San Francisco, CA — Mayor Edwin M. Lee has announced that over the next two years the city will contribute and invest $7 million in programs supporting the arts.
This represents 14 percent growth over previous budgets and includes a $2 million enhancement (a 50 percent increase) to the city’s groundbreaking Cultural Equity Endowment Fund and $1 million to Grants for the Arts to support small and mid-sized arts nonprofits, individual artists and historically underserved communities through grants and capacity building.
Mayor Lee’s Shared Prosperity for the Arts Package includes a $3.8 million capital investment over the next two years in the City’s Civic Art Collection and Cultural Centers and an additional funding for arts education.
“Artists have played an immeasurable role in shaping San Francisco into the City it is today. The arts and culture sector also helps fuel our economy, drawing $1.7 billion in tourism each year,” said Mayor Lee. “That is why we must act now to keep artists here so that they can continue to contribute to the vitality of our City. This increase in arts funding will help ensure that artists can share in the prosperity of this rapidly growing economy.”
“On behalf of the Arts Commission, we are grateful to the mayor for taking steps to protect the city’s arts and culture ecosystem through these budget enhancements,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “With an historic increase to the Cultural Equity Endowment Fund and this overall commitment to artists in San Francisco, we are setting an example for other municipalities on how to preserve and support artist communities.”
“This is wonderful news for the arts,” said Director of Grants for the Arts Kary Schulman. “This increase in funding comes at a critical time when artists are struggling to maintain their foothold in the City. There is no better way to help arts organizations than by increasing crucial general operating support for their work.”
In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the Arts Commission will also explore exciting new opportunities to build housing for the artists who contribute so much to San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods.
The city-owned cultural centers, which include the African American Arts and Culture Complex, Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and SOMArts provide accessible arts and culture programming for all San Franciscans by offering low-cost performances and space rentals, gallery exhibitions and classes. With an increased capital budget over the next two years, the centers will be able to address critical maintenance needs and make significant improvements for greater accessibility to their sites.