Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Scott Knies: The Exit Roast

After a whopping 34 years of service, Scott Knies is retiring his post as the executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association. He was the first hired executive for the SJDA and launched many great initiatives and events such as Music in the Park, Downtown Ice, and the Downtown Farmer's Market. 

He's going out with a bang. A roast will be held in his honor at the Signia by Hilton (former Fairmont) on Saturday, October 29th from 6-10pm. You can buy tickets over here.

He'll also be doing his last "State of Downtown" speech and slideshow on October 14th.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Champions of Magic Giveaway

As mentioned last week, the internationally renowned show Champions of Magic is doing five performances at the San Jose Civic from Dec. 27 to 29. You can buy tickets right now over here starting at $69 per person... but you might be able to get those tickets for free right now. We are doing a giveaway for four tickets for the December 27th show!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is fill out this form (below is an image of what it looks like), check "San Jose," and mention The San Jose Blog. That's it, should take 30 seconds.

We will keep the contest open for a week and then announce the winner next Friday!

Monday, October 3, 2022

South FIRST FRIDAY - October 2022

South FIRST FRIDAYS is back this week! Galleries (both permanent and temporary) will be open from at least 5-9pm. The Street Mrkt urban faire featuring artists, special performances, live music, food trucks, and a beer garden will be running in parallel until 10pm. Two local breweries--Camino Brewing Co. and the Fox Tale Fermentation Project are the stars of the beer garden this month.

Participating venues include ANNO DOMINI, Institute of Contemporary Art, KALEID Gallery, Works San Jose, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the SoFA Market, MACLA, Art Ark Gallery, and MACHU PICCHU.

Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

Click here for a preview of featured art and list of all street vendors.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Illusionist show coming to San Jose for the holidays + Giveaway

The internationally renowned show Champions of Magic is doing five performances at the San Jose Civic from Dec. 27 to 29. The show is led by a team of five illusionists that have been featured on every major US TV network. The acts take place around the whole theater and include interactive magic, levitations, several illusions that can't be seen anywhere else, and an epic finale. 

It's an ideal family-friendly activity for the holiday season and will pair well with Christmas in the Park across the street.

You can buy tickets right now over here starting at $69 per person. We are also going to do a giveaway for four tickets next week! Keep your eyes peeled for further details early next week on how to enter the giveaway.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

California's Great America plans for 2023

Earlier this year, we got the sad news that Great America will be closing it's doors permanently at some point this decade. Fortunately, it appears that the theme park is going to make the most of it's remaining few years.

2023 has a full lineup of events and the park will be open for weekends all year long. New for 2023 will be a PEANUTS Celebration in April featuring Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Friday Nights at Great America will welcome live bands, food, and drinks. Red, White & Brews is a hometown celebration of Americana food and drinks with local beers and wines. Tricks and Treats is a toned down version of Halloween Haunt that is family friendly (no mazes or haunted houses unfortunately). Last but not least is WinterFest in November and December.

For all of the 2023 details, continue reading the press release below.

California’s Great America Plans Expanded Lineup of Events and New Attractions for 2023; Will Be Open for Weekends All Year

SANTA CLARA, CA (August 11, 2022) – California’s Great America, the region’s premier amusement park, is planning an exciting 2023 season that will include an expanded lineup of events, live shows, new attractions, thrilling rides, kid-sized fun and waterpark adventures. And the park will be open for weekends all year long beginning in January.

As part of the expanded calendar and additional operating days in 2023, the park is planning a full slate of new and returning events:

