Holiday shopping, anti-gentrification style

Pub date December 6, 2013
WriterReed Nelson
SectionPolitics Blog

Anti-gentrification isn’t just a hot-button issue in San Francisco. It’s core-of-the-sun hot.

And that’s why Prensa POBRE/POOR Magazine, a magazine dedicated to giving marginalized populations a voice, is hosting the “Anti-Gentrification Arts Market in the Gentrified Mission District of San Francisco” on Saturday (12/7).

The event, taking place at POOR Magazine (2940 16th Street in San Francisco) from 4-7pm, is prominently featuring a lineup of artists that have been directly affected by the rapid gentrification of San Francisco.

The idea is to support folks who have been hard hit by evictions, displacement and gross speculation that has been plaguing Mission District, said Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, of the PoorNews Network.

“There has been a war on poor black and brown folks, and for us to even be here as artists and as poor folk is an act of resistance in itself,” said Tiny. “All of us artists are poor mommy’s and daddy’s and young people and it takes a lot to get us off the hustle even for a day to be here.”

The event will begin with a prayer said by Ohlone First Nations People of the Bay, then transition into a combination of live performances and a gallery-style art exhibition.

The featured art will be for sale, and in addition to the diverse collection of artwork, there will be performances by Fly Benzo, a local rapper/mentor, and a play put on by the Youth Skolaz Revolutionary Puppet Theatre.

There will also be food, which promises to be both diverse in origin and healthy in content. It will be available on a sliding scale, which, according to Tiny, essentially means, ‘Pay what you can.’ “If you can afford to pay for it, then sure,” said Tiny. “But if you can’t, then don’t worry.”

But the featured event-within-the-event will undoubtedly be a lengthy reading from Born N’ Raised in Frisco, a book compiled and workshopped in part by Tiny and Tony Robles. The book, chronicling the lives of native San Franciscans, tells the stories that, according to Tiny, are always talked about, but rarely are they told from the actual perspective of those who lived it.

“It’s a power thing for us poor people, many of us who have been gentri-fucked out of our own communities, to be able to share our voices, our artwork and our stories,” said Tiny.

“It’ll be a really good time, with some really good food and really great art.”