We are winding down another remarkable and productive year with A Living Library with the sad thoughts and shock of suddenly losing San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee.  We are deeply saddened by his passing, but nevertheless, we want to thank you for your generous support and participation, and ask that you continue to support our, literally – Ground-Breaking, Evolutionary Work

We have continued our transformational ecological greening in many environments of San Francisco and New York City while educating children, youth, and adults about natural systems and the importance of integrated diversity through - Learning by Doing. 

A Living Library Is Cultivating The Human & Ecological Garden 

We were also invited to travel around the world to bring our message of A Living Library to diverse cities in Italy and Switzerland – Venice, Milan, Turin, Zurich - and also closer to home in Reno, Nevada in the form of International Art Exhibitions, Public Talks, A.L.L. Workshops.  

Please enjoy highlights of our busy year and DONATE NOW to help us continue and do more:

Growing Our Youth and Supporting Our Elders While Greening Our Communities

In San Francisco we continued to work with hundreds of students (PreK-12) during the school day, after school, and summer in the OMI/Excelsior Branch Living Library & Think Park and Bernal Heights Branch Living Library & Think Park. Participating schools included:  Leadership High School, James Denman Middle School, San Miguel Early Education School, Junipero Serra Elementary School, and Junipero Serra Early Education School.  Through our hands-on, interdisciplinary lessons, students from the schools learned multiple subjects that exceeded the Common Core Next Generation Science Standards.  We think of our practical training as A.L.L. STEAM + Literacy – as in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Literacy training that also simultaneously improves the environment – a very cost-effective program.

• A Living Library continued to sponsor A.L.L. Green Futures Paid Internship for Middle & High School Students during Spring, Summer, and Fall Sessions, and students enjoyed learning more about green skills including hands-on ecology, sustainability, gardening, leadership, writing, cooking, nutrition, teaching younger children, and more. As a paid internship limited to 20 dedicated enrollees, they also helped with planting and maintenance of A.L.L. Gardens and learned valuable green skills and future green job opportunities, while enthusiastically maintaining the Upper & Lower Gardens, Orchard, Redwood Reading Circle, Farm Learning Zone as well as the new California Native Learning Zones behind James Denman Middle School.

• A.L.L. Teachers at the schools used Next Generation Science Standards and integrated A.L.L.’ s narrative into the study of ecology-related subjects like Ethnobotany, the Fibonacci Series, Climate Change, Watershed Conservation, Drought Tolerant Species of Plants, Use of Medicinal Herbs, Multicultural Nutrition, and other related subjects.

In New York City on Roosevelt Island, we worked with hundreds of students after school and during the summer from the RI Beacon in our beautiful Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park Gardens and invited the larger community to help plant the Gardens on Roosevelt Island Day, this year held on June 17, as we have done each year on RI Day since 2002. See more on A.L.L. website 

• On Wednesday afternoons during the Spring and Fall, A Living Library, in conjunction with the Roosevelt Island Public Library graciously hosted a series of FREE A.L.L. Workshops that celebrated gardening, literacy, science, nutrition, and local ecological history for Parents and their Children.

• Later in the day on Wednesdays, the Roosevelt Island Senior Association and A.L.L. began a new program for Adults in Organic Gardening working in the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park Gardens.



Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk

• A Living Library thanks the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) for their financial support of the prototype Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk that is linking multiple schools parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary’s Park and Highway 280. This project began in 2002 with other funding, and while this SGC Grant ended on March 1, it is inspiring expansion of the A.L.L. Nature Walk throughout communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, largest in San Francisco that interconnects eleven neighborhoods.

• In 2017 in Bernal Heights, led by Bonnie Ora Sherk and Life Frames, volunteers including scores of students pitched in during January and February to create 12 new sidewalk garden beds to replace concrete sidewalks, allowing for abundant California native planting in front of, and alongside Junipero Elementary School and Junipero Serra Early Education Schools and transformed three streets.

• Hard-working San Francisco Recreation & Park Apprentices planted California native, drought tolerant species and mulched multiple areas in St. Mary’s and Holly Parks, in addition to other greening efforts.  Entrances to St. Mary’s and Holly Parks and hillsides at St. Mary’s were planted with a diverse variety of colorful natives – a design meant to cultivate special habitat for diverse wildlife species. Plants included native Milkweed which attracts Monarch Butterflies, Matilija Poppy, California Lilacs, Penstemon, Yarrow, and others.

• Upstream at James Denman Middle School, we are currently expanding the A.L.L. Nature Walk (see below).  Also proposed  downstream is transformation of two freeway interchanges – 101/Chavez and 101/Alemany –into Islais Creek Watershed Northern & Southern Gateway Community Parks – which will address multiple systemic issues simultaneously: safety and accessibility, flood mitigation, climate change, community/school education, green skills job training, habitat restoration, and others.

Transforming James Denman Middle School Rear Yard Expands OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park

• Formerly a barren and depressing expanse of acres of dreary, gray, asphalt and concrete, the rear yard of James Denman Middle School –following Bonnie Ora Sherk’s Master Plan – is being transformed into a site of abundant, natural growth, beauty, and health with California Native Learning Zones. See more on A.L.L. website

• Although much has been accomplished, there is still more to do.  When we removed the first layers of asphalt a thick layer of concrete was exposed and had to be removed.  With our contractor, CatMex, we then discovered a  second layer of asphalt and concrete beneath the first excavated layer, complicating the project’s progress and cost.  So, we need an additional $20,000 to finish the work.   



Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation

• Late this year, the California Natural Resources Agency awarded a $633,300 grant to Life Frames, Inc. under Proposition 1 – California Urban Rivers Grant Program. The grant, which will begin in 2018, will support the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation and the creation of a series of Rain Gardens, bordering four public schools and expanding the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park. See more on A.L.L. website

International Art Exhibitions, Public Talks, A.L.L. Workshops

Public Talk: Funcshuional Art at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco:

In August, Bonnie Ora Sherk was invited to present A Living Library at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of Tania Bruguera’s Arte Util Exhibition and associated Escuela de Arte Útil.  As part of her Talk about A.L.L., she presented her original term – Funcshuional Art  - East Marries West, North & South – a planetary genre which emphasizes the practicality of systemic ecological design, as expressed by A Living Library, that demonstrates how all systems and phenomena are interconnected. See more on A.L.L. website

Public Talk: Funcshuional Art at Summer Symposium, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco:

Earlier this summer, Bonnie Ora Sherk was invited to present A Living Library at the Summer Symposium, San Francisco Art Institute, also  as part of Tania Bruguera’s Arte Util Exhibition and associated Escuela de Arte Útil. See more on A.L.L. website

International Art Exhibition: Evolution of Life Frames:  past, present, future at Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy:

From May to November, Bonnie Ora Sherk’s work was featured in the 57th edition of the prestigious Venice Biennale art exhibition in Italy, which attracted over 615,000 people from all over the world. See more on A.L.L. website

Public Talk: Tavola Aperta as part of the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy:

Invited back to the Venice Biennale, Bonnie Ora was interviewed on October 7, at a casual lunch with the public to discuss her methodologies and practice as a distinguished artist, landscape architect, and educator in creating A Living Library and other works. See more on A.L.L. website.

A.L.L. Workshops & Public Talk:  A Living Library at Canadian International School of Milan and Galleria Carte Scoperte, Milan, Italy:

After leaving Venice in October, Bonnie Ora Sherk traveled to Milan invited by Afterschool Italy and met with 3 classes of students from the Canadian International School of Milan. She spoke about the diversity and meaning of A Living Library and encouraged the students to vividly project their imagination to express themselves through discussion and drawings on paper. See more on A.L.L. website.

A.L.L. Workshops & Public Talk: A Living Library at Zurcher Hochschule der Kunste/ZHdK, Zurich, Switzerland:

After leaving Milan, Bonnie Ora Sherk was invited to give a Public Talk and A.L.L. Workshop at the Zurcher Hochschule der Kunste/ZHdK, with the idea that this community may like to develop a place-based Zurich Branch Living Library & Think Park with the art students from the Art School and the larger community. The public was encouraged to “invite their neighbors” in an effort to galvanize the local community to participate.  Stay tuned for a follow-up next year.

Public Talks & International Art Exhibition:  A.L.L. STEAM + Literacy, 2017 Art + Environment Conference, Unsettled Exhibition, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada:

Bonnie Ora Sherk was invited to give two Public Talks and create an Art Installation at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.  In January, she gave the Keynote Speech to Nevada Educators at their Conference. She was also invited to present A.L.L. at the 2017 international Art + Environment Conference. See more on A.L.L. website.

Additionally she was invited to create a new installation on A Living Library to be part of the large Unsettled Exhibition (August 26, 2017 - January 21, 2018) curated by Senior Curator, Joanne Northrup.  A Living Library Is Cultivating The Human & Ecological Garden, her installation, will also travel to the Anchorage Museum of Art in Alaska (April 06 - September 09 2018), and Palm Springs Museum of Art in California (October 27, 2018 - February 18, 2019) during the next two years.  See more on A.L.L. website.



Wishing You Happy Holidays !

Rear Yard of James Denman Middle School

sponsored by

San Francisco &
New York City

LFI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
charitable organization 

Bonnie Ora Sherk,
Founder/ Director
Dr. Caryl Hodges, President
Jay Begler, Secretary/Treasurer
Robert Croonquist
Dra. Sherrill Kazan Alvarez De Toledo

San Francisco
Rosemary Cambra
Evelyn Cheung
Eli Horn
John Miller
Jill Wynns

New York
Ron Becker
Katia Genes
Lydia Tang

A Living Library with all sectors of community, incorporates local resources and transforms them to become vibrant, content- rich, art-filled, ecological learning landscapes; each Branch linked to another.


Please donate online at ​A Living Library or make checks to:

Life Frames, Inc.
93 Mirabel
San Francisco, CA 94110

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. 

Please Donate
Rear Yard, James Denman Middle School
Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park
RI Living Library & Think Park
OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park
Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park
OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park
OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park
Bonnie Ora's installation at Nevada Museum of Art
Bonnie Ora's installation at Nevada Museum of Art
RI Living Library & Think Park
A student's interpretation of A Living Library
RI Living Library & Think Park
2017 Art + Environment Conference, Nevada Museum of Art
OMI/ Excelsior Living Library & Think Park
The Living Library & Think Park at Junipero Serra Early Education School
OMI/ Excelsior Living Library & Think Park
Funcshuional Art, a term coined by Bonnie Ora Sherk
Bonnie Ora's presentation at SFAI 2017 Summer Symposium
Bonnie Ora's public talk at SFAI 2017 Summer Symposium
Please Donate
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