Monthly Archives

May 2015

Community Events

San Mateo Summer Fun!

Get Ready For San Mateo Summer Fun!

Check out this exciting line-up and get ready for a fun-filled summer. The San Mateo County Fair and the Central Park Music Series are tried and true favorites, while others such as the San Mateo Street Festival and Movies In The Meadow are new events that add more excitement. Here’s a round-up of fun events taking place in San Mateo!

San Mateo County Fair: June 6-14

Fun, affordable and family friendly! Summer fun kicks-off in San Mateo with the County Fair. From campy music and pig races to carnival rides, art exhibits and so much more the San Mateo County Fair offers big fun for kids of all ages. Spend the day or get your season pass for this event that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation. Pre-sale tickets are available online through June 2nd at a discounted rate. Afterwards, the full price rate (which is still affordable at $10 for adult and $8 for kids over five) can either be purchased online or at the fairgrounds. Remember, carnival rides and games are not included in the price of admission. You’ll need to purchase a separate wristband for these activities.

Disaster Preparedness Day: June 6

Taking place as part of the San Mateo County Fair and sponsored by San Mateo County, the 11th Annual Disaster Preparedness Day provides Fair attendees with an opportunity to learn what’s needed to prepare for a disaster. You’ll can prepare a disaster plan and emergency kit, learn about first-aid, hear from police, fire and emergency medical services, and participate in equipment demonstrations. Arrive before 11:00 AM to receive free parking and admission to the fair.

San Mateo Street Festival: June 20 & 21

San Mateo Street Festival! Free community festival featuring live performances on two stages, children's activities, food, shopping and more. On B Street in Downtown San Mateo.

San Mateo Street Festival! Free community festival featuring live performances on two stages, children’s activities, food, shopping and more. On B Street in Downtown San Mateo.

For one weekend only, B Street in Downtown San Mateo between Baldwin and 6th Avenue, comes alive with musical and cultural performances, children’s activities, a vintage auto exhibition, food booths and street vendors selling their wares. The exciting San Mateo Street Festival, sponsored by the Downtown San Mateo Association and formerly known as SummerFest, is in its third year and a new stop along the Bay Area summer festival circuit. Set within vibrant Downtown San Mateo, the Street Festival brings many eclectic art and craft booths as well as a community stage where local performing groups such as Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Core Taekwondo, and a ukulele orchestra showcase the talent of our local community. The Street Festival is free and open to the public. It takes place from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Shop, dine and enjoy your day in Downtown San Mateo.

Central Park Music Series: Begins June 25th!

A perfect summer evening in Central Park: live music, dancing, friends and family.

A perfect summer evening in Central Park: live music, dancing, friends and family.

The Central Park Music Series continues to be the best way to spend a Thursday evening in San Mateo. Popular reggae band, Native Elements, kicks-off the series on Thursday, June 25th. The music continues each week through August 13th featuring a variety of lively music ranging from salsa, big band, blues, and country. Gather your friends and family, pack a picnic, and enjoy a fun-filled summer night in Central Park. Each performance takes place from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Movies in the Meadow: Returns July and August

Enjoy a movie under the stars this summer at Bay Meadows.

Enjoy a movie under the stars this summer at Bay Meadows.

Save the dates for “Movies in the Meadow” at Bay Meadows Park, July 18th and August 15th! Bring your friends and family for food trucks, your favorite vendors and, of course, classic films. More details coming soon!

Citywide Yard Sale: August 29th


Partner with your neighbors and join this community event to reuse and recycle items you no longer need. New online sale registration and map will make it easier for you to post your unique sale items, search for treasures citywide and save the planet. Together we can do a lot! More information is coming soon.


Community, Downtown

San Mateo Happiness Wall

Community engagement, collaboration, and art bring smiles and color to Third and El Camino!

San Mateo’s three corners, situated at the intersection of Third and El Camino and considered a gateway into the downtown, have long been a point of frustration for the community. With nothing but weeds and fencing welcoming visitors and residents in the downtown, City officials identified it as a priority to activate these long vacant properties with art or other creative elements to temporarily establish a more inviting entry into Downtown San Mateo.

