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January 09, 2015

S.F. Group Aims to Preserve Place for Artists in Tenderloin

A San Francisco nonprofit is compiling a list of diamond-in-the-rough artists in the city's working-class Tenderloin district to define and maintain the community's distinctive cultural assets in the face of gentrification, The New York Times writes. The Wildflowers Institute has identified more than 200 artists as "hidden gems," many of them disabled or formerly homeless, spotlighting people at risk of being displaced as tech firms and high-income workers encircle the neighborhood.

The institute is awarding certificates and other forms of recognition to "hidden gems" artists for their role in the improving neighborhood, long known for its seamy side but in recent years witnessing a flowering of street-level arts projects. "The Tenderloin is a microcosm of what is happening around the world," said the group's president, Hanmin Liu, "a neighborhood of high poverty surrounded by affluence" but also "a place of curious resilience."