Angel Island Insight #8: Megan & Chris Wong

ANGEL ISLAND IN SIGHT 2021 is a visual storytelling project focused on Angel Island — a collective portrait of Angel Island drawn from a multitude of views — near and far, past and present. Del Sol Performing Arts Organization’s ANGEL ISLAND INSIGHT explores the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station by offering a suite of virtual and in-person programs that examines the musicality of the disappearing Hoisan-wa dialect by The Last Hoisan Poets and The Del Sol Quartet. public engagement with Del Sol Quartet & Huang Ruo’s Angel Island – Oratorio for Voices and Strings.

MEGAN and CHRIS WONG’s grandfathers were held in the Angel Island Immigration Station barracks. In 1929, Edmund Fong (Gung Gung) arrived in the belly of his mother Wun Shee Fong, who was five months pregnant. Gew Thet Wong (Ye Ye) arrived on Angel Island in 1931.

In 2021, the siblings offer their behind-the-scenes portrait of Beloved Community for Angel Island Insight.

Angel Island Insight. Directed and Edited by Chris Wong. 2021.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit http://www.calhum.org

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

ANGEL ISLAND: IN SIGHT 2021 at the Angel Island Immigration Station is made possible with support from North East Medical Services (NEMS). https://www.nems.org/

Angel Island Insight #7: Heather Knight

ANGEL ISLAND IN SIGHT 2021 is a visual storytelling project focused on Angel Island — a collective portrait of Angel Island drawn from a multitude of views — near and far, past and present. Del Sol Performing Arts Organization’s ANGEL ISLAND INSIGHT explores the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station by offering a suite of virtual and in-person programs that examines the musicality of the disappearing Hoisan-wa dialect by The Last Hoisan Poets and The Del Sol Quartet. public engagement with Del Sol Quartet & Huang Ruo’s Angel Island – Oratorio for Voices and Strings.


What a beautiful day in the bay. Took the ferry to Angel Island and hiked to the top. Back to work Monday. Sounds like there’s plenty to write about. 😉 #TotalSF

HEATHER KNIGHT 5:41 PM · Apr 2, 2021·Twitter for iPhone


Heather Knight is a columnist working out of City Hall and covering everything from politics to homelessness to family flight and the quirks of living in one of the most fascinating cities in the world. She believes in holding politicians accountable for their decisions or, often, lack thereof – and telling the stories of real people and their struggles.

She co-hosts the Chronicle’s TotalSF podcast and co-founded its #TotalSF program to celebrate the wonder and whimsy of San Francisco.

Two decades ago, Heather visited Angel Island and following a group of students visiting the Immigration Barracks on a field trip.

“About 47,000 Bay Area students — ranging from fourth grade to college — take the Angel Island tour every year, said Ellen Loring, volunteer coordinator for the Angel Island Association. Weekday field trips are booked solid through June.

Cap Wilhelm-Safian, who teaches English and history at River Glen, a Spanish immersion school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, said he’s taken students to Angel Island for six years.

“I find with students that to actually experience something and be in the place, it brings it home,” he said. “It’s important for them to understand that everybody in this country is an immigrant. It expands their sense of community beyond the school.”

Kids Learn Angel Island Not Always Heavenly by Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer, Jan. 26, 2001.

Today, in 2021, ferry service from San Francisco to Angel Island is in question. Facing declining ridership, increased operating costs and plummeting revenues even before the pandemic, Blue & Gold Fleet submitted a request to the California Public Utilities Commission to discontinue passenger trips from The City to both Angel Island and Tiburon. “We just strongly believe there has to be direct service from San Francisco to Angel Island. “Not having that is similar to not having direct service from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty,” says Ed Tepporn, Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.

The CPUC values your input. Submit your public comment HERE.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit http://www.calhum.org

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

ANGEL ISLAND: IN SIGHT 2021 at the Angel Island Immigration Station is made possible with support from North East Medical Services (NEMS). https://www.nems.org/

Angel Island Insight #5: Christine Huhn

ANGEL ISLAND IN SIGHT 2021 is a visual storytelling project focused on Angel Island — a collective portrait of Angel Island drawn from a multitude of views — near and far, past and present. Del Sol Performing Arts Organization’s ANGEL ISLAND INSIGHT explores the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station by offering a suite of virtual and in-person programs that examines the musicality of the disappearing Hoisan-wa dialect by The Last Hoisan Poets and The Del Sol Quartet. public engagement with Del Sol Quartet & Huang Ruo’s Angel Island – Oratorio for Voices and Strings.

