Arts for Everyone – Vote Yes on Prop. E

Yes on Proposition E

As one of San Francisco’s longstanding cultural institutions, we are proud of the role the arts play in making this City such a special place. We also know that providing access to the arts and making the City livable for working artists are more important than ever.

Proposition E, the Partial Allocations of Hotel Tax for Arts and Cultural Purposes, is a local San Francisco ballot measure on the November 2018 ballot. The Proposition aims to restore funding to arts and culture in San Francisco with the Hotel Tax, without raising taxes.

So, what is the Hotel Tax? In 1961, San Francisco established a link between arts and tourism through the Hotel Tax. Like many cities, San Francisco imposes taxes on hotel room charges aimed at nonresidents to cover the cost of providing services to visitors to a city. The Hotel Tax is raised by an 8% base tax and a 6% surcharge tax on the rental of hotel rooms in San Francisco (including Airbnb). Many arts organizations, like Stern Grove Festival, have received funds from Grants for the Arts with revenue generated by the Hotel Tax Fund.

Almost 20 years ago, during the annual budget review, the City amended the allocation for the arts in the Hotel Tax Fund, reducing the allocation for the arts until it disappeared entirely. The San Francisco Hotel Tax generates roughly $400 million each year, with an 8% base tax and a 6% surcharge tax. This ordinance would subject a portion (1.5%) of the growth of the 8% base tax to specific allocations, and the remaining 6.5% of the 8% base tax would continue to go into the General Fund. Without raising taxes or taking away from other city services, Prop. E re-establishes a set percentage of the base tax to support the arts in San Francisco, as originally set forth in 1961.

Ultimately, Prop E would reinvest in the community and make arts more accessible and affordable to ALL San Franciscans. This will also help ensure that working artists can remain in San Francisco and continue contributing to the City’s vibrant arts community.

If the future of arts and culture in San Francisco is important to you and you’re a resident, we encourage you to vote YES on E by November 6th, 2018.

We appreciate your consideration and support!

Get to Know Our Neighbors in West Portal

Before or after a concert at Stern Grove Festival, visit our friends in the West Portal neighborhood and support the local business community!

Stop by in the morning for a latte from Ballast Coffee, grab some delicious scones or cupcakes from Noe Valley Bakery, or enjoy breakfast at Squat and Gobble.

Pick up a sandwich for your picnic at Submarine Center or swing by after the concert for authentic Mexican favorites at El Toreador or organic burgers from Calibur, a frozen yogurt at Easy Breezy, or a post-concert drink with friends at The Dubliner.

There’s more to discover along West Portal so make a stop and discover our neighbors nearby.

Learn more about these and other local businesses from the West Portal Merchants Association.

Festival Fashion with Macy’s and Girl and the Bay Blogger Mandana Ansari

Macy'sJoin us at the Impulse Department at Macy’s Union Square on Thursday, June 21 for a shopping party and check out the latest in festival fashion with local blogger Mandana Ansari of Girl and the Bay. Enjoy sips and sweets plus great gift-with-purchase treats!

While you’re there, enter for a chance to win* reserved picnic table seats and parking for you and five of your friends at Stern Grove Festival’s July 1st concert featuring M. Ward and Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

RSVP: macyssterngrovefestival.eventbrite.com

*No purchase necessary to enter. See store for complete details.

Announcing the Food Truck Line Up for the Summer

Calling all Festival Foodies!

This summer, Stern Grove Festival is rolling in local food trucks every Sunday to round out your picnic in the Grove.

Phat Thai

From samosas to sundaes, falafel to chicken and waffles, tacos to Thai, there’s something to tempt your palate. Stop by the West Meadow at every concert for an array of tasty treats!

You can also visit Tante’s in the Esplanade for classic festival fare like garlic fries, burgers, chicken skewers, and more.

 

Here’s the food truck line-up for this summer:

June 17, 2018
Curry Up Now, The Waffle Roost, Frozen Kuhsterd

June 24, 2018
Little Green Cyclo, Caribbean Spices, Cochinita, Frozen Kuhsterd

July 1, 2018
Sajj Mediterranean, El Porteño, Humphry Slocombe

July 8, 2018
Phat Thai, Cochinita, Frozen Kuhsterd

July 15, 2018
The Waffle Roost, Curry Up NowTaqueria Angelica’s

July 22, 2018
Sajj Mediterranean, El Porteño

July 29, 2018
Curry Up Now, J-Shack, Frozen Kuhsterd

August 5, 2018
Caribbean Spices, El Porteño, Humphry Slocombe

August 12, 2018
Curry Up Now, J-Shack, Cochinita

August 19, 2018
Phat Thai, The Chairman, Humphry Slocombe

Food trucks are subject to change.

