Arts & Economic Development

Chinatown has a rich history and provides an authentic experience for visitors because of its thriving resident and merchant population. Throughout the year, numerous open-air street fairs and events take place such as the Chinese New Year Parade and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Art projects help enhance the neighborhood’s character, from murals like the one on the face of the International Hotel, to public art pieces like the Language of Birds installation at Columbus and Broadway.

Chinatown CDC also supports the neighborhood’s economic development. We track up-to-date information on all Chinatown businesses. We also organize neighborhood promotional events like the Noodle Fest—a partnership between Chinatown and North Beach food vendors. The arts, culture, history, and people who live and work here can bring investment into the community and provide a rich experience for visitors and locals alike.

Neighborhood Promotional Events
Chinatown CDC organizes several street fairs every year, including Arts in the Alley street fairs and the Noodle Fest. Chinatown CDC partners with the North Beach Merchants Association to put on Noodle Fest, an annual food festival showcasing local restaurants from Chinatown and North Beach. The event draws thousands of local SF and Bay Area residents who enjoy great food, music, and dancing. The first Noodle Fest took place in 2010 along Grant Avenue and attracted over 5,000 visitors.

Public Art
Chinatown CDC has worked to install many public art works in the Chinatown area. We have helped produce murals and installations at the International Hotel, the Chinese Recreation Center, and in Chinatown alleyways.

In 2007, with artist Johanna Poethig and advisor Nancy Hom, Chinatown CDC spearheaded a three-year project to create a mural for the International Hotel. We installed the mural in 2010 on the Kearny Street face of the building overlooking Chinatown.  Depicting Filipino and Chinese elders and community members who lived at the I-Hotel, the mural is a testament to the I-Hotel’s decades-long struggle for low-income housing and the vibrant community life of what was once Manilatown.

In 2009 Chinatown CDC worked with the Chinese Culture Center, Kearny Street Workshop, and the Intersection for the Arts to develop a program to address a number of vacant storefronts in Chinatown using public artwork. To beautify the neighborhood, create a draw for visitors, and to attract potential commercial tenants, the Art in Storefronts program began to display the work of local artists in these storefronts. The program was expanded in 2010 to install murals and storefront installations in alleyways throughout Chinatown.
 

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