Initiatives

Día De Los Muertos

Curated by Rio Yañez

SOMArts’ annual Day of the Dead exhibition, beginning in mid-October and concluding around the time of the holiday itself, is a long-standing and beloved San Francisco tradition. Originated by visionary community artist and activist René Yañez, this exhibition honors René’s legacy as his son and curator Rio Yañez continues to illuminate the connection between the personal and the political through Day of the Dead.

Day of the Dead is a celebration that is continually in transition, as curator Rio Yañez encourages artists to extend beyond the traditional altar in order to look at personal loss, as well as local and global issues. In past years artists have created installations about contemporary issues including health care, the presidential election, gentrification and displacement, police brutality and immigration.

Every year, SOMArts welcomes students from over 30 classrooms to learn about the traditional and contemporary celebrations of Día de los Muertos. In addition to a docent tour of the gallery exhibition, students have the opportunity to create their own artwork in response to the themes of the exhibition. Learn more about upcoming Day of the Dead exhibitions and events.

SOMArts Curatorial Residency Program

The SOMArts Curatorial Residency Program is a unique opportunity for emerging artists and curators to execute their bold vision for our Main Gallery space. The support provided by the Curatorial Residency enables artists to continue their professional development, form new creative partnerships, and engage community residents through programming that serves the mission of SOMArts.

Artists and curators 
selected 
for
 the program receive project grants up to $5,000, 
exhibition
 space 
in 
the 
SOMArts 
Main 
Gallery,
 installation, 
technical
 and 
event 
production 
support, 
and 
community
 engagement and public 
relations 
support 
from SOMArts’ experienced staff.
 
Three
 residencies
 are
 awarded
 each
 season 
and
 are
 designed 
to 
support
 emerging
 and 
mid‐career
 artists, 
as
 well
 as
 artists 
exploring 
new
 and
 challenging 
ideas. This 9-month incubator has supported a wide range of artists, curators and cultural communities ranging from The Third Muslim (curated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Yas Ahmed, 2018), Visions into Infinite Archives (Black Salt Collective, 2016), WorkMORE! #6 (Mica Sigourney, 2014) to Mourning & Scars: 20 Years After The War (Roxana Leiva, 2013). Learn more about upcoming Curatorial Residency exhibitions and events.

The Black Woman is God

Curated by Karen Seneferu and Melorra Green

Since 2016, SOMArts has provided a creative home for The Black Woman is God. Not only an exhibition but also a movement-building platform, The Black Woman is God elevates the contributions of Black women throughout history and challenges racist and patriarchal notions of divinity. 

At a time when systemic racism in the United States is increasingly apparent, and women and queer people are at the forefront of change through the Black Lives Matter movement, The Black Woman is God is a timely, positive and creative addition to the national conversation on racial justice. Learn more about this year’s iteration of The Black Woman is God

Murphy & Cadogan 2015

SOMArts Fiscal Sponsorship for Artists

For over a decade, SOMArts has provided administrative support and financial oversight to a small, thoughtfully selected group of emerging not-for-profit organizations and projects ranging from a few thousand to more than one million dollars in annual activity. SOMArts’ fiscal sponsorship program ensures funding agencies and contributors that funds received on behalf of sponsored projects are well-managed and disbursed according to the grant proposal and guidelines.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Grant submissions and fundraising can begin only after a project has been approved.

Eligibility

SOMArts will consider projects for fiscal sponsorship if they are:

  • Arts-related, including projects of all disciplines as well as community-based art projects
  • Serving the SOMArts community
  • Serious in intent and well-planned
  • Based in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Showing potential for future growth and development

Fiscal sponsorship benefits:

  • Sponsorship of grant applications and administration of grant funds and individual donor contributions
  • Monitoring of expenditures to ensure they are in keeping with original funding proposals, contracts or funding letters
  • Staff consultation on writing of grants and final reports to funders
  • General guidance about possible funding sources
  • Discounts on rehearsal and meeting space in SOMArts’ classrooms
 

Current Projects:

 
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