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Mural of Promoter Bill Graham to be Dedicated

Mural of Promoter Bill Graham to be Dedicated

November 6 in the Fillmore District —

58 Years after the first benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe in 1965

San Francisco – October 23, 2023 – Several groups are pleased to announce the unveiling of a new city art mural of the late Bill Graham on Monday, November 6 at Noon at the Goodwill Building, 1669 Fillmore St (at Post). Speakers scheduled will include Bill’s sons David and Alex Graham; city officials including SF Supervisor Dean Preston; representatives from Goodwill; Lisa Brewer from MissionArt415; aerosol artist Wes Marks; representatives from the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation and BGP family and friends. This is a rain or shine event.

The mural is a perfect fit for the neighborhood, as it stands a very short walk from both The Fillmore and the site of Winterland, both venues where Bill held hundreds and hundreds of shows and benefits. The mural is created by aerosol artist Wes Marks, a practitioner of spray paint art for more than 30 years. Wes became intrigued by the poster artists and the culture of the late ‘60s when painting a Summer of Love series in the Haight in 2006 and being able to design and paint a mural featuring Bill Graham is a natural progression.  The depiction of Bill is inspired by a 1985 photograph taken at The Fillmore by Ken Friedman, who was the photographer at Bill Graham Presents for many years. 

Supervisor Dean Preston noted, “Bill Graham was a visionary impresario who helped cultivate the countercultural music scene that made San Francisco a world-famous destination for artists and cultural makers alike. I am so proud to partner with MissionArt415 to create a mural that will recognize Bill Graham’s contributions for generations to come.”

            MissionArt415, Inc. non-profit organization for the arts has worked for the past 20 years on proudly honoring amazing leaders with exterior mural masterpieces and formal unveiling ceremonies around community events. 

BGMF statement:

Bill Graham was such an extraordinary character that to this day, almost 60 years since he began to organize what he called “public assemblage” events, he has inspired and continues to inspire so many people. That the mural displays a number of the Benefit shows that Bill shepherded is especially meaningful. It was great to be able to work with Lisa Brewer and MissionArt415, aerosol artist Wes Marks, photographer Ken Friedman, Bill’s family, the folks from The Fillmore, Karen Boyd and Goodwill SF Bay who allowed us the use of their wall, and others throughout the BGP community to be able to bring this mural to life, right where it belongs, in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. 

Closing quote from Bill:

“…Freedom of Expression is the almighty hold for me. That we have the right to express ourselves and when you extend that opportunity, you’re dealing with power. Raw Awesome power. The rock and roll world in the 60s became aware of that. The artists and the city gradually became aware that at any given time they could raise $100, $1000, $5000, buy a bus, save a radio station, send a youth symphony to Europe, start a legal organization for the oppressed. That had never existed before, on an on-going basis that had never existed before and it might not exist again. And it has continued to be that.” – Bill Graham 

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BGMF contact: Bonnie Simmons (415) 305-7954 or Bon@billgrahamfoundation.org 

Media contact: Michael Coats (707) 235-6203 or Michael@coatspr.com

About BGMF: 

The Mission of the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation is the administration of grants primarily in the areas of music, the arts and education while also supporting social work, environmental protection and spiritual and compassionate projects in the community. The Foundation also organizes and implements education and outreach programs, exhibitions and other events and projects in like areas which carry Bill Graham’s life story forward and keep his spirit of philanthropy alive.

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