Christine Huhn. Native Oak Limbs near Sunrise Campsites, 2021. Silver Gelatin Print. 16″ x 20″

When Andi approached me about the Angel Island Insight Project, I thought this would just be a great opportunity to visit a California State Park I had never been to. On my first visit to the Island, I was immediately drawn to the natural dichotomy within the landscape. The native oak and invasive eucalyptus trees subtly reflect the dichotomy of the treatment of the European and Chinese immigrants that came through the Island. The vegetation and structural ruins encompassing the Island visually represent the varied history and time passed through the landscape. Angel Island has become a deep inspiration to me and my work. When I spoke with friends about the project, some had never been to the Island including many SF natives. I have always been most interested to visit lesser known landscapes, as I hope my work highlights and informs the public of these beautiful and historically rich places.

Christine Huhn, preservation photographer, www.christinehuhn.com


Christine Huhn by Micaela Go

CHRISTINE HUHN (b. 1984) is a visual artist and cultural heritage professional who grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, less than five miles from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This connection to the landscape has deeply influenced her work, which focuses on preserving cultural landscapes through film photography and historic photographic processes. She received her bachelor of fine arts in photography from the State University of New York at New Paltz and her master of arts in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design where she was awarded a SCAD Honors Scholarship and inducted into Sigma Pi Kappa: National Historic Preservation Honors Society.

In 2021, Christine exhibited her work Can We See Time at the Napa County Library in Napa, CA. Her work has been selected for several group exhibitions nationally, most notably at the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature, New Museum Los Gatos, and The Center for Fine Art Photography. Over the past ten years, Christine has volunteered at many non-profit organizations including; the National Park Service, the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, Baltimore Heritage, and the Historic Preservation Office (Washington, DC). She has been awarded artist residencies at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation, and Kala Art Institute. Christine currently lives in San Francisco, CA. 

Photo: Christine at Land’s End by MICAELA GO, http://www.micaelago.com/

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit http://www.calhum.org

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

ANGEL ISLAND: IN SIGHT 2021 at the Angel Island Immigration Station is made possible with support from North East Medical Services (NEMS). https://www.nems.org/

The Peach Tree

On Tuesday morning, artist/poet/educator Flo Oy Wong shared her photo of these gorgeous peaches ripening on a tree in school garden near her home. Sweet Dawn, Flo’s neighborhood walking partner, wanted to bring her friends to enjoy the vibrant school garden, home of milkweed plants and more.

“From my morning exploration at the school garden behind my house. The insects – wasps, bees, ladybugs, Monarchs (big ones) – were plentiful.”

insects
pollinate now
wasps lady bug bees buzz
on sunflowers milkweed grapevines
near by

FLO OY WONG
July 28, 2021

Two days later on Thursday morning, Flo and her neighborhood walking partners, Wonderful Wendy and Sweet Dawn were so sad. They discovered that the peach tree had been cut down. Flo wrote a poem, Robust Peaches 2, about the giving volunteer tree — now a memory shared by friends.

Flo Oy Wong reads her poem, “Robust Peaches 2”
Robust Peaches 2
Robust peaches, 
kissed by the sun,  
grow by a low concrete 
wall at the neighborhood 
school.

Robust peaches.

The peach tree’s inviting 
palette, a deep reddish hue 
with gold undertones, glow 
under azure sky.
Abundance of fruit weighs
heavily on limbs limping 
towards ground, enchanting
walkers who pass by. 

Robust peaches.

One day, workers tear down
the peach tree, a volunteer one.
No one planted it.
It just grew.
Soon, when children return,
masked or double-masked,
to start the new school year,
the peach tree, pregnant with
bounty, will no longer be there.

Robust peaches.

FLO OY WONG
July 29, 2021

Unidentified Artist An Immortal on a Cloud with a Pair of Peaches, 20th century China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911) Leaf from an album; ink on paper; H. 9 11/16 in. (24.6 cm); W. 12 in. (30.5 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Fritzi and Murray Sanders, 1984 (1984.492.1) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/51866

THE PEACH (Prunus persica, Rosaceae) is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears edible juicy fruits with various characteristics, most called peaches and others, nectarines.

