All forms of artistic expression drive diversity and acceptance so common to San Francisco. Artistic expression benefits the city as a whole. More ideas lead to more creation, performance, enjoyment, inspiration and economic vitality. There is probably not a more worthy economic effort that civic leaders can encourage than to promote the arts, and costs as little as such promotion and support do.
A Tool for Economic Growth The benefits keep San Francisco desirable, a destination and a hot spot on the global scene. In fact, people around the world know our city because of the wealth of major movies set here, television shows such as “The Streets of San Francisco,” and the home of such luminaries as Robin Williams, Dave Eggers, Dashiel Hammet, Danielle Steele, Amy Tan and many more. As a “happening place,” visitors flock to San Francisco not only for the bio-tech center of research in the world, but also to see the theaters, the museums, performances and galleries that abound here.
Making Room for Performance Space We must continue to ensure that the arts have the space to create and grow in our city. A key part of our plans for recreational space, both in private properties, and public places must include locations for performance art, exhibit space, as well as theaters of various sizes to meet the needs of the full range of performers and exhibits in San Francisco. Our Planning process must account for this, along with other considerations of housing, retail space, business accommodations, and the like.
Cultivating the Arts through Collaboration My own experience as Executive Director of the African American Art and Culture Complex in the heart of District 5, has clearly demonstrated to me how such synergy works. In the ten years I have been the director of the center, we created an institution known throughout the community. Young people come there to participate in the programs offered for theater, dance, painting, recording and graphic design and community events. While there, they meet others interested in different talents than their own, and expand their horizons
The center also offers a medium size stage for plays that have featured everything from Shakespeare to Lorraine Hansberry, to events hosted by the surrounding community.
We collaborate with Mo Magic and other community based organizations to bring our community together with artists and young people to accomplish great things in a short amount of time including some of District 5’s most popular annual events; MLK National Day of Service, The Holiday Fair/toy give-away, National Night Out, Halloween Haunted House, the Back-Pack give-away/health fair and much more.
I know that encouraging and supporting artistic efforts brings communities closer together while generating positive, enabling visions of the future, which benefit everyone. As Supervisor, I want to broaden that message to the entire city. It will be a key part of our future prosperity and vitality. And, it can be done for a relatively small amount of money. It is one of the best investments we can make as a city, and I will lead the effort to make it happen.