  • PEANUTS Celebration (select dates in April) – New in 2023, the PEANUTS Gang comes out to play in a big way with this limited-time, special event where Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang will take over the entire park. Fans of all ages are invited to join the excitement with new live shows, Instagrammable moments, and activities for guests to play and interact with the PEANUTS Gang throughout the park. 
  • Friday Nights at Great America (select Fridays, March to November): Returning for another season, guests can enjoy the best night of the week with live bands, amazing food, tasty drinks and favorite rides.
  • Red, White & Brews (Select dates in June to July 4th): Join this hometown celebration of Americana food and fun as Great America's Hometown Square comes to life with live entertainment, gourmet food and locally sourced beer and wine. And there will be plenty of games and activities for the whole family.
  • Carnivale at Orleans Place (Select dates in July): Immerse yourself in this larger-than-life New Orleans festival featuring bold Cajun flavors, Big Easy Live Bands, and ending with the Spectacle of Color Parade featuring a host of Mardi Gras floats. A dance party and spectacular fireworks high over Orleans Place finish off the evening. Let the good times roll!
  • Tricks and Treats (Select dates in September and October): Halloween at Great America is as spook-tacular as ever. Tricks and Treats features all the Halloween fun and no fright. Guests of all ages will find ghastly great things to do as they choose their own path to follow through the lands of Icky Ville, Spooky Spires, Everfall and Sweet Tooth Acres. We invite the whole family to dress up for costume parties, play game shows, dance with spooky characters, and enjoy boo-licious food and drinks.
  • WinterFest (Select dates in November and December): The Bay Area’s most immersive holiday event returns this year, sparkling brighter than ever before. WinterFest brings holiday cheer to California’s Great America as the park is magically transformed into a winter wonderland and holiday festival.

In addition to this full calendar of fun events for 2023, park guests can also enjoy the recently expanded and upgraded All-American Corners area. It includes The Corner Notes musical song and dance show, expanded food options and two classic rides. Liberty Twirler is a brand-new spin on a classic midway ride that has been thrilling guests for decades. Long-time guests of Great America will instantly recognize Orbit, which spins back into action as part of the expanded area.

Park-goers will continue to enjoy the value of two parks for the price of one when they experience the thrilling slides and refreshing splashes of South Bay Shores waterpark – included with park admission. Featuring exciting water attractions, diverse and delicious food locations, premium cabanas and shaded lounge areas, South Bay Shores reflects the unique character of the South Bay region.

“California’s Great America is in the business of delivering fun and lifelong family memories. With our expanded operating calendar in 2023, guests will have more opportunities than ever to experience all that Great America has to offer,” said Barb Granter, general manager. “Between our exciting and expanded events lineup, thrilling and family-friendly rides, and everything our guests love about South Bay Shores waterpark, there’s something for everyone.”

Enjoy unlimited visits for the rest of 2022 plus all of the excitement planned in 2023 with a 2023 Gold Pass. You'll get visits to Great America, South Bay Shores, the new Tricks and Treats, WinterFest, exclusive discounts, and more. 2023 Gold Season Passes are now available for the lowest price of the year – as low as $95 or 11 payments of only $7, after initial payment plus fees. A season pass pays for itself in fewer than two visits. Purchase a Gold Pass between August 11 – 14 and enjoy one free Fast Lane to be used one day this fall. For more information and to purchase a 2023 season pass, please visit here.

About California’s Great America

California’s Great America is a 115-acre theme and waterpark located in Santa Clara, California. As Northern California’s premier amusement park, featuring thrill rides, live entertainment, and South Bay Shores waterpark, California’s Great America is the top destination for thrill-seekers and families alike. 

About Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. For more information, see

Monday, September 19, 2022

SJMA presents Kelly Akashi: Formations, the artist's first major touring exhibition

The San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA) is hosting the first major touring exhibition of Kelly Akashi. The exhibit includes nearly a decade of work featuring sculptures, glass, cast bronze, and photography. She is known for her hybrid works that are compelling both formally and conceptually. The exhibit also includes a new series where Akashi explores the inherited impact of her family's imprisonment in a Japanese American incarceration camp during WWII. For more information, please read the full press release below.

Kelly Akashi: Formations will be available at the SJMA until April 23rd, 2023 and then will travel nationally.

For Immediate Release
SAN JOSE, CA (June 28, 2022)—From September 3, 2022 through April 23, 2023, the San José Museum of Art (SJMA) will present the first major touring museum exhibition of Los Angeles–based artist Kelly Akashi (born 1983, Los Angeles). Organized by senior curator Lauren Schell Dickens, Kelly Akashi: Formations presents an overview of nearly a decade of work, including glass and cast bronze objects, multipart sculptural installations, and photographic work. It also includes a newly commissioned body of work that explores the inherited impact of the artist’s father’s imprisonment in a Japanese American incarceration camp in Poston, Arizona during World War II. The exhibition will debut at SJMA and then travel nationally.

“Since its founding, SJMA has provided a platform for emerging artists. We are honored to present Kelly Akashi’s first touring museum exhibition and encourage deeper exploration of her work and unique practice,” said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, San José Museum of Art.

