Slowly, the Central Market area grows more inviting. Stretching roughly from Mint Plaza on one end to United Nations Plaza on the other, the neighborhood has seen a healthy spate of revitalization in recent years, led in large part by local arts organizations. SF Camerawork moved from SOMA to an airy locale on Market close to longtime stalwart Luggage Store Gallery. Intersection for the Arts also relocated from the Mission into the same building that houses the Chronicle. Meanwhile Colpa Press ingeniously repurposes a vacant streetside kiosk as an indie bookshop not far from the pop-up heaven of A Temporary Offering in the Renoir Hotel.
The 24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival, now in its third year, celebrates this pioneering creative spirit in the 'hood and pulls in artists from around the region. It kicks off Sept. 28 with a full day of activities, starting with noontime jazz in Mint Plaza courtesy of Jay'e and Friends, and a post-work art walk that fills two blocks around Sixth and Market with visual stimuli both on the street and off. Outdoor dance performances later in the evening by project agora, Flyaway Productions, and Dancers' Group/ONSITE draw their audiences in through innovative use of multimedia and promise a few surprises besides. There's no better opportunity to give the area a second chance.
The 24 Days of Central Market Arts Festival starts at noon (and runs through Oct. 21) at Mint Plaza, 14 Mint (at Jessie), S.F. Admission is free.