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San Francisco is nationally and internationally acclaimed
as a cultural center where the arts are central to the essence and character
of the City. It hosts a flourishing cultural environment in which a profusion
of art is created, performed and exhibited in adventuresome, creative
and often ground breaking ways. The breadth of artistic achievement in
San Francisco encompasses many disciplines, cultures, individuals and
organizations of all sizes. San Francisco has one of the largest concentrated
populations of artists in the country and a per capital audience attendance
at art events that far surpasses the national average.
The arts are a major industry in San Francisco, with
a significant impact on the City's economy. The arts bring visitors and
tourists and their associated visitor spending to San Francisco. In the
City's innovative financial support programs for the arts, San Francisco
has become a national leader in municipal arts funding. This city was
among the first cities in the United States to institute a public art
program and is considered a model in its approach to provision of artist
The Arts Element of the San Francisco Master Plan is
- Strengthen the arts in San Francisco, as expressions
of culture, creativity and beauty;
- Validate and increase the role of the arts as a
major economic force in the region;
- Act as guiding principles for the City and County
of San Francisco in their dealings with the arts;
- Legitimize the arts as an essential concern of local
government through the formal adoption of policies;
- Articulate issues, contributions and needs of the
- Protect arts organizations and artists through the
adoption of policies that will withstand changes in political climate;
- Provide strategies for responding to arts issues;
- Identify and address current City policies and procedures
that affect the arts;
- Elevate and strengthen the distribution of resources
for the arts;
- Insure the future health and vitality of the arts
in San Francisco;
- Set a course for the future.
Arts policy for the City and County of San Francisco
was developed through a community planning process that included seven
topical focus groups. These groups each met three times between November
1988 and early 1990. The process also included during this time two community
forums, six cluster group meetings, additional meetings with Arts Commission
and other City staff, reviews of materials and documents about the arts
in San Francisco and technical research by the five member Planning Team.
The process of developing an Arts Element was undertaken
out of the belief that the arts are an essential part of San Francisco,
both intrinsically and economically, and that the arts make significant
contributions to life in San Francisco. At the same time, however, the
ability of the arts to thrive in San Francisco is challenged. Artists'
housing and studio space remains scarce, individual artists of all disciplines
and cultural backgrounds have limited access to funding, nonprofit arts
organizations are currently experiencing the toughest competition yet
for growth and stability. The search for available, affordable performance
and exhibit space remains difficult as a result of San Francisco real
estate values. There remains a critical need for greater arts education
opportunities and multicultural artists and arts organizations remain
on the periphery of City funding, decision making and support.
This Master Plan Element is also founded on the belief
that the City and County of San Francisco holds a trust for the development
and preservation of arts and culture. It is furthermore held that explicit
arts policy will help enable the City and County of San Francisco to respond
to arts related issues and problems in the fulfillment of this trust.
This Arts Element is a hybrid in the world of cultural planning in that
it addresses issues at both the policy level and the strategic level.
Together both these levels of planning are critical to the success of
the policies that follow.
RECOGNIZE THE ARTS AS NECESSARY TO THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL SEGMENTS
OF SAN FRANCISCO.
As noted by the National League of Cities:
"The arts are a critical element in the survival
of cities. If we are to achieve an improved quality of life for the nation's
urban population, all levels of government must recognize the arts as
an essential service. All men, women, and children should have the opportunity
to experience the arts in their daily lives. Within the urban environment
every citizen should have available accessible avenues of cultural development,
expression and involvement."
San Francisco support of the arts has decades of tradition.
The City's own activities, however, have tended to be overshadowed by
the vast scale of the private arts community. In 1983 there were over
600 non-profit arts programs - exclusive of the literary arts - within
the city limits. These programs included 92 in theater, 114 in dance,
60 in music, and 91 in visual arts. San Francisco is also home to a world-class
symphony, ballet, opera and several museums of fine art.
The San Francisco area ranks highest among the ten
largest U. S. Cities in per capita attendance in the disciplines of theater,
dance, music, and film. San Francisco is a literary arts center, based
on the number of small press publications, poetry and prose readings and
other literary events, literary organizations, and organizations with
literary arts arms.
Promote inclusion of artistic considerations in local decision-making.
In the design of the physical environment, artistic
values should be recognized as an element to be considered as well as
function, cost, and environmental impact. The talent and perspective of
artists should be integrated into the planning, designing and building
of San Francisco to promote the highest artistic standards for the City.
Officially recognize on a regular basis the contributions arts make to
the quality of life in San Francisco.
Formal recognition through the Office of the Mayor
of the contribution of the arts to the quality of life is a powerful and
effective means of both giving the arts their deserved acclaim and demonstrating
City leadership in supporting the arts. Leadership can take the form of
the Mayor's Arts Awards, as is done in many cities, or can be more directed
Increase public awareness of the arts in San Francisco by greater promotion
of existing art programs and services in the community and schools.
The City and County of San Francisco should promote
greater awareness of the arts of all cultures through its support of programs
which promote the arts, through efforts to advocate for education in the
arts, through its relationship with the media, and through the leadership
of its offices. The City of San Francisco should embrace the arts as a
vital part of its cultural environment, and promote the value of the many
definitions of "public" cultures as art.
Provide access to the creative process and cultural resources for all
neighborhoods, cultural communities, and segments of the city and its
There is a wealth of opportunity in San Francisco for
the enjoyment of and participation in the arts. There is also a wide array
of populations which represent a multiplicity of cultures, economic and
social backgrounds, neighborhoods, ages, and abilities. Local multicultural
artists and arts organizations play a major role in promoting cross-cultural
fertilization. The challenge is to bring these two elements - the arts
and the general population - together, so that all people may create and
enjoy the arts.
INCREASE THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE ARTS TO THE ECONOMY OF SAN FRANCISCO.
