Arts Round-Up

By Leah Garchik September 3, 2017

Pam Coates, a Tenderloin Tour guide who sings regularly at monthly concerts at the Cadillac Hotel in the Tenderloin, joined with jazz singer Benn Bacot for a concert — backed by Dave Austin’s combo — at the Tenderloin Museum.This was a tribute to the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald and the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album. 




Movement, space challenged in performance at Tenderloin Museum






Movement, space challenged in performance at Tenderloin Museum

By Brandon Yu, August 8, 2017

A member of Detour Dance, dancer, choreographer and artist Melissa Lewis founded her own performance studio in the Tenderloin this year — except it’s not your average studio. Appropriately titled “The Sardine,” Lewis puts on solo performance events of dance, music and theater for audiences of just one to three people in a 9-by-12-foot space.
But Lewis’ site-specific blend of dance and visual performance art at the Sardine takes on a new interpretation in “The Sardine Swims to the Tenderloin Museum” on Thursday, Aug. 10. [read more]


SFist To-Do List: The Compton's Cafeteria Riot

by Beth Spotswood, July 18th, 2017

Tonight is the second-ever reading of scenes from a new play about a vital piece of Tenderloin history, The Compton's Cafeteria Riot. The brand new play is based on the events surrounding the country's first-ever anti-police riot by the LGBTQ community - a riot that pre-dates Stonewall. Conceived by Mark Nassar and Tenderloin Museum director Katie Conry, the play was inspired by the Tenderloin Museum's exhibits on the subject and it's being workshopped (now!) with input from the public. [read more]


Peter Fortuna's Lost Photographs At Tenderloin Museum

by Randy Shaw, July 6th, 2017

The Tenderloin Museum recovers the lost history of a great American neighborhood. Tonight, it displays the heretofore unseen photography and ephemera of Peter Fortuna, whose remarkable life ultimately brought him to the Tenderloin neighborhood.
“Peter Fortuna: A Tenderloin Story” offers a collaged selection of original photographs, magazine tearsheets, correspondence, and digital photographs by Peter Fortuna spanning 1970-1998. Tonight’s opening show from 6-8pm celebrates Fortuna’s unique photographic legacy along with footage from the 1991 Fortuna produced film, ‘War.’


High Fashion To Homelessness: Peter Fortuna's 'Tenderloin Story'

By Carrie Sisto, June 28, 2017

From a jet-setting career as a fashion photographer to being homeless in the Tenderloin, Peter Fortuna has seen it all. 
Now, an upcoming exhibit at the Tenderloin Museum, Peter Fortuna: A Tenderloin Story, explores how his story—the highs, the lows, and all the in-betweens—reflects the neighborhood itself.
Before coming to San Francisco, Fortuna made a name for himself as a fashion photographer in 1970s New York City, hobnobbing with celebrities and artists in the art scene at the time. [read more]

“The history in this neighborhood is unbelievable. Very few people know about it,” said playwright Mark Nassar, as he introduced the first reading of “The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.”  

“The history in this neighborhood is unbelievable. Very few people know about it,” said playwright Mark Nassar, as he introduced the first reading of “The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.”  

Tenderloin Museum Turns Two With History-Themed Shows

by Leslie Katz, May 15th, 2017

The Tenderloin Museum celebrated its second anniversary Saturday with a community day of free activities including a peek at a new play about the neighborhood’s pivotal 1966 event in the fight for gay rights.
The play details what led to the turmoil at Compton’s Cafeteria, a Tenderloin eatery which was patronized by drag queens, transsexuals and hookers, run by a mostly sympathetic businessman, and attracted aggressive cops. A cast of a dozen in the show appeared before the [at] capacity crowd in the audience (which included people around at the time of the August 1966 conflict) [.] [Afterward] activists in a group called Vanguard pointed out abuses against gays and called for human rights. Among the first recorded incidents of gay rights activism, locals note that [Compton's Cafeteria Riot] pre-dates New York’s more famous 1969 Stonewall Riots. [read more]


Root Division Opens Art Show At Tenderloin Museum

by Randy Shaw, March 14, 2017

The Tenderloin Museum is known for exhibitions on the Blackhawk Jazz Club, Wally Heider Studios, the rise of San Francisco’s GLBT movement, andthe role of the post-1906 Tenderloin in turning San Francisco into the “Paris of the West.” The Museum also has regular exhibitions of new art, and on March 16 from 6-9pm Root Division is presenting the work of Studio Artists and students at the Tenderloin Museum this spring.

More Than a Roof and Walls features the work of Alice Combs and Susa Cortez alongside the work of their intergenerational students at several of the museum’s Tenderloin community partnerships including Kelly Cullen Community, Community Housing Partnership & Larkin Street Youth. [read more] 


Three Sexy Events at the Tenderloin Museum

by Peter Lawerence Kane, March 8th, 2017

Our favorite neighborhood museum in the galaxy never fails to enchant us with its stellar programming, and there are several events at the Tenderloin Museum in the near future that have a very high can’t-miss quotient.
First, tomorrow evening (Thursday, March 9) at the Roxie Theater, the museum will screen a Tenderloin-centric double feature of Jonathan Raymond’s late-1960s previously lost short documentary Gay San Francisco followed by Michael Thomas’ Meat Rack, a tale of a bisexual hustler that’s the quintessential queer arthouse flick. Better still, Meat Rack director Michael Thomas — who was 21 when he shot the film in 1970, will be there! You might find yourself so entranced with imagery of what the city looked like 45 years ago that you forget to notice the sexy young things.