New This Summer – Free Yoga Classes at the Grove

Yoga at the Grove
Every Sunday at Stern Grove Festival

This summer, Stern Grove Festival is excited to announce a new series of free on-site yoga classes, provided by local business Office Yoga.

Office Yoga Building off the Festival’s belief that the arts help strengthen our community, Office Yoga will provide a fun, active opportunity for people to connect with each other, nature, and themselves. Yoga classes in the natural beauty of the Grove are a perfect way to strengthen minds, bodies, and our community. And, as with all of the Festival’s programs, the classes are completely admission-free to the public.

Initially, Festival Executive Director Bob Fiedler approached Office Yoga to develop a plan for Festival staff to help ease stress in the whirlwind of activity leading up to the season. When Maryam Sharifzadeh, CEO of Office Yoga, met with Bob to develop a plan for the staff, they also saw an opportunity to provide free yoga classes for Stern Grove Festival attendees.

Maryam says, “I believe in Stern Grove Festival’s mission of providing affordable events for residents and visitors of San Francisco while also maintaining the cultural reputation of this city. I’m humbled to be collaborating with such a historic event and enhancing the on-site experience through yoga.”

Festival staff have benefited already from Maryam’s stress-relieving classes in our office. We’re excited to collaborate with Maryam and the entire Office Yoga team to share yoga with Festival audiences this summer.

ABOUT YOGA AT STERN GROVE FESTIVAL

When are the classes?

Yoga classes will be held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. before each Sunday concert, June 17 – August 19, 2018.

Where are the classes?

The West Meadow at Stern Grove Festival.

Who teaches the classes?

Classes will be taught by certified Office Yoga Instructors and other reputable teachers in the Bay Area:

June 17: Brandi Zorzy

June 24: Michelle McManus

July 1: Raquel Seeley

July 8: Cindy Raspillar

July 15: Neil Wadhawan

July 22: Chelseah Healey & Ege Sanli

July 29: Martin Scott & Ege Sanli

August 5: Betsy Peterson

August 12: Charlotte Birkett

August 19: Maryam Sharifzadeh

 

Who can participate?

  • Anyone! No prior experience is necessary and all levels and ages are welcome.

What do I need to bring?

  • Please bring your own yoga mat if you can. A limited number of yoga mats will be provided.
  • Comfortable clothes and water.

 

 

 

Local Food Trucks at Stern Grove Festival’s 80th Season

A big part of Stern Grove Festival’s mission is to provide a space for local artists to showcase their talents. In a city with cuisine this diverse and impressive, San Francisco knows that art isn’t limited to the stage—it can often be found on our plates.

Back by popular demand, the Festival is partnering up with local food trucks throughout the season to bring you great local cuisine. Each concert Sunday from July 2 to August 27, visit the West Meadow to peruse the offerings from some of the Bay Area’s favorite trucks. We’ll also have classic Festival favorites from our longtime local partner, Tante’s, in the Esplanade (knishes and garlic fries, anyone?). Read on below to learn a bit about the food trucks, and check out some of our favorite items!


El Sur

July 2, July 30, and Aug 27
Handmade, locally sourced empanadas by Marianne Despres, a classically trained chef with roots in Argentina and France. When you're there (obviously ordering the empanadas, see below) be sure to admire the craftsmanship of their truck, a fully restored vintage 1970 Citroen H-Van that is the first of its kind in the SF Bay Area.

Our pick? As nothing pairs quite as well as music festivals and handheld food, we're obviously fans of the empanadas. Particularly, the Traditional: hand-cut Five Dot Ranch Beef, Onion, Oregano, Pimentón, Olive, Egg.



Empanadas in Menlo Park tonight! Find us @thewillowsmarket from 5-8 pm! #elsursf #empanadasargentinas


A post shared by El Sur (@elsursf) on





The van looking good at Fort Mason A post shared by El Sur (@elsursf) on



Frozen Kuhsterd
July 2, Aug 6, Aug 20
West Coast Style frozen custard is Frozen Kuhsterd's "scoop-able experiment in indulgence." They partner with the best artisan purveyors to create magical desserts by taking frozen custard and adding fun, joy, and mischief.