The arts contribute to the San Francisco economy by
providing income as well as a wide variety of jobs, goods and services.
Arts activities play a significant role in attracting visitor trade, enhancing
the City image, and by their presence help to encourage other businesses
to locate in San Francisco. Definition and study of the arts as a sector
in the local economy during the 1980's improved on the long held assumptions
and understanding that the arts are good for the economy by providing
measurement and approximations of actual economic benefits.
The arts sector includes both non-profit and for-profit
arts businesses and corporations. These two business sectors work to support
one another in ways which make them invaluable to one another. There is
a mutual dependency between these two sub-sectors of the arts where the
economic and creative health of one can significantly affect the other.
It is estimated that the 1987 operating expenditures of the non-profit
arts activities in San Francisco were over 94 million dollars. In the
same year, the for-profit arts which are traditionally the larger sub-sector
yielded local operating expenditures of approximately 593 million dollars.
Together these two arts sub-sectors, with their events, shows, exhibits,
performances and other business activities helped to generate an estimated
1.3 billion dollars in the 1987San Francisco economy.
The arts sector contribution of 1.3 billion dollars
represents approximately 6.5 percent of the total 1987 San Francisco economic
activity. Arts economic activity during this same year supported between
45,000 and 50,000 local jobs. As many as one out of every eleven jobs
in San Francisco is either partially or wholly dependent on arts related
businesses in the city. Overall arts sector contributions of jobs, income
and business activity indicate the arts are a major economic sector and
essential to the health of the local economy.
Encourage and promote opportunities for the arts and artists to contribute
to the economic development of San Francisco.
The arts are often a strong determinant in corporate
deliberations regarding the location of headquarters and facilities. They
also generate jobs in construction and design of new and renovated facilities
and in installation, shipping, security, transportation and trucking and
many other industries necessary to the production, performance, and exhibition
Continue to support and increase the promotion of the arts and arts activities
throughout the City for the benefit of visitors, tourists, and residents.
The arts and tourism are clearly related. Of the 5
million people who comprised the audience for San Francisco based performances
in 1985, almost half were non-residents.
A comprehensive arts information service for visitors
staying in hotels has been established. Such a service for residents and
other visitors should also be considered. At present, there is no one
place where all visitors and residents can obtain information about the
arts, and where the wide array of cultural opportunities in San Francisco
can be promoted. The arts information services should be located centrally
and prominently, and could also take on functions such as a hot line and
MAINTAIN AND STRENGTHEN THE ARTS COMMISSION SO THAT IT CAN BETTER SERVE
THE PUBLIC AND CITY GOVERNMENT THROUGH ARTS POLICY COORDINATION, PLANNING
As the unit of government with the broadest mandate
in the arts, it is most appropriate that the Arts Commission promote cultural
policies and plans for consideration by other City departments and by
the public. It is also appropriate that the Arts Commission's role should
include increased services for the arts community, facilitating arts funding
and funding opportunities and coordination among City departments which
affect arts services and policies.
Such a role would represent a significant change in
the mission and programming of the Arts Commission. This new mission does
not imply that current Arts Commission programs should be discontinued,
nor that it would override or interfere with established authorities of
other Charter agencies whose primary function is to provide arts experiences.
It would require, however, that current programs be evaluated within a
broader context. The Arts Commission is presently in the process of developing
a long term plan for the agency to meet the growing, changing needs of
That it is a challenge for the Arts Commission to carry
out its current programs is significant to any proposal for adding new
roles and responsibilities. The fact that specific commissioners are designated
to represent performing arts and literature on the Arts Commission but
there are no programs, staff or funds for these areas, raises expectations
that cannot be met. The Arts Commission needs to increase its visibility
in the community through broader communication to the public of its mandates,
responsibilities, services and programs so that the City can play a more
effective leadership role in the arts.
Enhance the legal powers and broaden the responsibilities of the Arts
Commission to better enable it to be responsive to the changing needs
of the entire arts community.
The City of San Francisco formed the San Francisco
Arts Commission in 1932 for the purpose of effecting civic design review.
Various responsibilities and new mandates have been added since then,
such as the management of the City's art collection, support of the POPS
Concerts series, Art in Public Places, and the Street Artists Licensing
Program, but these charter and ordinance mandated programs remain the
focus of the Arts commission by force of law. Since the Arts Commission
was formed, the needs of and the circumstances of the arts and of the
city have changed dramatically.
Maintain arts policy coordination activities as a function of the Arts
Commission within City government.
In 1988, twenty-three departments or commissions within
the government structure of the City and County of San Francisco had policies,
programs, procedures, guidelines, or requirements directly related to
Strengthened relationships between the Arts Commission
and other City departments that have an impact on the arts can lead to
a coordinated approach to city issues and practices which affect the arts,
and yield a clearer, more integrated, and ultimately more successful result.
Strive for the highest standards of design of public buildings and grounds
and structures placed in the public right of way.
Public buildings should set the standard for design
quality in the City, not only because of their civic importance, but also
because insistence on good design in private buildings is undermined if
public design is mediocre.
Items placed in the public right of way, such as flower
stands, bus shelters, newspaper racks, benches, light poles, also play
an important role in creating a design image of the City. They should
be designed with their visual quality, as well as their efficiency and
ease of maintenance, in mind.
Many public projects are subject to design review by
multiple city agencies. The Arts Commission reviews the design of buildings
and structures on city property. The Department of City Planning reviews
the same projects for conformity to the City's Master Plan, including
the Urban Design Element and other design policies. The sponsoring department
- in the case of a public building, or the Department of Public Works
- in the case of public right of way, must also approve the design of
a project. Each agency uses its own design standards in a separate and
independent review, resulting in confusion and conflict.
