HAAiA Artist Joanna Haigood's Zaccho Dance Theatre & Bayview Opera House present "Picture Bayview Hunters Point"


Joanna Haigood (HAA Dance 1998) is the founding Artistic Director of Zaccho Dance Theatre.

(San Francisco, CA) This October, Zaccho Dance Theatre brings the dreams and aspirations of local Bayview Hunters Point residents to life in a new, full-length work entitled Picture Bayview Hunters Point, with free performances over two weekends October 11-14 and 18-21, 2018. This interdisciplinary, site-specific performance centered in, on, and around the historic Bayview Opera House is a celebration of the community in which Zaccho has made its home for the past 28 years and a response to the economic and demographic changes impacting the neighborhood.

Conceived and directed by Zaccho Artistic Director Joanna Haigood in collaboration with video artist Mary Ellen Strom and composer Walter Kitundu, Picture Bayview Hunters Point incorporates high angle aerial choreography with video and sound recording gathered from a series of events and interviews with area residents conducted by the lead artists over the course of a year. The performance, in six sections, reveals personal histories of migration and moments of resistance and offers a collage of community voices expressing hopes and aspirations for Bayview Hunters Point.

Contributing performing artists include José Abad, Alex Allan, Lydia Clinton, Delvin Friñon, Antoine Hunter, Azraa Muhammad, Jarrel Phillips, Adonis Damian Martin Quiñones, Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, Sonya Smith, Helen Wicks, and musician Martin Luther McCoy.

“I am honored to have had this opportunity to create a performance in the community where I have worked and grown as an artist,” says Joanna Haigood, Zaccho’s founding Artistic Director. “I have heard so many extraordinary stories and have been deeply touched by the generosity of so many in Bayview Hunters Point. I am looking forward to presenting a work that reflects the beauty, strength, and wisdom that this community has nurtured despite its many challenges.”

Picture Bayview Hunters Point is the culmination of a multi-city project realized over the past eighteen years. It marks the completion of a trilogy which began with Picture Powerhorn (2000), commissioned by the Walker Art Center at the Marquette Grain Terminal in Minneapolis and Picture Red Hook (2002), commissioned by Dancing in the Streets at the Port Authority Grain Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Each of the three communities, although extremely unique in their character, experience similar social and economic challenges common to inner city communities, but are also home to many extraordinary people and organizations working to realize their vision of a positive future. As urban development has begun to expand into these communities, many residents are now at risk of being displaced. Haigood’s question in the face of this was, “If a community had control and unlimited resources to develop organically, what would its future look like?”

Planning for Picture Bayview Hunters Point began in early 2017 with initial artists meetings and the formation of an advisory Community Council whose members include local artists, activists, and youth. Zaccho, together with the work’s collaborating artists and the nonprofit social enterprise and video production organization BAYCAT, documented local histories and the community’s vision through a series of special events, interviews, and youth programs and has incorporated these elements into the final performances, along with archival material from Found SF.

All performances are free and open to the public. Picture Bayview Hunters Point takes place at the Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd St., San Francisco, CA. For more information and to register for performances, visit zaccho.org. Post-show discussion panels will be held Saturday, October 13 and Friday, October 19 with lifelong community residents, Memliek Walker and Toni Carpenter, and moderated by San Francisco City College African American Studies Chair Aliyah Dunn-Salahuddin.

Picture Bayview Hunters Point is made possible through generous support from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Foundation, California Arts Council, Surdna Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the MAP Fund, Zellerbach Family Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, California Humanities, the W Fund, and Zaccho's generous individual donors.

About Zaccho Dance Theatre

Founded in 1980, Zaccho Dance Theatre creates and presents performance work that investigates dance as it relates to place. Artistic Director Joanna Haigood’s creative work focuses on making dances that use natural, architectural, and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Haigood’s innovative work involves in-depth research into the history and character of sites, often involving local communities in the creative process, and typically integrates aerial flight and suspension as ways of expanding performer’ spatial and dynamic range.

In addition to its performances locally, nationally, and internationally, Zaccho provides arts education programs in school, after school and in partnership with community organizations in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco.

About the Bayview Opera House

Founded in 1989 to manage programs from the historic 1888 South San Francisco Opera House, Bayview Opera House, Inc. (BVOH) is a 501 (c) (3) organization with a mission to serve as the focal point of art and culture in the Bayview Hunters Point community by providing accessible, diverse, and high-quality arts education, cultural programs, and community events in a safe environment. BVOH highlights the culture and struggle of the African American community in Bayview Hunters Point in the last 50 years.