The inspiration to install the San Mateo Happiness Wall at the northeast property owned by 221 San Mateo Associates, LLC began in May 2014 during Innovation Week. A group of artists met at the Three Corners, to brainstorm and share ideas about what could be done to activate the properties. And, during last year’s SummerFest the Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA) wanted to incorporate a a collaborative art activity into the event.

Community members and attendees of last summer's SummerFest contributed to the San Mateo Happiness Wall.

Community members and attendees of last summer’s SummerFest contributed to the San Mateo Happiness Wall.

The City and DSMA partnered with Burning Man to bring an interactive art wall facilitated by Oakland artist Richard Felix and founder of ArtIsMobilUs. Throughout the weekend hundreds of community members contributed to the mural by painting their vision of happiness onto the wall. For some that vision was butterflies and trees, for others it was French fries, while others expressed happiness through images of peace and love. These happy icons resulted in a festive, colorful mural that is now available for the entire community to enjoy.

“Listening to people react to the mural and figure out what to paint is always one of the most interesting experiences of bringing the art wall into a community,” says artist Richard Art Felix. “People will stand back and think about it for a while. Suddenly there’s a crowd painting, talking, creating, collaborating, and interacting with one another making art. It’s a great process and bringing this experience to San Mateo was a lot of fun.”

The City decided to purchase the mural and reached out to the Third and El Camino property owners about installing this or other community created art onto some part of the properties. 221 San Mateo Associates, LLC owner of the northeast property and represented by Village Properties agreed to the project by making the fence available to install the mural.

A representative of Village Properties stated, “This is something the city and DSMA was clearly interested in doing, and we thought it would be a nice gesture to do what we can to help, plus we get a nice piece of art in front of our fence.”

Happiness Wall_Install Crew

On April 11, 2015 a talented crew led the installation of the frame and mural

Happiness Wall_Volunteers

Thanks to all the volunteers that worked on the installation of San Mateo’s Happiness Wall.

Using relationships formed during Innovation Week the City partnered with Torrey Smith, an aerospace engineer turned medical device designer working in the San Francisco Bay Area, to construct the frame.

“Smith has a ‘Maker Spirit’ and is passionate about art and community building,” says Rebecca Zito, Senior Management Analyst with the City of San Mateo. “He was the perfect partner for completing this project. He brought technical know-how and a genuine interest in bringing art to our community.”

Happiness Wall_At Night

Solar panels mounted onto the top of the frame light the mural at night.

The installation of San Mateo’s Happiness Wall is a huge accomplishment. It is a colorful, cheerful addition to the Three Corners and brings an element of curiosity to the intersection. At night, the mural is lit through the use of solar panels mounted onto the frame. This makes the area safer in the evenings and brings more interest to the downtown.

Each of the Three Corners’ property owners submitted applications to the City’s Planning Division to develop the properties. The City is excited to receive the proposals and is currently reviewing the three projects.

“I am thrilled that this installation came to fruition and that the City was able to partner with so many great and creative people to make it happen,” says Marcus Clarke, Economic Development Manager. “This type of creativity and collaboration demonstrates San Mateo’s ability to turn an eyesore into wonderful, new gathering space.”

Community, Community Events

Maker Cities: Inspiring Engagement, Dialogue, and Participation

Burning Man to share philosophies of community engagement during San Mateo Innovation Week.

Social media, on-line platforms, community forums, and participatory activities through art and technology have transformed the ways citizens interact and participate within their communities. Information is more accessible, dialogue is on-going, and expectations for involvement continue to rise. As a city that prides itself on innovation, collaboration, and experimentation, San Mateo utilizes many of these techniques to create stronger connections with residents and community partners.

The Central Park Master Plan, Downtown Engagement process, Taste and Talk Speaker Series, and digital platforms such as San Mateo Town Hall, Nextdoor, and San Mateo City Insider eNewsletter and blog connect residents to community issues, provide information, and create dialogue. But, is that enough? What other techniques can be used to encourage greater connection, creativity, and participation throughout our community?

The upcoming panel discussion, “Maker Cities: Inspiring Engagement, Dialogue, and Participation,” taking place on May 14th features Burning Man co-founder and former City Manager of Black Rock City, Harley Dubois; Ashley Trim, Assistant Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy; Leslie Pritchett, Public Art Instigator and board member to several arts-based and nonprofit ventures including The Crucible and American Steel Studios; and Gordon Strause, Director of Neighborhood Operations with San Francisco-based Nextdoor. Stuart Mangrum, Education Director for Burning Man will facilitate the discussion.

