Building Community Through Music

Linda Davirro and Linda Litehiser have been stalwarts of the San Francisco Parks System for most of their adult lives. Both women live in the southeastern corner of the city, home to McLaren Park, the second largest park in San Francisco. Despite its size and excellent facilities, the park offered little annual music and arts programming for the families and residents that surround it. Disappointed in the lack of entertainment, the Lindas started to organize.

In 2010 the Lindas began discussing how they could bring more music and arts programming to McLaren Park. They built a coalition of local community groups, many of which they were already active members of, to build consensus around how they could best utilize one of the hidden gems in McLaren Park; a beautiful Greek-style amphitheater named in honor of the famed Grateful Dead guitarist and native son of the Excelsior neighborhood, Jerry Garcia. By the end of 2010 the two women had formed Friends of the Amphitheater to make their dreams of bringing music to McLaren Park a reality. For three years Friends of the Amphitheater worked to secure the necessary funding and garner the support of both San Francisco Parks and Recreation and the San Francisco Parks Alliance for an annual concert series in Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. In 2013, Friends of the Amphitheater held the first ever Saturday in the Park: McLaren Park Concert Series to the delight of their neighbors who have been looking for more programming in their neighborhood for years.

This Summer, in partnership with Friends of the Amphitheater, San Francisco Parks and Recreation, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, Airbnb is proud to sponsor Saturday in the Park: McLaren Park Concert Series. Now in its fourth year, the concert series continues to grow in popularity and has become a summertime staple for local neighbors in the southeast communities of SF to enjoy. This concert series would not be possible without the effort of volunteers like the Lindas. To find out more about how you can get involved with this wonderful event visit their website at, or email Friends of the Amphitheater at [email protected].

SITPM 2016 poster FINAL-digital jpeg