The peach tree is widely thought to have origins in China, but its evolutionary history is largely unknown. The oldest evidence for the peach has been Chinese archaeological records dating to 8000–7000 BP.

Various American Indian tribes are credited with migrating the peach tree across the United States, taking seeds along with them and planting as they roved the country. Today, California produces 65 percent of the total US crop of peaches.

Peaches are not only a popular fruit, but also are symbolic in many cultural traditions, such as in art, paintings, and folk tales such as Peaches of Immortality.

The Peach Blossom Spring is a fable written by Chinese poet Tao Yuanming (365-427) in 421 CE about “the chance discovery of an ethereal utopia where people lead an ideal existence in harmony with nature, unaware of the outside world for centuries.” 

This stunning video is generated by a model which simulates complex interactions within the tree, including growth, carbon partitioning among organs and responses to environmental, management and genetic factors. The model presented here is of a peach tree but is not calibrated to a specific tree.  Developed by Mitch Allen, P. Prusinkiewicz and T. DeJong in partnership with The Virtual Tree. From the UC DAVIS Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center.

WikiHow: How to Start a Peach Tree from a Pit / How to Plant a Peach Tree

Peach (Prunus persica)

The Heirloom Project with Roots and Shoots was created by ArtsEd4All to encourage the harvesting and sharing of free seeds with friends. The project shares stories and free resources about seed saving, planting and other small acts of kindness that can be taken to help pollinators, people and the environment.

Angel Island Insight: Sound Waves

A Map of Poetry and Music: Sound Waves from Angel Island to the Shore


Angel Island Immigration Station

“Angel Island Poem” sung by HUANG RUO

Chrissy Field Outlook

“Nine Poems for Angel Island” DEL SOL QUARTET

Mountain Lake

“Searching for Grub” by FLO OY WONG

Internet Archive

頭本太真外傳·頭段 (1925) by 梅蘭芳 MEI LANFANG

Clement Street

“Ode to Richmond District” by NORMA RODRIGUEZ

San Francisco Botanical Gardens

“Caterpillars” by FLO OY WONG

Japanese Tea Gardens

“Bunbuku Chagama,” as told by Brenda Wong Aoki

Argonne Community Garden

“Quince Blossoms Emerge” by MARA GRIMES

Ocean Beach

“Hope is Contagious” by VICTOR YAN

One Day in San Francisco – Your Day, Your City, Your Future

In 2020, as San Franciscans wear face masks and shelter in place to keep each other safe during the coronavirus pandemic, schools and families are supporting students through long distance learning. The video footage for ONE DAY IN SF, submitted six years ago by the ArtsEd4All community, to represent a day in the life of San Franciscans in 2014 has become a poignant reminder that perhaps we should revisit these ten questions once again.

The success of ONE DAY ON EARTH led to the “Your Day. Your City. Your Future.” initiative that focused on harnessing the power of a 24 hour filming event locally. Four years later, on April 26th, 2014, hundreds of filmmakers, non-profit organizations, and inspired citizens were invited to join ONE DAY IN SF to document stories that most affect the future of San Francisco as part of a city-wide, participatory media-creation event. The resulting media was showcase in an interactive, geo-tagged archive.

Participants were invited to explore ten questions for the future of your city.

One Day in San Francisco – April 26, 2014

Your Day. Your City. Your Future. launched with 11 US cities on April 26, 2014, leveraging the power of hyper-local storytelling and the medium of film to capture and archive authentic, compelling narratives in urban areas. Students and their families were invited to participate by recording and sharing video of their one day for the project.

The students in Ms. Contreras’ sixth grade class at Rooftop share their plans for Saturday, April 26, 2014. Written and Illustrated responses by Ms. Contreras’ sixth graders at Rooftop Alternative K-8 School.

Turning the pages of history to set context for the passage of time on April 26, 2014. School days as depicted in the Twin Peaks School publicity books of the 20’s & 30’s, and the student-created yearbooks for Rooftop School in the 70’s & 80’s.

A morning drive down Ellis Street, en route to the luggage store annex at 509 Ellis Street. In the gallery window, artist Dustin Fontenot’s tiny washing machine is spinning. Chatting with Jackie, a resident of Ellis Street, as she sweeps the sidewalk clean in front of the Luggage Store Annex.

