Great piece on a recent visit to Chinese dissident artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s FAKE studio/residence in Beijing from the folks at Cool Hunting. “Evidence” which opens on April 3 at Martin-Gropius-Baus in Berlin, will be a reflection upon Ai Weiwei’s own experiences, a similar theme to his @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz exhibit coming to San Francisco this fall as part of the Parks Conservancy’s Art in the Parks program.

http://www.coolhunting.com/culture/ai-weiweis-evidence-show-interview.php

JUST IN: The Presidio Trust Board of Directors has unanimously voted to not select any of the three finalists for the mid-Crissy Field site. The Trust Board has expressed interest in working with us to “bring key elements of the Presidio Exchange to the park.” Read the full press release here: http://1.usa.gov/1aXHIID

We, at the Conservancy, are appreciative of the Trust’s RFP process and the thoughtful consideration given to the PX proposal. We applaud the Trust for an open and transparent process. We are also indebted to our many supporters who donated their time and energy to rally behind us. You’ve left us speechless on many occasions with your compassion and enthusiasm. THANK YOU!

Hidden secrets of the San Francisco…”a formal passage through terrain that otherwise feels wild.” The history and story behind the stone bridge at Dragonfly Creek.

Cityscapes from SF Chronicle architecture and design critic John King.

Unlike traditional museums based on a collection of objects, the Presidio Exchange (PX) will be a platform for artists, thinkers, innovators, young leaders, and visitors to create, celebrate, and inspire deep connections to place. It will be a stunning setting for exhibitions, art installations, performances, and festivals—all in view of the Golden Gate Bridge. And it will be a center for thought leadership and innovative programs in partnership with nationally regarded organizations.
Have you seen the latest list of nonprofit organizations and institutions at
the national, regional, and local level that have signed on to as potential program partners of the PX?

The PX aims to be a public space where people can interact, collaborate and share experiences through art, music, science, history, and other program areas.

In the late 60s and 70s sociologist William H. Whyte examined the use of public spaces in New York, an experiment that was recreated by two Rutgers students in 2008. They found that instead of driving us apart, when gathering in public spaces people actually put down their smart phones and devices for some good old fashioned direct human interaction!

What is your favorite public space in SF, and how can it inform the PX?

As the Presidio Trust Board deliberates on the future of Crissy Field, here’s a video to remind us how far we have come. The transformation of Crissy Field involved the removal of non-historic structures in order to reintroduce the flatness and texture of a bayside environment; of 70 acres of paving for reuse; of 87,000 tons of hazardous materials; and of 100,000 cubic yards of dirt to create the wetland and restore the adjacent grass airfield. Via Hargreaves Associates.

A big thank you to everyone that showed their support for the PX on Monday night. We had a great turn out of PX supporters - as you can see below wearing little red pins!

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Check out John King’s write up of the event in the SF Chronicle.

Over the weekend, still more voices weighed in to the public comment around the Presidio mid-Crissy Field proposals. Lauren Dachs, President of the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and Randi Fisher, Co-Founder of the Pisces Foundation urged the Presidio Trust Board of Directors to take the time they need to decide which of the three proposals is best for the long-term benefit of Crissy Field, the Presidio and the Bay Area.

Which do you think best fits the location?

Join us tonight at the Herbst Pavilion from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for your final chance to comment in-person on the mid-Crissy Field proposals. RSVP here

The supplement to our PX proposal, submitted last week, outlines the diverse community that has committed to collaborating and advising on PX programming — including the amazing team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Working with the Conservancy, our partners will help us to make the PX a source of inspiration for art, creative expression, and thought leadership on the intersection of nature and culture in the Presidio. 

Via montereybayaquarium

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A key component of our revised PX proposal is youth engagement, and how the center will fulfill the mission of the Presidio and GGNRA through expanded programming reaching inner city youth and their families. 

We chatted with Ernesto Pepito (pictured above), Associate Director of Youth Leadership at the Conservancy, about the work of the Crissy Field Center and how it will collaborate on PX programs.  

Q: How has working at the Crissy Field Center impacted you and your peers?
A: “I was brought on in the summer of 2001 to help design and implement a youth leadership program. At the time, there were volunteer opportunities at the park, but nothing that really focused on the needs of young people. I was really excited to bring that experience I had to the park. What really got me excited [about the Crissy Field Center] is that kids would design their own program, and because of that, it would be really exciting for them. That’s what’s kept me here—that same idea that this center is in this park for young people to shape what they view a park should be.”

Q: How have you seen the Center positively impact kids from different backgrounds?
A: “This park, by where it’s located, isn’t naturally a part of a lot of young people’s community. It’s not a place where they feel comfortable right away. I think the Center has had a big role in establishing this place as a destination for young people, too. Having young people come from the Bay View [neighborhood], which is on the opposite side of the city, that would take a two-hour bus ride to get here, to give them a sense of home and a sense of community broadens their scope to what their world is. To give them access to a place like this maybe challenges them to think about what other things they can explore or places to go.”

Q: What excites you about the Presidio Exchange proposal?
A: “The cool thing about the whole proposal is that it allows different people to be excited about it for different reasons. The biggest thing I’m excited that it will be shaped by the Bay Area community. There isn’t one theme or one person that owns the PX, it belongs to the Bay Area. I think many different communities will come to this national park not just once but repeatedly because of the partnerships we will have throughout the Bay Area.”