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Best of SF Arts Festival

May 30, 2019

sf festival set up

Looking for something fun to do this May around the Towers at Rincon apartments? San Francisco is filled with all kinds of riveting events to capture your attention, and from May 23rd to June 2nd, the San Francisco International Arts Festival will be the place to be if you’re a fan of music, theatre, or performing arts in general:

“The Festival’s mission is to embody an imaginative microcosm of the Bay Area through a multicultural performance platform that presents innovative projects focused on increasing human awareness and understanding. The mission is manifest by an expansive annual public gathering in May that features projects by American and international artists.”

As a part of that mission there will be a boatload of parties and performances for you to enjoy over at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. Today, we’re going to be breaking down some of the highlights, and providing you with a bit of background on the festival so that you can head in, hit the ground running, and enjoy yourself to the fullest.

Your Intro to the SF International Arts Festival

When it was first established in 2003, the SFIAF was formed with the idea of promoting diversity, representation, and cultural equality within the realm of performing arts. With that goal in mind, you’ll often see international performers represented among SFIAF’s ranks, along with a bunch of new names you may not have before, as “SFIAF places a high priority on the participation of culturally diverse and smaller entities—including communities whose histories have been left out of the prevailing American narrative.” SFIAF coordinates frequently with various organizations around the world to find talent for the festival, which is why the shows are often some of the best around, as you’ll likely see if you decide you’d like to attend part of this year’s lineup.

Performances at SFIAF

This year, like many that have preceded it, you’ll find a wide range of performances, covering disciplines like theatre, comedy, music, dance, and more. While we can’t highlight every artist and group that’s on the docket, we can shine the spotlight on a few standouts that are likely to catch your eye. If you’re interested in learning more about the full array of performers planned for this year’s festival, you should definitely check out the 2019 Program, which details all the acts that will be in attendance.

Pablo Estigarribia

Few musical acts can capture the attention of a crowd quite like the talents of a virtuoso pianist. Pablo Estigarribia will be filling that role at SFIAF on June 1st, and the Argentinian-born tango master will be on stage pushing his skills to the fullest in this 50-minute set. While the tango music he’s most well-known for will certainly be part of the show, Estigarribia will be performing some of his original compositions as well, which show off his influences within the worlds of jazz and classical music.

Oedipus el Rey

What happens when you take one of the most well-known Greek Tragedies and infuse it with a sense of gritty realism for a modern take that turns the classic on its head? You get Oedipus el Rey, a new spin on this timeless tale from playwright Luis Alfaro. In this version, Oedipus is “re-imagined as a young man whose dreams of controlling his own destiny soar beyond the prison walls where he’s spent his life.” Twist and turns abound in this tale of love and family that questions the nature of justice. It will be taking place at the Sam Shephard Theatre from May 29th through June 1st.

Jeremy Talamantes and Jordan Cerminara

For the comedic portion of the festival, you’ll want to check out Jeremy Talamantes and Jordan Cerminara as they mercilessly dissect the worst of the worst representatives from a host of terrible thrift store art. The roasts of this poor artwork will indeed be incendiary, but it’s not all piling on the paltry paintings and subpar sculptures. At the end they’ll be showing that bad art a bit of love by allowing the audience to bid on these disasterpieces in a hilarious post-show auction.

Caminos Flamencos

SFIAF will be the world premiere of Flamenco Generation X, Y, Z from Caminos Flamencos, a vehicle of “artistic expression for up and coming flamenco dancers and musicians who have adopted the culture, professionality and mantle as the next generation of flamenco in the U.S.” The show, which will be taking place at Gallery 308 on May 24th, will be put together by Emmy Award winning choreographer Yaelisa and accompanied by a host of incredible musicians, including legendary guitarist Jason McGuire. The celebration of flamenco will bring together talent from across cultures and nations — part of the true spirit of SFIAF.

Abdul Kenyatta

There’s nothing quite like storytime. Veteran poet Abdul Kenyatta knows how to tell them better than most, and for his 120-minute performance in the chapel, he’ll be hosting the Speakeasy Storyteller Series, which will serve as a a forum for storytellers celebrating the art and craft of story-making. You’ll hear expertly-crafted tales on a wide range of topics, and from some of the best in the Bay Area. As the inaugural edition of this event, it will be a supportive atmosphere for storytellers to share and show to audiences what they’re all about.

More About the Towers at Rincon Apartments

Did you know that the Towers at Rincon are just a short 15-minute drive from the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture? You’ll find that a good number of San Francisco’s most vaunted performance venues and cultural hotspots are just moments away from this stellar apartment community — a fact that makes it something of a crown jewel as far as Bay Area living spaces go. You’ll experience a lifestyle like no other when you call these awesome apartments home, so be sure to check out what the Towers at Rincon can offer you, and take your first steps to joining this superlative Bay Area community today.