Burners, Startups Add Edge to San Mateo Week

(From Maker Faire – photo courtesy Creative Commons, Daniel Hartwig)

The City of San Mateo is getting creative. From May 12th – 16th, the City will host Innovation Week, a celebration of the spirit of productivity and creativity. San Mateo is no stranger to innovation. In fact, the City was drawn to hosting the week as a way to highlight the burst of activity in art, tech and entrepreneurship happening throughout the city.

We talked to Rebecca Zito with the City of San Mateo to learn about the event’s origin and what she’s most looking forward to.

How did Innovation Week come together?
Innovation Week is a collaboration between the City’s economic development partners including the San Mateo EDGE, the Downtown San Mateo Association, and the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce. We wanted to create an event that would highlight San Mateo’s entrepreneurial and creative spirit while featuring some of the unique things we are doing with art, technology and place making in the downtown and throughout the city.

It’s also a way to tie in with Maker Faire and support the creative energy they bring to San Mateo. The opening reception sponsored by the San Mateo EDGE on May 12th will honor Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty and recognize his vision for establishing Maker Faire and transforming it into a global phenomenon. We are thrilled that San Mateo is where it first began!


(From Maker Faire – photo courtesy Creative Commons, Dan Goldwater

Is this the first such week in San Mateo?
This is the first Innovation Week in San Mateo and we are excited about all the week has to offer.

What do you plan to use from Innovation Week in your day-to-day work with the city of San Mateo?
This was really a way for the City and our partner organizations to roll up our sleeves and experiment. What we’re bringing is new to San Mateo. Once people see how some of these concepts work, it opens the door to explore them on a more permanent basis.

For instance, one goal is to activate the 3rd and El Camino corner, which is a gateway into the downtown. The City has sent a call to artists to participate in “Three Corners – an Innovative Art Project.” The artists will participate in a design charrette and present solutions to make the fencing along Third and El Camino more attractive. This is a temporary solution that will make this important entryway more attractive until the properties can be developed.

Also, through collaboration with architecture students from the College of San Mateo, we will introduce parklets to the downtown. These are fabulous gathering spots that many cities have installed as a way to energize an area. The parklets will be temporarily constructed in parking spaces in front of CREAM on B Street and 3 Bees Coffee on Third Avenue.

It’s also a way to experiment with art. Each evening, the Downtown San Mateo Association will treat the San Mateo community to a projected art display titled Gallery Walls. This is a great opportunity for families to come downtown, grab dinner and then enjoy the works of art and images that will be projected onto the building walls at 3rd and El Camino. It’s a novel way for people to interact with art and enjoy the public realm.

What are you most looking forward to seeing during Innovation Week?
Mostly, we want the community to have fun, participate in the events and enjoy their time in San Mateo. One event that will be especially fun is an Innovative Cocktail Party sponsored by the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce and organized by Dishcrawl. This takes place on Tuesday evening, starting at 6:30 in downtown San Mateo.  Downtown mixologists will showcase their creativity by offering one-of-a-kind cocktails inspired by Innovation Week and Maker Faire. Tickets are available at http://dishcrawl.com/dishcrawl/3395.

How many people do you anticipate participating in Innovation Week?
Each event has the capacity to accommodate 50 to 100 people, but then we have things like the parklets and the projected art display that will bring any number of people to the downtown. The parklets will likely be well used by downtown customers and employees and Gallery Walls will also draw people throughout the week.  Spaces for the panel discussion featuring the Burning Man Project are going quickly. There’s room for 100 people and we expect that event to sell out.

The closing reception and launch of San Mateo Best Food is another event that should attract many community members that are interested in San Mateo’s food and dining scene. It’s the first year we are doing this, so it’s difficult to say what total attendance will be like. It’s possible that Innovation Week will draw close to 1,000 people.  More information is available at www.sanmateoiw.com

Fame x Frame Photo Contest
As we develop community, we want to see how you live or play at Bay Meadows. Share your fun lifestyle photos with our community by using #baymeadowslife. You could WIN $50 or our Grand Prize of $500 at the end of 2014 and be featured in a live pop-up gallery exhibit event.View official rules here: https://baymeadows.com/photocontestrules/

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