ArtCare is a partnership between the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Art Dealers Association which is committed to the conservation and maintenance of artworks that are among the city’s invaluable cultural assets.

The Arts Commission was established by voters under the 1932 San Francisco Charter and charged with the preservation and care of all artwork in the City’s Civic Art Collection. Then in 1969, San Francisco’s Art Enrichment Ordinance was enacted to provide a guaranteed funding mechanism for the commissioning and acquisition of artwork for new public facilities and civic spaces.  The result of these forward-thinking policies is a world-renowned Civic Art Collection consisting of over 3,000 artworks valued in excess of $90 million, which helps distinguish San Francisco as an important cultural destination.

Unfortunately, due to the legal intricacies of the funding sources used to commission new artwork, none may be used to maintain the existing collection. Given the City’s budget crisis, supplemental funds to care for artwork are not forthcoming. As the Civic Art Collection approaches it’s 80th anniversary, it is the ideal time to establish the ArtCAre fund and celebrate this remarkably diverse collection spanning many art movements and representing artists of local, national and international renown. And to remind all San Franciscans that the Civic Art Collection belongs to them. This celebration of our collection must begin with tending to and caring for these great artworks in need of conservation.

ArtCare offers us a creative solution. Spearheaded by Ruth Braunstein, the San Francisco Art Dealers Association approached the Arts Commission and this mutually beneficial partnership was established. The mission of ArtCare is to foster a public sense of ownership of these objects by matching civic-minded art enthusiasts and collectors with artworks that speak to them.  These pieces may be located in their own neighborhoods or places of business, or collectors may wish to help restore the work of an artist with whom they have a personal interest.

In these difficult times it has become apparent to all that the City cannot do this task alone, and that our formidable Civic Art Collection has aged and requires a more aggressive schedule of care. By reaching out to the private sector, the Arts Commission will ensure that San Francisco’s assets maintain their value and integrity, and remain priceless treasures for all citizens and visitors to enjoy.

For more information or to make a donation to ArtCare, please contact
Rachelle Axel, Development Director