Levi's Workshops Not Really Doing Anything For the Community?

Reader and local print maker nathalie has some words on the matter:

Hi. There is an idea that the public can go here and print. There is no info about a supposed public day on the levisworkshop site. An article in sfgate said that Sunday is public day and that one needs merely to sign up. I emailed through the levisworkshop site regarding specifics, how does one sign up, do you need to bring your own paper? no one responded. Today I went in to ask theses same questions and was told to just show up on Sunday and that I could use the facilities and supplies. I'll try it Sunday and let you know how it goes. My intention is to prove that anyone can print there if that is true and set an example. If anyone can really print there, let's bombard the place and print our show posters, art prints whatever. Am I naive to think this is a possible? “Sales” from items in this “store” I am told by a worker go directly to your choice of a provided list of mission non profits. I appreciate the intention of this levisworkshop project to provide public facility and benefit local non profits but so far I am not convinced that the execution of this intention is successful. So far they are getting a lot of attention and press but has anyone from the mission community benefited from this experiment?

I know from personal experience that on Sundays they let you play with the print making equipment, but it didn't look like they were letting you do any type-setting.

Maybe reader Greg has a point and they don't owe us or the community shit:

Corporations are part of life in 2010. Your car is corporate. Your clothes are corporate. Your computer is corporate. Your phone is corporate. Your bike is corporate. Your shoes are corporate. Your house is made of corporate wood. Your activist spray-paint is corporate. And the drugs to keep you from feeling depressed from your own anarchist mind are corporate. Better get used to your place in the space/time continuum because it's where you are.

Levi's is trying to incorporate into the community by adapting and providing something useful & interesting & artistic. Is there business and branding motives behind it - sure - we live in a capitalist city and country. But no one complains when a mom & pop shop puts up a trashy store that gives nothing back to the community - why? What's the difference? Trash is okay as long as it's local? They're local employees at Levi's. They're local managers at Levi's. Hell, they're even a local headquarters that started in San Francisco. So are we to vandalize any Valencia street company that actually grows beyond Valencia st.

At the end of the day, it still feels like they are just taking advantage of Valencia St.   From what I understand, they are doing some filming in the store for a new national ad campaign “Everybody's Work is Equally Important.”  Feels like a crappy, corporate “Real World: Valencia St.”  But, hey, you can use their print-making tools on Sunday, so I guess it's cool?

Comments (2)

umm… you bitchez know that UA is one of my all-time favorite blogs and i live on dolores park and have a very vested interest in the ‘hood. but seriously, just for the sake of discussion - how is all of the hipster hating on the new Levi’s space any different from any other NIMBY bitching about new cell phone towers or any other new store in the neighborhood? So when young urban hipsters complain, it’s righteous and cool, but when middle-aged parents complain, they’re just nimbys?? (and i fall into the former category, so this is a bit of self-reflection.)

get over the Levi’s community space (which hasn’t even opened yet and had a chance to prove itself.) and move on to supporting positive changes in the ‘hood. (And I second the ‘corporate’ commenter’s thought about Levi’s being a pretty good, even great large, local, community-focused corporation. all corps are not evil and ones like Levis that do give a lot back to the community (they have been especially generous to the LGBT community in SF and nationally) should be encouraged, not just shit on by a bunch of knee-jerk hipster-cum-nimbys.

thank you. carry on.


p.s. - serious shout outs to UA again - discovered the blog a few months ago and it’s a daily read now. keep up the good work, kiddos. (even when i don’t always agree with the posts, it’s always a fun conversation.)

I guess I’m biased because both of my parents worked for Levi’s at some point in time, but they were one of the first fortune 500 companies to extend health benefits to homosexual companies, and were a major contributor to the no on prop 8 campaign. I’m inclined to at least give them the benefit of the doubt before they open, and that’s rare for me because I’m always willing to prematurely express my disdain.

then again, i drive a volkswagen and im writing this from my macbook sooooo I don’t seem to hate corporations half as much as everyone who posted how much they hate this idea from their iPhones.