Tenderloin Art Festival Raises Funds for Unhoused Neighbors, Mutual Aid

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Artists are raising money for Larkin Street Youth Services, Houseless Aid SF and Hotels Not Hospitals. (siraanamwong/iStock)

As California reopens and in-person events slowly begin popping up, it’s more important than ever to look to our communities and assess where help and healing are needed. It’s crucial that the work is done to lift one another up in order to reimagine the kind of world we want to see moving forward.

On Saturday, June 12, Houseless Aid SF and Community Makes are putting on an art fundraiser to raise money for mutual aid funds that help people experiencing homelessness. These organizations have been taking donations for specific people who are in need, largely through social media, but now they’re taking the next step and hosting an event in San Francisco. 

From 12-6pm on Larkin Street between Eddy and O’Farrell Streets, dozens of local artists will set up their booths and displays filled with original artwork, jewelry, clothes and more. The event aims to highlight Black, Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, queer and trans artists in particular. Visual artist and muralist Etty Alberto will be showing her work; the brand Chinese Grandpa will sell crocheted hats and purses; and Dogman Print Co. will be offering hand-printed shirts with custom designs. (Full disclosure: I will also be selling my artwork at the event.) Each artist will donate 25-50% of their profits to Houseless Aid SF and Community Makes, which will direct funds to the nonprofits Larkin Street Youth Services and Hotels Not Hospitals.

In addition, the event will allow artists to meet other like-minded creatives and rebuild community after over a year in isolation. Attendees of the festival will enjoy live music by the band Uncle Chris while browsing dozens of tables filled with unique finds. This festival is one of the first to come to fruition in light of recent openings, but it’s only the beginning of a bounty of events seeking to make change in the Bay Area.