With flavors like white coffee, spiced caramel apple, maple butter, and dozens more, it's honestly hard to go wrong. Frozen Kuhsterd also switches up their specialty offerings pretty often. Specifically, this Cornbread Sundae with a cornbread muffin and topped with whipped maple Butter and burnt caramel caught out eye:


Sajj Mediterranean
July 23, Aug 13
Mobile Mediterranean food brought to you! Nothing will warm you up on a cool Stern Grove morning quite like a shawarma wrap or falafel bowl (see below).

National Falalel Day is Monday, June 12th! Come celebrate with us and receive a free Falalel order with any meal purchase.

A post shared by SAJJ Street Eats 🌴 (@sajjstreeteats) on



Curry Up Now
July 9, Aug 20
Curry Up Now is taking traditional Indian cuisine and flipping the script by presenting the flavors in more approachable ways. Think deconstructed samosas, Indian-inspired poutine, and this tikka masala burrito:

#myhappyplace 🙏🏼

A post shared by Curry Up Now (@curryupnow) on


The longest day of the year means you get to eat four meals, right? #firstdayofsummer #summersolstice #sexyfries

A post shared by Curry Up Now (@curryupnow) on


Slider Shack
July 16, Aug 13
Slider Shack specializes in delicious sliders and other healthy Californian classics, with a Hawaiian twist. Outside of the intensely delicious flavors and high-quality ingredients, the best part about Slider Shack is the fact that you can hold two of these delicious babies in your hands at all times.

A post shared by Slider Shack (@slidershacksf) on


A post shared by Slider Shack (@slidershacksf) on


Humphrey Slocombe
July 16
Whether it's 70 degrees without a breeze or Karl the Fog decides to hang, it's always #icecreamweather in San Francisco, and the amazing creators behind Humphry Slocombe know this. From their insane icy offerings to their more tame treats like this mango and strawberry margarita duo, there is surely a flavor out there for everyone.

Let's still hope for that sun... though.


Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos
July 23
OMG. Ice cream tacos? Made with local and organic ingredients? DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE? We're in. To top it off, Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos' business practices are a product of their core beliefs: that they should produce sustainable products while building strong relationships within the community. We're definitely in.

Look at all that delish! Available tonight at Off the Grid Haight market til 9p!

A post shared by Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos (@rockoschocotaco) on


Hey SF peeps! Did you miss us at Outside Lands? No worries. Make good tonight at Spark food truck park! #tacotuesday #🍦🌮

A post shared by Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos (@rockoschocotaco) on


Mattersons Jamaican Cuisine AKA Scotch Bonnet Food Truck
Aug 6
There's a special place in our belly for comfort food like jerk pork and fried plantain (see below). The Scotch Bonnet Food Truck serves up daily specials to ensure its followers get a wide range of popular, traditional, and exclusive Jamaican cuisine.

The term 'scotch bonnet' refers to the bonney pepper, a super-hot chili pepper that is found mainly in the Caribbean islands and is commonly used in jerk dishes. With a heat rating of 100,000–350,000 Scoville units, we can only imagine their offerings will warm you up on a chilly day.

Jerk Pork! SF LUNCH @ 25 Montgomery St. 12:30p-2:30p. AND @offthegridsf El Cerrito 5p-8p #jerkpork

A post shared by ScotchBonnet (@scotchbonnet510) on


A post shared by ScotchBonnet (@scotchbonnet510) on


Chairman
Aug 6, Aug 27
An SF favorite, The Chairman food truck is the mobile alternative to Chef Hiroo Nagahara's popular brick and mortar spot by the same name. Nagahara was formerly restaurateur Charlie Trotter's executive chef at Bar Charlie in Las Vegas and partnered with food truck rental agency Mobi Munch to bring his food to the masses.

The food truck specifically offers Chinese bao, a steamed bun that can be filled with seemingly anything. Check below for their latest addition to the bao menu.


Johnny Doughnuts
Aug 27
Johnny Doughnuts' artisan doughnuts are handcrafted with the finest organic cool milled wheat flour and ingredients from locally sourced vendors. They produce a wide range of delicious things, from fritters, to raised doughnuts (light and fluffy), to crodoughs (croissant + doughnut), and more.

