MISSION & VISION
The mission of SOMArts is to promote and nurture art on the community level, and to foster an appreciation of and respect for all cultures. Founded in 1979, SOMArts embraces the entire spectrum of arts practice and cultural identity, and it is beloved in San Francisco as a truly multicultural, community-built space where cutting-edge events and counterculture commingle with traditional art forms.
South of Market Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street, 26,190 sq ft (3 administrative offices, 99-seat expandable black box theater, darkroom, printmaking, ceramics and dance studios, 3 classrooms, Bay Gallery, Main Gallery).
AUDIENCES/CONSTITUENTS ANNUALLY SERVED
Audiences: 28,000 on-site, 460,000+ through technical support of city fairs and festivals
Artists: 1,908 on-site (1,574 visual artists, 334 performing artists)
Arts and Cultural Organizations: 80+ Bay Area nonprofits
Schools: 25-40 schools in the Bay Area
Students and teachers: over 1,000 students (grades K–12 and 40 teachers, local universities and college students
BUDGET (Fiscal year ending June 30, 2012)
Total operating expenses:: $1,247,650
Total operating revenues: $1,312.82
STAFF & LEADERSHIP
SOMArts Staff: 5 full-time, 53 part time & seasonal
Board Leadership: 9-member Board of Trustees
Volunteers & Interns: 155 individuals contributed 2,374 hours of support in 2012
SELECTED INSTITUTIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
In 2008-2009 SOMArts partnered with Philanthropy by Design, Rebuilding Together and more than 150 volunteers to repair and renovate the lobby, theater and garden at SOMArts. This support allowed SOMArts to invest in new ADA-compliant risers for the theater as well as lighting and sound equipment and to install the The Ramp Gallery, a new artist-driven exhibition space, in the reception area.
In 2010, funded by the Western States Art Federation, SOMArts produced It’s All A Blur, a major touring exhibition featuring the work of San Francisco Masters who blur the lines between identity, politics and sexuality in their reimagining of the American Dream. The exhibition toured to Reno and Las Vegas and was part of the Time-Based Art Festival in Portland in 2011.
In 2010, SOMArts collaborated with the San Francisco Art Institute’s City Studio program to renovate its ceramics studio and began offering free classes to students age 12–19. In 2013 SOMArts acquired the necessary equipment to create a five-computer lab with video and photo editing capabilities, and added to the City Studio class offerings a free audiovisual media class.
In 2010-2011, with support from the Creative Work Fund, SOMArts partnered with artists Peter Foucault and Chris Treggiari to develop the Mobile Arts Platform, a mobile sculpture that serves the community through a series of curated exhibitions by local artists at neighborhood fairs and festivals.
In 2011 SOMArts collaborated with the Bay Area Video Coalition to launch the Neighborhood News Network, and began to offer a public ingest station where community video content could be uploaded to Public Access Television. This partnership also provided SOMArts with professional video equipment used to broadcast live and recorded performance in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to Public Access Television, provide artists with valuable documentation of their work, and create SOMArts’ first viral YouTube video, which garnered over 25,000 views organically.
2011 was also a year of unprecedented media attention. Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze received national and international media attention from publications such as Ms. Magazine and Vanity Fair, France. Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance garnered SOMArts’ first review in The San Francisco Chronicle.
In 2011 and 2012 SOMArts partnered with The San Francisco Foundation to present The Annual Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition, a showcase of the work of promising visual artists from regional Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) programs working across disciplines. The 2012 exhibition traveled to Delta College, and opened in January 2013.
Pictured above: Photo Copyright © 2013 Jonathan Fong. Used with permission.