View of the exhibition Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Say, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 2018; image: courtesy the Pacita Abad Art Estate and MCAD Manila; photo: At Maculangan/Pioneer Studios

Free Community Day: Pacita Abad

Related Exhibition Pacita Abad

Saturday, Oct 21, 2023

10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Reserve your Free Community Day tickets now to celebrate the opening of Pacita Abad!

Tickets grant you free access to the entire museum, with the exception of Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love. See below for more details.*

In celebration of the first major retrospective of Pacita Abad’s work, enjoy a day of free admission to the museum, including access to this exciting new exhibition on Floor 4. Pacita Abad features over 40 daring works including the artist’s signature trapunto paintings — stuffed, quilted canvases Abad adorned with materials and methods she investigated during her lifetime. While you’re here, experience special programming from our event partners, including hands-on artmaking, live performances, and more! Find a full list of activations throughout the museum with schedule and location information below.

On the same day from noon–6 p.m., don’t miss the UNDISCOVERED Block Party, featuring emerging artists and merchants celebrating the SOMA Pilipinas – Filipino Cultural Heritage District! The main entrance to the block party is located at The Parks @ 5M, 44 Mary Street.

Onsite Activations

Floor 1

Roberts Family Gallery (Howard Street Entrance)

Performances by KULARTS

10:30–11 a.m. Agos Youth & Rondalla Ensemble, an intergenerational rondalla music program featuring an ensemble of stringed instruments.

11–11:30 a.m. Legacy Filipino Martial Arts Demonstration, a weapons-based martial arts system that pulls from both modern and traditional Filipino Martial Arts.

1–1:30 p.m. Alleluia Panis Dance Theatres’ Ritwal and excerpts from the AntingAnting Project, a talismanic power of movement and dance through a multidisciplinary ritual performance.

1:30–2 p.m. Kulintang Dialect, a traditional five instrument kulintang band that performs kulintang classics as well as original compositions.


Phyllis Wattis Theater (Third Street Entrance)

3 p.m. Screening of Wild at Art, a digitally restored version of Kavery Kaul’s 1995 documentary on Pacita Abad, featuring the artist discussing her background, passion for world travel, and using her art as a vessel for highlighting the influence and diversity of women’s art practices around the world.

Wild at Art (1995) was directed by Kavery Kaul. This film is an Asian Women United Presentation, a Riverfilms Production, and an Academy Film Archives Restoration.


Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium (Third Street Entrance)

1–5 p.m. Suntory Time, an immersive educational and sampling experience that tells the 100-year brand history of The House of Suntory alongside unique photo opportunities and a screening of the Suntory Anniversary Tribute by Academy-Award Winning Director, Sofia Coppola. Must be 21 or over to enjoy this experience.


Floor 4

Gina and Stuart Peterson White Box

11 a.m. Conversation between two of artist Pacita Abad’s siblings, Butch Abad and Rency Abad Baroña, on the artist’s life and work. Moderated by curator Trisha Lagaso Goldberg.

1–5 p.m. Community Trapunto Workshop, presented by SOMA Pilipinas, San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage District and facilitated by artist Roseli Ilano, inviting anyone who wants to participate to embroider beads, buttons, textiles, and shells onto canvases painted by muralist Monica Magtoto. Demonstrations at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.



10 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacita Abad retrospective open to the public


Floor 5

Cafe 5

On this day, the Cafe 5 will serve special dishes inspired by Filipino cuisine, in addition to the regular menu.

About our Event Partners

SOMA Pilipinas

SOMA Pilipinas is San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage District. Spanning 1.5 square miles, it honors the 120+ year history of Filipinos in San Francisco and celebrates the community’s living legacy of making home, celebrating culture, building community, and fighting for economic and racial justice in the rapidly gentrifying South of Market neighborhood. It’s a place that connects the broader community to their stories as Filipinos in America and a living culture and community that is conscious of history, yet embraces progress, working together, and moving forward in unity and vision.

Roseli Ilano

Roseli Ilano uses storytelling and art to bring people together. Over the last 15 years, she has led youth arts and activism programming at AYPAL, Filipino Advocates for Justice, The San Francisco Arts Commission, Oasis For Girls, Mission High School, and the Independent Television Service/PBS. She is the founder of ILANO, a material textile experiment that explores weaving and natural dyes in partnership with women-led worker cooperatives in Mexico and the Philippines.

Monica Magtoto

Monica Magtoto expresses her love of her community, multicultural heritage, and spiritual practice through dream-like, bold imagery and typography that explore themes of life-long healing and finding joy as a Queer woman of color in an urban landscape. Through the use of watercolor, ink, and coffee grounds, Magtoto brings the viewer on an empowering journey through her point of view. In their murals, Magtoto invites the community to go on a healing journey with them, reconnecting the viewer to the earth with vibrant colors, plants, and animals.


