The 950 Center for Art & Education is a Tenderloin/mid-Market community economic development through the arts project. It is the creation of the Tenderloin Economic Development Project (TEDP) and the Tenderloin Arts Advisory, a consortium of neighborhood arts, youth and social service organizations collaborating on numerous community development initiatives through the universal human shared experience of the arts.
The Center will:
- Transform this key location at the intersection of the Tenderloin, the hoped-for arts/theater district and Mid-Market by creating a vital hub for the performing arts and a center of civic activity.
- Create permanently affordable performance facilities for outstanding local theater organizations like Lorraine Hansberry and Cutting Ball theaters to better reach their audiences and achieve long-term sustainability.
- Create permanently affordable space for landmark art education organizations such as Youth Speaks, American Conservatory Theater and the All Stars Project.
The 950 Center for Art and Education was inspired by the many examples throughout the country of the arts – music, dance, theater, tech/media and other disciplines – bringing people together, activating public spaces, improving the climate for local businesses and contributing to the revitalization of communities. The importance of bridge building among divergent social groups is now critically important as the the project site is “ground zero” in the effort to incorporate new tech companies and their employees in a long-disenfranchised community with pockets of extreme poverty. As a multi-venue arts and education center, the Center will highlight the diverse and rich arts of San Francisco while providing a community gathering place supporting a broad range of educational programs serving local youth and adults. A vibrant showcase for small arts organizations and artists, the Center will provide visibility and catalyze collaboration and creativity. As a destination, the Center will activate Market and Turk streets with pedestrian activity throughout the day and in the evenings will help to create a lively safe environment for local residents and visitors alike.
The 950 Center for Art and Education also embodies the idea that projects designed to revitalize neighborhoods or improve the conditions of low-income people are more effective when arts and cultural activities are fully integrated and part of a comprehensive strategy to create resilient, thriving and equitable communities. Designed specifically to support arts and education programs, the Center will secure the future of these services in the neighborhood as it changes and develops in coming years by:
- providing quality community program spaces for local organizations;
- supporting existing organizations and their programs;
- attracting new programs to the neighborhood;
- creating new jobs in retail, arts programming, and arts support; and
- fostering collaboration and partnerships that will strengthen and expand service to the community.
The arts will also be strengthened by the 950 Center as it will fill an important gap in the landscape of arts venues in San Francisco through its support of small and medium size organizations by:
- creating a highly-visible, centrally located venue readily accessible on public transit;
- constructing high quality flexible performance, rehearsal, and support spaces designed specifically for smaller, more experimental, arts organizations;
- providing cost-effective shared spaces, making participation in the Center affordable for more organizations as well as individual artists;
- curating programming to ensure a diverse series of programs that include the literary, dance, visual, musical and theatrical arts; and
- creating a collaborative environment where organizations can support and learn from one another.
By creating the first multi-tenant, multi-use arts and education center in San Francisco, the 950 Center will bring together arts organizations, artists and education groups to work in partnership to effect positive community and local economic development.