INSURE REPRESENTATIVE PARTICIPATION OF THE CITY POPULATION IN ARTS DECISION-MAKING
The arts in San Francisco are, by nature of its population,
multicultural. They are the product of the diversity which has always
characterized San Francisco. The arts also reflect expressions of the
disabled, the gay and lesbian communities, the young, the old, the wealthy
and the poor. It is the high quality of artistic product which emanates
from the breadth and interplay of these diverse cultural expressions that
makes the arts in San Francisco vibrant, experimental and provocative.
Throughout this document, whenever the population of San Francisco is
referenced, the definition of that population is meant to include all
of these diverse elements.
Actively recruit and include representative populations in City agencies
and bodies which deal with arts (e.g., funding, promotion, programming,
arts policy, selection of art or artists, facilities development and use).
The intent of this policy is to insure representation
from the many cultures, ages, sexual orientations and disabled populations
which make up San Francisco in the formulation and implementation of arts
policies and programs. In order for policies and programs to respect,
reflect, and support the diverse expressions of San Francisco's peoples,
this representation is essential.
SUPPORT ARTS AND CULTURAL PROGRAMS WHICH ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF DIVERSE
The diversity of population in San Francisco and the
wide array of artists and arts organizations needs the support of programs
which address diverse cultural needs.
The City of San Francisco has a history of support
for a range of cultural programs and audiences. Notable examples are the
support given by Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission.
San Francisco arts organizations, many of whom are supported by the City,
also sponsor a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of diverse
The further identification of needs will enable the
arts community and the City to better serve the broadest possible population.
Identify and address the needs of arts programs and facilities for all
segments of San Francisco.
The City should, both within its own programs and within
the arts programs and organizations it supports, commit to insuring access
to the arts for all citizens of the city. The City should continue and
expand its efforts to support, through its capital improvements funds,
the elimination of physical barriers as they pertain to the arts through
the variety of city agencies. The City should continue to support free
and low cost arts events, with particular attention paid to neighborhood
arts. Information about policies, programs, events, and other resources
should, whenever possible, be presented in such a way so that it is accessible
to non-English speaking populations, the deaf and the blind. The commitment
to access includes provision of:
- Adequate public transportation, parking and safety;
- Informational services to accommodate non-English
speaking populations, the visually and hearing impaired; and
- Economic programs, such as subsidized ticket or
Provide accessible arts information resources to non-English speaking
as well as visually and hearing impaired populations.
Continue to increase City support for organizations and developing institutions
which reflect the diverse cultural traditions of the San Francisco population.
To become an institution implies a certain degree of
artistic and administrative stability, of public recognition, and of the
development of loyal audiences and supporters. Through traditional funding
patterns, development and maintenance of facilities, and political support,
the City of San Francisco has historically supported a number of arts
organizations in such a manner and at such a time as to assist them in
acquiring and maintaining the status of prominent institution. Grants
for the Arts, through the Multicultural Arts Initiative, has begun to
identify and support these arts groups. Lack of financial resources, inadequate
facilities, and, in some cases, definitions and perceptions of art and
culture which deny serious recognition by some potential audiences and
supporters have prevented arts organizations reflecting the local cultural
diversity from becoming institutions. Stability, recognition, and support
are critical if culturally diverse organizations are to continue to enrich
the entire city as well as give support to their own diverse cultural
PROMOTE ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMS THAT REFLECT THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF
Encourage arts education offerings in the community and the schools to
include art and artists from many cultures.
It is imperative that students learn about the artistic
heritages of the multiplicity of cultures represented by its citizens.
Artists who have a living personal relationship with these artistic heritages
ideally are the most appropriate teachers of their own art forms.
With diverse program offerings, the City will continue
to serve the educational needs of its citizens as well as contribute to
the development of new audiences.
ENHANCE THE CONTRIBUTION OF ARTISTS TO THE CREATIVE LIFE AND VITALITY
OF SAN FRANCISCO.
The foundation of the arts is the individual, producing
artist. It is the contribution of the artist, whether individually or
as a member of an ensemble, that is the single most important element
in the cultural environment of a community. The quality of artistic expression,
the availability of opportunities for artists to produce, to exhibit,
or to perform their work, and the engagement of others as patrons of artists'
expressions, all determine whether or not artists can thrive in the community.
In San Francisco a large artist population contributes
significantly to the cultural environment and economy of the city.
The centrality of artists to any discussion of the
arts provides the basis for many of the Goals, Objectives, and Policies
in this plan.
Develop funding sources for individual artists.
At present, the City of San Francisco does not provide
any direct City funding to individual artists. Some funding is available
in the form of commissions for the creation of art works under the various
public art programs, and through funding arts organizations which pay
artists salaries or fees. Those artists whose media are not appropriate
to current public art programs or who do not work in an organizational
setting are ineligible for City funding.
Encourage City-funded arts programs and organizations to establish policies
for payment to professional artists.
Many people and organizations do not hesitate to ask
artists to work gratis in exchange for the opportunity to be acknowledged.
That practice diminishes the value of the arts and undermines artists'
abilities to be self-supporting. An example set by the City in compensating
artists would encourage the legitimization of artists and art, and the
City should actively promote and advocate for payment of professional
artists throughout the community.
Many public funding bodies, such as the California
Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, require that applicant
organizations have a policy of payment to professional artists which meets
acceptable minimum standards.
Protect and assist in the creation of artists' live/work spaces.
San Francisco's live/work legislation has paved the
way for development of combined living and working spaces for artists.
The actual development of those spaces, however, is complex, time-consuming,
and expensive. The ArtHouse project of the San Francisco Arts Commission
and California Lawyers for the Arts was conceived as a clearinghouse for
live/work listings, information, technical assistance and advocacy. ArtHouse
also assists in developing new spaces. The program receives no City funding
outside of in-kind services form the Arts Commission (office space, telephone)
and is supported by the California Arts Council and private foundations.