[read more]


Activists Reenact 100th Anniversary of Tenderloin Sex Worker's March

By Randy Shaw, January 24, 2017

On January 25, 1917, nearly 300 Tenderloin brothel workers engaged in the first mass sex worker march and protest in United States history. It was one of the most powerful struggles for women’s economic justice in San Francisco history, and sent shockwaves through the city.

Now on January 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm, the Tenderloin Museum and the Center for Sex & Culture are staging a 100th anniversary reenactment of this event. It is not to be missed. [read more]

New to America, Raised in the Tenderloin

By Creo Noveno JANUARY 13, 2017

Rea Lynn de Guzman’s new show TL Dreams is a series of memories — a mix of her imagined and lived experiences in the Tenderloin — presented in a wash of bright acrylics and printed organza.

But more than anything, the pieces serve as a snapshot of all the different shapes liminality can take.

The earlier work in TL Dreams captures de Guzman’s life mid-transition — her immigration from the Philippines to San Francisco’s Turk Street, her shift from youth to adulthood — in a chromatic palette that’s more fever dream than true-to-life. Children are portrayed in model-esque forms, surrounded by jeepneys and other paraphernalia of a life left in the Philippines... [ read more]

Mitchell Bros. theater morphing into a variety show

By Leah Garchik

January 17, 2017 Updated: January 17, 2017 12:25pm

Just as the Kink.com team is packing up its cameras and porn-production operations, The Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre — a strip club owned by a woman named Meta Jane Mitchell — has announced the opening of its CineStage for “non-traditional strip club performances, including comedy, storytelling, burlesque, variety and side show. ... The venue is looking to become a more inclusive space.” ...

Meanwhile, the Tenderloin Museum and the Center for Sex & Culture are marking the centennial of a sex worker march in San Francisco that occurred on Jan. 25, 1917. A gathering at the museum will commemorate the demonstration organized by Tenderloin district madams Reggie Gamble and Maude Spencer, in opposition to a planned Valentine’s Day eviction of brothels. [read more]


Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle - Customers have written personal messages to enclose with items given to homeless recipients.

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle - Customers have written personal messages to enclose with items given to homeless recipients.

How to provide stuff for panhandlers without giving them money

By Heather Knight

December 12, 2016 Updated: December 12, 2016 5:56pm

It’s a constant dilemma for San Francisco residents: give money to panhandlers, or ignore their requests for change and keep walking?

Leave it to a 26-year-old digital strategist from London to come up with an alternative — and a very creative one at that. Charlotte Cramer has just debuted the U.S. version of Crack + Cider in the Tenderloin Museum gift shop, after launching in London a year ago. [read more]

Photo: Leah Garchik, Leah Garchik/San Francisco Chronicle “The Unseen World of the Tenderloin: Rare historic photographs, 1907 to 1971” exhibition at the Tenderloin Museum includes photos and documents, and items that belong to the museum’s founder Randy Shaw.

Photo: Leah Garchik, Leah Garchik/San Francisco Chronicle
“The Unseen World of the Tenderloin: Rare historic photographs, 1907 to 1971” exhibition at the Tenderloin Museum includes photos and documents, and items that belong to the museum’s founder Randy Shaw.

Tenderloin images: To think that I saw it on Leavenworth Street

By Leah Garchik November 21, 2016

The Tenderloin Museum’s new exhibition, “The Unseen World of the Tenderloin: Rare historic photographs, 1907 to 1971,” includes photos and documents, and also collections of matchbooks and other items that belong to museum founder Randy Shaw.

Most of the pictures show a bustling, thriving commercial district, with stores, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, brothels, immigrant communities, entertainers, gays ... old-time San Francisco. [read more]

A Pop-Up Shop for San Francisco's Homeless

This charity delivers cold-weather essentials to people on the street.

EILLIE ANZILOTTI @eilliean | Nov 10, 2016

I’ve lost track of the number of times that, during an unexpected cold snap, I’ve stopped and bought a pair of gloves from a newsstand. They’re never more than a few dollars; I hand over the money almost without thinking.

A new retail startup, Crack + Cider, wants people to think a little more about what their money can buy, and who it can help. Launched last year in London as an online store and pop-up, Crack + Cider sells cold-weather essentials: gloves, waterproof jackets, fleece pullovers, umbrellas. But customers don’t leave with a new set of wares. Instead, their purchases are bundled up and delivered to local homeless shelters, where they’re distributed to people sleeping on the street. [read more]

Photo: Robin Allen Photography, Getty Images Mason Street drops from the ritzy heights of Nob Hill to the edge of the Tenderloin, just six steep blocks down.

