The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the official San Francisco County, USA arts council. The city agency was established in 1932 and is appointed by the mayor.
The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery is the contemporary art exhibition program of the Commission. There are three locations for the gallery, with the main gallery located in the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center at 401 Van Ness Avenue, in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center. The other locations are a storefront art gallery at 155 Grove Street, across from City Hall and Art at City Hall.
Founded in 1970, the Gallery commissions new works, collaborates with arts and community organizations and supports artist’s projects. Admission to the gallery is free.
The art commission has many functions and sponsors many programs. One of its functions is to approve the design of any buildings built by the city. It oversees the selection of “art enrichment” in the forms of graphics, murals and sculpture for civic buildings and spaces.
The commission oversees the city-owned cultural centers – among them the historic Bayview Opera House, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and the African American Art and Culture Complex. The commission funds arts programs for elders, homeless people in the Tenderloin and kids at risk, as well as the Filipino community’s Parol Lantern Festival and other street festivals and events across town.
The Community Arts and Education Program supports programs that enrich the fabric of the communities of neighborhood life, giving opportunities for creative and artistic expression for all people. This egalitarian spirit carries on the values of the people who started the program in 1967 of “nurturing the arts for and by the people where they live and work.”
Other Arts Commission programs are an annual city art festival and a pops concert series. The commission’s Writer’s Corps brings writers into public schools.
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