Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA) is raising the voice of the arts in the Bay Area by building a network of advocates and supporters through community-driven action - join us.

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    State of the Arts Summit 2023

    ::  Convene :: Connect :: Learn :: Explore :: Network  ::


    Annual State of the Arts Summit


    On June 28th, Arts for a Better Bay Area and several partnering organizations hosted an annual art convening focused on rebuilding our arts and culture communities at the A.C.T. The Strand Theater in San Francisco. Artists, administrators, government officials, and representatives from various networks convened to learn from one another to strengthen the arts sector in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

    The theme, "Rebuilding Our Communities," explored collective ways the arts community can develop and bridge supportive connections as we emerge from the pandemic. Our goal is to strengthen our networks and build support allowing us to mobilize around critical issues, important policies, and other matters. Our hope is to help create a stronger, more resilient arts community.

    This half-day convening and event included plenary statements and key information from regional arts leaders about the local and regional arts sector, break-out sessions and discussions, networking, and more!

    Event recordings and event component episodes (posted July-December 2023)

    Event and media partners, Voices of the Community, and BAVC Media production teams will be posting edited and fully produced video files to the Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA) and Voices of the Community YouTube Channels so that you can watch and learn from the events' talks and sessions. Please stay tuned for the first video (end of July). 

    Each month starting July 2023 (through Dec. 2023), the media teams will produce and publish five unique TV and radio show episodes from the five main components of the event, introductory and keynote presentations, and the four breakout sessions: (1) Introductions/opening & Keynote Presentations (2) Breakout session - Economic Recovery in the Arts, (3) Breakout session - Housing for the Artist Workforce, (4) Breakout session - Regional Economic Recovery Through the Arts, (5) Breakout session - Proposition E Updates and Discussion. Additional interviews with event participants and speakers will be posted as well.

    These videos will be linked to this page (below), Arts for a Better Bay Area's YouTube Channel, and the Voices of the Community landing page

    State of the Arts 2023 Video components:


    Resource Directory

    We are working on creating a resource directory so that you can access information and materials related to the four breakout session topics covered at the Summit. We will continue to develop this directory, so make sure to circle back to review!



    If you attended the event, we thank you and ask that you take a few minutes to complete our survey. We value your feedback and want to take your thoughts and ideas into consideration as we look toward programming for next year.


    Sneak a peek at some of the Summit photos on our Facebook Page here.

    Event Schedule (6/28/23):


      4:00-4:30 PM   Gather and mingle with viola from Charith Premawardhana  
      4:30-5:50 PM  

    Welcoming, Poems, Keynote Statements & Discussion

    Welcome: Honey Mahogany, Founder - Compton's Transgender Cultural District

    Poems: Michael Warr and Chun Yu of Two Languages / One Community


    • Maria Jenson, Creative & Executive Director - SOMArts Cultural Center
    • Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs - San Francisco Arts Commission
    • Jonathan Moscone, Executive Director - California Arts Council
      6:00-6:50 PM   Breakout Sessions Round I (two topic choices)  
      A   Economic Recovery in the Arts: Regaining Patrons and Artistic Engagement  
      B   Housing for the Artist Workforce: Revisiting Artists’ Housing  
      7:00-7:50 PM   Breakout Sessions Round II (two topic choices)  
      A   Regional Economic Recovery Through the Arts  
      B   Proposition E, 2018 & Arts Impact Endowment Update  
      8:00-9:00 PM  

    Networking, Activity, and Live Music with Kings Trio

    Kings Trio: David Boyce, sax; Fabio Reis, drums; and Ryan Schaffer, guitar




    Thank you to the organizations involved in bringing this event to the community: Arts for a Better Bay Area, American Conservatory Theater, ArtSpan, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, SOMArts Cultural Center, Voices of the Community, Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), SAFEhouse Arts, many more!

    Planning team: Eno Akan-Etuk, Ernesto Sopprani, George Koster, Lyzette Wanzer, Susie McKinnon

    Supported by: San Francisco Arts Commission & Zellerbach Family Foundation


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    November 2022 Election ~ San Francisco D6 Candidates on Arts & Culture

    With the San Francisco general election coming up fast (November 8th!), we want to ensure you learn about District 6 Supervisor candidates' vision and support of local arts & culture. As San Francisco's District 6 holds one of the largest arts and culture communities, we want you to be informed about their actions, vision, and support of the local arts and culture scene and industry. Please continue to access their responses to our questionnaire. 

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    Community Event Ambassadors

    Posted 11.19.22

    Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA) is excited to announce two opportunities as a Community Event Ambassador. Ambassadors will play a key role in helping ABBA design and build a unique annual event that will equitably serve, connect, and inform a diverse range of area arts and culture workers. 