Photo: Robin Allen Photography, Getty Images
Mason Street drops from the ritzy heights of Nob Hill to the edge of the Tenderloin, just six steep blocks down.

Rename Tenderloin as Union Square West? No sale

By Caille Millner

October 28, 2016 Updated: October 28, 2016 1:29pm

There’s nothing I love (read: loathe) more than an arriviste marketing group trying to rename one of San Francisco’s neighborhoods. So let’s all take a moment to consider a global real estate firm’s current attempt to rebrand the Tenderloin as Union Square West.

Jones Lang LaSalle, JLL for short, recently released a report about Union Square West. There have been attempts to rebrand the Tenderloin before (the Urban Land Institute was roundly jeered for labeling the area Union Square West in 2013), but this time, JLL insists, is different.

San Francisco just keeps getting wealthier, and commercial rents in Union Square are just way too high. It’s time to explore a “new trade area” with a “new demographic.” The report, online at http://bit.ly/2eWhzwG, is clearly aimed at JLL’s client base of large multinational corporations like Hilton Worldwide and Siemens. It doesn’t mention the Tenderloin neighborhood. [read more]

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

The 10 Coolest Niche Museums In San Francisco


The Barbra Streisand Museum may be long gone, but SF has a great tradition of small, neighborhood-focused and niche museums, some zanier than others, dating back to the late 1960's when physicist and sometime cattle rancher Frank Oppenheimer (brother of atomic bomb maker J. Robert Oppenheimer) decided to create a museum in San Francisco devoted to the oddities of science and human perception, which became The Exploratorium. You may want to hit our city's larger cultural institutions when you've got guests in town, but if your guests have more specific interests, you may want to consider some of the odder attractions below.

The Tenderloin Museum
The city's longtime seediest, most rough and tumble neighborhood, The Tenderloin, has also been home over the years to famed jazz clubs, speakeasies, and countercultures, including some of the earliest LGBT hangouts in the city. You'll learn about Wally Heider Studios, the recording studio where the Grateful Dead, Santana, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young all recorded seminal albums, and check out the rich collection of photographs from the neighborhood. Also, if you want the full experience, the museum offers walking tours. — Jay Barmann
398 Eddy Street at Leavenworth

Photo from "I'm A Very Understanding Woman" by Marta Thisner

Photo from "I'm A Very Understanding Woman" by Marta Thisner

The SFist To-Do List: 12 Cool Things To Check Out This Week


Summer is here! No, really! The shift in weather was most evident this past  weekend and with last night's sunset, especially, so get ready for everybody's energy level to go up and for Indian Summer madness to set in. Here are a few things you may want to consider as things ramp up for Labor Day Weekend.

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW ABOUT ADDICTION: “Exposure: Photographic Tales from the Tenderloin” is the first gallery show from the Tenderloin Health Services-sponsored photography project Snapping Back. The show will display the work of people in various stages of substance abuse and recovery who "were given black and white film cameras and encouraged to explore a number of themes over three months of shooting." Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy Street at Leavenworth, 6 to 9 p.m., free

Photo by Harold Adler: Allen Ginsberg with members of the Cockettes and Magic Theater, demonstrating in Union Square.

Photo by Harold Adler: Allen Ginsberg with members of the Cockettes and Magic Theater, demonstrating in Union Square.

Living Theatre in SF for 1st time in decades

By Evan Karp August 23, 2016

Love, money, property, state, war, death and revolutionary change: These are the themes of the “Seven Meditations on Political Sadomasochism,” one of the most famous plays in the Living Theatre’s nearly 80-year repertoire as an internationally touring experimental collective. When the New York company presents “Seven Meditations” on Thursday, Aug. 25, at Great Star Theater, it will be Living Theatre’s first San Francisco performance in more than 40 years....

The audio documentary program Arrvls partners with the Tenderloin Museum, Larkin Street Youth Center and the Curry Senior Center to feature residents and community members sharing experiences in the Tenderloin past, present and future. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25. Free [read more]


Lower Turk in 1944. The Silver Rail, then an underground gay bar, is on the right.

Lower Turk in 1944. The Silver Rail, then an underground gay bar, is on the right.


by Randy Shaw on August 16, 2016

Fifty years ago, in August 1966, drag queens, trans sex workers, hair fairies and gay street hustlers rose up against police harassment in what became known at the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. This occurred at Turk and Taylor Streets in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, which was then still the geographic center of the city’s GLBT movement.  By the end of the decade this center moved west, and in 1976 an increasingly politicized movement formed what is now the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club. The Club celebrated its 40thanniversary last week... [read full article]

Kinetech Arts was among the performers on Friday at Grace Cathedral.

Kinetech Arts was among the performers on Friday at Grace Cathedral.

Soundwave Intends to Expand Minds with Multisensory Art Experiences 

B4bel4b's Tiare Ribeaux talks curating this year's festival in San Francisco.