They love making doughnuts as much as we love eating them. A match made in heaven.

Get your jam on this Tuesday 💃🏽🎶🍩🍓

A post shared by Johnny Doughnuts (@johnnydoughnuts) on


 

Welcome New Executive Director Bob Fiedler

Much of Stern Grove Festival’s longevity can be attributed to one thing: heart. The heart of its founder, who shared her vision for access to the arts for all. The heart of its audiences and patrons, who have fueled the Festival with applause and donations for eight decades. The heart of its volunteers, who make a gift of their time and hard work. The heart of its dedicated staff and Board of Directors, who are committed to the organization’s success. And last, but not least, the heart of a leader.

Stern Grove Festival is excited to welcome (just in time for its 80th Season!) the organization’s new leader, Executive Director Bob Fiedler.

Read on to learn more about Bob and join us this summer to welcome him to the Grove!


SGFA: What makes a great leader?

BF: I think a leader is someone who can inspire groups of people around a mission – and that’s easier to do when you’re working with a tremendous mission like that of Stern Grove Festival. I think that if you burn with passion on the inside, hopefully you can get others to also come along for the ride and become advocates for the organization. Other important traits are being a great listener, being empathetic, and having strong emotional intelligence in order to care deeply about people and the organization that he or she is serving.

How do you think you will have the greatest impact on the organization?

I think first and foremost my passion for music will have a great impact on my time here. Music is an extremely important part of my life—it’s borderline sacred. It’s been hugely important to me in many, many moments of my life and has brought me some of my happiest times, as well as helped me through many difficult periods.

In addition, I think my overall non-profit experience will be a benefit. I’ve been around the block a little bit now, having run two different arts-based non-profit organizations and having over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. I think that all of those experiences have shaped me and given me exposure to lots of different situations that hopefully will serve me here.

What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

I feel extremely honored to have found myself in this position. In the last few days I’ve visited Stern Grove and have found myself pinching my arm, wondering how I got so lucky to be entrusted to work in such a magical place that is an important San Francisco cultural institution. Everything about the Festival—the music, the space, the tradition—it’s all of those things that I’ve been entrusted to take care of and shepherd into its next phase of existence…and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to do so.

I’ve been to a lot of concert venues around the country and I think the Grove is one of the most gorgeous settings in which you could listen to music. It’s that beauty—and the community—that make Stern Grove Festival such a special experience. I think there’s something wonderful about art and musical performance, in that it brings people together. It bridges cultural gaps, it bridges generational gaps, it’s the universal language, and it’s a very unifying thing. I am just so geeked that I get to be a part of this.

As a recent transplant, what do you like most about living in the Bay Area?

The Bay Area…what a special and unique place this is. Having traveled to over 30 countries, I’ve been to a lot of the major cities around the world. There’s no other place that quite combines such a desirable climate with this level of physical gorgeousness (the mountains, the redwood, palm and eucalyptus trees, the ocean, and the bridges) and with great people.

California is a pretty progressive place, but I think that San Francisco is the epicenter of that. There is a lot of amazing innovation and thinking that goes on here, and I couldn’t be happier to be here.

And last but not least, what concert are you most looking forward to this summer?

Well, I’m looking forward to all of the concerts for different reasons. But from a purely musical standpoint I think I’m most looking forward to our second concert of the season, July 2 with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers and Fantastic Negrito. I love that they’re both local artists, and both have really great reputations within the music world. I’m also really excited for The Big Picnic on June 25th with Kool & the Gang, because it’s going to be a big shindig and a very well-attended show. That being said, I am truly looking forward to each and every show.


About Bob Fiedler

Bob brings over 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector, 13 at the executive level for two different arts performance/educational organizations. Most recently he served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), a nonprofit performing and educational arts organization that presents dance performances and dance festivals, runs the American Rhythm Center dance school, and provides weekly dance education to public school students.

Previously, Bob was the Executive Director of The People’s Music School (TPMS), a prestigious community music school that provides ongoing music lessons for thousands of young people completely free of charge. TPMS also provides free concerts to the public, featuring nationally recognized artists and was on the forefront of bringing the innovative “El Sistema” music education methodology to the United States. While at TPMS, Mr. Fiedler worked very closely with the Ravinia Festival to bring hundreds of children to their summer concerts and help TPMS build orchestral programs in public schools. Prior to his tenure at TPMS, Mr. Fiedler was Development Director for REST, a community-based homeless services agency in Chicago. He began his nonprofit career with the Chicago Muscular Dystrophy Association, serving first as a District Director and then moving up to Regional Coordinator.

