in civic center public spaces

In San Francisco’s central civic spaces you’ll find art, events, places to eat
and people to meet.

Location: Civic Center Plaza

The free, family-friendly Civic Center Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting returns on December 4, 4-7pm!


The Exploratorium’s new outdoor installation on the western steps of the San Francisco Main Library – Middle Ground: Reconsidering Ourselves and Others  features 14 interactive, multimedia exhibits.

Middle Ground hopes to inspire bystanders to examine our biases and stereotypes, how we work as a team, the stories we tell ourselves about other people and how we all interact with each other subconsciously in our daily lives. (more…)

Update: Please note the dance classes are on a hiatus as of October 1, 2019; and will return at a later date.

Original post: For 12 weeks, starting August 22, LINES Dance Center is hosting free, 30-minute pop-up interactive dance performances in UN Plaza every Thursday at 1 pm. Watch or join these interactive outdoor performances — weather permitting — led by LINES Dance Center faculty!

Classes run through November 14, 2019.

Join us at the Friday Farmers Market & Bazaar – A NEW market day has launched in UN Plaza: every Friday, from 7am to 4pm, UN Plaza features the best of San Francisco! Grab fresh fruits and veggies, buy gifts from local vendors, and grab lunch at delicious food stalls representing cuisine from diverse communities throughout the City.


The popular open air art gallery, Red Umbrellas, will be opening their signature-red sunshades and featuring local artists’ works in Civic Center Plaza once a month (weather permitting).

To see the schedule of when to spot the red umbrellas in Civic Center, visit the Red Umbrellas’ website, which features a monthly calendar.


Location: Civic Center Plaza

On sunny days in Civic Center, look for games from Kartma – Downtown Streets Team’s motorized tuk tuk packed with fun! Rolling out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11am-3pm and Thursdays 1-5pm in Civic Center Plaza, Kartma features free games such as giant Jenga, darts and cornhole.

Rally the office crew or grab a few friends, enjoy your lunch in the sun, and see who really excels at lawn games.

Learn more about Downtown Streets Team and the Tuk Tuk here.



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adjacent civic center public spaces

Bordering Civic Center public spaces are museums, cultural institutions, historic
concert halls and architectural wonders.

A San Francisco treasure, this historic landmark is boasts the largest (or 2nd largest) free-standing dome in North America. The offices of our city government and host to countless ceremonies, City Hall’s distinct features can be found inside and out. City Hall’s ground floor serves as an art gallery, curated by the San Francisco Arts Commission . The exterior of the building is illuminated every evening and often features colors to celebrate or honor an event, cause or the life of someone who has passed. To find out What Color is City Hall Tonight, Click here.
Tours offered Monday through Friday, 10am, noon, and 2pm. For more info on City Hall tours, visit here.
City Hall is open to the public, Monday through Friday, 8am to 8pm. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

Explore City Hall website here.

The neon light art on the west side of Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, W.F.T (San Francisco), by acclaimed conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth, “reflects the historical significance of the Auditorium while also demonstrating how words reveal relationships to cultural and social realties,” according the San Francisco Arts Commission. The piece, Kosuth’s first permanent public artwork on a landmark building in the US and the San Francisco’s first major project funded by the City’s Public Art Trust, involves large-scale neon light typeface on the exterior of building and employs words and definitions that are synonymous with Bill Graham Auditorium and Civic Center.

The piece is funded by the Emerald Fund, through the Public Art Trust.

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, operated by Another Planet Entertainment, is a multi-purpose venue used for corporate events, trade shows, sports, and most notably, live music concerts. The historic venue has hosted countless monumental acts, from groundbreaking legends such as The Grateful Dead, The Who, and Janice Joplin to their contemporaries, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gorillaz, and Lady Gaga.

Initially conceived as the grand hall for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, this treasured landmark eventually became a stand-alone musical venue and was renamed as the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in 1992 to honor the late San Francisco concert promoter.
Find out about upcoming events here.

The Asian Art Museum houses one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world. The Museum curates internationally-renowned work and offers a variety of workshops as well as other experiences. It is also home to a new and updated cafe – Sunday at the Museum. The Museum’s mission extends beyond its four walls, featuring a growing outdoor exhibit of local artists on the museum’s entrance terrace on Larkin Street, and at the Art / Lit Living Innovation Zone on Fulton Street at Larkin .
Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm, Closed Mondays
Visit the Asian Art Museum website here.

The Main Library is San Francisco’s oldest library. The Library serves as an essential community space for the greater neighborhood. As the resource center for the entire San Francisco Public Library system, its extensive collection and diverse programming draw residents from across the city on a daily basis. In summer of 2016, the Library and Mayor Lee opened the Library’s digital technology center for teens: The Mix at SFPL.
Sun 12pm-5pm, Mon-Wed 9am-8pm, Fri 12pm-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm
For upcoming events, click here.

The SHN Orpheum Theatre was built in 1926 as a showcase for theatre magnate Alexander Pantages, and in the past showed vaudeville, silent films, and motion pictures. The interior features a vaulted ceiling complete with a masterfully ornate chandelier, while the facade was patterned after a 12th-century French cathedral.
Today it is where SHN showcases world-renowned theater productions including The Lion King, Wicked, and most recently, a six-month tour of Hamilton (returning 2018).
Just a bit further, but still walking distance, SHN also owns and operates the Golden Gate Theatre .
Visit SHN Orpheum Theatre website here.

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