Once, working parents, kids and street legends rubbed elbows at Virgo’s, a family grocery and hub in the Western Addition. As part of our ongoing work to help local entrepreneurs assert their place in the neighborhood, Citizen Film documents and celebrates San Francisco’s rich legacy of black-owned businesses. We’ve shown this story in venues ranging from a sculptural multimedia installation we created on the store’s former site to training sessions for low-income entrepreneurs at Success Center SF, one of 28 CBO partners on our Buchanan Mall neighborhood community-storytelling-and-engagement initiative.
Our long-term partnership with Success Centers and its clients is designed to help low-income entrepreneurs in our neighborhood tell and share their stories with their neighborhood community and other potential stakeholders. For 35 years, Success Centers has been convening community members to address barriers to opportunity and strengthen the community by building social and economic relationship networks. Many of its clients have prior or ongoing involvement with the justice system. Our collaboration, supported by a grant Citizen Film received from the California Arts Council, promotes equity by helping these entrepreneurs explore their own needs and potential through storytelling that surfaces the needs and potential of their neighborhood.
Producers: Sophie Constantinou, Tamara Walker
Community Organizers: Widya Batin, Meseka Garcia