Opening Reception: Friday, April 27, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
In 1967, artists, arts workers and activists banded together and launched a grassroots campaign to demand that the City support, not only major arts institutions such as the symphony, ballet and opera, but also the presentation of arts in San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods. Culture Catalyst celebrates the groundbreaking program born out of this movement with work by over 20 contemporary artists who represent the Program’s ongoing legacy. The exhibition will also feature a series of specially commissioned drawings by California artist Veronica De Jesus that illustrate pivotal Program milestones.
The Neighborhood Arts Program (NAP) provided a wide range of free or very affordable support services to artists and community groups. By the late 70s, the political and economic climate had changed, and budget cuts diminished the program. Though NAP no longer exists, its impact and legacy still resonate. San Francisco’s six cultural centers were born out of tireless advocacy from the NAP and neighborhood activists. The contributions of the cultural centers (African American Art & Culture Complex, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Bayview Opera House, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Queer Cultural Center, and SOMArts) are represented by the drawings, prints, paintings, and objects made by three generations of artists closely associated with these centers who have been creating vibrant, multidisciplinary art since the 60s.
"Visitors to the exhibition will experience the ongoing impact of the NAP as represented by dynamic paintings, drawings, prints, photography, and videos created by three generations of artists affiliated with the city’s six cultural centers and the Native American Arts and Cultural Traditions grant program,” say co-curators Kevin B. Chen and Jaime Cortez. “The exhibition also celebrates the history of the NAP with a display of hundreds of vibrant posters and flyers for neighborhood exhibitions, performances, screenings, literary events, and art classes supported by the NAP throughout the city. Large as it is, the vast display of posters and flyers gives but a small taste of the extraordinary artistic vibrancy the program unleashed across San Francisco.”
Participating artists and arts organizations include: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Nancy Cato, Enrique Chagoya, Lenore Chinn, Veronica De Jesus, Orlando de la Garza, Katie Dorame, Juan R. Fuentes, Katie Gilmartin, Aron Kantor, Việt Lê, Yolanda López, MACRO WAVES, Elizabeth "Oscar" Maynard, Geri Montano, Jane Norling, Queer Ancestors Project, Joe Ramos, Eustinove P. Smith, The Cultural Conservancy, Eugene E. White, René Yañez and Bayview Opera House Youth Artists.
Curated by Kevin B. Chen and Jaime Cortez
Image credit: Lenore Chinn, Bing, 2001 (detail). Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the Artist.