    ABBA Convening: 

    Before the Pandemic, ABBA hosted its first annual convening, a half-day event that brought together hundreds of arts workers, leaders, and officials. Its purpose was to connect, share knowledge, learn from experts in the field and inspire and celebrate. A secondary goal for the event was to build an expansive arts and culture network and initiate longevity in connection to help unify the sector to advocate and continue sharing knowledge and support.

     In developing, producing, and hosting this event, we want to ensure inclusive practices are cast into the foundation of all we build. The event ambassador roles should help us lift up and support these key goals. This collaborative approach will help participants and attendees feel welcomed, safe, and respected.  

    About this position:

    As a Community Event Ambassador, you will help us develop strategies to engage participants that represent the diverse array of arts and culture workers in our field (arts medium/practice, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age..etc.) – This will allow us to serve better and represent the diverse sector, as participants will understand the event/s are created with various communities’ needs and interests in mind.

    We are looking for ambassadors who are excited about this work and will be on board to collaboratively help design and plan the direction of the overall event. Duties can also include community engagement to reach out to potential leaders and event participants and invite or involve your respective communities as you can. Additional responsibilities will include event production and post-event review and evaluation. Ultimately, ambassadors will set the course and plan to build successful events that equitably serve and connect area arts and culture workers.

    This is a contracted, part-time, temporary role that is well suited for someone looking to broaden their experience in community leadership, event planning, and communications and more deeply connect with and serve area arts workers, officials and advocates.

    Download the Full Opportunity Description and Application Instructions here. 


    About ABBA: 

    Mission: Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA) is a network of artists, advocates, and supporters dedicated to building community-wide solidarity to increase support and equitable access to the arts in the Bay Area. A coalition of individuals and organizations, we inform and mobilize the arts community through community-driven action. Since our inception, we have focused on serving underrepresented and under-resourced organizations and individuals.


    Thank you!


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    CALL TO ACTION: Continued Support to Hotel Tax Arts & Culture Allocation

    Budget 2022/23 Recommendation for Continued Support to Hotel Tax Arts & Culture Allocation


    CALL TO ACTION: >>> Arts for a Better Bay Area, the San Francisco Arts Alliance and its partnering organizations have drafted a letter to send to our City's officials to request and ensure ongoing support to supplement Hotel Tax shortfalls due to the pandemic as we move into the budgeting cycle for 2022/23. JOIN US IN THIS EFFORT, PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME! <<<

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    REBOUND - ARTS Equity & Recovery Series (#4) 2/17/22 - Rising from the Ashes

    SAVE THE DATE: Developing a Sustainable Creative Workforce Spurred by Economic Recovery ~ A Regional Conversation with Californians for the Arts in Partnership with Arts for a Better Bay Area and Theatre Bay Area

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    REBOUND 3: 10/7 - BIPOC Voices & Reflection on Local Arts & Culture Materials & Survey

    On Oct. 7th, 2021 Arts for a Better Bay Area and SAFEHouse Arts initiated the 3rd Rebound - ARTS Equity & Recovery series: BIPOC Voices & Reflection on Local Arts & Culture. The event was designed and planned by an influential and thoughtful steering committee of local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) arts and culture leaders. Click 'continue reading' for a recap and materials, and to share your thoughts on reopening arts & culture!

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    REBOUND - ARTS Equity & Recovery Series (#3) 10/7/21 - BIPOC Voices & Reflections on Local Arts & Culture

    How can we move towards increased stability, and a thriving local Arts & Culture sector?

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    REBOUND 3: Survey to Inform Next REBOUND Event

    To learn about emerging issues and concerns directly from the community as we reopen, we ask you take this short survey to help us determine the focus of the next REBOUND - ARTS Equity & Recovery event. We want the event to be representative of our arts & culture communities and be driven by your interest and needs. Please share this survey with your communities (too) - Thank you!

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    REBOUND 12/17 - Re-imagine San Francisco Through the Arts Recap & Resources

    On 12/17/20, Arts for a Better Bay Area and SAFEHouse Arts initiated the 2nd Rebound: ARTS, Equity & Recover series, Re-Imagine San Francisco Through the Arts. The event was realized through a significant collaboration between several arts organizations, cultural centers, cultural districts, and leaders. Click 'continue reading' for a recap, materials, and to share your thoughts on the event and topic!

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    REBOUND - ARTS Equity & Recovery Series (#2) - 12/17, Re-imagine San Francisco Through the Arts

    Art and culture are represented throughout the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) recommendations. Join us to learn what recommendations came out of the City's ERTF, and how we can use the arts to move forward together.


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