Opening January 19 at San Francisco Art Institute's Emanuel Walter Gallery, A Living Thing is an interactive exhibition platform featuring programming developed in collaboration with members of the SFAI community: students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

A Living Thing seeks to create space for common ground within our increasingly fractured civil discourse. Throughout its run, A Living Thing will offer a sanctuary for conversations, performances, debate, and acts of solidarity and resistance—through an open mic during all gallery hours, and this open call to students, artists, activists, citizens, residents, visitors, and others that wish to contribute to the life represented by the flag.

The exhibition includes artist Mel Ziegler's work "Flag Exchange" (2012 - 2016), which serves as a catalyst and immersive environment for the ensuing public events. For this work, Ziegler journeyed through all 50 United States between 2012 and 2016 exchanging distressed American flags flying at civic and private locations—city halls, post offices, hospitals, homes, and schools—for new flags. The 50 decayed flags form a work, "Flag Exchange," that spans the geography of our union, and represents the spectrum of our allegiance.

"Flag Exchange" offers a powerful reminder that artists do new and vital things for our public life, even when nothing else works. Art finds the common ground that we've otherwise lost.

Please use the form below to share your proposal for programming during the exhibition. All proposals will be considered and all accepted programs will be free and open to the public. An Exhibitions Department staff person will respond to your proposal within one week. All scheduled programming will be posted at

Provided equipment:
47" LG Smart TV Screens (2) - previous notice required
Wired microphones with stands (2)
PA with mixer
Powered speakers (2)

Programs might include the following:
Panel discussion
Poetry reading
Stand up comedy
Film screening
Dance performance
Group critique
Public hearing
Activism workshop
Skill share
Open mic

Programming will take place during regular gallery hours: Tuesdays 11-7pm and Weds-Sat 11-6pm. The open call is active and accepting submissions until the conclusion of the exhibition on April 1.
Please note that the gallery is closed Sundays and Mondays. Email with any questions.

Email address
Contact Name
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Project Title
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Project Description
Please describe your proposal for the space.
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Estimated number of participants
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Media / Tech Needs
Please list your media and/or tech needs including audio or visual equipment. Flatscreen TVs and a sound system will be available to all presenters.
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Other Equipment Needs
Do you need additional chairs? Tables? Art supplies?
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Preferred Date(s)
Is this one-day or a recurring program? Please list your preferred dates. Please indicate also if you have no preference.
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