SF’s SOMA Pilipinas gets $100K NEA grant for higher Fil-Am visibility

SF’s SOMA Pilipinas gets $100K NEA grant for higher Fil-Am visibility

/ 02:53 AM September 04, 2018

Sample pole banner design featuring two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Victoria Manalo Draves Park who grew up in the South of Market. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO — The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded SOMA Pilipinas, San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage District, a $100,000 “Our Town” arts grant.

The grant will fund the planning process for the increasedvisibility of Filipino arts, culture, and design. Through this grant, SOMA Pilipinas hopes to reverse decades of underrepresentation of the Filipinocommunity’s history and culture.
AmongSOMA Pilipinas’ aims is halting the displacement of Filipino residents and businesses from the neighborhood. The Filipino community is SanFrancisco’s second-largest Asian American population.


The selected project, “SOMA Pilipinas Is in the Heart,” is a public art planning process that will engage community   stakeholders. NEA selects only one recipient of this award per city in a highly competitive process.

“We are very honored to be selected for this prestigious award from themNational Endowment for the Arts,” Raquel Redondiez,Director of SOMA Pilipinas, said in a press statement. “We are excited to work with community members and urban designers to develop creative concepts for integrating Filipino art and designs in the public realm, including special crosswalks, street light adornments, and new plaques andmurals that will show the rich history and culture, and great contributions of Filipinos in SOMA and throughout  San Francisco.”


Kapwa Mural celebrating “interconnectedness” and community fellowship, on top of Mestiza Restaurant on 4th & Brannan. CONTRIBUTED

“We are pleased tosupport SOMA Pilipinas, in their partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission, on public art planning and capacity for artists and cultural organizations, “ said Jen Hughes, Director of Design and Creative
Placemaking at the National Endowment for the Arts.

With this new grant, SOMA Pilipinas will launch its new brand with hundreds of pole banners throughout the City.  It will also be working with the San Francisco Municipal and Transit Authority (SFMTA) and Department of Public Works (DPW) to develop special design crosswalks along 6th Street and Folsom and Howard.  New plaques and murals are also underway, like the “Kapwa” mural sponsored by the Filipino Mental Health Initiative and SOMA
Pilipinas, which is visible from 101 north toward the Bay Bridge.

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TAGS: Filipino neighborhood San Francisco, Filipino visibility, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Our Town grant, public art, San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage District, SOMAPilipinas, urban redevelopment
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