Originally trained in analog photography, Akashi is drawn to fluid, impressionable materials and old-world craft techniques, such as glass blowing and casting, candle making, bronze and silicone casting, and rope making. She often pairs hand-blown glass or wax forms with unique and temporally specific bronze casts of her own hand, each a unique record of the slow-changing human body. Akashi’s interest in time—embedded in the materiality of many of her processes—has led her to study fossils, geology, and botany, locating humankind within a longer geological timeline. Drawing on scientific research and theoretical inquiry, she explores fundamental questions of existence—about being in the world and being in time—cultivating relationships among a variety of materials and subjects to investigate how they actively convey their histories and potential for change.  

“Akashi uses a familiar language of craft—of skilled experience and material knowledge—in a way that draws from tradition, but reveals internal encounters, juxtapositions, and relationships that push towards transformation. In one sense, you could say she’s encouraging a material empathy—looking at stones as witnesses to human trauma—while she’s also looking to interactions with materials, to geologic records, to make sense of her own history, as a human, and as a Japanese American,” said Lauren Schell Dickens, senior curator, San José Museum of Art.

The newly commissioned Conjoined Tumbleweeds (2022) is a monumental bronze cast of intertwined plants collected from Poston, Arizona—the former site of an incarceration camp for Japanese Americans where the artist’s paternal family, along with thousands of others, were relocated and imprisoned during World War II. It is presented with a variety of sculptures from throughout Akashi’s career on rammed earth pedestals, such as Be Me (Californian—Japanese Citrus) (2016), a stainless-steel cast of the cultivated fruit whose hybrid identity reflects the artist’s own heritage. The title “Be Me” is given to an ongoing group of works: an empathetic entreaty to dissolve boundaries between object and viewer, self and other. Particular subjects, weeds, flowers, shells, as well as traditional craft forms—footed vase, candle cup—reoccur, each encompassing particular morphologies and lineages in botany, paleontology, and histories of craft.

Akashi’s interest in thinking about cultivation, botanical time, and their relationship to self could first be seen in Local Weed (2017). The artist has an ongoing series of weed sculptures from the weeds in her backyard, drawn from life with meticulous tracings and entombed through lost-wax bronze casting. The exhibition will also include several large multifaceted sculptures—called “Complexes”—which incorporate their own systems of display. Evocative of scientific specimen tables, cabinets of curiosities, and domestic display furniture, these complex and detailed arrangements reveal the tenuous frailty of systems of classification and order.


The exhibition catalog—the first scholarly monograph on the artist—will feature essays by Lauren Schell Dickens, Ruba Katrib, Dr. Jenni Sorkin; and a conversation between Akashi and painter Julien Nguyen. The book will also feature a special photography project by Akashi, created specifically for this publication.  



Born in 1983, Kelly Akashi holds an MFA from the University of Southern California (2014) and a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design (2006); she also studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste—Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The artist’s work was featured in the 2016 edition of the Hammer Museum’s biennial, Made in L.A. Other notable group exhibitions include TITLE, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2017); LA: A Fiction, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, France (2017); Take Me (I’m Yours), curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jens Hoffmann, and Kelly Taxter, Jewish Museum, New York (2016); and Can’t Reach Me There, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2015). Winner of the 2019 Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Art Prize, the artist will have a residency and solo exhibition at the foundation in Ojai, California. Other residencies include ARCH Athens (2019) and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2019). Akashi’s solo exhibition Long Exposure was curated by Ruba Katrib at the SculptureCenter, New York (2017), and her first solo New York gallery exhibition was held at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in February 2020. Kelly Akashi’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; CC Foundation, Shanghai; M WOODS, Beijing; The Perimeter, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; and Sifang Museum, Nanjing, China, among others.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Viva CalleSJ 2022 on Sunday, September 18th

Viva Calle SJ is one of San Jose's largest and most unique annual events. Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, bike, or skateboard down the streets of San Jose. 

Viva Calle features multiple activity hubs which are basically festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This year the activity hubs will be at Parque de los Pobladores (Downtown), Kelley Park & History Park, the Arena Green, and Japantown. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all four hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Up to 100,000 people attend this event, but it never feels crowded given how spread out it is.

This year the route is essentially a hub Downtown with 3 spokes extending to the activity hubs. It's wild to think that you can walk from Kelly Park to Japantown in the middle of city streets.

