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In The Gallery
by Charles Papillo
October 9 - December 1 | More Info
18 Reasons is building a healthy community of cooks, gardeners, and eaters of all ages, empowered to create social change through food.
It all started with Cliff Leonardi and Dan DiPasquo, active members of the 18th-and-Guerrero community, who set out to create a workplace, a meeting and event venue, and gallery in the neighborhood. They dubbed the little storefront at 593 Guerrero Street “Blue Space” and happily carried out their mission until 2007, when Cliff and his family left for the arguably greener pastures of Portland. At that point, Cliff and Dan offered the reins to the folks at Bi-Rite Market, who for years had been dreaming of having a space to further connect neighbors with producers of food and wine. They leapt at the chance, and renamed the space “18 Reasons.”
Meanwhile, down the street at 18th and Harrison, the nonprofit Three Squares was launched to bring free Cooking Matters cooking and nutrition classes to low-income communities throughout the Bay Area. Three Squares' founder Sarah Nelson started working with Bi-Rite Market and 18 Reasons to launch San Francisco's first Food & Farm Film Fest in 2013, and the two organizations made the bold decision to merge later that spring. The new 18 Reasons brings food education to people of all backgrounds and interests, helping all communities maximize their food resources while building skills and making connections.
Why 18 Reasons?
If you’ve been in the Mission for a while, you may remember the large sign atop a building at the corner of 17th Street and Mission. It simply, and mysteriously stated: 17 Reasons. It was tragically taken down in 2002 and replaced by an ordinary billboard. To mark the change in the gallery’s management and pay tribute to this much-missed icon, we decided to rechristen the space as 18 Reasons. 18 because of 18th Street, and because…well, it never hurts to have one more reason.