By Sarah Burke

"....Earlier in the summer, Kevin Corcoran and Jen Boyd explored the festival's theme with "Sonic Portraits of a Shifting City," an experience that took audiences on a tour of the Tenderloin district of San Francisco via AudioBus — an open-air, double-decker bus outfitted with headsets. Riders listened to a sound collage, composed in part of field recordings in open public spaces and of stories from longtime Tenderloin residents (contributed by the Tenderloin Museum), while riding through the neighborhood."[read more]

Tenderloin Museum Presents the Historic District’s Fascinating Story

Located at the corner of Eddy and Levenworth Streets, the Tenderloin Museum is a project of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic that opened in June of 2015.

Since the opening, the Museum has welcomed visitors to view a combination of artifacts, ephemera and original graphics designed to tell the story and preserve the history of San Francisco’s district most known for vice, corruption and art.

[read more]

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Tenderloin Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Compton's Cafeteria Riot

KPFA 94.1-FM Berkeley

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, an early transgender uprising against police harassment in San Francisco. In August 1966 – the exact date has been lost because traditional media didn’t cover the event – trans women rioted in the Tenderloin, chasing police out into the street, smashing windows, and setting fires. The Tenderloin Museum will host several commemorative events this month, and kicked off the series with a walking tour through the historic neighborhood. [listen here]

Sound artists Kevin Corcoran and Jen Boyd. Photo by Joe Cantrell

Sound artists Kevin Corcoran and Jen Boyd. Photo by Joe Cantrell

Soundwave Biennial’s Audiobus Explores The Tenderloin In Its Own Voice

 July 26, 2016.  Sam Ribakoff 
San Francisco in the 21st century is experiencing the tumbleweed-silent steel buildings canyon of the Financial District transition into the always-lively cacophony of the badlands of The Tenderloin.
"The Tenderloin is an area that a lot of people ignore because of it’s reputation as kind of crime ridden,” says Kevin Corcoran, a sound artist living and working in the city, “but I think it warrants at least walking around in The Tenderloin and looking, and hearing, what kind of community exists there.” 
What does exist there is a vibrant, poverty stricken, constantly underserved by the city government, section of San Francisco, a place where many new immigrants find themselves, a place where gays, lesbians, and transgender people once found refuge from bigotry, and a place where the most historic buildings in the city are still standing, and still very much in use... Read entire article

Photo by Henry Leleu, Courtesy The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

Photo by Henry Leleu, Courtesy The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society

The riot that predated Stonewall, 50 years later

June 25, 2016. Ryan Kost

Gene Compton’s Cafeteria, which sat on the corner of Turk and Taylor streets some decades back, was an all-night diner with big windows. It was the sort of place where the waitresses wore crisp uniforms and a cup of coffee didn’t cost more than a dime. It was also bright, and that was fine with the queens and the hustlers and the hair fairies and the queers who would crowd around the tables at night... Read entire article

50th anniversary of Compton’s Cafeteria riot
The GLBT History Museum and the Tenderloin Museum will hold a series of events from July through September to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the riot Highlights include:
A kickoff of the Tenderloin Museum’s “Tenderloin Queer History Walking Tour,” 6-8:30 p.m. July 28. Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy St., S.F. 
A presentation by Felicia Elizondo on “Cruising the Transgender Tenderloin of the 1960s.” 7 p.m. Aug. 4. GLBT History Museum, 4127 18th St., S.F.

A screening of “Screaming Queens,” 7 p.m. Aug. 18. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F. The film is also viewable on demand, and can be purchased, through Amazon.com.

Still from Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria

Still from Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria

SATURDAY: The Tenderloin Museum Turns One and Commemorates LGBT Rights

July 15, 2016. Peter Lawrence Kane

It's a big month in the T.L. This Saturday, July 16, the plucky Tenderloin Museum will celebrate its first birthday with 11 hours of party time and programming dedicated to the most fascinating, most frequently misunderstood neighborhood in the city. Meanwhile, another major milestone hovers just on the next calendar page: the 50th anniversary of the Compton's Cafeteria Riot, the equivalent of the Boston Tea Party for the LGBT rights movement that occurred three years before the better-known Stonewall riot in Manhattan... Read entire article

Photo by Brittany Hopkins, Hoodline

Photo by Brittany Hopkins, Hoodline

This Saturday: Tenderloin Museum Celebrates First Anniversary With Free Community Day

July 11, 2015. Brittany Hopkins

From film screenings to history talks, live performances to art exhibitions, theTenderloin Museum has quickly become a hub for affordable—and often free—events celebrating the neighborhood’s rich history and diverse community.

