It was an exciting day at the San Francisco Mint on March 04, 2017. What a great turn-out, over 6200 people walked through the historic Mint halls and restored public rooms where miners and savvy businessmen alike traveled to exchange their gold for newly minted dollars and coins.
Today, The Mint serves the City for private and public events, and is slated to be converted for a more consistent use. The building has a wonderfully expansive feeling on the street level, with some of the larger rooms- long glass windows, and smooth stone floors – reminding me of the feel of the studio rooms at the Esmeralda Art School in Mexico City, housed in a building born in the colonial era and reminiscent of European architecture.
I can easily imagine a beautiful museum/cultural center space with wonderful art offerings to the public are on the horizon for The Mint.
On March 04, 2017, I gave an hour-long presentation about my personal and artistic journey tracing and uncovering that part of my family history in San Francisco and Bay Area pre-dating the City, and State. I shared about how my great, great, great grandpa had been born in San Francisco in 1857, and the context of his life in San Francisco at that time – perhaps not that different from the times I live today, where, like then, our City has suddenly expanded in population, with uber traffic, classified this year as the 4th worst in the U.S. if not the world!
The focus of the presentation was in calling for a new collaborative project with local SF and State archives designed to pull together resources and fill out those times of history, and, as an aid to local families tracing back through tumultuous and often chaos-filled times of early California history. This effort is a continuation of the ‘Open Doors to a Healing’ Project.
In this new phase, the short documentary, ‘Bridge Walkers’ (2017) is nearing the end of post-production for distribution. This short documentary features two California Ohlone women’s efforts to to protect and preserve sacred sites and burials from development in San Francisco and Bay Area with information on how to support these efforts.
I am so grateful to be able to share the ‘Bridge Walkers Installation’ at SF History Days 2017.
Each screening provides more perspective on how best to share this 3-screen installation and adjust to fit each new screening venue. SF History Days had an amazing tech crew who I want to give a shout out, and, big thank you for SF History Days for the wonderfully large screens on which to project the installation! A filmmaker’s dream come true!
Thanks again to San Francisco History Days 2017 for the chance to share our family history, the important role New Almaden had in the Nation’s history, and, to screen ‘Bridge Walkers‘ before its official launch.