Similar efforts in other cities tend to fall under community development
definition and receive Community Development Block Grant funding. In most
other cities with live/work programs, those spaces are considered to be
"affordable housing" and are therefore eligible for federal
and/or state funding.
To protect and create artists' live/work spaces, City
resources should be allocated to support the formal efforts to develop
affordable live/work space. The City should remain committed to the development
of live/work units by urging the inclusion of live/work spaces in planned
Include the literary and media arts in any and all definitions of art
The City of San Francisco has a tradition of supporting
the visual and performing arts but has offered no formal recognition or
support of the literary arts. Inasmuch as the creation of literature,
poetry, play writing, and other forms based on the printed word are as
legitimately considered to be "art" as are the visual and performing
arts, the City should include the literary arts in its definitions of
art and artists and in its arts programs.
Literary Arts Center
Include the participation of artists in City capital improvements and
public works projects which do not fall under current Percent for Art
Artists are innovators. They approach situations in
an unconventional manner and arrive at solutions which are often creative
and economical. The artists should be considered essential parts of a
collaborative process when the City undertakes many capital improvement
and public works projects which, when approached conventionally, yield
conventional solutions. Signage, street furniture, manhole covers, and
lighting fixtures are among the kinds of public works projects in which
artists could contribute their unique vision.
STRENGTHEN THE CONTRIBUTION OF ARTS ORGANIZATIONS TO THE CREATIVE LIFE
AND VITALITY OF SAN FRANCISCO.
Arts organizations provide the framework by which the
work of artists is made accessible to the public. They are not only the
presenters of this work but the conservators of the diverse cultural heritages
and traditions of our civilization. They support artists by direct employment
and through education, advocacy and technical assistance. The economic
stability of arts organizations has a direct bearing on whether or not
artists can create and present their work.
The needs of arts organizations are addressed throughout
this plan in terms of facilities improvements, resource-sharing among
organizations, promotional activities and specific funding needs. The
most pressing need expressed is for a stable funding base at all levels
Support a stable funding base for small, medium and large arts organizations
and develop new funding sources to enable arts organizations of all sizes
to respond to demand for services.
Various avenues of government funding and the need
for creating new sources are discussed in detail under Goal V, "Increase
Funding Support for the Arts in San Francisco."
Assist in the improvement of arts organizations' facilities and access
in order to enhance the quality and quantity of arts offerings.
Many city-owned arts facilities in San Francisco require
extensive capital improvements if they are to continue to perform the
functions for which they were constructed or purchased. The neighborhood
cultural centers and the outdoor arts spaces under the jurisdiction of
Recreation and Parks are primary examples. The level of funding needed
requires exploration of new sources of revenue.
Recognize that arts organizations are representative of the City's diversity,
creativity and vitality.
The arts organizations of San Francisco are an integral
part of the art infrastructure of the City. They provide the ground upon
which the arts and the community meet, offering opportunities for enrichment,
education, communication and participation. These organizations, numbering
in the hundreds, produce, present, exhibit and preserve the expressions
and work of a myriad of diverse cultures. Their artistic missions range
from the traditional to the avant garde, serving citizens of all ages
and backgrounds. The wealth of cultural opportunity and expression evident
in San Francisco's arts organizations is one of the City's greatest treasures.
Strengthen the leadership, personnel, governance and structure of arts
The challenge of surviving and thriving through economic,
social and artistic uncertainties demands that arts organizations have
strong leadership and sound structures. Arts organizations need access
to those resources which encourage and allow them to address those internal
management issues which affect their ability to fulfill their artistic
ADVOCATE AND ASSIST IN PROVIDING ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMMING AT ALL LEVELS.
The need for education in the arts is not confined
to school children but is critical at all levels of human development
from childhood through old age, from vocational pursuits to paraprofessional
and professional training. Through knowledge of and participation in the
arts, there is an understanding of the world in which we live and the
opportunity to develop tools to deal with that world. The arts speak to
the genesis and manifestation of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors throughout
the world and provide new means of communication. Education in the arts
promotes a recognition of the beauty and creativity around us and shows
us our potential to contribute to that beauty.
In addition to programs in the schools, arts education
also takes place in many other settings. These include programs sponsored
by the City's Recreation and Park Department, by arts organizations such
as the Museum of Modern Art and the deYoung Museum, by the Neighborhood
Cultural Centers, and by community arts and social service agencies.
Advocate for arts education opportunities for all residents of San Francisco.
Despite the wealth of documentation which clearly articulates
the value of teaching the arts for their own sake as well as the benefits
of arts literacy to other academic skills and pursuits, arts education
remains on the periphery of education, a low priority in a constant state
The need for arts education is not limited to school
children. Opportunities for arts education must also be stressed at the
college and university level, for adults, and in paraprofessional training.
In-service and continuing education programs for arts educators are also
essential. Existing programs need to be supported and expanded.
Strengthen collaborations among artists, arts organizations, and teachers,
school administrators, and others responsible for arts curricula.
Collaboration among artists and arts organizations
and teachers and school administrators promotes the development of programs
which maximize the resources of both the arts community and the schools.
Those collaborations can lead to innovative approaches to arts programming
which also meet the needs of the school district. Further, collaboration
among artists and arts organizations who provide arts education programs
can also yield fresh approaches to arts education through multi-disciplinary
or other programs, with a potential for shared costs.
RECOGNIZE IN ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMS THAT A PARTNERSHIP AMONG ARTISTS,
TEACHERS, AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS IS ESSENTIAL TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN QUALITY
ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMMING.
In order to promote an understanding of the arts which
encompasses both the historical and contemporary products of artistic
expression as well as allowing the student the opportunity to exercise
and refine personal creativity, a partnership among artists, teachers,
and arts organization is essential. Without that partnership, education
in the arts is one-dimensional.
