Market Street Prototyping Festival

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Funding Received: 2015
San Francisco, CA
$250,000
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months

Market Street runs through the heart of our beautiful city, yet it can feel uninviting and disconnected. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Planning Department believe that Market Street should bring together people from different neighborhoods and backgrounds. That’s why we’ve joined forces to help us make it a more engaging and vibrant destination.

In collaboration with the Knight Foundation we held an open call for creative ways to improve Market Street in fall 2015, which yielded hundreds of submissions from citizens and organizations. Fifty of these submissions were chosen to create rough models, or "prototypes," that demonstrated how their idea would work. From April 9th – 11th, 2015, Market Street came alive with these ideas. Its wide sidewalks were filled with temporary installations ranging from performance spaces, relaxation zones, dynamic art pieces, and more.

Our city’s response to the inaugural Market Street Prototyping Festival was overwhelmingly positive. Together, we instigated inspiration, joy, and connection on our city’s streets. Together, we paved the way for an inspired Market Street and for a new way of thinking about how we engage all San Franciscans in shaping the future of their city.

We believe that there is an ongoing need for this sort of experimentation and prototyping. Initiatives like the Prototyping Festival allow all those who are passionate about our city to engage in the civic process and to provide hands-on contributions to solving our community’s biggest challenges. With that belief in mind, and with ArtPlace America support, we are planning several prototyping events in 2015/16 and beyond that will contribute to a Market Street redesign in 2018; with our next "mini" installations happening in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, and the next festival happening in Fall 2016.

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See below for recent updates, press, and events from this project

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