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Shaping San Francisco hosts Public Talks on a variety of topics on Wednesday nights, about 18 times a year. Our topic themes vary, but we've grouped them over time into these categories: Art & Politics, Ecology, Historical Perspectives, Literary, and Social Movements.

Here are videos of the Talks we held at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics at 518 Valencia Street in Spring 2017.


June 7

Kent Minault's "Diggerly-Do's"

Kent Minault tells of the explosive first six months of the San Francisco Diggers. Featuring stories of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Tim Leary, Huey Newton, Emmett Grogan, Lenore Kandel, Richard Brautigan, and Gary Snyder. His chronicle charts the first Digger free food in the park, tense encounters with the police, the opening of the Digger Free Store, and the Invisible Circus at Glide Memorial Church. Accompanied by photos by Chuck Gould, and music by Peter Coyote. The evening chronicles a turning point in SF and the transformation of a youth into a life-long activist.

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May 31

Summer of Love or Vietnam Summer?

Music, Art, & Politics of 1967: Was it all peace and love or did the anti-war movement really define the era? A conversational antidote to the narrow interpretation of a memorable summer in the City. With Calvin Welch (author, activist, and USF Faculty), original Digger Judy Goldhaft (Planet Drum Foundation), Mat Callahan (The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in SF, 1965-75), and Pam Brennan (Haight Ashbury Flower Power Walking Tours).

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May 10

From the Delta to the Bayshore: Adaptation Infrastructure and Rising Seas

Tim Stroshane (Restore the Delta) and Brenda Goeden (San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission>) discuss the politics and prospects of facing our rapidly changing future around and health of the bayshore. Wetlands restoration, Sea Level Rise, Delta Tunnels, Clean Water Act, future of EPA, and more.

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May 3

Agents of Change!

Fred Glass (From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement), takes a long look at the labor history of California with Chris Carlsson Foundsf.org), who focuses on the ebb and flow of class war in San Francisco.

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March 22

We've Done This Before: 1980s Movements

The fight against the Reagan administration’s war build-up, emergency response against Central American wars, birth of the Peace Navy, stopping the USS Missouri, creating sanctuary cities, AIDS and Anti-Nuclear activism. We bring it up to climate justice & no nukes today. With activists and archivists Marcy Darnovsky, Steve Stallone, Lincoln Cushing, and Roberto Lovato.

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March 8

Local History in Your Ear

Podcasts are shaping the presentation of history through audio delivery. Hosts of several local series tell us why they chose this new technology to delve into the past and how they gauge success. Hear clips of each program in a special podcast challenge! With David Gallagher and Woody LaBounty (The Western Neighoborhoods Project Outside Lands San Francisco), Liam O’Donoghue (East Bay Yesterday), and David Boyer (The Intersection).

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February 22

Progressive Transgressions

Crossing centuries and social mores, editors Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus (Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute) and author Clare Sears (Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco) take us into 19th Century San Francisco’s underworld of prostitutes, cross dressers, and others who transgressed the strict gender norms of the time. We look at how normative gender and sexuality were policed and created by widespread mid-1800s laws as well as challenged by gender defiers. Our panelists share the fascinating detective work of the archival research process uncovering these complex and often hidden stories of history.

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February 8

Citizen Science/Extinction Culture

Doing science and making culture are increasingly intertwined as more and more amateur naturalists crowdsource the multi-layered experience of life on this planet. Authors of two new books Mary Ellen Hannibal (Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction) and Ursula Heise (Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species) illuminate the tangled, dynamic processes of thinking and doing that help us understand where we are and what we can—or ought to—do about living through this heartbreaking Great Extinction.

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January 25

Art & Politics: Packard Jennings

Visual and conceptual artist Packard Jennings talks about his work, through which he has reimagined and revisualized the world around us, shaking up our concepts and assumptions of how things are through humor and the reappropriation of pop culture imagery. Packard talks about his work which ranges from digital subversions to quiet mail-in actions to large scale, space interventions on billboards. He also speaks about work that gets made and that which doesn’t. This is part of a series of solo artists giving a behind the scenes and in depth look at what inspires them in the interrelationship between art and politics.


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