Support and increase the participation of artists in San Francisco's arts
Artists are one of San Francisco's greatest resources.
Artists of all disciplines have provided countless hours of training,
of education, and of joy to San Francisco's residents through a wide variety
of arts education programs. The intent of this policy is to insure the
continued and increased participation of performing, visual, and literary
artists in arts education programs at all levels and in all institutions
in order to provide San Francisco residents with the opportunity to participate
knowledgeably in the arts as performers and artists and as audiences and
Support the efforts and dedication of arts teachers who have developed
and maintained outstanding programs in the schools.
INSURE THAT CITY FUNDING SUPPORTS THE DELIVERY OF SERVICES TO THE BROADEST
POSSIBLE SPECTRUM OF THE COMMUNITY.
The City of San Francisco currently supports a variety
of arts organizations and activities with City funds derived from a number
of sources, including but not limited to line item budget allocations,
special Arts Commission programs, and the Grants for the Arts Program.
Through Grants for the Arts, San Francisco's museums,
theaters, dance companies and music ensembles receive funding on an annual
basis. In addition, Grants for the Arts also funds, within guidelines,
nonrecurring parades; celebrations and street fairs; building purchases,
renovations, relocations, and feasibility studies through the Arts Spaces
Initiative; capital improvements, facilities maintenance and equipment
acquisition through the Volunteer Arts Contribution Fund; and the San
Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.
Provide the greatest possible public input into considerations regarding
A publicly accountable process for the allocation
of public funds is sound government practice. To the greatest extent
possible, all allocations
of public money supporting the arts and arts organizations should provide
clear review criteria, public input and an appeals process.
Assist in the development of new funding sources for arts organizations
which have traditionally not received City funding.
At present, various arts organizations are not eligible
for direct City funding. These include arts service organizations and
arts education and training groups. Current policies should be examined
to determine if interpretations can be broadened or guidelines changed
to include these segments of the arts community.
SECURE NEW SOURCES OF REVENUE FOR THE ARTS.
It has long been acknowledged that the non-profit arts
cannot be entirely self-supporting. The earned income generated through
ticket and admission sales or by sales of work rarely equals the costs
to the artist or arts organization who produced the work, performance,
exhibition, or activity. To fill the gap between earned income and income
needed to survive and to grow, the arts must look to other sources. Even
when successful, few artists or arts organizations are able to escape
financial concerns brought on by changing economies, shifts in social
priorities, and government cutbacks. The lack of financial resources and
financial stability is a constant and debilitating concern for the arts.
The challenge is to develop new sources of funding
and to strengthen existing sources of support for the arts. The potential
for expanded local government support is being examined throughout the
country, as municipalities look for ways of securing funds for the arts
in new, non-traditional ways. Fees, levies, and fees for services are
being re-examined. The private sector is the other area of potential.
The key word in private sector fund raising is partnership, with a new
understanding of the mutual benefits the arts and commerce bring each
other. That potential is just beginning to be explored.
Establish a coordinated, flexible citywide percent for art program.
At present, developments in designated areas support
the arts in San Francisco through participation in the Percent for Art
programs of the Arts Commission, the Redevelopment Agency and the Department
of City Planning. There is potential revenue to be derived if land development
support of the arts was expanded to include projects of a certain size
and type in all areas of the city. New funding could also be developed
if the definition of appropriate uses of those funds was broadened.
A flexible program - at the discretion of the developer
- could open new opportunities for revenue which could be used in support
of cultural pursuits and organizations that have traditionally not received
city funding, to augment current funding priorities, and to open new vistas
for city-funded arts activity and programming. Those funds should be designed
in such a way as to allow flexibility for participation, with limits and
Determine the means of providing in-kind resources and services to the
The most common and readily identifiable form of support
for the arts by local government is direct funding of arts organizations
and arts events through granting or other allocation procedures. Those
funds are applied on the income side of the arts organization's ledger,
and are used to cover costs of services, programs, and operations.
Local government can have an impact on the expense
side of the ledger as well. Through provision of resources and services,
for which the arts normally must pay, or through elimination or reduction
of costs imposed by the City on individuals or organizations associated
with the production of art, local government can also support the arts.
The City has access to many resources, both tangible
and in the form of services. Many of these resources would represent significant
cost savings to the arts if made available to artists and arts organizations.
Those resources include equipment, materials, security, and space. Where
possible, those resources should be made available to the arts on a free
or low-cost basis.
Motion Picture Theaters
Reduce or eliminate, whenever possible, City-imposed costs associated
with producing the arts by non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
The City imposes a variety of costs on individuals
or organizations involved in the production of art. Those costs include
business licenses and permits, personal property taxes, costs associated
with complying with insurance requirements, rents paid for usage of City
facilities, among others. Some of these costs are large, such as some
associated with code compliance, and others are modest. Some cost relief
procedures are cumbersome. Wherever possible, these costs should be reduced
DEVELOP AND EXPAND ONGOING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN SUPPORT
OF THE ARTS.
One of the shifts in arts funding in the past decade
has been the increasing emphasis on support in the form of partnerships
between the corporate sector and the arts. This shift in perception and
practice has occurred because of the growing recognition of the economic
and social relationship between the arts in a community and the business
sector. Audiences for the arts are often the markets businesses are trying
to reach. They provide geographic focus, which supports area commercial
and retail establishments.
Increasingly the private sector has adopted the stance
similar to that articulated in "Creative Partnerships" by Neil
E. Harlan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the McKesson Corporation:
"Support of the arts makes good business sense, because it builds
prestige for the corporation and makes the community a vibrant place in
which to live and work."
Develop partnerships with the private sector and the business community
to encourage monetary and non-monetary support of the arts, as well as
sponsorships of arts organizations and events.
