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Community events: A fireside chat with SF’s District Attorney and the fragile world of ‘Kelp!’

Gallery 836M aims to raise awareness of the ecological state of seaweed in Northern California’s waters through its ocean-inspired art exhibit ‘Kelp!’ | Christina Campodonico/The Standard


836M, 836 Montgomery St. 
Tuesday through Fridays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Through Dec. 8 | Free

Our oceans are in a scary state. And it’s not just a recent stenchy, fish-killing algae bloom that has marine biologists worried. 

Since 2014, kelp forests along the coasts of Sonoma and Mendocino counties have declined as much as 96% due in part to a sweeping marine “heat wave,” according to Tristan McHugh of The Nature Conservancy, who narrates a short documentary by the Coldwater Collective featured in the ongoing mini-art exhibit Kelp! at 836M gallery in North Beach. As a result within five years, California has lost one of two major carbon sinks that absorb the impacts of climate change.  

Josie Iselin's photographic scan of sea kelp showcases the organism's intricate beauty. | Courtesy of 836M

“There is a fire raging in the world’s kelp forests,” McHugh says in the film, equating the ecological disaster to a wildfire on land. But not all hope is lost. 

Showcasing paintings, prints and sculptures all by Bay Area-based women artists, Kelp! highlights the beauty of this often overlooked ocean flora to bring awareness to the dire state of this seaweed off California’s North Coast and inspire those who visit to take action.  

“It’s like a little aquarium that you are walking by, and suddenly you realize that it’s almost a little part in the city of the ocean,” says Celine Ricci, programming director for 836M. “So it’s almost like reminding you about why you can breathe.” 

While its message is urgent, like a calming ocean breeze, Kelp! creates a Zen atmosphere for contemplating the state of our oceans. Lina Jane Prairie of Point Reyes weaves airy sculptural baskets with dried kelp, driftwood, animal bones and other detritus washed up from the sea, which are displayed across one wall. Bold black-and-white inkjet prints by Laurie Sawyer draw you into the tangled intricacies of California bull kelp and feather boa kelp. Josie Iselin’s fine art prints on reusable ripstop fabric cover the gallery’s windows, creating an almost protective forest-like canopy for light to filter through. Meanwhile, the Coldwater Collective’s film—narrated by McHugh and tucked into an alcove of the gallery—is like “a guided meditation” through the kelp forests, says 836M Associate Curator and Gallery Manager Jade Fogle. 

“Art is better at disseminating scientific information sometimes than the scientific facts are because it has that empathy. It has that emotional response,” observes Fogle. 

The exhibit’s artistic programming is rounded out by an upcoming policy panel on kelp restoration on Oct. 13 and a closing reception and panel with scientists discussing the state of kelp today on Dec. 8. 

“We’re hoping to end on a hopeful note to talk about all that’s been done to help kelp in the last year or two and also answer any questions people might have,” Fogle said. 

—Christina J. Campodonico 

Tuesday, Sept. 6

One on One with SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins

Manny’s, 3092 16th St.
6 – 7 p.m. | $5 – $12

Tuesday, Sept. 6, is your chance to meet new San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins at Manny's and ask her questions. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

In June, San Francisco voters recalled Chesa Boudin as District Attorney and Brooke Jenkins was named as his replacement. For those who might not know—a district attorney is a lawyer who represents a city, state or federal government in cases indicting people who are charged with crimes. Needless to say, the DA is an elected position that is integral to the course of criminal justice in their judicial district or county. Brooke Jenkins is giving a fireside chat at Manny’s where you can bring questions and concerns and become more informed on who the new DA is and what her intentions and plans are for the city. (RT)

