transforming the three spaces into a unique gathering place that works for everyone, every day – especially for families and children. The initiative is led by the City and County of San Francisco and community partners to create a unified, inclusive civic commons. For more information; visit:

About Civic Center Community Benefit District:

Civic Center Community Benefit District (CCCBD) is a privately-funded, not-for-profit organization that works in tandem with City agencies to provide public safety, maintenance, marketing and special events that benefit Civic Center.

About Noise Pop:

Established in San Francisco in 1993, Noise Pop is one of the nation’s leading independent music promoters. Over the last 25 years Noise Pop’s namesake festival has provided exposure to some of the top emerging artists, many of which have gone on to widespread acclaim.

Noise Pop is also the year-round talent buyer for the venerable San Francisco venue the Swedish American Hall, which includes Cafe du Nord, as well as producer of the free celebration of musical and culinary delights, the 20th Street Block Party. Additionally, Noise Pop partners with various organizations, venues and institutions to produce events throughout the year including the SFMOMA, California Sunday Magazine and Academy of Sciences

SF Rock Project: 4pm – 4:30pm
SFJazz High School Ensemble: 5pm – 5:40pm
Xiomara: 6:10pm – 6:50pm

About Off the Grid:

Off the Grid Markets are founded on the idea of bringing communities together through amazing shared food experiences. Started in 2010, Off the Grid currently operates over 50 weekly public markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. Off the Grid seeks to maintain a shared sense of space by collaborating with local businesses and communities to activate novel public spaces with truly unique experiences.

About People in Plazas / Schedule of Programming:

What began as a forum for street performers who were paid by passing the hat has become a program that provides wide exposure and more than 500 paid “gigs” annually for local musicians The series has grown to producing 120 + free performances at lunchtime in public plazas Monday through Friday in July, August and September. The program reaches an audience of more than 30,000 annually. In addition, we have produced community gatherings including movie nights, poetry readings, artisan fairs and other events that encourage community use of public spaces. Its mission is to encourage visitors, residents and workers to use our outdoor public spaces. We strive to make these spaces “everyone’s neighborhood”. We do this by producing free events in public spaces that are often underused. The “People in Plazas” series is supported by the Mayor’s Office, Art Commission, SFPD the SF Entertainment Commission and a grant from the Hotel Tax Fund /Grants for the Arts.

July 20:

DJ Walt Digs: 4pm – 5pm; 5:50pm – 6:10pm; 7pm – 8pm 

Sandor y Su Mecanica: 5pm – 5:50pm; 6:10pm – 7pm
Sandor y Su Mecanica is a collective brotherhood and sisterhood of musicians from Cuba and The United States educating the public at large with performances, workshops and lectures.  Featuring Local Legends such Fito Reinoso , Carlos Caro, Livan Montoya and many more.  La Mecanica also serves as landing spot for Cuban musicians when they first arrive. 

August 17: The Caribbean Allstars
The Caribbean Allstars are pioneers in the Bay Area reggae scene and longtime regulars at Ashkenaz. The ensemble’s geographical roots range from Jamaica and South America to West Africa and the U.S.,They began joining together their musical forces and international backgrounds during the early 1970s. Out of such predecessors as Obeah and the Sons of Creation, the Caribbean Allstars were formed and became the founding fathers of Bay Area roots reggae. Although many musicians have come through the band since its founding, it has long been guided by its director, Trinidad born drummer Hugh “Sweetfoot” Maynard.

The Caribbean Allstars not only play Jamaican reggae with a traditional electric bass-drumsguitars-keyboards lineup, but also add steel drums to bring in South Caribbean calypso and soca styles of Trinidad and Tobago, producing rhythms that drive listeners to the dance floor. Over the years the band has performed with an array of talent, including Taj Mahal, Narada Michael Walden, and Carlos Santana. Santana played on their second album and introduced them as “My favorite band” at the 1987 Bay Area Music Awards (Bammies). The Allstars were featured on Ashkenaz’s 30th anniversary cd and have for many years been one of the core bands of the Ashkenaz world music and dance community

September 21: oMega LIVE
oMega brings her own unique blend of style and creativity to some of her favorite influences such as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Maze and more! Accompanied by some of the bay’s best musicians, oMega LIVE! will give you a reason to bob your head, get up to dance and sing out loud! We prefer all of the above.

October 19: STOMPY JONES
Little David Rose’s thumpin’ stand-up bass, the double-shuffle drumming of Lee Beary, and the bounce piano of Scott Lawrence provide the rhythmic foundation of the band’s jump style. Riffing on top is the trumpet sound of Robert Dehlinger and Jeff “Erv” Ervin on the saxophone. These two fellas create the fireworks of vintage rhythm and blues. The charming Glen Earl Brown Jr on vocals and have become a trademark of Stompy Jones.

About SF Rec and Park Department:

SF Rec and Park overseen by the Recreation and Park Commission, stewards more than 4,000 acres of recreational and open space that includes more than 220 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, in addition to Sharp Park and Camp Mather located outside of the city limits.  Included in the Department’s responsibilities are iconic landmarks such as Civic Center Plaza, Coit Tower, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Park, as well as the Marina Yacht Harbor, Lake Merced, and the San Francisco Zoo.  Currently, Civic Center Plaza is undergoing a $10 million renovation improving its two playgrounds.  The Department offers Zumba classes, youth soccer, adult bocce ball, adult kickball, and volleyball games as well as food trucks in partnership with Off-The-Grid at Civic Center Plaza since 2010.  More about SF Rec and Park, please visit