The trend toward partnerships between the arts and
business has provided the arts with some new resources with which to support
programs and operations. Those resources are in the form of funding as
well as through goods and services.
The City can assist the arts in forging new links with
the corporate world. Through the Mayor's Office of Business and Economic
Development and the Small Business Commission, the City can promote partnerships
between the arts and businesses. The San Francisco Economic Development
Corporation can play a role as well. Artists and arts organizations should
continue to be included in the City's good will and economic development
missions to promote San Francisco's arts and culture to businesses considering
moving to the city and help the arts to build new relationships.
Through the Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations,
much can be done to promote support for the arts. The Business Volunteers
for the Arts program of San Francisco's Chamber of Commerce is a major
example of a successful collaboration. The Business Volunteers for the
Arts and the Chamber of Commerce, with funding from corporations and foundations,
have initiated a pilot project to develop an arts "wish list."
Wish lists, publications which list very specific non-monetary and monetary
needs of non- profit organizations, have been successful in a number of
Commercial Arts Centers
Organizations with a particular ethnic and/or cultural
focus and those which serve audiences that consist predominantly of a
particular ethnicity and race (including those that serve people with
disabilities, children and youth, seniors and lesbian and gay people)
have been more successful in obtaining support from the public sector
than from the private sector. Lacking contacts or internal resources to
develop a comprehensive fund raising approach to corporations, many multicultural
organizations remain frustrated in their attempts to broaden their funding
base. At the same time, most corporations lack an understanding of multicultural
arts and arts organizations. A partnership should be developed which challenges
corporations to match city monies for multicultural programming. That
the population of San Francisco, and therefore the markets and work forces
of San Francisco's corporations, is multicultural suggests that funding
the diversity of art forms rather than only European-American art forms
would be a stronger statement of community support by local corporations.
SUPPORT THE CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT AND PRESERVATION OF ARTISTS' AND ARTS
The ability of arts organizations and artists to thrive
in a city requires sufficient, appropriate, and affordable facilities
in which to produce, perform, or exhibit their work. The kinds of facilities
required are many and varied - studios, rehearsal halls, theaters and
concert halls of various sizes and configurations, spaces suitable for
the particular needs of dance rehearsal and performance, exhibition
and galleries, live/work facilities, multipurpose centers, classroom
spaces, administrative spaces, and art archives, among others.
the addition of some notable new facilities in the past 15 years
the supply does not meet the demand. There remains a persistent and
pressing need for the retention and further development of affordable
A more directed program of facility maintenance, creative
use of non-arts city facilities and public and private facilities partnerships
will yield not only a more stable arts community but a more economically
sound and artistically rich environment.
Review, revise and coordinate city permit policies and codes to better
meet the needs of the arts.
Artists spaces, like all structures, are subject to
City Building and Safety codes. With the notable exception of live/work
spaces, the arts are generally not called out as specific uses in city
Building and Safety codes. A formal review of building and safety codes
as they affect the arts should be undertaken with the intent of determining
whether the current use definitions and subsequent codes are sufficient
to address the specific needs of the arts. Arts facilities and activities
must often "fit" into a classification which is not wholly appropriate,
and are then required to apply for permits of exception in order to comply
with regulations. The permit process can be onerous and time consuming
for artists and arts organizations, especially recognizing the complexity
of the code compliance process.
Support and expand programs directed at enabling arts organizations and
artists to comply with City building and safety codes and to rehabilitate
The City of San Francisco currently makes funds available
to arts organizations and artists for code compliance purposes through
a grants program administered through Grants for the Arts and through
the Non-Profit Performing Arts Loan Program, administered by the Mayor's
Office of Housing. Under specific conditions, funds are available to arts
organizations for rehabilitation and renovation of arts facilities through
Grants for the Arts and the Mayor's Office of Community Development. Loans
for these same purposes are administered by the Mayor's Office of Housing.
The City should continue to support and expand these programs to meet
Increase the use of City owned neighborhood facilities for the arts.
In 1976, following the City's decision to create ten
neighborhood arts centers, the Department of Real Estate transferred the
renovated Bayview Opera House to the Arts Commission for programmatic
use. Also since 1976, the Arts Commission has purchased and renovated
three buildings for use as cultural centers: the Mission Cultural Center,
the South of Market Cultural Center, and the Western Addition Cultural
Center. A fifth space is shared with the Chinese Culture Foundation at
the Holiday Inn for a Chinatown neighborhood arts program.
Through its Neighborhood Arts Program, the Arts Commission
has remained committed to supporting the neighborhood cultural centers.
Resources should be developed to support these and future centers if they
are to continue to serve their neighborhoods, the arts, and the city at
Preserve existing performing spaces in San Francisco.
From both the perspectives of preservation of cultural
history and the current need for performance facilities in San Francisco,
existing performing spaces should be preserved. Many old theaters have
been destroyed over the years and have not been replaced. As one of many
examples, the Fox Theater was destroyed when the Fox Plaza was developed
and no new theater was built to take its place.
Outdoor performing spaces are vital elements within
the city's mix of arts facilities and provide the residents of and visitors
to San Francisco with the opportunity to enjoy both the natural beauty
of the city and the arts. They also promote the use of San Francisco's
public parks and public spaces. Maintaining existing outdoor facilities,
such as Stern Grove and the Bandshell, will enhance their usefulness and
attractiveness to the city. Those activities, and others, are important
to the continuing ability of San Francisco to offer its community a broad
diversity of cultural offerings. New outdoor arts spaces should also be
encouraged through private and public developments.
Develop and maintain a mid-sized downtown performing arts facility available
to community-based, culturally diverse arts groups easily accessible to
Many arts organizations do not have access to "downtown"
audiences and arts facilities. Community arts groups would gain access
to visitor/tourist audiences in a downtown facility, since those audiences
often do not venture into outlying neighborhoods. The neighborhoods themselves
are not always designed to handle the increased congestion and parking
demands resulting from popular theatrical/dance performances.