Wednesday, Sept. 7

Congressman David Cicilline: Fighting For Democracy Matters

Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero
12:30 p.m. | $5 – $30

Join the Commonwealth Club for a conversation with Rhode Island Congressman David N. Cicilline about the importance of advocating for democracy and his book House on Fire: Fighting for Democracy in an Age of Political Arson. As the chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, which works to ensure that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are treated fairly, Cicilline is concerned about threats to American democracy from within Capitol Hill. Ranging from regulating social media companies to reducing gun violence and promoting economic development, these are the critical issues for which Congressman Cicilline has become an outspoken advocate. He believes in citizen opposition and significant political reforms, such as abolishing the Senate filibuster and the Electoral College, expanding the Supreme Court and requiring justices to follow an ethics code. He plans to cover these points and more in conversation with Mark Follman, who is the National Affairs Editor of Mother Jones. (MM)

Thursday, Sept. 8

United Dems Social at Teeth

Teeth, 2323 Mission St.
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Free

Mingle with fellow Democrats at United Dems' upcoming happy hour at Teeth. | Courtesy of the United Democratic Club

People always say to avoid discussing politics when first meeting someone, but in this case, you’ll get a pass. Especially with elections slowly approaching, you’ll want to tap into the hive mind and learn about all the political happenings in SF. The United Democratic Club, created to civically engage and empower SF residents, is having a happy hour at Teeth. Grab some good food and strong drinks as you talk about your world views and perhaps what’s on the November ballot with others. Members get their first drink free. If you’re not a member and would like to become one after learning about the opportunities the United Dems have to offer, you can sign up on the spot right here. (RT)

Queer and Trans People in the AAPI Movement

The Commonwealth Club of California, 110 The Embarcadero
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. | Free; donations encouraged 

Asian hate crimes have sky-rocketed in the past year, nearly tripling from the year before. While the spotlight is there, attacks on queer and trans members of the Asian and Pacific Islander community are still left in the dark. Within the AAPI community, there are folks with intersecting identities who have to deal with homophobia and transphobia from their own community on top of racism from other communities. The Commonwealth Club of California has curated a panel of speakers who will unpack these issues and their effects on the queer and trans Asian community. (RT)

Friday, Sept. 9

Black Food Summit 

Museum Of the African Diaspora (MoAD), 685 Mission St. 
9 a.m.- 7 p.m. | $50 – 200

Chef-in-Residence at MoAD Bryant Terry, a James Beard Award-winning chef and educator, has organized a unique and expansive gathering of leading Black chefs, writers, scholars, activists, artists and other creatives for a two-day public summit that brings to life the themes and ideas of Terry’s critically acclaimed and genre-redefining book, Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora. Featuring mouthwatering recipes, heartfelt essays, and eye-catching art, chef Terry captures the vast and varied voices of the African diaspora through the lens of food in the book, a heartfelt homage to the Black culinary experience with contributions from over 100 hundred of the world’s foremost cultural figures of African descent. The summit will feature a conversation about Terry’s book, a series of panel discussions led by fellow Black chefs and artists, and will end with a delectable reception featuring chef Terry’s culinary creations, wine and live music. If you find yourself craving more after this event, on Saturday, Sept. 10, MoAD and Chef Terry are taking the summit to Tomkat Ranch in Pescadero for a full day to celebrate and learn about Black cuisine. (MM)

Chef Bryant Terry holds a two-day summit at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) celebrating the Black culinary experience. | Courtesy of MoAD

Social: Great Teen Book Swap

SFPL Excelsior Branch, 4400 Mission St.
2 – 5 p.m. | Free

Calling all youth between ages 12 to18. This week the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) invites you to their Excelsior location to pick up a free book in exchange for your feedback. The branch’s teen librarian will greet you and lay out a collection of books paired with feedback forms. SFPL organizes these events throughout the city to engage with youth and help them build a collection of books that reflect their needs, so go to the library and make your voice heard. (MM)

Graffiti Cleanup

Empire Theater, 85 West Portal Ave.
12 – 1:30 p.m. | Free

TogetherSF hosts a graffiti cleanup event in West Portal this weekend. | Courtesy of TogetherSF

