A weekly series of arts-related events is kicking off in San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza today as part of an effort by the city and its arts community to revitalize the Mid-Market neighborhood.

The “Summer of Art” series, which will take place on Tuesdays through September, is a collaboration of the theater, dance and music communities in the neighborhood, who will take turns offering events each week.

Starting the series today is “What’s On Stage?,” a dance and theater preview event that will showcase upcoming performances at neighborhood venues such as the EXIT Theatre at 156 Eddy St. and CounterPULSE at 1310 Mission St.

The event will include music by Tenderloin resident artists.

Events in the coming weeks will include a free outdoor concert series, a mobile music and theater project and a contemporary dance performance.

Mayor Ed Lee in December released the Central Market Economic Strategy, an effort in which the city is working with private-sector partners to revitalize the neighborhood, which has been plagued by blight and crime.

Other efforts that are part of the strategy include a new Sixth Street police substation that is still in the works and a community safety ambassador program introduced in February.

The strategy “is a roadmap to guide our efforts to create jobs, stabilize the community and transform the quality of life for the neighborhood,” Lee said in a statement. “The arts are an integral part of this strategy.”

Today’s kickoff event begins at noon at the plaza, located on Market Street between Seventh and Eighth streets.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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