SAN FRANCISCO — Project manager of SoMa Pilipinas, Raquel Redondiez, had a special announcement for the audience of Bindlestiff’s latest production “Tagalog 2017”.
“The California Arts Council has selected SoMa Pilipinas to be one of the first cultural districts to be recognized by the state.”
A home to Filipino artists, Bindlestiff is one of the many Filipino staples in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood — which is why Redondiez felt it was appropriate to share the good news with the community.
“There were close to 50 cultural districts that applied and we were among the top to be selected, which to me is a really important recognition of the Filipino communities contribution, history, and future in California, where we are the largest and fastest growing API community.”
SoMa Pilipinas was one of 14 districts that will serve as California’s inaugural state-designated cultural districts.
Each of the districts will receive the designation for a period of five years, per state legislation, which includes benefits such as technical assistance, peer-to-peer exchanges, and branding materials and promotional strategy.
“Cultural districts have now emerged as important strategies for communities to be able to assert themselves, to be recognized, but also for California to preserve its diversity.”
Redondiez says that despite this recent recognition by the state, and on the first anniversary of the official recognition of SoMa Pilipinas as a cultural district in San Francisco — there is still much to be done for Filipinos in the city.
“We are facing increase in eviction. We still have a lot of new immigrants being pushed out of our homeland and making their home here. They need services. They need support. They need jobs…and SOMA Pilipinas is part of a stable community — where we can continue to practice our values of bayanihan.”
One way SoMa Pilipinas is planning to ensure that Filipinos are here to stay in San Francisco is through a night market called Undiscovered SF.
The first night market will take place on August 18 at the Old Mint Building from 6-10pm.