Ernest Rivera Retires

Ernest Rivera holding mayoral proclamation

After forty three years of dedicated service, Ernest Rivera will be leaving his role as Director of Technical Services. Ernie is a founding worker of SOMArts and leads the organization’s longest-running program. His dedication to fortifying and amplifying the voices of San Francisco’s many communities was acknowledged this year by the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services. His contribution to SOMArts over the years and through difficult times have been invaluable.

He will be honored between 4pm and 5pm at a public meeting of the San Francisco Arts Commission on Monday, February 3, 2014 in room 412 at San Francisco City Hall. The public will be invited to comment about their experiences working with Ernie and benefitting from his leadership of SOMArts Technical Services, a program that provides below-market technical services to local community benefit organizations, street fairs and festivals. A short reception will follow.

Ernie’s last full-time day will be February 15, 2014 and there will be a more intimate celebration in his honor, tentatively planned for late March. If you would like to receive a notification about the celebration, please email press@somarts.org or call Jess Young at 415-863-1414 x112.

UPDATE: Here is the text of the proclamation, read at San Francisco’s City Hall on February 3.

WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco traditionally recognizes the achievements of notable individuals, and the dedicated work of Ernest “Ernie” Rivera has represented San Francisco values at their best; and

WHEREAS, Ernie Rivera has lead the SOMArts Cultural Center’s Technical Services for over 43 years; Ernie was a founding member of SOMArts, leads the organization’s longest-running program; has introduced hundreds of youth to careers in event production and has contributed to the vibrant cultural life of San Francisco; and

WHEREAS, Ernie Rivera has made his mark at arts and culture events across the city, from building stages at sunrise for Carnaval in the Mission, or providing a sound system on Alcatraz for the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony, to operating a wheelchair-accessible lift for a review stand in Union Square for the Lunar New Year’s Parade, helping to make the celebration accessible for everyone to view and enjoy; and

WHEREAS, Ernie Rivera was one of the first employees of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Neighborhood Arts Program, where he worked tirelessly with other staff and district organizers to secure the beloved ironworks machine shop that is now SOMArts Cultural Center; and

WHEREAS, Ernie Rivera and SOMArts Tech Services are usually there behind the scenes wherever there is a stage at a community event, ensuring that it will be sturdy despite San Francisco’s steep hills and microclimates; Ernest Rivera and SOMArts Technical Services were there at the start of the Castro Street Fair and the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, and behind the scenes for more than 40 events Citywide including the Potrero Hill Neighborhood Festival, Nihonmachi Street Fair and the Black Cuisine Cook-Off in Bayview; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco, in recognition of his over four decades of tireless commitment and service to our communities and our City, do hereby proclaim February 3, 2014 as ERNIE RIVERA DAY in San Francisco!