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NextArts produces concerts in public spaces throughout San Francisco. We are a social enterprise that provides special event production services as a means to raise funds to support our concert series. Recognizing the integral role of art and music in San Francisco's culture, NextArts produces our free outdoor concerts in diverse communities.
NextArts began as a community organization on a December evening in 1998 with our very first concert at Union Square. Deborah Pardes and Ben Doren took center stage that evening under amber lights, while a Christmas tree and Menorah glistened before them.
Back then our goal was to return San Francisco to its renown as a cultural center by fostering artists who displayed exceptional musical and songwriting talents. Rather than hemming artistic expression in with labels, we sought to expand possibilities. And, it remains our goal today. The results are unpretentious and engaging performances by artists who appreciate the intimate concert setting and straightforward style of production.
NextArts produces our free outdoor concerts in diverse communities. Our programming occurs in the neighborhoods where San Franciscans live because we recognize the integral role of art and music in our culture and its place in our communal and civic history.Since 1998, our programming has included The "Sock It to Me Concert" (2005), produced in Potrero Park. "A Miracle on Market Street" (2004), produced near the Powell Street Cable Car Turn-around and "Rock the Vote" (2003), produced during the recall election, using San Francisco's City Hall as backdrop - 4,231 ballots cast.
During International Women's Day (2002), a 26-foot diameter Earth Mandala was created in Golden Gate Park. Borrowing soil from the construction crew at the Conservatory of Flowers to create its foundation, the colors where so exquisite and brilliant that the event was simulcast on both the KPIX and KRON evening news (it smelled pretty good, too).
"Unity with a Beat" (2001), featured Grammy Award winner Babatunde Olatunji (Planet Drum) taking center stage at Justin Herman Plaza. A symposium was also held in his honor at the University of San Francisco, Lone Mountain Campus, before an enthusiastic audience.
In 2006, featured artists included San Francisco's diva Paula West, The Fillmore Preservation Jazz Big Band, legendary rock guitarist Steve Kimock, and the emergent Michael Young, who recently performed at the Kennedy Center.
Our 2007 season will be even more exciting as we move to Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.
With each new season NextArts presents some of the best original music in every music genre with diversity and unbridled artistic expression. Our ability to consistently present an amiable mix of musical styles and other art forms makes NextArts a standout among concert and festival programs in San Francisco.
- Elia Gilbert
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