Neighborhood Arts Services


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SOMArts’ Neighborhood Arts Services Program (formerly Technical Services) offers wheelchair-accessible lifts, staging, catwalks, bleacher seating, PA systems and consultation for San Francisco’s many street fairs and festivals ranging from small neighborhood film screenings to San Francisco Pride to the Chinatown New Year Parade. The program has a rich history and has been working with most arts and culture festivals since their grassroots beginnings.

Neighborhood Arts Services was one of SOMArts’ first programs, and its clients are a driving force in providing accessible arts and cultural experiences in San Francisco. We believe deeply in this work. However, the program’s operating landscape has changed dramatically since the program’s inception in the late 1970’s.

Due to rising operating costs and a lack of affordable options for space on the horizon, the Board of Directors at SOMArts Cultural Center has made the difficult decision to discontinue the program.

SOMArts’ lease at Pier 70, the program’s operations hub and storage facility, cannot be renewed when it ends in December 2016 due to development along the San Francisco waterfront. The culmination of this lease informs the timeline of the program’s closure, and clients will be contracted and served as usual through Veteran’s Day (November 11, 2016). Click here to read the full statement on the program’s closure from SOMArts’ Executive Director Maria Jenson and Neighborhood Arts Services Director Zach Slater.

If you are interested in finding out how SOMArts Neighborhood Arts Services could support your event prior to November 2016, call 415-863-1414 x105 or email events@somarts.org.

SOMArts has compiled a list of resources for Neighborhood Arts Services clients to ease this transition. Click here to view the resources, including referrals to alternative staging companies, and email Sarah Pritchard at sarah@somarts.org if you have additional resources to add to the list.

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Click here to view an interactive map of some of the city fairs & festivals supported by this program, and to discover annual events in your neighborhood!

Organizations who have participated in the program over the past year include those listed above in addition to Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, CARECEN, Carnaval San Francisco, Literacy for Environmental Justice, Precita Eyes, and many others.


In addition to providing below-market services to community benefit organizations, SOMArts’ Neighborhood Arts Services program has historically provided mentorship to youth age 16 to 24.