The Presidents holiday weekend was ideal for checking out a satellite exhibit in San Francisco for “The Art of Living Black” (TAOLB), an annual bay area black artist’s exhibition and self-guided art tour. Over the weekend, I visited the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) home to various afro-centric art and cultural organizations, including the Sergeant Johnson Gallery and the African American Historical and Cultural Society (AAHCS). The AAACC was also the venue for the San Francisco Black LGBT Film Festival. Yes, one can say I got my BLACK on this past weekend!
In addition to visiting the art venues I enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather and sparkling San Francisco bay. Seasoned travelers with time constraints know the best use of travel time is a guided tour with a local friend or acquaintance. On rather short notice, I managed to link up with Canadian travelers who were in town for only two nights. I organized a fun day on the bay and visit to places of interest within a short distance of their hotel, the fabulous Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square. They were the perfect visitors flexible, spontaneous and considerate. Gracious guests do inspire warm hospitality and a fun time for all.
My motivation for trekking over to the city on Saturday (2/17) was to attend the S.F. Black LGBT Film Festival. At the risk of sounding pissy, I must report the term “festival” is most assuredly a misnomer for this event. I won’t go into details about ticketing problems and an undelivered feature film–the event is a modest and apparently poorly organized community project of the San Francisco Black Coalition on AIDS (BCOA). Film festival enthusiasts are forewarned this is not a travel destination event. In support of the volunteers, I will say they remained admirably congenial while dealing with one logistical problem after the other and low attendance.
Another fortunate circumstance of the S.F. BCOA event is that it was located at the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) a well-established nexus for Black performing artists in the bay area. The Burial Clay Theatre has been the site of many performances by resident theatre companies including Cultural Odyssey, AfroSolo and the African American Shakespeare Company. If you ever see an announcement for a performance by the Medea Project: Theatre for Incarcerated Women, run don’t walk to purchase your ticket or reserve a seat.