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Shaping San Francisco Oral Histories

Oral Histories
Excerpts we've chosen from interviews conducted over the last few years

Shaping San Francisco, as part of our ongoing work, sits down with people who have stories to tell and conducts oral history interviews. If you are interested in participating in this project as a subject, or as a videographer or editor, please contact us at

Special thanks to Paul Grammatico for editing work on these videos.

Oral histories Page 1

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Interviewed at her home in the G2 Building on 18th Street, 1999

In these clips Dunbar-Ortiz describes San Francisco throughout the years

Mat Callahan
Interviewed while driving through the Fillmore, Potrero Hill, Mission Bay, and more in 1997

In these clips Mat Callahan describes the San Francisco he grew up in during the 1960s and 1970s, his political evolution, his life as a cabbie and longshoreman, and his musical and political career.

Harry Hay
Interviewed at 501 Ashbury Street, June 1996

Describes early gay pickup scene at Finocchio's as well as Presidio guardhouse, being in the streets during the 1934 Big Strike, the Mattachine Society, evolution of gay identity, and more.


Craig Baldwin
Interviewed at Artists' Television Access on Valencia Street in 2015

Craig Baldwin, experimental filmmaker, found footage curator, host of Other Cinema, pioneer with video and film mashups, bizarre and hilarious "documentaries" and more.


Greta Snider
Interviewed at her home on Bernal Heights in 2015

Greta Snider, longtime filmmaker and professor, talks about film, teaching, and life.


Jay Rosenblatt
Jay Rosenblatt is an internationally recognized artist

who has been working as an independent filmmaker since 1980 and has completed over twenty-five films. His work explores our emotional and psychological cores. They are personal in their content yet universal in their appeal.