Viva CalleSJ 2022 takes place on Sunday, September 18th from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). It is completely free and has no designated beginning or end as it's not a race. It also overlaps with a PokemonGO community event, so you may see a lot of people on their phones. You can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Oktoberfest 2022 at Ludwig's - Sep, 26, 17, 23, 24

Ludwig's--one of my favorite Downtown restaurants--is hosting multiple Oktoberfest celebrations this year. The first couple events are this weekend on September 16th and 17th with an encore next weekend on September 23rd and 24th.

There is food, beer (hopefully in a boot), music, dancing, a best-dressed contest, and a Stein-Holding competition. To get in, you have to purchase a table which allows entry for 6-8 adults. You can buy tickets over here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

September 2022 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The September 2022 Downtown Dimension is available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Learn about startup development company Nabr's plans for SoFA, starting with three towers of condos and breaking ground on the first 140 units this winter.
  • Progress being made on BART design improvements to proposed lines under downtown San Jose.
  • Juan Carlos Aguirre's background fits perfectly into his new assignment with SJDA as Community Engagement Manager, 
  • Groundwerx Employee of the Month Jesse Velo is an ardent supporter of public transportation, resulting in a thorough knowledge of downtown that comes in handy when visitors request directions.
  • SJDA's street life team creates an urban botanical garden.
  • 1 Culture art store joins eclectic lineup of businesses along the block of East Santa Clara Street between Third and Fourth streets
  • Do you have an idea for a community event or public activation? Apply this month for the Mayor's Abierto program, a celebration of the city's post pandemic re-opening.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Future of the Bay is San Jose

Nabr is building a sustainable, contemporary Scandinavian high-rises in Downtown San Jose's SoFA district and they have produced several articles that highlight just how walkable the area is. I think they nailed it (I visit most of the places mentioned frequently).

Click here to read "The Future of the Bay is San Jose"

Then follow it up with "72 Hours in San Jose, CA"

If you might be interested in their unique rent-to-own apartments, then I have one more link for you over here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

District 3 City Council Candidate Forum

District 3 is one of the most challenging parts of San Jose to manage as it contains Downtown San Jose, our urban and cultural core. With great challenge comes great reward--several District 3 councilmembers have ended up becoming mayor (Sam Liccardo, Susan Hammer, etc.). This election season, Irene Smith and Omar Torres are the frontrunners for the District 3 role. They will both be sharing their qualifications and vision in a forum at the Tabard Theatre on September 9th at 8:15am.

You can either attend in person by registering at (everyone gets 90 minutes of free parking at the Market/San Pedro Square garage) or by livestreaming the event over here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

August 2022 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The August 2022 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Meet Alex Stettinski, SJDA's next CEO, who answers some questions about his experiences in Southern California and Reno and how they could relate to his work starting soon in San Jose.
  • The downtown event schedule for August includes some of San Jose's biggest festivals, and the total audience could approach 200,000.
  • Business news includes a switch for 3Below, which plans to hold a musical Up on the Roof in August; and Serious Dumpling co-owner Phebe Shen, who worked through the first two years of the pandemic to create the menu and concept for her new and popular restaurant on San Pedro Square. 
  • Groundwerx Employee of the Month Rico Montenegro wakes up every morning at 2 a.m. and pressure-washes downtown's city blocks before most people wake up.

Friday, August 19, 2022

28th Annual Assyrian Food Festival

One of the biggest benefits of living in San Jose is diversity. It's amazing that we have access to so many events each year celebrating different cultures. This weekend is the 28th Assyrian Food Festival. The two day event also features dancing, live entertainment, exotic teas, coffee, parties, arts, a raffle and of course a ton of authentic Assyrian cuisine.

The event runs from 11am to 11pm on Saturday and 11am to 9pm on Sunday at the Assyrian Church of the East (680 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125). Admission and parking are both free. For more info head over to

Monday, July 25, 2022

Dine Downtown is happening now!

Dine Downtown is back with an assortment of specials to encourage people to try out Downtown San Jose's many fine establishments. This time around you have everything from a Cold Brew and Stan's Donut pairing for $5 at Academic Coffee to a $40 prix fixe menu at Petiscos. There are also many new names on the list like Serious Dumplings, Secco, Mama Kin, Desi Express, The FAB, and San Pedro Social.

To see all of the great specials, head over here!

