Arts – Celebrate – Elevate – Downtown
Comprised of a group of civic leaders from private, public, neighborhood, and arts organizations, ACED has gathered to launch a public art initiative in the SF Downtown area called ACED: Arts, Celebrate, Elevate, Downtown. ACED is working to bring inspiring and expansive public art experiences to the downtown area to support local artists and attract residents, commuters, and tourists.
SOMArts fiscally sponsor this collaborative and has launched a pilot initiative in Summer 2023 featuring a mural at Commercial and Leidesdorff in the Financial District neighborhood. If the pilot initiative is successful, the group will consider expanding the effort into a broader public art initiative.
Eager to move quickly and test our ideas, the ACED launch team has identified a wall space for a mural on the PG&E Substation building located at Commercial and Leidesdorff. Through a competitive RFP process, the ACED team selected the mural concept developed by Twin Walls Mural Company. The mural aims to celebrate Captain William Leidesdorff’s life and the legacy that helped create a vibrant San Francisco and broader Bay Area.
William Alexander Leidesdorff was a social, economic, and political force in the pre-gold rush era of San Francisco, California, with a rich history of “firsts” tied to his name. A biracial man, he was the nation’s first African-American diplomat named the US Vice Consul to Mexico in 1845. In 1847 he was elected to San Francisco’s first City Council and school board. He also built the city’s first hotel and shipping warehouse, laid out the first horse racetrack in California, and operated the first steamboat on the San Francisco Bay.
He was born on the island of St. Croix in 1810, the son of a sugar farmer, Alexander Leidesdorff. In 1841, Leidesdorff sold all his belongings in New Orleans, bought a boat, and sailed around Cape Horn to California, settling in the then-Mexican village of Yerba Buena on the San Francisco Bay, where he spent the next three years becoming a successful merchant. He died unexpectedly in 1848 at age 38 and is buried inside the Mission Dolores Church, where his gravestone remains.
On September 23, 2023, from 1 pm to 6 pm to celebrate the inaugural Jackson Square Arts Day. The neighborhood is proud to present this spectacular community event with numerous delights for everyone involved – the local community, the city of San Francisco, and our visitors!
During the Arts Day, Jackson Street will be closed from Montgomery Street to Sansome Street, and at the heart of the festivities, a grand main stage will take center. Musical, theatrical, and dance performances will treat participants to a tapestry of joy and wonder.
Participating artists include The Best Bad Things, Circus of the Moon, The Countess Lola Montez, Kinetech Arts, Misfit Cabaret, and RAWdance. The neighborhood galleries will hold an eventful art walk: 836M, Canessa Gallery, Gallery Wendi Norris, Japonesque Gallery, JBG Fine Art, Scott Richards Contemporary Art, and Simon Breitbard Fine Arts.