Founded in 1985, KULARTS is the premier presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts in the United States. KULARTS is a not-for-profit arts organization based in San Francisco, California whose mission is to inform and expand the understanding of American Pilipino culture through the arts. Their objectives are to nurture the artistic development of Pilipino American artists and to preserve the spirit and integrity of ancient Pilipino art forms.


UNDISCOVERED Block Party is a curated collection of emerging artists and merchants to celebrate SOMA Pilipinas, San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage district.

Butch Abad

Butch Abad is artist Pacita Abad’s younger brother. He is the eighth of thirteen siblings. He began his life in public service as a community organizer in fishing communities and factories near Manila in The Philippines. When repression under martial rule intensified, he soon found himself fighting the Marcos authoritarian regime. He was arrested and detained in 1978 and 1980 for his trade union work and anti-martial law activism. In the first legislative elections in 1987 after martial law was dismantled, he was elected at age 33 to be the Congressman of Batanes, charting the political path that many thought Pacita would pursue. He went on to serve three more terms in Congress from 1995 to 2004. In 1990, he joined the Cory Aquino Cabinet as Secretary of Agrarian Reform, became Secretary of Education in 2004, and capped his government service as Secretary of Budget and Management in 2010–16 under President Noynoy Aquino. He helped establish Fundacion Pacita, which seeks to continue the artistic legacy of Pacita by promoting the vibrant community of artists in Batanes. He was married to the late Dina Razon-Abad. They have four children — Julia, Pio, Luis and Patsy — and a grandchild, Emma.

Rency Abad Baroña

Rency Abad Baroña was born in 1942, the second in the family of thirteen. While she finished with a degree in BS Chemistry, she proceeded to working as the secretary to her father, who had been serving as congressman of Batanes at the time. In 1969, she married Salvador Baroña and together they had three children, Myla, Alan, and Kim. Her involvement in Pacita’s art began in the 1980s when she accepted Pacita’s invitation to assist with her trapuntos, despite having no prior sewing experience. Pacita taught her to incorporate materials such as shells, rickracks, mirrors, and sequins, which added depth and dimension to the trapuntos and instilled in her the belief that there were no incorrect choices when it came to colors and materials. Over time, she estimates that she contributed to the creation of approximately 50 hand-sewn trapuntos. When Pacita left for the United States, she turned to quilting using surplus textiles, focusing her attention on making blankets, throw pillows, and table runners for her family. Now 81, Rency enjoys traveling and seeing the world. She continues to quilt every now and then, still producing her signature blankets in between episodes of her favorite Korean dramas.

Trisha Lagaso Goldberg

Trisha Lagaso Goldberg is an artist and independent curator. She led the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ commissioned works branch of its public art program (2006–18) and served as the founding gallery director of thirtyninehotel (2006–10), where she commissioned projects by artists such as Carolyn Castaño, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Stephanie Syjuco. Her recent projects include Lands End, which featured the work of 27 international artists addressing climate crisis at the historic Cliff House, and the Carlos Villa: Worlds in Collision exhibition. Currently, Lagaso Goldberg is developing an exhibition for the Honolulu Museum of Art on the iconic twentieth-century artist, Isamu Noguchi, and his relationship with Hawai’i, as well as a project that looks at overseas workers and the practice of sending remittances back to a home country for The Fine Arts Gallery at SFSU. She lives and works in San Francisco and on the island of O’ahu.

The House of Suntory

The House of Suntory is a house of Japanese artisans crafting world-class spirits inspired by Japanese nature and mastered with Japanese blending techniques. In addition to their luxury whisky brands Yamazaki, Hakushu, Chita, and Hibiki, they also distill Roku Gin, Haku Vodka, and Suntory Whisky Toki. They do more than create high-quality spirits; they embody the Japanese philosophy and traditions that are a full expression of everything they make.

Community Day Ticket Details

*Tickets grant you free access to the entire museum, with the exception of the special presentation Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love. By reserving your Free Community Day tickets in advance, you’re signing up to receive an email notification when a select number of free tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love become available online for this day only. Limited free tickets to the presentation will also be available day-of at the onsite Ticketing Desk, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive at the presentation on Floor 6 at the time of your Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love ticket time and expect long lines with an average wait time of 30 minutes. Please note, large bags and backpacks exceeding 12 x 6 x 3 inches will not be allowed into Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love and must be left at the coat check in the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium on Floor 1.