Capturing a quiet morning in the Tenderloin National Forest, an on-going project of luggage store gallery. One of the very few open spaces in a high density neighborhood of over 40,000 culturally and ethnically diverse residents, Tenderloin National Forest is surrounded by multi-story residential buildings and hotels that house formerly homeless, immigrant individuals and families, as well as seniors, artists, active drug users, dealers and others. The Tenderloin Children’s Playground is situated directly across the street.

5th Grader Stella conducts a weekend experiment on the corner of Post and Lyon streets. She uses her Flip cam to document what happens at the corner. Look. Listen. STOP.

The Smiths say that the best part of Saturday is soccer. The girls take to the South Sunset Playground soccer field, where they give a cheer for their team, the Rooftop Wranglers.

The Vazquez family and friends throw a block party on April 26, 2014. The neighborhood children come out to enjoy face painting, music, and an egg toss on a bright, breezy day on Madrid Street.

Fifth Grader Nathan takes a trip to Fort Funston.

On Saturday, April 26th, the San Francisco Giants hosted the Cleveland Indians at AT&T Park to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of 1954 World Series championship, a four game sweep over the favored Indians by the New York Giants. The Series is perhaps best-remembered for “The Catch”, a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1. The first 30,000 to enter the park struck gold, receiving a replica of the 1954 World Series ring. To mark the occasion, the “Say Hey Kid,” escorted 3-year old Cody Harrington of Oakland to the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Harrington waved at the cameras as Sergio Romo signed his ball. The ballpark was filled with a new generation of “Say Hey” kids slamming home runs, rounding the bases, and rooting for the home team.

“I believe the day will come when all God’s children, from bass black to treble white, will be significant on the Constitution’s keyboard.” Words etched in stone beside the cascading waters of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Yerba Buena Gardens.

There is a prompt that is sometimes used to help students to refocus when there is too much chatter in a classroom. The teacher will get the class attention by saying the words “Peace and…,” letting the sounds of the words hang in the air a bit. In unison, the students will complete the phrase. “Quiet.” Sometimes this needs to happen a few times before the classroom gets quieted back down.

The piano comes up from the depths, in preparation San Francisco Symphony’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pathéthique at Davies Symphony Hall on April 26, 2014. The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s final completed symphony. The composer led the first performance in Saint Petersburg on October 2, 1893, nine days before his death.

7:00pm – 10:00pm – Blade, the Rooftop Rock Band, takes the stage to sing “Alien Nation” at The Battle of the Bands at the Contemporary Jewish Museum on April 26, 2014. Blade features Kiran on lead vocals, Jared on lead guitar, Andy on electric guitar, Ben on electric bass, and Liam on drums. The band is supported by Rooftop parent / Blue Bear School of Music instructor Mike Rao.

10/10/10 +10 = “One Day on Earth”

“One Day on Earth” – The 10th Anniversary Screening

ONE DAY ON EARTH is the first film made in every country of the world on the same day — October 10, 2010. The United Nations and over 60 non-profit organizations participated, and they collectively created over 3000 hours of video, an interactive geo-tagged archive, as well as a groundbreaking feature film. It has been decade since the 10/10/10 global filming! Yes, the world is wildly different… but also not.

Join ONE DAY ON EARTH Director Kyle Ruddick and producer Brandon Litman, as they take a peek into the time capsule.

What: One Day on Earth 10th Anniversary Screening with live interactive commentary from the Filmmakers and Q and A following.
 
When: Live TODAY – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2020 – Introduction 4:45pm PT, screening starts at 5pm PT (7:45pm ET / 8pm ET). We will post a replay link shortly after the screening. 
 
Where: On the homepage – no password need.

One Day on Earth – Motion Picture Trailer from One Day on Earth on Vimeo.

Who could have imagined the future that we are now living in 2020?

Marking April 26, 2024 on the ArtsEd4All calendar, four years from now, with a reminder to look back at the tenth anniversary of ONE DAY IN SF.