Program manager Katie Conry attributes the museum's success to building relationships with many of the community’s existing assets, from institutions like the Asian Art Museum to grassroots community arts organizations like Skywatchers. Those partnerships will be showcased this Saturday, July 16th, when entry to the museum will be free of charge to all for the Tenderloin Museum's first-anniversary celebration...Read entire article

Photo by Darwin Bell

Photo by Darwin Bell

Darwin Bell’s ‘Colors of the Tenderloin’ Photo Exhibit Opens

June 30, 2016. By Brock Keeling

Noted San Francisco-based photographer, Darwin Bell, is well known for is hyper-vivid shots of San Francisco signage and beyond. After falling victim to an owner move-in eviction in 2013—his former Alamo Square apartment, where he lived for 20 years, is now an Airbnb rental—he moved to a small studio in the Tenderloin. That's when his camera's scope switched aim.
"The second I moved into my little studio, I knew I was home," Bell, who lives and works in the neighborhood, tells Curbed SF. "I find something new to photograph within every block and a half, every single day."
The last few years has resulted in a series of photos from his new neighborhood, which will go on display starting tonight at the Tenderloin Museum... Read entire article

Photo by Darwin Bell

Photo by Darwin Bell

Colors of the Tenderloin: Photography by Darwin Bell

June 26 2016.  By Ivy McNally

A city-dweller for nearly 30 years, photographer Darwin Bell uniquely captures the gritty beauty and forgotten history of San Francisco’s oft-overlooked Tenderloin neighborhood. The museum devoted to preserving that district’s culture is an ideal host to his new exhibition, Colors of the Tenderloin. Pop into this lively opening party for an artful evening featuring live music and refreshments... Read entire article

Photo by Scott Everett White, Caliber Media Company

Photo by Scott Everett White, Caliber Media Company

Kurt Russell Western ‘Bone Tomahawk’ has shot at greatness

May 25, 2016. By G. Allen Johnson

Isaac Julien is being celebrated with a photography exhibit at the Jessica Silverman Gallery, and the Tenderloin Museum is co-presenting “Vintage,” a showing of three short films by the British photographer, installation artist and filmmaker. The reception is set for 6:30 p.m., with a 7 p.m. screening, Thursday, May 26, at the Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy St.,  www.tenderloinmuseum.org. The Jessica Silverman Gallery, 488 Ellis St., is “just 300 feet from the Tenderloin Museum, so be sure to check out the photography exhibition before heading to the screening,” says museum program manager Katie Conry. Good idea... Read entire article

"Windows into the Tenderloin" mural at Golden Gate & Jones. (Photo: Mona Caron)

"Windows into the Tenderloin" mural at Golden Gate & Jones. (Photo: Mona Caron)

TL Week: Touring The Pre-Vice Tenderloin, Asian Heritage Fair, New Beer Bar & More

May 19, 2016. By Brittany Hopkins

Get ready. A busy weekend is about to kick off in the Tenderloin.

First, if you've ever been curious about the background stories of the many murals painted around the neighborhood, you won't want to miss the Tenderloin Museum's public art exploration tonight. After an optional walking tour, catch a screening of the short film “A Brush with the Tenderloin,” which examines the creation of Golden Gate Avenue mural "Windows into the Tenderloin,” by local artist and activist Mona Caron... Read entire article

Beautiful by Night, Besties, Flaming Groovies, Laether Strip, more

April 7, 2016. By Mark B.

FILM BEAUTIFUL BY NIGHT “James Hosking’s documentary Beautiful by Night follows three older drag entertainers at the legendary Aunt Charlie’s in the Tenderloin over the course of one evening. The film, along with show-stopping drag performances from the three ladies, played to a sold out show at the Tenderloin Museum. Hosking and cinematographer Vanessa Carr will be in attendance and will lead a discussion with subjects Donna Personna, Collette LeGrande and Olivia Hart, who will also dazzle us with not-to-be-missed drag performances... Read entire article

Donna Personna from Beautiful by Night

Donna Personna from Beautiful by Night

Celebrating an awesomely historic Tenderloin institution at an awesomely historic Tenderloin Institution

April 6, 2016. By Allan Hough

The film is called Beautiful by Night and it is a tribute to Aunt Charlie’s in the Tenderloin, and it’s screening this Thursday night at the Roxie in the Mission. Here’s some detail:
Don’t miss a historic occasion at a historic cinema- this is a one time only chance to see drag performances at the oldest continuously operating movie theater in San Francisco.
The Tenderloin Museum brings James Hosking’s “Beautiful By Night” to the Roxie Theater on April 7th for a one night only special engagement. “Beautiful by Night” follows three older drag entertainers at the legendary Aunt Charlie’s over the course of one evening... Read entire article

Photo by Peter Lawrence Kane

Photo by Peter Lawrence Kane

Ten Tidbits from Jane Kim's Talk at the Tenderloin Museum

April 5, 2016.  By Peter Lawrence Kane

At lunchtime on the first Monday of every month, The Tenderloin Museum hosts a guest speaker. Former Mayor Willie Brown led off the series in March, while yesterday, it was Sup. Jane Kim's turn. In the hour-long discussion (moderated by Randy Shaw, with a Q&A), Kim got into the nitty-gritty of policy specifics while articulating her vision for the Tenderloin — which she represents — in an era of rampant gentrification and change. Here are 10 of the choicest tidbits Kim uttered... Read entire article

Donna Persona on stage at Aunt Charlie's. (Photo: James Hosking)

Donna Persona on stage at Aunt Charlie's. (Photo: James Hosking)