This is not your usual San Francisco trash cleanup—this is a graffiti cleanup! For those who live in West Portal, you might have noticed a lot more graffiti around. While graffiti is a form of expression and art, it can also be seen as a form of vandalism in some circumstances and a bit of an eye sore if executed incorrectly. Supervisor Melgar of District 7 and TogetherSF are putting together a volunteer crew with supplies provided to help give West Portal Avenue a makeover. (RT)

Saturday, Sept. 10

US OPEN Watch Party and Community Tennis Day

Lisa + Douglas Goldman Tennis Center, 50 Bowling Green Drive
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free

Community Tennis Day is this weekend, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than going to the 4th Annual U.S. OPEN Watch Party hosted by The Tennis Coalition of San Francisco! 🎾 This party is open to everyone, not just tennis fans in SF. It’s alright if you aren’t familiar with the sport because CBS local sportscaster, Vern Glenn, will be there to emcee the livestream of the women’s finals. There will also be tons of fun activities for all ages on JFK Promenade, like mini-courts, caricature drawings, bubbles and more. Make sure you come hungry and thirsty because there will be food and drinks for all partygoers. (RT)

Dahlia Society Open-House

Dahlia Dell, Conservatory Drive East
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Free

Just because it’s autumn doesn’t mean flowers aren’t blooming in the city! You don’t have to limit your color palette this fall to muted neutrality. Right in our very own Golden Gate Park lies the Dahlia Garden, full of vibrant and bright varieties of San Francisco’s official flower. 

@sfstandard These stunning dahlias in Golden Gate Park reach their peak in August and September but can be enjoyed all the way into October. Have you been for a visit? #sanfrancisco #sfstandard #dahlias #flowers #sftravel #goldengatepark #fyp #zyxcba ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

While you can enjoy this beautiful sight until October, you can make your way over to the Dahlia Society of California this weekend for a guided tour of the Dahlia Dell, where the dahlias will be at peak bloom. This tour will have you leaving an expert on the dahlia’s history, genetics and growth. (RT)

Learn about the history, genetics and growth of San Francisco's official flower during a guided tour of Golden Gate Park's Dahlia Garden on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022. | Courtesy of the Dahlia Society of California.

Workshop: Clothing Swap for Teens and Tweens

Main Library, 100 Larkin St.
Saturday, Sept. 10, 12 – 2 p.m. | Free

Gone are the days where kids were made fun of for wearing secondhand clothes! We learned from our interns this summer that all the cool kids get their threads from local thrift shops.

@sfstandard Our interns have alerted us that it’s National Thrift Shop Day! In honor of them—and the great thrifting in SF—here are four intern ‘fits featuring vintage items. #sfstandard #sanfrancisco #sf #sfnews #bayarea #outfit #ootd #wdywt #nationalthriftshopday #thifttok #fyp #thrifted #thrifting #vintageclothes #PepsiApplePieChallenge ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

Fast fashion may be affordable, but it has proven to be harmful to our environment. You don’t have to break the bank to get some cute, vintage wears. Head over to the San Francisco Public Library, where teens from ages 11 to 18 can come and swap clothes! Not only is it a free way to rebrand your closet, but it’s also the most stylish way to recycle. You can also participate in a sewing and embellishment “maker space” created by San Francisco State and SF School of the Arts students, so if you have the imagination for it, you could change up your new items to your liking and make it a fresh new original of your own. Author of Girls Who Green the World, Diana Kapp, will be there to talk about women saving the planet. There will also be teens there discussing what they’re doing to help repair our environment within their schools and communities. (RT)

Sunday, Sept. 11

First-Time Homebuyer Workshop Pt. 1: Budgeting, Saving, Credit & Debt

1 – 4 p.m. | Free

Buying a home for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right coaching and San Francisco being a buyer’s market, the odds could be in your favor. Travis Spain, the housing counselor for SF LGBT Center, will be hosting a free workshop centered on the first-time homebuyer. The virtual workshop will help you make sense of your credit score and loans and will also provide participants with the tools they need to successfully save up and purchase a home while also being fiscally savvy even after the purchase. (RT)

Rosalie Tapavalu, Christina Campodonico and Meaghan Mitchell contributed additional reporting for this story.

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