Participating Restaurants:

• Academic Coffee
• Desi Express
• Devine Cheese & Wine
• District
• The FAB (Food & Beverage)
• The Farmers Union
• Fuze
• Habana Cuba
• Il Fornaio
• Mama Kin
• Mezcal

• Nomikai Social Food + Drinkery
• Nox Cookie Bar
• Orchestria Palm Court
• Pastelaria
• Petiscos
• San Pedro Social
• Scott's Seafood
• Secco
• Serious Dumpling
• Voltaire Coffee Roasters
• Voyager Craft Coffee

Monday, July 18, 2022

City Dance San Jose

CityDance is back for the summer! Head over to the Circle of Palms in Downtown San Jose from 6-9pm every third Thursday for free live music and dance lessons. This week on July 21st the genre is Bollywood. The August 18th session feature Cumbia. On September 15 K-Pop will wrap up the series.

Each session includes an hour of instructor-led dance lessons followed by live music and dancing until sunset on warm summer nights.

Better yet, admission to the San Jose Museum of Art will be free on these nights and Cafecito by Mezcal at the San Jose Museum of Art will be open in case you dance up an appetite. I would also recommend walking into the Hilton Signia next door (formerly the Fairmont) to see the new aesthetic. There is an excellent bar and Peruvian/Japanese tapas at the Signia to continue the night after dancing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Music in the Park - Downtown San Jose - July 15th

The '80s are back on Friday, July 15th with A Flock of Seagulls and ABC's 40th Anniversary Tour. The show takes place from 5pm-10pm at Plaza de Cesar Chavez as part of the Music in the Park series.

Tickets start at $25. VIP tickets cost $75 and include an exclusive VIP beer & wine bar, a lounge area, VIP seating, and skipping the line to enter to event. If you just want to listen to the music, there is also the $0 option of walking around Downtown San Jose close to Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

July 2022 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The July 2022 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • PBID renewed by overwhelming majority
  • Message from the president
  • Dine Downtown returns July 21-31
  • Council votes to remove parking mandates
  • Groundwerx Employee of the Month is Safety Ambassador Dominic Asberry
  • Al Fresco dining extended on San Pedro & Post 
  • New business openings include Mama Kin, Serious Dumpling, and Scratch Cookery

Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy 4th! Here's where to watch fireworks

Below is the list of places in Silicon Valley hosting a fireworks show tonight. The earliest show is at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View at 8pm and the latest ones are at Great America and Morgan Hill at 9:45pm. Stay safe everyone!

San Jose

Discovery Meadow (180 Woz Way), 9:30pm

Almaden Lake Regional Park (6099 Winfield Boulevard), 9:15pm

Mountain View

Shoreline Amphitheater (One Amphitheatre Parkway), 8pm


Milpitas Sports Center (1325 E. Calaveras Boulevard), 9pm


Creekside Park (10455 Miller Avenue), 9:30pm


Gilroy High School (750 W. 10th Street), 9:30pm

Morgan Hill

Outdoor Sports Complex (16500 Condit Road), 9:45pm

Santa Clara

Great America (4701 Great America Parkway), 9:45pm

Monday, June 20, 2022

Latest San Jose BART Updates

VTA released a new conceptional video of the new BART station planned for Diridon. The teal accents are a nice nod to the San Jose Sharks. Below the Diridon video is an older one showing the plan for the Downtown San Jose Station, which is just a half-dozen blocks or so away from Diridon.

Hat tip to MrAronymous from the San Jose Development Forum.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

June 2022 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The June 2022 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Housing mix planned for SoFA
  • Event season heats up
  • Chloe Shipp named SJDA Deputy Director
  • Marketing committee gets real
  • Groundwerx Employee of the Month is Safety Ambassador Stephen Crozier
  • SP Social is a hit
  • Natural Do opens on South First

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Downtown San Jose BART - SJDA Public Meeting on June 10th

If you would like to find out more about the BART subway system that will run from Berryessa to Downtown San Jose, the SJDA is hosting a public meeting at the Tabard Theater this Friday at 8:15am. 

Topics include the tunneling methods, timeline, partnerships, construction mitigation, the designs of the two Downtown Stations, transit-oriented development, and the process for community engagement.

You can watch online or attend in person (registration and proof of vaccination needed) over here.

Friday, June 3, 2022

SubZERO 2022 - June 3rd & 4th

Downtown San Jose's largest arts festival returns this weekend from 5pm until 11pm on both Friday and Saturday. SubZERO is described as a "DIY, artistically bent, hi/lo-techno mashup where street meets geek."