Event Spotlight: Aunt Charlie's Veteran Drag Queens Take Over The Roxie

April 4, 2016. By Brittany Hopkins

We'll regularly feature an especially interesting event in the neighborhood based on the event submissions we get, and what we hear about while we're out on the beat. 
After 29 years at Turk and Taylor, Aunt Charlie's—the neighborhood's venerable drag bar and lounge—is still going strong. But this Thursday, three of the cabaret's leading ladies are taking their act on the road to a bigger, even more historic venue: the Roxie Theater.
At 7pm April 7th, the Tenderloin Museum is hosting a screening of Beautiful By Night at the Roxie—an encore to its sold-out tribute to Aunt Charlie's at the Tenderloin Museum earlier this winter... Read entire article

The Tenderloin Museum: 
A walk down memory lane in the heart of one of San Francisco's most notorious neighborhoods

By Rachel M. Krivichi

The Tenderloin Museum, which opened in June of 2015, is an unlikely slice of culture in one of San Francisco’s best known neighborhoods.

The museum was opened by the Uptown Tenderloin, Inc., and an assortment of dedicated community members who wanted to create a special institution celebrating the history of their neighborhood.

The museum resides in a corner of a single-room occupancy apartment complex called the Cadillac Hotel. Inside, ornate black and burgundy wallpaper adorns the walls, reminiscent of a speakeasy or flapper bar. The look is intentional, as the Tenderloin neighborhood has a scandaloushistory of prohibition, prostitutes, and overall promiscuous behavior. Photographs and newspaper clippings line the walls, and are accompanied by videos and sound clips that help to convey a full sensory history of the neighborhood... Read entire article.

Photo by Peter Lawrence Kane

Photo by Peter Lawrence Kane

The Tenderloin Museum's Volunteer Fair and Drugs in the Tenderloin Screening

January 4, 2016. By Peter Lawrence Kane

The Tenderloin Museum opened only last summer, but it's been recalibrating the storied neighborhood's position in San Francisco history ever since. While the programming is always top-notch, there is an altruistic arm of the institution as well. Next Wednesday, Jan. 13, the Museum will hold its first Volunteer Fair, connecting patrons with nonprofits such as Project Open Hand, 826 Valencia, the Cooking Project, De Marillac Academy, and Glide Memorial.
Although these organizations are well-known, if pressed, some people might have a difficult time specifying exactly how they help low-income, non-native-born, or otherwise disadvantaged San Franciscans. If you've ever walked down the block, seen somebody suffering, and felt your motivation to help them scaling over with the city-dweller's instinct to just keep on walking, here is a great opportunity to change that ... Read entire article

Mona Caron exhibiting her mural during the Tenderloin museum's walking tour.

Mona Caron exhibiting her mural during the Tenderloin museum's walking tour.

10 of the Best New Museums

December 21, 2015. By Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

The downtown Tenderloin neighbourhood has had its problems with crime and poverty, but now a new 3,200 sq ft museum hopes to shift negative perceptions of the area by highlighting the important role it has played in LGBT activism and countercultural movements. The museum also offers walking tours of the area, where your guide will draw attention to historic buildings, gambling dens, legendary bars and places of cultural note.
 tenderloinmuseum.org. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm, admission and walking tour $15, general admission $10 adults, children 12 and under free... Read the entire article

Centered between storytellers, Brooks (left) and Pulliam (right). All photos courtesy of Temporal Cities.

Centered between storytellers, Brooks (left) and Pulliam (right). All photos courtesy of Temporal Cities.

Temporal Cities Continues Collecting Stories From Diverse Tenderloin Community

December 1, 2015. By FERNANDO PUJALS

Temporal Cities, the collaborative public art project by Lizzy Brooks and Radka Pulliam, has been collecting Tenderloin stories from an outpost outside the Tenderloin Museum on event nights since October 27th.

Through the project, Brooks and Pulliam are “building a nuanced map that explores the changing nature of the city and our collective ideas of permanence.”

We’ve had the pleasure of observing the project on several occasions. Typically, amid the intermittent rush of cars gliding up Leavenworth different languages echo from the street corners while Brooks and Pulliam sit patiently at a table bedecked with typewriter, papers, clipboards, and a rotary phone... Read entire article

Ellis Street at Mason in the 1970's

Ellis Street at Mason in the 1970's

Temporal Cities and CoolTry: Two Sexy Projects at the Tenderloin Museum

November 4, 2015. By Peter Lawrence Kane 

The Tenderloin Museum has been burning things down since the day it opened, but between its newest exhibit and its first featured local artist, it’s moving into the realm of contemporary art.

Ryan De La Hoz’s CoolTry gets a turn in the gift shop at a free launch party tomorrow night (Thursday, Nov. 5), with exclusive merch you can’t get anywhere else and music by Wrong Way. (See this Juxtapoz article for a bit of background on De La Hoz’s work.)... Read entire article

Original work  by Ryan De La Hoz

Original work  by Ryan De La Hoz


November 02, 2015

Cool Try is the San Francisco based brainchild of artist Ryan De La Hoz. They produce clothing, skateboards, housewares, and accessories. Ryan will be taking up residence at the newly opened Tenderloin Museum on the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth in San Francisco from November 5th till January 1st and will feature many exclusive items... Read entire article

Photo by Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times

Photo by Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times

Museum and tours show a hidden slice of San Francisco

September 8, 2015. By Lee Romney

"Look up! Look up!" Kathy Looper beckoned to the small group embarking on a Tenderloin walking tour here last week. "It's important to look up and not just watch where you're stepping."