Global Slow Marathon 2020: Under One Sky

SLOW MARATHON 2020: UNDER ONE SKY Illustration: Jacques Coetzer

بنی‌آدم اعضای یک پیکرند که در آفرينش ز یک گوهرند
Human beings are members of a whole, since in their creation they are of one essence.
— Saadi Shirazi

Slow Marathon 2020: Under One Sky is a collaborative artwork supported by Deveron Projects, based in Huntly, a market town in the north east of Scotland with a population of 4,500. The Slow Marathon is an annual walking event, which Deveron Projects co-concepted with Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede in 2012. Celebrating the human pace, it is both an endurance event as well as a poetic act, that brings together friendship, physical activity and an appreciation of our varied landscape. Before responding to the pandemic, this year’s Slow Marathon was initially planned for Saturday, June 13 as a 26 mile /42 km walk.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iman Tajik, a Glasgow based artist and photographer originally from Iran, re-imagined the annual event as one of global solidarity through collective participation. Borders and the movement of freedom are his key subject matters – influenced by his personal experience of crossing borders. Through the Under One Sky project, artist Iman Tajik is forging a digitally collaborative relationship with many walkers across the world. He is collecting photos of the sky that people see when they look up while walking, and these images will be brought together in a massive artwork, created by all of the participants.

Our current climate adopts an increasing fear of the outsider into our lives and homes. Some of our politician’s rhetoric about Covid-19 being a ‘foreign virus’; subsequent border closures – they all play into existing xenophobia. The virus however, doesn’t acknowledge borders. A pandemic affected us all. So, what can we do to show that we all live under one sky?

An open invitation, sharing Iman’s poetic goal to walk around the world, was put out via social media calling for Global Slow Marathon participants. Together, we would walk 40,075 km / 22,091 miles, equaling the circumference of the Earth.

The Skywalker FAM

On July 9, 2020 Flo Oy Wong shared that her walking partner rescued this Western tiger swallowtail butterfly, which was stuck on the street. She found a long twig and gently lifted it and placed the butterfly on an agapanthus flower.

On July 9, 2020, a trio of friends who enjoy a daily walk around their respective Bay Area neighborhoods accepted the Global Slow Marathon invitation. Flo Oy Wong, Andi Wong and Mara Grimes dubbed their walking group, The Skywalker FAM. They were soon joined by Maggy, Antigone, Jan, Margaret and Anna Maria, along with other friends who have pledged to walk soon. If you would like to join the project, we welcome your participation. Walk only once or walk daily – as you wish. You can snap a photo of the sky and send us your image and mileage and we will add your individual contribution to our total Skywalker FAM mileage.

To date, The Skywalker FAM has collectively walked 182.10 miles (or 7.0 marathons) and we’ve taken hundreds of photos on our daily walks to be shared as a record of our collective journey. By agreeing to walk together, we’ve taken time for ourselves and each other to practice “social connection.” Each day, we venture out to gaze at the skies overhead, remembering to express our wonder and gratitude for the things that keep us moving.

So far, 315 walkers from over 40 different countries have walked 37176.66 kilometre — and the project is fast approaching 49 million footsteps together, 95% of our journey around the Earth.

A walk isn’t always a walk! We hope that everyone can join us, whether that’s on two legs, less or more, or on wheels. It’s not about how many miles, km or metres we cover individually, it’s about what we achieve together.

The Skywalker FAM appreciates that the Global Slow Marathon 2020: Under One Sky, as re-imagined by artist Iman Tajik, has given us an opportunity to be socially connected through walking, even as we are called to shelter in place. Cumulatively, mile by mile, we wend our human trail across the surface of our planet and through as many borders as we can.

We walk as One Family, Under One Sky!

The sky overhead, as seen from 122° 25′ 27.372″ W, 37° 44′ 37.902″ N on August 17, 2020, 5:41 PM

Opera Parallèle’s Harriet’s Spirit

20171026HarrietSpiritAAPGIMG_1483

Music by Marcus Shelby, libretto by Roma Olvera, conducted by Lucik Aprahamian

DATES: January 18 at 6 p.m.; January 20 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

LOCATION: Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art & Culture Complex
762 Fulton Street, San Francisco

CAST: Tiffany Austin as Harriet Tubman; Christabel Nunoo as Modesty; with Rooftop Alternative School’s 8th Grader Students

Each year, Opera Parallèle partners with school students to create and perform an original opera during an intensive eight-week residency. This year’s world premiere production features an original score by Bay Area jazz great Marcus Shelby and a libretto by Roma Olvera based on the story of a middle school girl who triumphs over the challenges of adolescence with Civil War-era legend Harriet Tubman as her role model and spirit guide. Students of Rooftop Alternative School in San Francisco will share the stage with professional singers and Jazz Ensemble in creating the production. OP’s Hands-On-Opera production annually draws capacity crowds.

