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Intersection for the Arts Presents: “Common Grounds”

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Intersection for the Arts—one of the longest running non profit arts organizations in the Bay Area, now in its 52nd year—is proud to announce its upcoming festival “Common Grounds” presenting over two full weeks of free arts and culture events for people of all ages and walks of life. Common Grounds will take place from May 20 – June 6 in and around the full city block at 5th and Mission where the rooftops, parking lots, laneways and tunnels of Natoma, Mary and Minna Streets will become stages and exhibition space for the community to gather together and share in the experience of art. Presenting 105 artists and 21 arts organizations from multiple artistic disciplines, the festival will engage various local audiences and activate public urban space with free public programming for arts and culture. Link into their world here at

After a hiatus from public arts programming due to a restructure of its organizational strategy, this will be Intersection for the Art’s first major undertaking of curated artistic programming since 2015. Presented in partnership with 5M, Common Grounds highlights a new notion of cultural space with the purpose of generating an ecosystem of connection allowing people to participate, view and talk about the arts and culture of the city. Common Grounds gives presenting and exhibition opportunities to Intersection for the Arts constituents and the Mid Market community. Highlighted artists and groups are: Alphabet Rockers, Ross Travis, Notoriety Variety, Bring Your Own Queer, Embodiment Project, Ramekon O’Arwisters, BoomShake Music, The Rabbit Hole Theater, Little Artistas, Mi Cultura Art Project, Stairwell’s, Mugwumpin, Glass Eye Shadow Pictures, Epiphany Productions, Jazz in the Neighborhood, Project O, Strider Patton and Resilience Archive Project.

In order to engage the diverse community that makes up the Mid Market, downtown and Bay Area arts and culture community, there will be five different programming modules including: “family,” “performance,” “music,” “visual arts,” and “gatherings”. The festival’s kick off weekend begins on Saturday, May 20 with Family Day–focusing on family friendly programming with interactive activities for children and adults of all ages. The festival continues over the next two weeks with live jazz at lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays in partnership with Off the Grid as well as over 20 other activities, performances and exhibitions that are not to be missed. As the 5M development project “goes up” over the next several years, its commitment to arts and culture in open spaces is foreshadowed by the diversity of both audience and discipline in the Common Grounds festival.

On engaging multiple audiences through diverse programming, Randy Rollison, Executive Director of Intersection for the Arts remarks:

It’s very exciting for Intersection to be able to commission new work from so many different Bay Area artists and collectives. Common Grounds is a chance for everyone to have access to art through creative play and collective experience. We are leaving no audience behind! By activating public space, and investing in our local community we hope to help broaden the way people understand where and how to access art and lead the way for more free and public art in the Bay Area.



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