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Posted on: January 31, 2020

Improvements to Spreckels Temple of Music Pave the Way for New Community Arts Program at Bandshell

GGP Bandshell

San Francisco, CA – The Spreckels Temple of Music, also known as the Music Concourse Bandshell and one of Golden Gate Park’s historic treasures, will be enhanced this year to celebrate its historic place in the park and open the door for a new community arts program for the park’s 150th anniversary celebration on April 4, 2020.

Illuminate, the visionary arts nonprofit that has lit up some of San Francisco’s most iconic structures including the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Park’s Conservatory of Flowers, will lead the project that will dramatically enhance the Music Concourse.

The proposed enhancements being considered by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Commission on February 6, 2020, will include the installation of re-configured risers that will open space on the stage to make it more usable for performances and the temporary installation of lighting and a state-of-the-art speaker system.

The temporary light installation will also include the addition of Harvey Milk’s words “HOPE WILL NEVER BE SILENT” along the top center of the Bandshell in a typeface inspired by historical inscriptions onsite.

"These improvements will both dramatically enhance the Bandshell as a performance space and make it far more accessible to smaller arts and community groups who would not have the budget to bring in their own sound and lighting systems for performances," said Phil Ginsburg, General Manger of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. "We are excited to bring music back to the Bandshell and launch a new program that will provide new opportunities for every neighborhood in the city to celebrate Golden Gate Park." 

“The Spreckels Temple of Music is an important historic landmark in Golden Gate Park and these enhancements will help bring new life to the Bandshell,” said Illuminate Founder & CEO Ben Davis.  “These new and upgraded features honor and preserve its history and helps make its beauty more accessible to arts groups for expanded public performances.”

The Bandshell improvements will support a community arts program to launch on Saturday, April 4, 2020 as part of a free community day celebration throughout the park’s 1,017 acres that will feature more than 150 free events and activities.

The Music Concourse and Bandshell will serve as the location for the official start for Community Day, with a special birthday event that will include the first musical performance from the newly enhance stage of the Bandshell. 

Approximately 35 arts performances will be featured on Community Day, which will be followed by more than 150 community arts groups representing every neighborhood in San Francisco performing in the Bandshell throughout the year.  All the performances will be free to the public.

The new community arts program will run two weekends a month in the afternoon and will be funded with grants provided through the San Francisco Parks Alliance and the Golden Gate Park 150th Committee.

“These enhancements will strengthen the quality of the programs being offered to visitors of Golden Gate Park, while preserving and celebrating the historic and cultural relevance of the Bandshell,” said Drew Becher, CEO of San Francisco Parks Alliance.  “Golden Gate Park is fondly known as ‘everybody’s park’ and this new community arts program will open the door for more visitors to enjoy all that it has to offer.”

The Spreckels Temple of Music was completed in 1900 on the western end of the Music Concourse, which is also home to the de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, and Japanese Tea Garden.  Known at the time as the Music Stand it survived the 1906 earthquake and has undergone renovations through the years to preserve its historic structure and significance to Golden Gate Park.  Over the years, the Bandshell has become a popular place to hold music performances, including by Luciano Pavarotti and the Grateful Dead.  The Bandshell is also the official home to the Golden Gate Park Band, which performs on Sunday’s in the Park during the summer months.

Visit goldengatepark150.com for a guide to the special events, programming, exhibitions, history, amazing stories and things to do in the park. Specific information about the April 4th Community Day can also be found on the website.


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