This neighborhood is known to many for its homeless and impoverished residents, for single-resident-occupancy hotels and the needles and human waste that litter the sidewalks.

But there is a hidden Tenderloin, with a rich past and a surprising present.

It is that history that the Tenderloin Museum and its walking tours seek to illuminate... Read entire article



Chambers at the Phoenix hotel

Chambers at the Phoenix hotel

There's something remarkable happening in San Francisco's Tenderloin district

August 31, 2015. By Alec Scott 

There’s a drama playing out here of a progressive city trying to save its soul.

Concierges in downtown San Francisco hotels have long warned visitors against the Tenderloin – don’t go there, just don’t – which is a shame because there’s something remarkable happening here. New businesses and attractions are opening at a breakneck pace. While the area is still a little rough, there are now schoolchildren on the streets and some money is flowing in, along with something else less tangible bubbling up: local pride of place... Read entire article



An exhibit at San Francisco’s Tenderloin Museum documents changes in the neighborhood.

Discoveries: S.F.'s Tenderloin Museum presents neighborhood in perspectives

August 29, 2015. By Sam McManis

SAN FRANCISCO --- Take a walk down Eddy Street. Resist the urge to walk fast with head down. Take in the acute, sometimes acrid, sensory details of these city blocks, the beating, arrhythmic heart of the Tenderloin. Be vigilant and streetwise, but don’t succumb to fear, for there is much to see and experience in San Francisco’s most notorious and misunderstood neighborhood.

A stoop-shouldered merchant sweeps the entryway of the Superette 128 market, careful not to disturb a homeless man, and his dog, curled up sleeping nearby. Men linger outside the Herald Hotel, jawing and guffawing and swigging from 40-ouncers. Kids frolic on the swings and jungle gym at verdant Boeddeker Park, the roar of their playful squeals... Read entire article


Interior of Tenderloin Museum — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Interior of Tenderloin Museum — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy

Don't 'Avoid the Tenderloin': Learn Its History at Neighborhood Museum

August 22, 2015. By Thomas Molanphy

With San Francisco changing at breakneck speed, museums that capture the past are becoming more and more important. As old bars and restaurants are replaced with shiny new ones, there's one neighborhood whose rough-and-tumble past might actually be protecting its future.

As the tech boom transforms San Francisco on an almost hourly basis, the Tenderloin – with over 400 buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places – remains mostly protected. (A lot of the credit for that goes to the tireless efforts of Randy Shaw, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.)        ...Read entire article 


Tenderloin, a documentary play by Annie Elias

Tenderloin, a documentary play by Annie Elias

Cutting Ball Theater and the Tenderloin Museum Read Tenderloin

August 13, 2015.  By Peter Lawrence Kane

Just as nearby PianoFight has quickly established itself as a major force in Tenderloin nightlife, theTenderloin Museum is already making an indelible mark on the neighborhood’s cultural map. The museum, together with Cutting Ball Theater, will stage a reading of the 2012 play Tenderloin, a documentary theater piece initially commissioned by Cutting Ball.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, actors and co-creators from the original production (including Tristan Cunningham, Siobhan Doherty, and David Sinaiko) will read exerpts from Annie Elias’s work, an aggregation of some 40 interviews conducted with Tenderloin inhabitants. Included are photographer and long-time TL resident Mark Ellinger, Cadillac Hotel owner and activist Kathy Looper, Aunt Charlie’s bartender Colette, a former captain of the SFPD’s Tenderloin precinct, a rep from an organization that provides massage care for the homeless, and someone whose job it is to clean the city’s grittiest streets... Read entire article


Randy Shaw and the new Tenderloin museum. Joe Rosato Jr. reports. (Published Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015)

San Francisco's New Tenderloin Museum: Stories Beyond the Grit

August 6, 2015.  By Joe Rosato Jr.

Randy Shaw stood in the center of the Tenderloin museum he’d long pined for. He beamed as he took in the walls of vintage photos, the nooks cloaked in red Victorian wallpaper, and an early flipper-less pinball machine once used for gambling.

Six years prior, Shaw had hatched his vision of a museum devoted to telling the Tenderloin’s long forgotten story - a tale that veered deeper and wider than its current reputation as a drug-infested lair for the down and out.

The Tenderloin museum opened recently in a storefront at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth in the historic Cadillac Hotel, a residential community for low-income people. Shaw saw past the graffiti-scrawled walls to envision a vessel for the area’s colorful tales... Read entire article


A mysterious airstream trailer sits atop 132 Turk St., a building that houses Bulldog Baths Resort. According to Hoodline, the airstream was lifted atop the building as a construction trailer during 2009 renovation and has now just become a quirk of the Tenderloin.  Photo by Todd Johnson, San Francisco Business Times

A mysterious airstream trailer sits atop 132 Turk St., a building that houses Bulldog Baths Resort. According to Hoodline, the airstream was lifted atop the building as a construction trailer during 2009 renovation and has now just become a quirk of the Tenderloin. 

