The People’s Palace

Conceived and Directed by Joanna Haigood

San Francisco City Hall
May 9, 10, and 12, 2024

2 aerialists Veronica Blair and Ciarra D'Onofrio performing with a blue light and faces projected behind them in the rotunda of SF City Hall
Photo by Focal Point Films
[ID: Aerialists Veronica Blair and Ciarra D’Onofrio]

View the Digital Program

The People’s Palace was a 3-day artistic intervention with City Hall’s Beaux-Arts Roman and Greek iconography. Aerialists and performers interacted with the architecture and large scale projections, transforming these symbols into new, more inclusive narratives that more accurately reflect San Francisco’s diverse and dynamic cultures and community. Through performance, music, storytelling, and immersive technologies, The People’s Palace invited the audience to actively engage these new narratives, to see themselves within the broader context of the city, and to appreciate the richness of diverse perspectives.

Conceived and directed by Joanna Haigood, this work was developed in collaboration with composer Marcus Shelby, visual artist Mildred Howard, scenic designer Sean Riley, rigging designer David Freitag, design consultant and fabricator Wayne Campbell, lighting designer Krissy Kenny, projection designer Aron Altmark, costume designer Dana Kawano, indigenous culture bearers Gregg Castro and Jonathan Cordero, and performing artists Veronica Blair, Tristan Ching Hartman, Ciarra D’Onofrio, William Brewton Fowler, Jr., Jocelyn Reyes, Nina Sawant, Saharla Vetsch, and The Skywatchers Ensemble.

A co-presentation of Dancers’ Group and ZACCHO Dance Theatre.

Supported by a Hewlett 50 Arts Commission, with additional support from the California Arts Council, Grants for the Arts, Bernard Osher Foundation, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, and our generous community of individual donors.

Please consider a post-show, tax-deductible donation that will directly support the creative work of the collaborators.

Dancers’ Group and Joanna Haigood are a recipient of the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions, launched in 2017 to celebrate the foundation’s 50th anniversary. It is a five-year, $8 million initiative supporting the creation and premiere of 50 new works from outstanding artists working in five performing arts disciplines. The largest commissioning effort of its kind in the country, the initiative is a symbol of the Hewlett Foundation’s longstanding commitment to supporting art that matters to the people and communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Hewlett Foundation has supported the arts in the region for more than 50 years, and currently makes grants of roughly $20 million per year to more than 200 nonprofit arts organizations, mostly in the form of long-term general operating support. More information about the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions can be found at:

Artist Information: Joanna Haigood/Zaccho Dance Theatre

«Back to ONSITE Archive