Effective August 31, 2013, the certificate (license) fee is $170 quarterly (this is for 3 months), or $679 for one year.
Since 1972, the Street Artists Program, under the direction of the San Francisco Arts Commission, has encouraged talented artists by licensing them to sell their work on the city’s bustling streets. Today, about 400 artists join in an unparalleled City program that champions their efforts as businesspeople and as artists.
Enterprising street artists delight shoppers with the variety of their handcrafted wares—from amber earrings to wooden sculptures—in some of the city’s most-frequented areas: Fisherman’s Wharf, Downtown, and Union Square.
Together, store owners and street artists build a community, sharing San Francisco’s streets—and its rich commerce. The city’s reputation as a mecca for art and culture grows beyond the interiors of its celebrated galleries and museums to include its streets.
The artists must demonstrate to a screening committee appointed by the Mayor that they make the artwork they sell. In return, they receive certificates licensing them to sell their work in the spaces designated by the Board of Supervisors. Every morning, the artists hold a lottery at Fisherman’s Wharf to determine which space each will have for the day.
The voter-mandated Street Artists Program, recognized with “Street Artists Day” proclamations by the Mayor on November 1, 1991, and the Board of Supervisors on September 20, 1997, benefits artists, art-minded San Franciscans, and visitors from around the globe.
To be licensed as a Street Artist in SF:
- Download an application and read about the licensing and screening process.
- Find out what screening category your work fits under.
- Check the screening meeting schedule and monthly agenda.
- After successful application and screening, receive your Street Artist’s certificate.
- Get assigned to a selling space by joining the daily lottery.
- Still have questions? Contact us.
Review the Street Artists Program "Bluebook."
ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES:
Here's a guide to some helpful tips for new and current artists!
Temporary and Permanent Selling Spaces of the Downtown Area & Harvey Milk Plaza: Winter Holiday Season 2013-14 booklet .