Insure the active participation of artists and arts organizations in the
planning and use of de-commissioned military facilities in San Francisco.
Military facilities at the Presidio have been considered
for de-commissioning, while the Hunter's Point Shipyard is to be transferred
to the Redevelopment Agency beginning in 2004. The Presidio contains many
structures which are suitable for use by artists and arts organizations
who would bring new vitality and character, as well as economic benefits
through tourism to the Presidio.
Portions of Hunters Point Shipyard are currently used
for artists studio space and small businesses. The continued and expanded
use of these facilities for the arts should are considered, and included
as a general principal of the Hunters Point Shipyard Redevelopment Plan.
For specific policies governing Hunters Point Shipyard, see the Hunters
Point Shipyard Redevelopment Plan and its accompanying Design for Development
Two national models for the successful adaptation of
military properties for use as artists spaces are Fort Mason Art Center
in San Francisco and the Headlands Art Center at Fort Barry in Marin County.
Encourage the use of available and existing facilities under local government
jurisdiction by artists and arts organizations.
Agencies that have major construction programs, such
as the Port of San Francisco, the Redevelopment Agency and the Airport,
participate in the public percent for art program but do not necessarily
have policies relative to the use of their facilities for arts purposes.
The Redevelopment Agency's project, Yerba Buena Gardens, is a notable
exception. These agencies are also governed by state and federal statutes
and are somewhat restricted in setting forth policies that don't relate
to their government mandates. Arts uses are not automatically excluded
under these jurisdictions; and innovative ways to extend the parameters
of use can often be found.
Include arts spaces in new public construction when appropriate.
As public buildings are constructed or renovated, their
potential for use as arts spaces should be a primary consideration. Arts
use should be viewed broadly, and include consideration of performances,
live/work, exhibition, rehearsal, meeting, administrative, and classroom
spaces, in spaces not normally thought of as arts spaces.
The inclusion of artists spaces in new construction
does not necessarily mean increased expense, but often is simply a different
viewing of construction options, especially if conceived of in the initial
planning for the building. To create space which is suitable for arts
use could be as simple as modifying the plans for an existing plaza so
that it can be used as a performance space, or including gallery lighting
in a lobby area so that it becomes an exhibition space.
Create opportunities for private developers to include arts spaces in
private developments city-wide.
The City should take the lead in creating new incentives
to promote the inclusion of arts facilities in private development, such
as the following: adjustments to floor area ratios if nonprofit arts spaces
are included in the development; taxes deferred or accrued; special financial
mechanisms developed; or code or zoning variances given in exchange for
including "cultural amenities" in land development projects.
Assist artists and arts organizations in attaining ownership or long-term
control of arts spaces.
Artists are displaced for two primary reasons: the
economics of the neighborhood or community have changed and they are unable
to continue to afford to live or work there, or the actual spaces in which
they live and/or work are destroyed, altered, or incorporated because
of new development. Artists and arts organizations must be protected from
displacement to avoid a recurrence of the exodus of artists from North
Beach, for example. Displacement could be controlled if artists and arts
organizations own or possess long-term leases on their facilities.
Identify, recognize, and support existing arts clusters and, wherever
possible, encourage the development of clusters of arts facilities and
arts related businesses throughout the city.
The tendency of cultural activities to cluster together
is born out of the energy and excitement that is generated when there
is more than one activity taking place in a limited area. As discussed
in the 1987 "Facilities and Programs for the Non-Profit Arts in San
Francisco," theater, music and visual arts audiences grow when there
is the opportunity for exposure to various cultures, especially when those
opportunities take place in geographic clusters. The Performing Arts Center
and Fort Mason Center are good examples of tight clusters and the Mission/Potrero
district is a good example of a more general cluster.
In addition to the value to audiences, cluster arts
development can spur creative collaboration among arts organizations and
artists, resulting in provocative artistic products as well as cost savings
through shared facilities and/or shared administrative functions.
Further, cluster development has an economic development value. Arts-related
businesses and commercial, retail, and hospitality establishments, finding
a ready market for their goods and services, often locate and prosper
in arts cluster developments.
INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ART THROUGHOUT THE CITY.
There is no one universally held definition of public
art. It is a term which carries many meanings, implications, assumptions,
all of which are filtered through the experience and eye of the beholder.
What can be said is that public art has undergone radical changes in the
past twenty years, and that today's interpretation is broader, more fluid,
and continuing to evolve. Public art enhances a city's visual aesthetic,
provides citizens with the opportunity to experience creative expressions
and beauty; provides cities and neighborhoods with identity and focus;
provokes and promotes community dialogue; brings economic benefits in
the form of tourism; provides jobs for artists, fabricators, shippers,
suppliers; and changes attitudes about places and visual environment.
Public art is no longer just the monument in the plaza, but is a complex
process which involves and invigorates the viewer.
Traditional definitions of public art have also grown
to include permanent art forms such as frescoes and tile murals as well
as temporary installations. New directions in public art demand the encouragement
of a diversity of art forms, so that art in public places truly represents
all segments of the public.
San Francisco has long been a supporter and innovator
in the public art field. There are four public art programs in the City
of San Francisco, the Art in Public Places program administered by the
Arts Commission, the Percent for Art programs of the Planning Commission
and Redevelopment Agency, and the public art program of the Airports Commission.
Those programs function independently, each responsible for a specific
jurisdiction - the Arts Commission to projects on or adjacent to the site
of public construction including the Airport; the Airports Commission
program which deals solely with rotating exhibitions on he airport premises;
the Redevelopment Agency, to art in major private development in redevelopment
areas; and the Planning Department, whose public art program is restricted
to the downtown area.
