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Luggage Store/509 Cultural Center
2015 – $10,000 Market Street Prototyping Festival
2012 – $5,000 Tenderloin National Forest

The 509 Cultural Center was founded in 1987 and has created community-based arts programs at the Luggage Store Gallery since the 1990s. Both Institutions have promoted many Bay Area artists of color, and provide the low-income Central Market and Tenderloin residents the opportunity to participate in the neighborhood’s cultural life.

Tenderloin National Forest
The Tenderloin National Forest (TNF) is an unexpected oasis of 3,400 square feet of  beautifully landscaped community commons and green space gardens. The TNF provides needed respite in the San Francisco Tenderloin’s dense urban landscape and offers a striking contrast to much of the neighborhood. The TNF is available for use by the general public  for community gatherings/celebrations; reflection and respite; as a creative space for innovative public art projects; and as an educational resource.

The TNF was a former dead end alley, known as Cohen Place (off Ellis Street, between Leavenworth and Hyde Streets), enclosed by mutli-story buildings and was formerly used as dumping grounds and space for illicit activities. The Luggage Store, also known as The 509 Cultural Center, transformed and maintains the alley.

Market Street Prototyping Festival
The Luggage Store continued to support the residents and culture of the Central Market and Tenderloin districts by creating installations and programming for the
2015 Market Street Prototyping Festival. Projects included the PPlanter, an ecologically friendly public restroom prototype, equipped with light and sound installations by Lighthouse Studio, as well as performances and community engagement activities by artists Paul Benney, Amara Tabor-Smith and Michael Swaine.