For tickets and information about Opera Parallèle’s Harriet’s Spirit, visit: https://operaparallele.org/harriets-spirit/

About Opera Parallele’s Harriet’s Spirit

Harriet’s Spirit is set in two different worlds — on the Combahee River during the Civil War and in a present day middle school. When asked about the opera’s themes, Marcus responded that Harriet’s Spirit is about family and friends, and the strength that they give you in challenging times. Harriet Tubman, first written in 2008 for Shelby’s original secular oratorio for 15 piece jazz orchestra and vocal ensemble, moves into the world of contemporary opera with “Harriet’s Spirit.”

20171117HarrietSpiritFANIMG_2301.jpg

HARRIET’S SPIRIT CALENDAR DATES:

  • Family Art Night: Harriet’s Spirit with Marcus Shelby – Wednesday, November 1, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Burnett MPR. Families will create their own artwork inspired by Harriet’s Spirit and enjoy an evening of artistic call and response with composer/bassist Marcus Shelby and teaching artist Andi Wong.
  • “Harriet’s Spirit” Open Rehearsal Arts Night with Opera Parallèle – Thursday, November 16, 5pm-7pm, Mayeda Gym. Get an inside look at Opera Parallèle’s Harriet’s Spirit with composer Marcus Shelby, librettist Roma Olvera, conductor Lucik Aprahamian, director Erin Neff and Rooftop’s eighth grade student performers.
  • Open Dress Rehearsal @ the Mayeda Campus – Full Run Thru w Principals – Mon, 8 January, 9:44am-10:34am; Wed, 10 January, 9:44am-10:34am; Fri, 12 January, 9:44am-10:34am. In order to accommodate more classes, we have asked Opera Parallèle for permission to open up these three additional dates to small supportive audiences (approx. 30-40).
  • Final Dress Rehearsal: Harriet’s Spirit – Wednesday, January 17, 2018; 11:00-11:45am at the Buriel Clay Theater, African American Art & Culture Center. Field Trip for Elementary (grades K+) – 200 seat capacity
  • Opera Parallele’s Harriet’s Spirit (World Premiere) – Thursday, January 18, 6pm & Saturday, January 20, 1pm & 4pm; Community performances at the Buriel Clay Theater, African American Art & Culture Center.

HARRIET’S SPIRIT PRE-ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

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Trim A Tree 2017: North Star Ornaments

Rooftop is invited to decorate one of the trees at Davies Symphony Hall during the holidays. Each student at Rooftop, grades K-8, makes an ornament that will be hung on the Rooftop tree. This year’s ornament is inspired by the North Star quilt block. This ornament-making activity is supported by Art Parent Coordinators Brooke Kerpelman, Whitney Couch and Eryn Kurin.

20171101HarrietSpiritFANIMG_E1793

 

Harriet’s Spirit Story Quilt Project 

Rooftop classrooms will have the opportunity to create art in support of the production design for Harriet’s Spirit. Rooftop classrooms can learn more about Harriet’s Spirit and help to create three fabric quilts, inspired by the art of quilt maker Harriet Powers (1937-1910), which are integral to the production design of Harriet’s Spirit. These story quilts share family stories recorded by Rooftop families during the November 1st Family Art Night. The Story quilt pre-engagement activities will be supported by teaching artists Andi Wong and Mary Ann Cruz at The Studios at Burnett & Mayeda.

20171029HarrietPowersQuiltIMG_1546

Harriet’s Spirit Daguerreotype Portraits

The production design of Harriet’s Spirit is also influenced by a newly discovered daguerreotype portrait of Harriet Tubman, found in a souvenir album in 2016. The Metropolitan Museum of Art noted that “…the medium’s success in America was built upon the patronage of the average worker who desired a simple likeness to keep for himself, or more likely, to send to a loved one as the era’s most enduring pledge of friendship. Among the many momentous social transformations generated by photography’s invention was the possibility of self-representation by a large variety of groups previously excluded from official portraiture.” Advances in the art of digital photography make it a snap to add your own selfie to the Rooftop family photo album of 2017-2018.

