What is a LIZ?

A LIZ is a temporary installation on Market Street, San Francisco's cultural, civic and economic spine. The program is structured to seed cross-disciplinary collaborations that result in place-based experiences. LIZs can serve as opportunities for testing new ideas, projects, and technologies. LIZs are intended as enhancements to the public realm, encouraging people to connect with each other and their city.

Each LIZ is a collaboration between the City, creative and cultural organizations and the communities in which the LIZ is sited. LIZ is managed by an interagency team: co-led by the Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, the San Francisco Planning Department and the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC). Other agencies within the City are brought in as needed.


LIZs adapt and move quickly.


LIZs find new ways to solve old problems.


LIZs improve underutilized areas.



The city opens its public assets for new, engaging installations in a specified zone.



A partner organization comes aboard to handle design, installation, funding, and maintenance.



The local community participates and helps inform and improve the projects in each LIZ.

The First LIZ

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Pause on Market Street at Yerba Buena Lane

Pause on Market Street is composed of two exhibits designed and fabricated by the Exploratorium that encourage social interaction and play: a pair of giant parabolic "whispering dishes" amplifies and focus a user's conversation, making it audible to a person sitting in an opposite dish placed roughly 60 feet away, and "singing bench" that plays music when users complete a circuit by touching it's armrests.

Over 20,000 pedestrians pass by the installation every day, which means the project is seen over 7 million times per year.

Anecdotally, adjacent businesses (like MOMA Store, The Coffee Bean and Bluestem Brasserie) have noted a significant shift in the number of visitors to the area, referring to the LIZ as a new "icon" in the neighborhood.

The Second LIZ

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Studio 1 at NEMA and Mechanics Plaza

Studio 1 is a 65 square foot “off the grid” solar powered art studio, public art project, and micro-residency center designed and constructed by David Szlasa. Built on the back of a flat bed trailer, the Studio is made primarily of reclaimed and salvage materials. The Studio is a mobile LIZ, sited at NEMA and Mechanics Plaza during the summer of 2015.

Download the Studio 1 One-Pager >

For a week at a time, artists curated by Szlasa and the San Francisco Arts Commission will occupy the Studio. Each artist-in-residence represents a mix of disciplines and will develop programming schedules to complement the natural traffic patterns of the location, scheduling open studio hours and exhibitions on a regular basis. More information on the day-to-day programming can be found at Szlasa's website, Range Studio. Studio 1 photos by Robbie Sweeny.


June 14-19 – Andrea Bergen
Location: NEMA

The San Francisco-based collage artist creates handmade vector drawings with colorful paper, and in conjunction with her residency, her work is on display along Market Street as part of the Art on Market Kiosk Poster Series. During Bergen's residency, she will hold daily activities that relate to the subject matter of her poster series as well as her personal studio practices. In between activities, she will collage a new body of work.

June 22-26 – Sheldon Smith
Location: NEMA

Smith will be working on a site-responsive project that will be constructed gradually over the course of the week. His installation-based work and live performances use dance and technology to speak to common human experience. There will be scheduled showings and opportunities for passersby to engage in the process that will culminate in a final project: a video or a performance, or a combination of both.

June 27, 2:30-4:30pm – SPECIAL EVENT: Shinichi Iova-Koga / inkBoat
Location: NEMA

"Ritual 71: transient” will be a performance in and around the Studio and is part of a larger performance project, “95 Rituals,” directed by inkBoat’s Shinichi Iova-Koga, presented by Dancers’ Group/ONSITE. “95 Rituals” honors the work of legendary choreographer Anna Halprin, in celebration of her 95th birthday with a series of free site-specific performances at various locations, culminating July 7-11, with guest musicians and artists from around the world.

June 29-July 3 – Sara Shelton Mann
Location: NEMA

Shelton Mann will explore the video, written, and print archives of her 40+ years of performance history. The Studio will be transformed into a time capsule and platform for Shelton Mann to engage with passing audiences about her body of work – pinning materials to the walls and utilizing outward facing video screens. This residency is in preparation of Erasing Time, a performance retrospective of Sara Shelton Mann directed by David Szlasa that will open at YBCA in December 2015.

July 6-11 – Jesse Hewit
Location: Mechanics Plaza

Jesse Hewit’s works attempt to unsettle dominant ideas about things like power, narrative, safety, and beauty through re-imagining sociological contexts of the body. The project he will be working on during his residency will be composed of a series of durational practice sessions that interrogate a different way of having, giving, or showing faith. As part of his project, he will invite a range of artists to collaborate on the sessions, including daily sermons, singing practices and visual-art projects.