All of the galleries open on South FIRST FRIDAYS will be open along with a multitude of street vendors (listed below), food trucks, a beer garden, and 10 musical performances on the main stage.

The event is free and open to people of all ages. It's an excellent way to get out and see the best of what the San Jose art scene has to offer!

For more information head over here.

Artists & Vendors

Participating Artists / Indie Creatives at the 13th Annual SubZERO Festival on June 3rd & 4th, 2022

Antoñio Alcala
Bay Maples
BOLO Vintage
Bungalow Glow Candle Co.
Eric Calvillo
Arely Cardenas
Houyee Chow & Youth in Technology Incubator
Classic Loot Truck
Content Magazine + genArts
Crossroads Trading
Current Tattooing
the doomed generation
Faerie Goatmother
For the Love by Jordan Melvin
Force129 + Betty Proper
Francisco Franco
Cynthia Gonzalez + Jackelin Solorio
Francisco Graciano
Heiko Greb
Matty Heimgartner
Hand in Hand Henna
Haptic Synapses + Distortion Corporation
Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery
Maureen Holcomb
Institute of Contemporary Art SJ
Summer Jones
The Local Creative Show by StageOne
Julianne McKAY
Frankie McFly
Rayos Magos
Joe Mandrick
David Mejia
Jasmin Mostafa
Anthony Palomo + Joseph Greeley
Gianfranco Palozzi + Sylvia De La Garza + Carlos Pérez + Sean Free Alcala
Jean-Luc Pedanou
Persephone Dance (performance)
Poetry Center San Jose
Purl Bailey aka Marilyn Roaf
Shayla Putnum
Akeem Raheem
Francine Ramirez + Marcel Toorians
Francisco Ramirez
Jhovany Rodriguez
Rene Schilling Sears
Geoffrey Smith II (official festival photographer)
Steamy Tech
Suha Suha Hand Made
Space Palette by Tim Thompson
Alisha Toni Design
Lily Tran
Tribal Baroque (performance)
Works San Jose

BEER GARDEN sponsored by local & regional breweries w/  great music provided by Flipside Crew from 5-11 pm featuring: Dougie, Jswizza, No Way Jose & Notorious P.I.G. 
Located at Parque De Los Pobladores (South First St. and William Street)

BEER GARDEN closes at 11:00pm / last pour 10:30 pm


3 Bros. Kitchen
3 Hermanos Mexican Grill
De La Tierra Vegan Food
El Bombero 408
Fresh Catch Hawaiian Poke
Road Dogs
Scratch Cookery

Friday, May 13, 2022

May 2022 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The May 2022 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
This month's newsletter highlights:  
  • Public Meeting on Homelessness Draws Big Audience
  • May is #dtsj Loves Month
  • PBID Renewal Ballots are Out
  • Groundwerx Employee Luis Martinez Looks Forward to Next Fanime
  • Signia by Hilton Now Open
  • Fox Tale Fermentation Soft Opening Draws Big Crowds
  • Axe Throwing is Catching on

Friday, May 6, 2022

South FIRST FRIDAY - May 2022

South FIRST FRIDAYS is back today. Galleries (both permanent and temporary) will be open from at least 5-9pm. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

Participating venues include the Institute of Contemporary Art, KALEID Gallery, ANNO DOMINI, The Citadel Art Gallery, Works San Jose, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the SoFA Market, MACLA, Art Ark Gallery, and MACHU PICCHU.

Click here for a preview of featured art.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Mural Festival adding nine new works of art along the Guadalupe River Park!

Between April 30th and May 8th, the SJ Walls mural festival will result in nine new murals along the Guadalupe River Park painted by 17 artists. The event even includes an art show, live painting, a pop-up market, and a mural tour ride.

The murals around Downtown San Jose mean a lot to me personally as the first date with my now fiancé was actually a mural tour on a pedicab ride (shout out to Eco City Cycles for enabling the best first date ever).

As part of the festival, there will be an art reception and gallery soft opening at Empire Seven Studios on April 30th between 7pm and 10pm. The actual painting will take place between May 1st and May 8th, with a pop-up shop at Cukui. Live painting open to all will take place on May 1st at Citadel Studios. And last but not least, there will be a bike tour hosted by SJ Bike Party and the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition on May 7th.

For more info, the full press release is below.




