Discover Art, Music, Food (and a Forest) in the Tenderloin

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Terra Incognita. (Photo by Frances Ancheta)

"Terra incognita" is a term used by cartographers to describe uncharted territory. On Saturday, May 9, art, music and food converge on the Tenderloin National Forest for visitors with a sense of adventure in the Luggage Store's free one-night event, Terra Incognita.

The Tenderloin may seem like an unlikely place for a forest, but for the past 15 years the small glade dubbed the Tenderloin National Forest has flourished in Cohen Alley at 509 Ellis Street in San Francisco. Created by a team of artists, volunteers and members of the Luggage Store to celebrate the diversity and beauty of the neighborhood, the space represents a vital and active community effort to transform an unused alley into a communal gathering place.

The artists behind Terra Incognita. (Photo by Frances Ancheta)

While the Tenderloin National Forest is usually open to the public 11am to 3pm, Wednesday through Saturday, the alley will keep its gates open 7-10pm on May 9 for Terra Incognita.

Combining the varied talents of visual artists Robin Birdd and Jeffrey Yip, musicians The Trillions and Salty Sherilyn and food by Chef Eman G, visitors can expect treats for all of their senses. As the sun sets, projections and installations will illuminate paper animals nestled among the foliage, a bit of wildlife in a forest bounded by bricks and concrete. The night's custom menu is inspired by the notion of terra incognita: flavors waiting to be discovered.

For a preview of the night's musical performances, download a mix made by Joog Mac of the Trillions and Salty Sherilyn: