Tenderloin Arts LIVE, November's Arts Listing


Around here we tend to express ourselves. Here are some of the many arts & culture happenings in the Tenderloin this month. Welcome to Tenderloin Arts LIVE, a collection of monthly Tenderloin arts events sourced from organizations, individuals, and venues from the neighborhood. Want to submit your events for next month’s listing? Fill out the submission form here.


SF First Thursday Art Walk: Tenderloin and Lower Polk

Date: November 1st, 6-10pm (every First Thursday)

Multiple Locations

Make sure to visit the SF First Thursday’s website for a list of participating galleries and to download the map. Over 20 galleries and art spaces bringing together the arts and culture of the surrounding Lower Polk and Tenderloin communities.


Block Fest: Create a memorial bicyclist Gregory Blackman

Date: Friday, November 2, 2018, 3pm
Location: CounterPulse, 80 Turk Street

We honor the memory of bicyclist Gregory Blackman with the creation of a ghost bike. Participants are welcome to contribute to the memorial through a collectively made altar.

Free | More info.

social muscle.jpg

Social Muscle Club

Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018, 5pm
Location: CounterPulse, 80 Turk Street

At Social Muscle Club you meet new people and take part in a simple sharing game, in which each person offers something they can give away, and makes a request for something they want to receive. These unconditional offers and requests can be for something material or practical.

Free with RSVP, 21+ |  More info.


Compose a Succulent Garden at Block Fest

Date: Friday, November 9, 2018, 3pm
Location: CounterPulse, 80 Turk Street

Over four Fridays, participants will explore the meditative nature of composing and caring for a succulent collage with CounterPulse's Natalie Cone. More info.



Date: November 8-10, 2018, 8pm
Location: CounterPulse, 80 Turk Street

Performers will be using sign language, spoken text, dance (modern and jazz), film, music, and silence to look at lives of deaf people: What does it mean to be a Deaf person in prison? A deaf woman of color? What is life as a gay black deaf man? In these interdisciplinary new works, we explore the tension between Deaf utopia and Deaf diaspora.

$20-$35 No One Turned Away for Lack of Funds | More info


PIANOFIGHT, Multiple Live Performances Nightly

Starting at 5pm, Monday through Saturday, PianoFight has nightly performances. Here's the complete show calendar.

Location: PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street

From live music to magic, find a little bit of everything at SF's premier indie arts venue. PianoFight is a community-driven indy arts venue that takes pride in partnering with local artists to make great shows, mouth watering eats and delicious cocktails adding up to a uniquely San Francisco experience. Piano Fight includes two intimate theaters and cabaret stage that hosts music, comedy, plays, dance, film screenings, drag, magic, variety shows and more, while the restaurant and bar serves up new American bites and classic cocktails.

Prices vary | All ages, 21+ for alcohol

SFRT Blk Hwk Flyer 4.4.13 - SF RecoveryTheatre.jpg

SF Recovery Theatre presents “Night at the Black Hawk” at PianoFight

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018, 10pm
Location: PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street

SF Recovery Theatre will present their flagship production of A Night at the Black Hawk; an ongoing original jazz musical reflecting on the lives and stories of the artists, musicians and residents that lived in the shadow of the Tenderloins' own, Black Hawk Jazz Club.  

$10 - $20 suggested donation | More info


Justin Hager Solo Show at Swim Gallery

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018, 6-8pm
Location: Swim Gallery, 509 Ellis St

Artist Justin Hager is having a solo exhibition at Swim Gallery.

Free | More info

hush with logo - Riley Nicholson.jpg


Multiple Dates | More info

The Center for New Music (C4NM) fosters contemporary music’s growth by giving practicing artists access to professional resources and expertise, and by providing them with opportunities for sharing knowledge and exploring new ideas. On evenings and weekends, C4NM presents concerts of all types of new creative music, from contemporary classical to avant-garde, to new jazz, and more.

Fri, Nov. 2, 8 PM: OboeTronics II, with Glenda Bates and Brandon Labadie

Sat, Nov. 3, 7:30 PM: TO….OBLIVION

Sun, Nov. 4, 7 PM: I Will Learn To

Thu, Nov. 8, 6 PM: Opening Reception: Don Buchla, Instruments for Electronic Expression

Fri, Nov. 9, 8 PM: enhakē beyond Messiaen: 21st century works for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

Sun, Nov. 11, 2 PM: HUSH Series – The Long Tone Choir: autumn

Wed, Nov. 14, 7 PM: Sontag Shogun (NYC/Montreal) with Maggi Payne

Thu, Nov. 15, 7:30 PM: Latitudes, Bill Orcutt and Zachary James Watkins

Fri, Nov. 16, 8 PM: Scott R. Looney / Joseph Noble / Kjell Nordeson – Duos and Trio

Sun, Nov. 18, 8 PM: Martin Azevedo & Planarian Collective, with Dennis Aman: Disassembling The Clocks

Mon, Nov. 19, 7:30 PM: Clara Yang Piano: Sound of the Past and the Present

Thu, Nov. 29, 8 PM: Disks and Grooves: Exploring Rotary Instruments

Fri, Nov. 30, 7 PM: Enrique Arriaga (Unknown Persons) and Concepción Huerta (Territorios Personales)


Cutting Ball Variety Pack

Date: November 8-18, Multiple Dates
Location: Cutting Ball, 277 Taylor Street

Be in the room as creative juices pump and sparks of inspiration fly! Before a production gets its polish, there's process: the vigorous, messy playground of the imagination. This November, Cutting Ball's signature festival – half shindig, half artistic salon – returns and invites you to revel in process with a small army of fired-up artists. This eleven-day festival delivers a sumptuous line-up that's sure to delight the creatively curious. 

$15 | More info

TalkStoryReprise_Gand_Ferry_and_RandallDenham (Angels of Light)_credit_LynneBrown  .jpg

“Talk Story Reprise with Randall Denham: Hedging the Edge: 1970’s” at Exit Theater

Date: November 3-16, Multiple Dates
Location: Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy Street

Take a deep dive into a dirty but glamorous chapter of San Francisco history: the roaring 1970’s. A performer with the iconic “Angels of Light” – a sister troupe to the famous “Cockettes” – Denham takes us on a rollicking volkswagen ride through the San Francisco underground arts scene. This is a survival story, set against the colorful background of drag queens, pansexuality, and post hippie counterculture. With bravery, humor and skill, Randy openly and freely examines his fraught sexual past. His stories help us begin to heal our collective sexual wounds.

As an art form and a means of communication, storytelling is one of our deepest-rooted instincts, and thanks to the phenomenal successes of series such as Porchlight, Bawdy, and The Moth, it’s enjoying a renaissance in the Bay Area and across the country. Join us this fall as we present Randall and his unique stories, spoken straight from the heart.

$20-30 | More info


Vampire Christmas

Date: November 29, Multiple Dates
Location: Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy Street

Former princess Marjean has been hosting her Friends Christmas for almost a century but this year it’s different: Theodore has abandoned her for a werewolf, Georgette is dating a swamp creature, the Twins won’t stop fighting, and Daisy Horchester is dead. Like, Dead For Good. Will she be able to win Theodore back with a new blood soup recipe? Will her non-denominational centerpieces turn everything around? Will they all succumb to the seductions of group lothario Sylvester? How can you live your best unlife, when the unlife you have is hardly alive?

$20-30 | More info