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In collaboration with SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District (SOMA Pilipinas) we are working on Story As A Claim to Place: SOMA Pilipinas Is Here!, a project using archival research, film screenings, panel discussions, and placemaking to foster a public conversation around redevelopment and its impact on the Filipino community in San Francisco. The project includes community involvement in the production and use of a new short documentary to tell the story of community resistance to redevelopment and cultural resurgence in the Yerba Buena area of the South of Market (SOMA) district of San Francisco. The project activities also include conversations in the community and with other cultural arts organizations to determine how we might use the documentary and the storytelling process to effectively implement SOMA Pilipinas’s Cultural Housing Heritage Economic Sustainability Strategy (CHHESS), a plan that is awaiting approval by the City on behalf of the District.

protestors on the street


Multigenerational. Families. Community.


Those are the words that kept coming up during our storytelling workshop with SOMA Pilipinas. SOMA Pilipinas was established as a cultural heritage district in 2016, an official designation recognized by the City of San Francisco and the state of California. The formation of the SOMA Pilipinas came out of a coalition of residents, small businesses, and nonprofits fighting displacement and gentrification in the SOMA. Each cultural district is required to create a 3-year strategic plan called the CHHESS that must be ratified by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The CHHESS for SOMA Pilipinas outlines strategies for increasing affordable housing, cultural spaces, and economic development, among others.


Learn more about the SOMA Pilipinas Storytelling Workshop on our blog.


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