Shaping San Francisco/

is creating history in the present




per month

About Shaping San Francisco/

Shaping San Francisco/ is a participatory community history project documenting and archiving overlooked stories and memories of the San Francisco Bay Area. We know you value the preservation of local history, offering a touchstone to the City you know and remember, grew up in, and have made important memories of your own in. Please make history a creative act in the present and help us continue our vital work of defining a new kind of public space, specifically around a shared interest in our interrelated social histories.

Ongoing support through monthly gifts is vital for us to be able to do this work year-round. Your recurring gifts of just $3–10 helps us reach our goal of $1000/month!

Thank you for creating public, community wealth!

LisaRuth Elliott and Chris Carlsson, co-directors

Did you know: You can sign up for our weekly email newsletter. We hope you will enjoy our updates on history that is being created every day.
More about us
Shaping San Francisco seeks to bring out the historian in everyone and promote the everyday study of history. We reject the notion that there is just one way to see the events that have defined our lives. Thus we welcome diverse contributions from the public, with their multiple perspectives, to the canon of history. Our online archive,, a place to discover and shape San Francisco history—which is on a wiki-based platform—is open to additions, enhancements, corrections, and edits.

We believe that history is a participatory, creative act, a shared project of shaping our sense of life. Through a free Wednesday night Public Talk Series in its 14th year, Bicycle History Tours, and Walking Tours, we offer opportunities for the public to come together in real time and share ideas, inspiration, struggles, resources, and conversation.

We work with cultural producers and local organizations. From performative walking tours by Eye Zen Presents, aerial dance pieces by Zaccho Dance Theater, to combining historical walking tours with dance shows, murals, and local schools and universities, we help to integrate deeper histories into creative projects.

We have produced three anthologies offering grassroots perspectives on social movements, significant events, and decisions that have led us to the San Francisco that we see and experience today. We also gather oral histories from ordinary San Franciscans whose remembrances help us understand the complex fabric of life at various times in history.

By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 5 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 5 exclusive posts

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