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Explore Bay Area Social Movement History

Upcoming Events:

February 24
Art & Politics: Mauro Ffortissimo with Dean Mermell

While squatting a South Park Gulch apartment in the 1990s and experimenting with urban guerrilla art, at some point Argentinian-born artist Mauro Ffortissimo began collecting pianos. He took them apart, pushed them off rooftops, and set one ablaze on the bluffs of Half Moon Bay after a series of sunset performances. Together, Mauro and Dean Mermell now bring pianos to the streets and gardens of San Francisco. Including an excerpt of Twelve Pianos.

More info on Shaping San Francisco Public Talks…

Walking Tours

Social, historical, and critical tours through San Francisco.

Spring 2016 3rd Saturday walking tour schedule

February 20: King (Willie) Tide Tour of Mission Bay

March 19: Walking the Rebellion: Irish San Francisco and the Easter Rebellion

April 16: Scandalous South of Market

May 21: Rancho San Miguel Hilltopper!


Bicycle Tours
“Cycles of History,” our social, historical, and critical tours through San Francisco by bicycle.

Our fabulous bicycle tours are led by Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson.

San Francisco Bicycle Tours

Join our list or like us on Facebook to be notified about upcoming tours!

NEXT BIKE TOUR » Saturday March 12, 2016


Covering everything from literary dissenters to urban riots and protests, this tour examines sites of conflict and unrest, the social movements and upheavals, that have shaped San Francisco since its origins. It's a social, historical and critical tour through the city's contrarian past and present. Tour ends at Dolores Park.


Please email us to RSVP, less than five people cancels!


Explore Shaping San Francisco:

Ecology Emerges poster art by Mona Caron

Ecology Emerges

Discussions and reflections on the history of Bay Area ecological activism, based on oral histories documenting the past 50 years.

Ecology Emerges is an oral history gathering project to explore the past 50 years of ecological activism in the Bay Area and the role that individual and institutional memories play in the development, policy proposals, and interrelationships that together make up the existing networks of ecological politics.  We document the living ecological activist movement, in their own words, but also in a larger context of urban growth and globalization.

Read more…

Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Shaping San Francisco, as part of our ongoing work, sits down with people who have stories to tell and conducts oral history interviews.

Check them out here.

"Editor's Pick Tour" from

Comprised of over 1,400 pages, and 2,500 historical photos, the wiki-based archive is the product of hundreds of contributors, regular people who were compelled by the chance to investigate some piece of this City's past.

See the latest highlights…