Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum Presents 'My San Francisco: A Neighborhood Mashup'

A Collaborative Showcase of Multimedia Youth Art

Jan 06, 2010, 06:00 ET from Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum welcomes My San Francisco: A Neighborhood Mashup, its newest "Spotlight on Youth Art" installation, featuring a broad spectrum of media produced by young artists affiliated with six local community-based organizations. The exhibit opens on February 20, 2010 and remains on view through March 17, 2010.

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My San Francisco: A Neighborhood Mashup explores community issues ranging from environmental justice, gang violence, and personal well-being, as presented by talented young artists by way of animation, photography, print making, found object sculpture, and other mediums of representation. These works tell stories of life in and around San Francisco, as seen through the eyes of youth who call the city their home.

Through My San Francisco: A Neighborhood Mashup, Zeum has created an opportunity for artistic expression for critically-minded youth from six community-based organizations that support young people's creativity--CENTS, BAYCAT, Leap...imagination in learning, Southern Exposure, Sister Hoods, and Welcome to the NeighborHOOD.

"Zeum has created a dynamic space for talented youth to express their viewpoints about topics that affect their lives and communities," said Audrey Yamamoto, Zeum's Executive Director. "Investigating socially relevant topics using the artistic medium of their choice helps youth develop as artists, individuals, and active participants in their communities. Zeum is committed to providing an environment for creativity, collaboration, and communication for the youth we serve."

"By participating in the My San Francisco: A Neighborhood Mashup exhibition, we hope to inspire community awareness and involvement in all young people," said Wendy Testu, from Welcome to the NeighborHOOD. "The youth involved in Welcome to the NeighborHOOD explore many issues: gentrification and displacement, the opposing forces of man vs. nature, art as activism and social justice. By taking part in this show, we also hope to share this message with a broader audience and build a larger San Francisco community."

Zeum will host a special preview reception for My San Francisco: A Neighborhood Mashup in the Spiral Walkway Gallery on Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

About Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum

Zeum is San Francisco's hands-on multimedia arts and technology museum for kids. Zeum - located in the Yerba Buena Gardens - is a community-based, non-profit organization that nurtures the 3Cs of 21st-century literacy - Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication - among youth and families. By combining clay animation, music video production, live performance and digital art with imagination, Zeum's visitors become creators, animators, directors, performers, and designers.

Zeum opened its doors in October 1998 on the rooftop of Yerba Buena Gardens as part of a major 87-acre urban renewal project by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency in the South of Market area. Zeum's unique 34,000 square-foot facility includes premier technology studios, interactive activity stations, exhibit galleries, community exhibit space, a 200-seat theater and the Zeum Carousel.

For more information, visit www.zeum.org.


BAYCAT is a non-profit community media producer that educates, empowers and employs underserved youth and adults in the digital media arts. By bridging the digital divide, BAYCAT inspires students to stay in school and become lifelong learners, and to use the power of digital media and design to shape their communities and tell their unique stories. BAYCAT offers free classes in media and design. Through project-based learning and access to the latest digital technology, students are able to learn professional media applications while discovering their innate artistic abilities. By encouraging students to collaborate with each other, their families, and the world around them, we strive to build a community enriched by the experience of creative expression.


CENTS is a collaborative group including Barry Beach, Colby Claycomb, John Melvin, Kit Rosenberg and Izumi Yokoyama. Using drawings made by kids at the Tenderloin Boys and Girls Club, they built a portable structure exploring the ideas of home and mobility.

About Leap...imagination in learning

Leap's mission is to stimulate imagination and creativity in Bay Area children by bringing visual and performing artists and architects into the classroom for extended residencies. Leap artists and architects team with teachers to design participatory projects that augment and amplify the school's curriculum. Today, Leap's Art and Architecture residency programs provide thousands of elementary and middle school students with hands-on learning experiences in art and architecture that enhance their overall education and prepare them for future success in school and in their communities. The requests for the programs continue to grow, and Leap is continually enhancing its programs to meet the demands and needs of children, parents and teachers of the San Francisco Bay Area.

About Southern Exposure

Southern Exposure (SoEx) is a nonprofit visual arts organization that supports emerging artists and youth in a dynamic environment in which they can develop and present new work and ideas. An active presence in the Bay Area for 35 years, the organization evolves in response to the needs of artists and the community, engaging the public in the artists' work. Activities range from arts education programs, exhibitions of local, regional, and international visual artists' work, public art projects, grants, and lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and performances. SoEx is dedicated to giving artists and youth--whether they are teaching, exhibiting, curating, or learning--an opportunity to realize ideas for projects that may not otherwise find support. Southern Exposure supports artists through three main program areas including the Exhibitions Program, Artists in Education Program and Alternative Exposure Grant Program/Artists Resources Program.

Sister Hoods is a two year program which began in the fall of 2008 to serve tween girls ages 9-11 in the Sunnydale and Visitation Valley neighborhoods; two communities whose rivalry has resulted in frequent gun-violence and claimed the lives of several young people. Through a partnership with Zeum and consultation from Lisa Meneses M.D., a pediatric resident with public health training, each participant completed a PhotoVoice project about their experiences in their communities. The PhotoVoice process aims to use photographic images taken by persons with little money, power, or status to enhance community needs assessments, empower participants, and induce change by informing policy makers of community assets and deficits. Unlike documentary photography, photos are not taken from an outsider's viewpoint but rather from the perspective of someone living in the community. In addition, PhotoVoice is a unique and powerful tool for youth.

About Welcome to the NeighborHOOD

Welcome to the NeighborHOOD is a multimedia urban experience-a social and environmental exploration in how art can inspire communities and environmental sustainability. A two year collaboration with six environmental and socially conscious artists and 16 paid youth interns from Literacy For Environmental Justice (LEJ). The collaboration has created a diverse and interactive body of artwork that is place based and culturally relevant to the Bayview/ Hunters Point (BVHP) community. The youth have been the driving creative force for the entire project from conception and creation to installation and maintenance of the artwork. The artwork tells the history, celebrates the communities and explores the concerns with the present and future environment of the BVHP areas of San Francisco.

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    Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum
    Joy Wong Daniels

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