Photo by Todd Johnson, San Francisco Business Times

New projects poised to finally reshape S.F.'s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood

August 6, 2015.  By Cory Weinberg

The Tenderloin Museum opened last month on the ground floor of the Cadillac Hotel, surrounded on three corners by single-room occupancy hotels that house some of the city’s poorest residents. The museum walls show off black-and-white photos and news clippings about the Tenderloin’s rise and fall – from a thriving entertainment district to one that guidebooks caution tourists to avoid.

Now that the museum has charted the neighborhood’s past, Tenderloin and city leaders are balancing equal parts optimism and angst about its future ... Read entire article

Photo by Leigh Wiener

Photo by Leigh Wiener

Celebrating the Tenderloin

July 31st 2015. BY B.S.

SAN FRANCISCO was one of several cities dubbed the “Paris of the West” in the early 20th century. The description was inspired by the charms of the Tenderloin district, an area that bustled with commerce and high culture after it avoided the worst of the 1906 earthquake that levelled three-quarters of the city.

From that high point the Tenderloin's reputation foundered, but its vibrancy did not. It became the place where San Francisco’s supposed undesirables—including a century’s worth of immigrants, as well as gay men in the 1950s and transgender women in the 1960s—found refuge in affordable, centrally located housing and a dynamic community. The area takes its name from the days when policemen working the area accepted sufficient bribes to be able to buy the best meat...Read entire article

Ceiling lights depict the neighborhood's blocks.  

Ceiling lights depict the neighborhood's blocks.


The Tenderloin Museum Has Ceiling Lights in the Shape of the Tenderloin

July 22, 2015.  By Lawrence Kane

The Tenderloin Museum opened last week to much fanfare, highlighting the different strains of social activism and underground culture that have kept the neighborhood at the forefront of San Francisco’s consciousness for more than 100 years: labor struggles, LGBT rights, feminism, sex work, and more.

It’s a small institution, approximately the same size as the GLBT Museum in the Castro, except right off the bat, the programming is dynamic. Tomorrow (Thursday, July 23), the museum will screen an unseen-for-50-years KQED documentary called Drugs in the Tenderloin, with director Robert Zagone doing a Q&A...Read entire article


Location of the new Tenderloin museum

Location of the new Tenderloin museum

Tenderloin History Museum exhibits neighborhood’s rich history

July 17, 2015. Molly Martinez

A new museum that opened today beneath the historic single-room occupancy Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District aspires to preserve relics of the neighborhood from bygone eras and share its history of vice, corruption, activism and art.

Situated at the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth streets, the Tenderloin Museum, a project of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, uses old photographs, fliers, posters and newspaper clippings to inform visitors of the neighborhood’s legacy as a place of refuge for new, often misunderstood, ideas...Read entire article

KQED broadcast of the opening of the Tenderloin museum.

A New Museum in a Changing Tenderloin

July 16, 2015.  By Jessica Placzek

The museum focuses on the Tenderloin’s influence on counterculture going all the way back to the 1906 earthquake. It has exhibits on the neighborhood’s ties to Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual (LGBT) movements, housing activism and gambling.

“If you wanted to gamble, the Tenderloin was where you came,” Shaw says. “We were the gambling capital of the bay area.” He attributes the fall of the Tenderloin to gambling being outlawed. “After that, we had no economic purpose,” Shaw says.

The museum also offers walking tours of the Tenderloin. Along the way, guides will point out architectural gems, infamous bars and places where historic events occurred, like the location where the Grateful Dead recorded the seminal album American Beauty...Read entire article

Photo by Connor Radnovich, The Chronicle

Photo by Connor Radnovich, The Chronicle

New Tenderloin museum celebrates area’s gritty history

July 16, 2015. By Sam Whiting

Dense with sturdy old high-rise rentals, protected SRO hotels and nonprofit landlords, the Tenderloin is San Francisco’s last bulwark against gentrification.
That resistance is worthy of a museum, and one opens at 11 a.m. Thursday, with Mayor Ed Lee presiding over the ceremony.

The Tenderloin Museum, which hugs the corner of Eddy and Leavenworth, in a glass-walled space once held by a Sizzler steak house, tells the ribald story in pictures, postcards, show programs, restaurant menus... Read entire article


New Tenderloin Museum Showcases the Heart of a Forgotten Neighborhood

July 16, 2015. By Marina Smith

The Tenderloin, although sometimes forgotten, glossed over, and avoided, has deep roots in San Francisco's rich history and heritage. The new Tenderloin Museum, opening July 16, celebrates the underbelly of the city and its fascinating, if often unrecognized, history.

Home to countless activists and iconoclasts, the Tenderloin was the birth place of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and played host to Miles Davis the moment he became a jazz legend at the Black Hawk. It was the geographic center of the burgeoning 1960s LGBT civil rights movement, and has become home to immigrants from all over the world. The new museum seeks to recognize the rippling, vibrant, and gritty reality of the Tenderloin's past and present by telling the story of a community...Read entire article