Interplay: Artists in Concert with Nature

 

A new series of artist commissions debuts this summer at Stern Grove Festival


Posted by Judy Tsang, Director of Programming

One of my favorite aspects of my job is seeing the connection artists have with fans on the Stern Grove Festival stage. Season after season, we’re inspired by this connection that we help create; it’s one that has been part of our history since the Festival first started.The Festival began in the heart of the Depression in the summer of 1932.The Festival’s founder, Rosalie Meyer Stern wanted to give musicians of the San Francisco Symphony and Opera work during their off-season, while providing public performances for everyone to enjoy. The first concert at Stern Grove was a benefit for the musicians (audience members gave a quarter, and all proceeds went to the musicians).

This inspired Mrs. Stern to create Stern Grove Festival as an opportunity for audiences to enjoy performances completely admission-free, and an opportunity for struggling musicians and artists to be paid to perform.

Today, as the city landscape continues to change, supporting local artists has become increasingly vital. Stern Grove Festival is proud to present local musicians to the community, and along the way, support artists in the pursuit of their passion.

This summer, we’re commissioning seven local performers to create new music and dance pieces specifically for the Stern Grove Festival stage. These pieces will reflect the connection between the artist, audience, and nature that creates the singular experience offered at Stern Grove Festival. Titled “Interplay”, this commissioning series allows the artists to create something special to be debuted for our audience.

Throughout the season, the artists will be sharing updates with you as they create and think about how what it means to be “In Concert with Nature.”

Over the next few months on our blog, you can get a behind-the-scenes perspective on their creative process with interviews, photos, and more.

And we hope you’ll come out for show to see how it all comes together!

Commissioned Artists

California Honeydrops

California Honeydrops

Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Hot Club of San Francisco

Hot Club of San Francisco

Halau 'o Keikiali'i

Halau ‘o Keikiali’i

Bhi Bhiman

Bhi Bhiman

Con Brio

Con Brio

Zakiya Harris

Zakiya Harris

 

 

National Volunteer Week

Joey Babbitt

By Joey Babbitt
Community Affairs Manager

Volunteering offers something for everyone, and a chance to give back to your community in endless ways. As a volunteer I have painted houses with Habitat for Humanity, cooked lasagna for Larkin Street Youth Services, and played with puppies at the SPCA!

At Stern Grove Festival, volunteers do everything from park beautification projects (we have a team from Twitter coming out on Friday this week) to managing the information booth at each concert. If you come to a concert and need assistance, you will most likely be speaking with a volunteer. In fact, as I write this, there is a volunteer in our administrative office helping us put together our spring mailing so that we can announce the 78th Season!

This week is National Volunteer Week and an opportunity to thank everyone who donates their time to support their community. As the volunteer coordinator, I am eternally grateful for the over 500 individuals who donate more than 3,500 hours to help Stern Grove Festival run smoothly and successfully. From corporate groups to retirees, each person contributes their time and skills to make sure that we can present admission-free concerts year after year.

volunteers

Festival volunteers, Lydia and Cherry

Lydia and Cherry began volunteering with the Festival in middle school in order to fulfill their school credit requirements. More than ten years later, these girls are two of my most dedicated volunteers. They come to every concert and manage the volunteer booth.

When I asked each of them what they enjoy most about working at the Festival, they said almost the same exact thing: “I really enjoy the people I get to interact and work with!” “Everyone there is super friendly and approachable! It’s great to meet new people from diverse backgrounds that I wouldn’t normally have the chance to converse with and be able to connect with them through a common love for the Festival.”

When I asked what their favorite Festival memory is, they also had the same answer (these girls make me so happy): “All the moments at the Festival are my favorite memories!” Lydia elaborated, “I’m just glad that I’ve met so many awesome people through volunteering and I cherish the memories we have all created together.”

Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded friends, or to bond with current friends while helping support the Festival. Stern Grove Festival would not be possible without the dedication and enthusiasm of people like Cherry and Lydia.

I encourage you to get involved this summer and support your Festival by volunteering. The volunteer registration form will be available on May 1. See you at the Grove!