Burning Man’s culture of participation and inclusion has inspired and increased expectations for community involvement in the default world. This panel brings together diverse perspectives from Burning Man and other leaders in community engagement to share philosophies, strategies and techniques that encourage citizens to get involved and contribute to making lasting solutions in communities near and far.

“We are excited to bring Burning Man back to San Mateo to be part of this diverse panel of community engagement leaders,” says Rebecca Zito, Senior Management Analyst. “Our community wants to be involved and contribute to the decision making process. Being able to learn from these leading thinkers will spark new ideas and strategies on how we can create a more connected community.”

Maker Cities: Inspiring Engagement, Dialogue, and Participation takes place on Thursday, May 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Kingfish Restaurant located in Downtown San Mateo at 201 S. B Street. Registration is free, but space is limited; reserve your space using Eventbrite. Visit San Mateo Innovation Week for more information. Visit our Facebook page, San Mateo Innovation Week, to share your innovative ideas.

san mateo innovation week
Community, Community Events

San Mateo Innovation Week Returns!

Celebrating technology, education, community engagement, and 10-years of Maker Faire.

From May 11th through May 15th and leading up to Maker Faire, taking place May 16th and 17th at the San Mateo County Event Center, the San Mateo community is invited to participate in San Mateo Innovation Week – a week-long event recognizing all that makes San Mateo an innovative and creative place to work, live, play and learn.

San Mateo has a history of being an innovative city and has attracted entrepreneurs since the gold rush. In 1849 Nicolas de Peyster, an early innovator recognized a business opportunity. Moving into the former abandoned mission outpost building along San Mateo Creek, he opened the first road house between San Francisco and San Jose. Its location, mid-way between the two cities, made de Peyster wildly successful and the location set the foundation for what is now Downtown San Mateo.

Nearly 15-years later the railroad was constructed and San Mateo boomed. It’s booming again! Entrepreneurs continue to locate in San Mateo for its central location and the rail corridor is influencing new development throughout the community as it did more than 150 years ago. However, innovation and creativity takes place in all sectors of our community. Innovation Week provides an opportunity to highlight the ideas and programs our schools, organizations, and people bring to the community and it will spark a dialogue about the ways San Mateo can continue to thrive while maintaining its character.

Innovation Week opens at Draper University’s Hero City on May 11th with a reception hosted by the San Mateo Economic Development Growth Enterprise (the EDGE) to recognize contributions of local tech companies and property owner Joe Sully. The EDGE will present a San Mateo Visionary Hero Award to Edmodo and ROBLOX for the contributions these companies have made to education and encouraging kids to code. Sully will also receive this award to acknowledge his third avenue property as an incubator for many start-up companies.

As part of the Downtown Engagement process, the City of San Mateo will host a Downtown Future Forum on Wednesday, May 13th. A Downtown For All: Exploring Community Gathering Spaces focuses on innovative ways to create and make better use of public gathering spaces. Representatives from Street Labs Collaborative and SiteLab Productions will share the way communities are re-imagining public spaces.

On Thursday, May 14th, Burning Man returns to San Mateo to explore the strategies, techniques and philosophies that inspire people to engage with their communities. Maker Cities: Inspiring Engagement, Dialogue, and Participation features Burning Man co-founder and former City Manager of Black Rock City, Harley Dubois as well as Ashley Trim, Assistant Director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University.

The week also includes a STEM Faire hosted by iZone, a partnership between the San Mateo County Office of Education and the Full Circle Fund on Wednesday, May 13th and on Friday, May 15th the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center will sponsor an ADRx panel discussion focusing on innovations in conflict resolution.

“Innovation Week provides an opportunity for the San Mateo community to create a conversation and explore methods of problem solving,” says Marcus Clarke, Economic Development Manager. “In working with community partners we have been able to create a spirited and thought provoking schedule that will capture the attention of the San Mateo community and beyond.”

Innovation Week is sponsored by the City of San Mateo and the San Mateo EDGE, and is organized in partnership with the County Office of Education and Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center. For more information and for the complete schedule of events please visit the San Mateo Innovation Week website. Most of the events are free and open to the public.