Volunteer Opportunities

The LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District needs you.  Here are some Volunteer Jobs that we need to fill:

  1. Mural Researcher
  2. Tour Content Researcher
  3. Activity Researcher

1. Mural Researcher

We have photographed dozens of murals and street art in our District and placed them on our Mural Map. The level of detail varies from very complete to only a photo and location. The volunteer Mural Researcher will gather additional information about as many of these murals as possible. This will include internet research and physical observation, including contacting property owners with questions. Ideally for each mural we would get as many of these details as possible:

  • Title of artwork (if any)
  • Location
  • Artist(s) names and website, if applicable
  • Date created
  • Any additional narrative about the artwork, the artist, the location, how it came to be created, etc. etc.

This research will be collated by other volunteers into the existing map and database.

We estimate that 20-40 hours of work would be required. Our goal is to complete this project in the next two months.

No special training or expertise is required.  You must be comfortable reaching out to businesses and artists for information. Good Internet access and Internet research competence also required.   (We can provide training in how to identify building owners using online databases.)  

If you wish, you can extend your part in the project further by seeking out new or unlisted murals, taking new photographs as needed, and assisting in the compiling or editing of the Mural Map itself.

Please contact David Hyman for more information.


2.  Tour Content Researcher and Writer

We need multiple volunteers to research various aspects of SOMA history, and Leather community and culture, and to prepare extremely short essays on a range of topics, to become part of our planned “Leathertown Walking Tour” .

In some cases, personal knowledge and life experience will be essential, especially when addressing the role of various racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, occupational, recreational, or demographic groups and communities,   For other essays, the focus will be on research on specific topics (e.g. architecture, historic events and trends, etc.) using library and archival resources.

The only essential requirement is an interest in the topic, and a commitment to creating accurate and valuable content.

The amount of time and effort required will vary: from an hour spent writing a personal experience to many hours of online and in-person (when possible) research.  And of course you can undertake as few or as many topics as you wish.

A list of suggested topics is available here, but you are welcome to contribute your own essays on topics of personal interest.  Topics should in all cases relate, somehow, to the South of Market area of San Francisco, and/or queer and kinky history, values, and culture.

Because these essays are intended to be read or listened to while walking from place to place in SOMA, brevity is critical.  Each essay should be no more than 2 minutes (500 words), and shorter is even better.  Consider breaking down larger topics into multiple smaller topics or sub-topics.

You can begin at any time, and submit your essays here.  Or contact David Hyman for more information.

3.  “What’s Happening” Researcher

The Cultural District currently maintains both a roster of businesses in our District  and a Calendar of events.  These are maintained as part of the Web site, and require constant research and maintenance, ideally from a variety of perspectives.

The “What’s Happening” Researcher will, on a semi-regular basis, recheck the accuracy of our current information and seek out new items to add.  Currently (i.e. during Shelter in Place restrictions) the focus will be on the changing hours and policies of our local clubs, restaurants and businesses.  The Researcher should also monitor Facebook, Fetlife, MeWe, and as many other sources as possible to identify online or in-person events of particular interest to the local kink community.   Over time, as places open up and in-person events resume, the Researcher will have a wider range of items to find.

Initially, the Researcher will simply forward links (e.g. to Facebook or Fetlife events) or information in text form to the Web manager.  Over time, better systems can be developed to streamline the process (e.g. giving the Researcher credentials to allow them to import Facebook events directly into the Calendar).

The time requirement is flexible, but a minimum of one to two hours per week would seem realistic.  It would be nice to spend additional time and effort soon after any change in the COVID-19 regulations affecting restaurant and bar operations.  And if the researcher has the time and inclination, checking out posters on bulletin boards and special interest venues could be valuable.

This will be an ongoing position, but no specific time commitment by the volunteer is needed.  You can quit any time.

The Researcher should be willing to subscribe to various newsletters and mailing lists (some of which they might not otherwise be interested in).   The ability to accurately transcribe event details (e.g. from poster art to structured calendar entry)  is important.  Having an active social life (post SiP) that gives the Researcher “insider” access would be great, but it is not essential.

Please contact David Hyman to discuss your participation.