The community-based Cultural Centers provide accessible arts opportunities for all San Franciscans. The Cultural Centers are comprised of four City-owned facilities and two virtual Cultural Centers that are operated by nonprofit arts organizations and provide cultural and arts programs. The Center facilities are available for rent and offer free or low-cost performances, gallery exhibits, and classes.
Located in San Francisco’s historic Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhood, the African American Art & Culture Complex (The Center) is a non-profit social enterprise focused on social innovation, social services, and social justice. The Center is committed to creating fair collaborations with partners and members who provide access to programs and services that drive our mission and help us realize our vision. Our programs ensure that art is created and members are supported.
With 34,000 square feet of space that houses a gallery, 200-seat theater, dance studio, and more, the vision forward is for The Center to be a space for art, business, and innovation with dedicated areas and hours for co-working and meetings, events, and productions. We understand that collaborations are paramount in driving the mission; realizing the vision; and continuing ongoing alliances with artists, arts providers, and activists.
Photo Credit: American Legal Video Services
Since 1968, the American Indian Cultural Center has led the effort to create a community space based on Native American values, culture, programming, traditional foods, and support. Their vision is to create a dynamic place of learning, culture, and community to foster American Indian heritage and culture, and to generate a sense of understanding about American Indians in the urban environment. They are working to recreate a space that will provide culturally relevant education, art, information-sharing, and wellness programs in an inclusive “safe community space.” This space will be open for the American Indian community and everyone in the bay to participate, connect, and grow. Their purpose is to improve and promote the wellbeing of the American Indian community and to increase the visibility of American Indian cultures in an urban setting in order to cultivate awareness, understanding, and respect.
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) supports and nurtures the artistic endeavors of the San Francisco Bay Area Asian Pacific Islander community. Since 1998. the Center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of the City’s Asian/Pacific arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival. The Festival presents over 15 different programs reflecting the artistic accomplishments and the cultural diversity of San Francisco’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
Photo credit: Bob Hsiang
The Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre (The Opera House) is the cultural cornerstone of Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco's African American Art and Culture District. The Opera House stewards the cultural legacy of this rich and diverse San Francisco community. Through the performing arts, we honor and acknowledge our past as we consciously chart the future of our community’s culture.
The Opera House produces a large variety of live events, film screenings, performances, community gatherings and seasonal celebrations with the guiding principle that increasing access to art will inspire, educate and transform lives. Through our Dare 2 Dream program, we educate, nurture and develop the critical thought processes necessary for the creative development of our community's youth. With our Artist in Residency program, we create a space for artists, particularly artists of color, to experiment, collaborate and learn from one another. Finally, we produce quality performances and exhibitions that cultivate informed audiences from the Bayview Hunters Point community and the greater Bay Area.
The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was established in 1977 by artists and community activists with a shared vision to promote, preserve and develop the Latino cultural arts that reflect the living tradition and experiences of Chicano, Central and South American, and Caribbean people. The MCCLA makes the arts accessible as an essential element to community development and well-being. As a community non-profit arts organization, MCCLA prides itself in enriching the cultural and artistic life of the Mission, San Francisco, and Bay Area residents as well.
Founded in 1993, the Queer Cultural Center's (QCC) mission is to promote social justice and the artistic and financial development of Queer and Trans art and culture. Their programs commission and present Queer and Trans artists that promote the development of culturally diverse Queer and Trans arts organizations and that document significant Queer and Trans arts events taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area. By presenting, exhibiting, screening and documenting Queer and Trans artists’ work, QCC contributes to the development of a multicultural perspective on LGBTQ+ experiences. QCC's ongoing programs include the National Queer Arts Festival, Queer Conversations on Culture and the Arts, Creating Queer Community, Fiscal Sponsorship, and Arts Services.
Photo credit: Miki Vargas
SOMArts (South of Market Arts, Resources, Technology and Services) is a multicultural center that provides essential services and large-scale event and exhibition space in the heart of the city, as well as a darkroom, dance studio, printmaking studio an flexible classroom and meeting spaces.
Because it is affordable and accessible, over one thousand Bay Area artists participate at SOMArts each year, and more than 450,000 Bay Area residents annually enjoy SOMArts’ schedule of exhibitions, performances, classes, and event rental programs.
Photo credit: Aneesah Dryver