Develop a public art plan and requisite ordinance for the City of San
Changing the guidelines of the current Art in Public
Places program is best accomplished within the context of a public art
plan. A public art plan for the City of San Francisco would articulate
the city-wide vision for public art and provide guidance to the various
public art programs.
A public art plan would not affect the autonomy of
existing programs, but would rather enable each program to draw guidance
from policy statements regarding, for example, the desired mix of media,
or whether or how many projects should be undertaken by Bay Area artists.
The plan might indicate opportunities for collaborative projects.
Protect, maintain and preserve existing art work in the City Collection
and art required by ordinance.
Through the San Francisco Art Commission's Art in Public
Places Program and through purchases and donations of art to the City
over many generations, the City of San Francisco has acquired a sizable
and prestigious collection of art works. This collection, distinguished
from the world renowned collections under the jurisdiction of the City's
art museums, is under the purview of the Arts Commission.
In addition to the acquisitions made through the Art
in Public Places program, the Arts Commission is also responsible for
the many historical monuments throughout the city. Further, the Arts Commission
is concerned with those artworks which are part of a landmark or other
structure, such as the murals in Coit Tower (Telegraph Hill), the Mothers
Building (Zoological Gardens), and the Beach Chalet (Golden Gate Park
murals). Adequate funding must be provided to maintain and preserve these
There are also "public" art works in the
city which do not fall under the City's purview, but which because of
their location and/or history, are integral elements of the City's character
and visual scenery. Many of those artworks are owned privately. These
include art required by the San Francisco Percent for Art ordinances.
The City should actively work with property owners to assist them in working
with artists and the community to preserve these artworks and in complying
with California statutes regarding destruction or moving of artwork.
Publish and periodically update public art catalogs.
Documentation of San Francisco's many public art works
and projects is critical to the enjoyment and recognition of those works
by residents and visitors. Adequate funding must be provided to insure
that the city not only acquires art, but, through updated catalogs, promotes
its existence and educates the public about this valuable City resource.
Art and Culture
are used interchangeably in this plan, reinforcing the belief that the
creative expressions of all segments of the community and all disciplines
are equal in stature and worth.
Artists spaces, or Arts spaces, means any space
in which art is created, performed, or exhibited. Artists spaces include,
among others, studios, rehearsal halls, theaters, concert halls, exhibition
spaces, live/work spaces, galleries, museums, as well as educational and
Arts community includes the broad spectrum of
artists, arts organizations, arts supporters, patrons, and audiences,
which together represent San Francisco's interest and achievement in the
Arts education in the Plan includes opportunities
for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to learn about, participate
in, and enjoy the arts of all disciplines and cultures.
Arts Service Organizations are membership organizations
which provide information, technical assistance and educational programs
for their constituents, often within a single arts discipline. Services
may also include arts presenting, re-granting, and publications.
City of San Francisco or the City refers to
the local government and its agencies and commissions, which govern the
City and County of San Francisco.
Economic development includes policies, programs,
and practices designed to increase and enhance the economy of San Francisco.
A Goal in this Plan is a broad statement of
desire under which Objectives, which are measurable statements of intent,
are organized. Under each Objective are Policies, which are guiding principles,
followed by Recommendations, concrete actions which can be taken to implement
Institution is an arts organization distinguished
by budget size (generally $1 million+ ), artistic and administrative stability,
public recognition, and development of a loyal audience and market.
Live/work refers to those spaces in which artists
both live and work, governed by the Live/Work ordinances of the City of
Master Plan is the document which, through its
stated goals, objectives and policies, guides the land use and zoning
decisions of the City and County of San Francisco.
Multicultural arts organization means an organization
"based within an ethnic minority community, as reflected in its staff,
board of directors, audiences, and content of artistic programming. Multicultural
applicants are defined as being deeply rooted in and reflective of an
ethnic community, such as a Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander or
Native American community." (California Arts Council, Multicultural
Advancement Program Guidelines, 1986)
The Nonprofit Arts includes those organizations
dedicated to the creation or presentation of art which are incorporated
as not-for-profit organizations in the State of California and are determined
to be not-for-profit by the federal government under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code.
State/Local Partnership is a program of the
San Francisco Arts Commission, created with the responsibility for cultural
planning and acting as a resource to an Francisco's arts community.
In 1987, City support for the arts also included
$1,185,314 for the Asian Art Museum; $59,993 to the Commission on Aging
for the Mt. Zion Artworks program which offers weekly visits to home-bound
clients by a staff of professional artists and $45,620 for the Pleasure
Endeavors program which provides participatory arts services to residents
in long-term care facilities, as well as other services; $4,244,000 to
the Fine Arts Museums, of which $759,000 was for capital improvements;
$41,839 to the Office of the Mayor, Motion Picture Coordinator; $115,839
to the Public Library for its Children's Services Programs, which includes
performances, arts and crafts, puppet shows, reading and singing aloud
programs, and films, festivals, and videos and $37,919 for its Adult Services
Program which offers films, lectures, music, videos, author and artist
receptions, and poetry and play readings; $1,714,918 to the Cultural Division
of the Recreation and Park Department for a variety of recreational/cultural
programs; $482,490 to the Arts Commission for the Neighborhood Arts Program
which provides start-up funds, technical assistance, and support services
for neighborhood-based arts organizations, and operates four cultural
centers, $58,000 for the care and maintenance of the City's art collection,$13,932
for the annual arts festival, $482,064 from property taxes for the annual
POPS Symphony concerts, $80,283 for the Art Commission Gallery, and $288,637
for administration; and $4,364,490 for the War memorial and Performing
Arts Center, of which 66.4% comes from the Hotel Tax Fund, for construction,
administration, and operation of War Memorial and Performing Arts Center
buildings and grounds.