Dancers’ Group and Joanna Haigood

Thomas Lee

“The People’s Building” investigates movement and visual storytelling in relation to the history, architecture, and metaphors inherent in San Francisco City Hall.

Dancers’ Group is commissioning celebrated choreographer and long-time San Francisco community leader Joanna Haigood to create a new work set in various locations throughout San Francisco’s Beaux Arts City Hall building. Known for her in-depth research and community-involving creative process, Haigood’s new work will examine the contradictions inherent in a city named for a saint who venerated the poor, but that is increasingly defined by the vast inequality between the city’s homeless population and a new class of tech entrepreneurs.

Haigood, who has for more than 30 years maintained a studio and run free arts education programs in the city’s historically African American Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood, will collaborate with composer, bass player, and bandleader Marcus Shelby, who will create a new orchestral jazz work that reflects the themes of the project.

Artists hold a unique place in the world. The process of deep focus, inquiry, and discovery reveals the hidden layers of truth and promotes an empathy that connects us in a powerful way.

—Joanna Haigood

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