Monday – 10:00am-3:00pm: Hewit will be working on an alt-language cycle, where he will go into 30 minutes of improvised movement followed by 15 minutes of writing, followed by 15 minutes of speaking and then back to 30 minutes of movement, 15 minutes writing and 15 minutes of speaking, etc. for four hours. There will have explanations of what he is doing and why on posted papers, and there will be invitations for others to join in certain parts or in ways of thinking about language in the body. Hewitt will also be inviting people to observe/watch through specific lenses, ie: watch as if he is dying in the next hour, watch as if he is a very good old friend who you have not seen in a very long time, etc.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Improvisation

Thursday – 11:30am-1:30pm: Staged reading of COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN with Brontez Purnell, Monique Jenkinson, Travis Santell Rowland, Zinzi Buchanan, Tessa Fleming, and himself. This play is about women living in Texas (near Marfa) in the early eighties who develop an organized religion around the devout worship of James Dean.

Friday – 10:00am-1:00pm: Melecio Estrella, Karl Cronin and I will do two things at once: we'll work on the singing of 4 sacred songs in three part harmony, AND we'll be working on the construction of fictitious ancestors and new gods through visual mediums like costuming, drawing, and sculpture. this pairing of activity is to explore the collision of revisionist cultural creation alongside a fanatic adherence to form.

Saturday – 12:00pm-3:00pm
Sara Shelton Mann will lead Hewit, Larry Arrington, and Jose Navarette through a 3-hour cycle of dancing titled SOLO/NEUTRAL/FOLLOW, after which they will write about and discuss the poem of the form in public as a reflection/translation of socialized bodies/people and their experiences of sensitivity and de-sensitivity to other bodies/people.

July 13-17 – Katrina Rodabaugh
Location: Mechanics Plaza

Rodabaugh will be focusing on her slow fashion project, Make Thrift Mend. For nearly two years, Rodabaugh has abstained from the mainstream fashion industry and instead focused on making, mending, and preserving her wardrobe through traditional textile crafts while buying secondhand clothing made only from natural fibers.

During her residency, she will share various works-in-progress and offer lunchtime demonstrations, discussions and displays from 12:00pm-2:00pm, Monday-Friday. Blurring the lines between art, craft, and social activism, Rodabaugh has invited prominent Bay Area textile artists to join her for conversation and collaboration during the daily demonstrations. This intimate view into textile artists' slow craft process is meant to be in juxtaposition and resistance to the bustling fast-paced backdrop of downtown San Francisco.

Monday – 12:00pm-2:00pm: Natural dyes with Kristine Vejar

Tuesday – 12:00pm-2:00pm: Weaving with Meghan Shimek

Wednesday – 12:00pm-2:00pm: Printmaking with Jen Hewett

Thursday – 12:00pm-2:00pm: Natural dyes with Sasha Duerr

Friday – 12:00pm-2:00pm: Mending, slow fashion

July 20-25 – José Navarrete featuring Jesse Hewit and Chinaka Hodge
Location: NEMA

José Navarrete will be occupying the studio Monday through Saturday from 8:00am-2:00pm. Guest appearances include July 6-11 Studio 1 artist-in-residence Jesse Hewit, who will be in Studio 1 throughout Tuesday afternoon, and Chinaka Hodge, who will occupy the studio Thursday through Saturday throughout the afternoon.

Navarrete’s company NAKA Dance Theater, in collaboration with Debby Kajiyama, creates interdisciplinary performance works using movement, theater, art installation, multimedia, and site-specific environments that reflects ritual, cultural studies, and the political and environmental concerns of the world in which we live. In the last eight years, his themes have shifted to address deepening concern with social and environmental issues. Themes including racial profiling and state brutality, genetic modification of native crops, the commodification of water, cultural colonization, and the human response to overwhelming disaster will be reflected in the work he completes during his residency.

Hodge is a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter. For over a decade, Hodge has worked in various capacities at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation’s leading literary arts non-profit. During her tenure there, Chinaka served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population as a teaching artist and poet mentor. She has acted in comparable capacities in New York and Los Angeles at Urban Word NYC and Get Lit: Words Ignite.



The Presentation

[Coming soon]


Are you interested in creating, funding or hosting a LIZ on Market Street? Want to talk about your article, blog or master’s thesis? Questions and comments are welcome. Give us a shout at LIZ@sfgov.org.