Castro Merchants Celebrate 3rd Annual “Windows For Harvey” Event May 18-27Author:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Harvey Milk has remained San Francisco royalty since his untimely death in 1978, but in the past few years, his legend has been celebrated in an innovative artistic tribute that spans his homebase of the Castro District. From May 18-27, businesses throughout the neighborhood will commemorate the third annual Windows for Harvey event, creating eye-catching storefront window installations that honor the local icon’s memory.
The Castro Merchants, of which Milk was a founding member, established the event as an engaging way to observe Milk’s May 22 birthday. To celebrate, merchants fill their windows with art inspired by the trailblazer’s legacy, encouraging exploration of the area and to spark conversations about subjects that are still relevant today. This year, the organization has suggested a theme for the event to highlight Milk’s game-changing social justice work: Equality.
Milk remains an important figure in the ongoing fight for inclusivity of all people. While his message of equality strongly resonated with the LGBT community, his message of community and acceptance extended across the boundaries of age, socioeconomic status, gender, race, and sexual orientation. 2017 marked the 40th anniversary of the historic election that appointed him to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors; this year will be the 40th anniversary of his assassination while in office.
Joining a growing number of artists exhibiting their work (this year’s event features 17 entrants while last year included eight) are two contributors from Baltimore and Atlanta, bringing national recognition to the local celebration.
In addition to the window installations, a birthday celebration co-hosted by the Castro Merchants Association and Castro CBD will be held at Harvey Milk Plaza on Saturday, May 19, at 11 a.m. after which attendees will march down Castro Street to 575 Castro, the former site of Milk’s shop, Castro Camera. Speakers at the birthday event will include Senator Mark Leno, District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, and City College Trustee Rafael Mandelman.
Participating merchants include ArtSavesLives Studio and Gallery, Beaux, Beyond Just Tax, Body on Castro, Canela Bistro, Castro Fountain, Castro Village Wine Company, Cliff’s Variety, D&H Jewelers, Dog Eared Books, GLBT History Museum, HRC Store, Hot Cookie, Local Take, Mark Leno Campaign Office, Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub, Photoworks, SF LGBT Center, Skin on Market, Spark Arts, Strut / SF AIDS Foundation, Sui Generis, Super Duper Burger, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy Campaign Office, Swirl on Castro, Walgreen’s, and ZGO Perfumery.
The participating artists include: Joseph Abbati, Adam Ansell, Chad Berwald, Emma Brown, Leo Herrera, Kathleen Kowal, Mac McNamara, Craig Meklir, Dan Nicoletta, Camille O’Grady, Terri O’Rourke, Yi Lin Pei, Irene Schlesinger, Students of Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, Matthew Terrell, Lyla Warren, Jun Yang. “As a gay immigrant artist, Harvey Milk has been a role model for me to stand up for equality, and has been an encouragement to share love and compassion to everyone in this community,” said artist Jun Yang.
Visit windowsforharvey.com for more information, including a map of participating businesses.
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