Two Words: The Blog of the Center for the Art of Translation

San Francisco Increases Funding to the Arts

Posted on July 23, 2015, 01:33:00 PM by Erin Branagan

The arts don’t just enrich our lives and our souls, they’re an economic force as well. They’re a large part of the economy of cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, employing hundreds of thousands of people. Artists and cultural organizations have always been at the forefront of creating vibrant neighborhoods and cities. That’s why we’re so excited that San Francisco—our hometown—has recently reaffirmed its commitment to the arts and arts funding, and significantly increased the budget for the city’s arts funding agencies.

A recent SF Station article about the increase in arts funding in the city’s new budget quotes Americans for the Arts’ data showing that San Francisco alone is home to more than 5,000 arts organizations that employ about 30,000 people. Incredibly, arts and culture tourism brings $1.7 billion of economic activity to the city each year.

But the Bay Area’s incredible economic growth is pushing out many arts organizations, and San Francisco recently responded by committing $7 million to the arts over the next two years. As reported in SF Station, the “Shared Prosperity for the Arts” package includes a $2 million enhancement to the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Endowment Fund (a 50% increase) plus $1 million dedicated to Grants for the Arts. (Grants for the Arts supports individual artists and under-served communities, as well as small and mid-sized not-for-profits).

An additional $3.8 million has been set aside to make a capital investment in the city’s Civic Art Collection and Cultural Centers and for arts education. And a Community Arts Stabilization Trust was created to help small and mid-size arts organizations secure long-term, affordable space in the face of skyrocketing rents.

Two Voices author and translator events have been supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts for years, and we’re thrilled at the recent 50% increase to Two Voices from these city sources.

The new funds will help us host more events with international authors and translators through 2016. Like Two Voices Salons and readings with Two Lines Press authors Naja Marie Aidt and Toni Sala; plus events in Berlin, Amsterdam, and New York with Isabel Fargo Cole, the translator of our upcoming book The Sleep Of the Righteous by Wolfgang Hilbig.

You can support the arts and the Center's literary programs by checking out our Events calendar--stay tuned for more details!