Harriet’s Spirit for Hamilton Families

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After the war Harriet Tubman returned to her home in Auburn, New York, and began what was to be her life-long work of caring for aged and indigent African Americans when she purchased 25 acres of land at auction for $1450 in 1896. In 2016, Rooftop began filling the rainbow-colored shelves of the Blake Mini Library at Hamilton Families in San Francisco as a recipient of a gift from youth philanthropist Blake Ansari who resides in Brooklyn, New York. Our 3rd annual Blake Mini Library Book Drive kicks off on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, when students of all ages are invited to help by writing notes of encouragement and donating a new or newly read children’s book to the children at Hamilton Families in the Tenderloin. Harriet’s Spirit is sharing our love of books about #MonumentalWomen with a special selection of children’s books such as Nikki Grimes & Michele Wood’s “Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony (Inspired by Historical Facts).”

20170816HarrietSpiritFANIMG_8525.jpg“I Will Not Stand Still” 

Classes can take a ten-minute hike to Kite Hill from Burnett & Tank Hill from Mayeda and explore the natural surrounds of Twin Peaks and contemplate the benefits of outdoor experiences.  In September of 2017, Atlanta artist Mashona Council became the first person to complete the 125-mile Freedom Walk across the Tubman byway alone. “To come across that line, it really was this bringing (Tubman’s) spirit with me. And we know that when she crossed there was no one here to welcome her.” The trek helped Council to gain a better perspective of Harriet Tubman’s considerable accomplishments, whether leading others to freedom on the Underground Railroad or planning the Combahee River Raid of 1863. Harriet Tubman has the unique distinction of being the only woman to have played a decisive role in planning and carrying out a military operation during the Civil War. Today, Bay Area organizations such as Girl Trek and Outdoor Afro are heading outside to reflect on Harriet Tubman’s relationship with the land and learning more about the benefits of active engagement with the natural world.

MSJO Harriet Tubman 2008

Harriet Tubman, Marcus Shelby’s musical oratorio, was the central work of Rooftop’s “Art Is Jazz” study in 2007-2008. The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, featuring vocalist Faye Carole, performed for students at the Swedish American Hall on February 1, 2008.Marcus Shelby & Harriet Tubman at Rooftop

Rooftop School’s “Art Is… Jazz” (2007-2008) website  http://artsed4all.org/ArtIsJazz/Home.html

Marcus Shelby’s website https://www.marcusshelby.com

The Google Cultural Institute: SFJAZZ: Sounds of Freedom A celebration of the spirit of resistance in African American music.

Marcus speaks about his jazz oratorio “Harriet Tubman” for SFJAZZ https://youtu.be/lWZ3O6Ffub4

At The Center ~ Marcus Shelby’s ‘Harriet Tubman & The Blues’ https://youtu.be/lWZ3O6Ffub4

KQED Arts: Bassist Marcus Shelby Finds Freedom’s Message in the Music https://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2014/04/24/bassist-marcus-shelby-finding-freedoms-message-in-the-music/

SFGate: What I Do: Marcus Shelby, Jazz Musician/Educator (2010) http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Marcus-Shelby-mixes-music-politics-history-3261035.php

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Did you know that Rooftop School is the source of inspiration for TWO musical compositions written by Marcus Shelby?

 

In 2008, Marcus wrote Peaceable Kingdom – a tone poem for 15-piece jazz orchestra and speaker, based on the 1847 painting by Edward Hicks. This work, which premiered at the De Young Museum on January 18, 2008. was an artistic call and response inspired by his time working with the students at Rooftop School. In turn, two Burnett murals were created during Rooftop’s 2007-2008 study of Marcus’ musical composition, Harriet Tubman.

The Peaceable Kingdom garden wall mural, created by Ms. Margot’s 4th grade class, was inspired by Harriet’s role as a conductor for The Underground Railroad. In Our Peaceable Kingdom, the entrance mural, created by Ms. Woo’s 4th class, features student poems about peaceThe now familiar Rooftop logo was designed by 4th graders Bobby McCollough, who designed the lettering, and Aida Irving, who drew the Raven and The Dove.

Ruth visits the Burnett Murals - 00266