Take out your 2015 calendar and mark down every second Sunday of the month.
It will only take a moment and you will be ready for the Ocean Avenue Association’s new and exciting creation—Second Sundays.
On each second Sunday over the next year, the OAA—the non-profit charged with maintaining the commercial corridor—will lead in organizing arts, entertainment and many other fun activities for a few hours in local businesses, making the avenue a destination full of options for residents and visitors alike. Participating businesses include the Fog Lifter Cafe, Java on Ocean, The Ave and Melanio’s Bistro. Others have expressed interest in joining in and the OAA staff has been diligently preparing for launch on Jan. 11.
With luck, Second Sundays will be able to take on a variety of performances and activities. There’s no need to be limited to the arts alone. There will be musicians, dancers, artists, craftsmen, vendors and poets. Imagine Ingleside Presbyterian offering basketball, Elevate Fitness giving 15-minute Pilates primers, a jazz trio at Java on Ocean, a poetry reading at the community garden, and live comedy at The Ave. There is also the opportunity to use vacant storefronts for activities.
By choosing a single day of the month, Second Sundays will be easy to promote—the date’s in the name after all. A routine event will simplify promotion and organizing talent. And it lends itself to building a following.
To maximize its effect, Second Sundays will be held from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. We want to bring families in the late afternoon and adults in the evening. This will go a long way to encouraging nightlife on the corridor. The small business owners I spoke to were happy at the idea of having extra business on a day that is often slow.
To encourage participation, the OAA is leading the promotion of the event. The OAA has developed a logo, poster and flyer template, e-mail list and social media presence. It will also form the Second Sunday Shouters, a group of neighborhood volunteers led by the OAA charged with getting the word out about that month’s lineup.
The OAA is approaching SF Weekly, Bay Guardian, Examiner, KQED, and Chronicle for media sponsorships. Ingleside’s stretch of Ocean Avenue has a rich history, some beautiful architecture, ideal access to transit, a variety of beloved businesses and organizations, and a diverse community full of amazing people. In August, I proposed to my fellow OAA board directors that the organization develop and launch Second Sundays to invite the rest of city to see the corridor’s many attractions. It was an easy sell.
The OAA does the promotional work so the participating small businesses are free to simply bring in artists and performers. I believe it will drive the creation of more events. The beauty lies in its open format and consistency.
Now the project has grown in part with a $15,000 grant from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. However, I believe there are a number of corporations with stores on the avenue that will sponsor the endeavor. This idea has been vetted by the OAA’s Street Life + Business Committee.
Ocean Avenue has come a long way in the past few years but there is still a ways to go. Bringing together small businesses, neighbors, artists and visitors is a great way to develop community.
Please help make Second Sundays a success. We kick off the year-long pilot on Jan. 11. We may have some awesome surprises in store.