April 30 - May 8, 2022; San Jose, CA: SJ Walls (formerly POW! WOW! San Jose) returns as a mural festival bringing 17 local artists to paint nine new murals along the Guadalupe River Park in downtown San Jose. The event includes an art show at Empire Seven Studios gallery soft opening, live painting by artists, a pop-up market, and a mural tour ride. This internationally renowned public art and culture festival embarks on its fifth year this April 30 – May 8, 2022, and will be the first festival among the worldwide network to center the murals along a natural waterway.

Originating in Hawaii in 2010, Worldwide Walls Festivals happen in over 20 cities around the world. SJ Walls is produced by Empire Seven Studios, a team of local cultural curators who specialize in producing public art in San Jose that you know and love. To date, they have added over 70 murals and public art installations across San Jose and Santa Clara County. 

The mural festival continues the partnership with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy (GRPC), an organization in existence for over 25 years, providing community leadership for the active use and development of the Guadalupe River Park.

The goal of the initiative, Guadalupe River Art Walk, is to inspire a shared vision of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens as a natural public art gallery by creating a series of new art installations that become a permanent cultural destination in downtown San Jose. With a robust collection of existing artworks and opportunities for future murals in and around the Guadalupe River Park, the Art Walk aims to highlight underrepresented and evolving stories of community, resilience, and inspiration.

Notable  Calendar  Events (Subject to change):

  • Saturday, April 30: 7:00-10:00pm:

“This is the Way” – Art Show at Empire Seven Studios

Opening reception of the main art show at Empire Seven Studios featuring the artists of SJ Walls.

Located at 525 N 7th Street, Suite 10.

On view between April 30th - May 20, 2020

  • Sunday, May 1 to Sunday, May 8 (sunrise to one hour before sunset):

Mural painting and installations in the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens by all SJ

Walls artists.

SJ Walls pop-up shop at Cukui, open daily except Mondays. Located at 229 Jackson


  • Sunday, May 1 (sunrise to one hour before sunset):

Happy Little Trees

Meeting of the Minds Collective artists from Citadel Studios will be setting up their easels at different locations within the park and painting just for the fun of it. Open for anyone to join!

  • Saturday, May 7:

Tour Ride with SJ Bike Party and Silicon Valley Bike Coalition

Experience the Guadalupe River Park Gardens on one or two wheels through cycling, skateboarding, roller skating, or riding a scooter!

Pop up market with SJ Makers

Local market bringing the community together by uplifting small businesses, artists & musicians



SJ Walls and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy are grateful for the support and partnerships of Applied Materials, Anne and Mark’s Art Party, County of Santa Clara (Supervisor Otto Lee and Supervisor Cindy Chavez) City of San Josè’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, Beautify SJ, Cresco, Exhibit Jtown, FOMO MOFO, Kelly Moore Paints, Montana Cans, San Jose Conservation Corp/Resilience Corp, San Jose Downtown Association, Groundwerx, Team San Jose, Valley Water, and YBCA for their commitment to arts, culture, and public space in San Jose. For more information about how to donate or to become a sponsor, please visit


For more information on SJ Walls contact or visit





About SJ Walls:

SJ Walls (formally POW! WOW! San Jose), established in 2017, is Northern California’s regional branch of the Worldwide Walls network of festivals happening in over 20 cities around the world. Led locally by the Empire Seven Studios collective —a contemporary urban art gallery and cultural institution in Japantown, San Jose, California.

Over the past five years, SJ Walls has grown into a premiere art festival with a line up and experience that rivals some of the best in the world. Much more than a multi-day festival, SJ Walls is also a vehicle to celebrate  San Jose’s  past, present, and future creative culture.

To date, SJ Walls has produced over 70 murals and visual art installations throughout San Jose, with a focus on overlooked places in our city. Our goal is to strengthen community ties by bringing local and worldwide contemporary art to San Jose to highlight the diversity our city has to offer.



About GRPC:

The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy (GRPC) provides community leadership for the development and active use of the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens through education, advocacy, and stewardship. 

This two-and-a-half mile ribbon of parkland runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River in the heart of downtown San Jose. The River Park serves as a north/south connector and contains beloved features such as the Guadalupe River Trail, the Rotary PlayGarden, the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, and various public art including the Guadalupe River Art Walk.

Programming within the park includes educational opportunities, volunteerism, and a variety of year-round events for the public to enjoy. For more information visit