The buzz before the curtain rises. There is nothing like it. Brava! For Women in the Arts invites you to catch a buzz with us as we work to revitalize a San Francisco treasure.
Brava is seeking $50,000 to seed the revitalization of the organization and jumpstart the completion of the Brava Theater Center, a performance, education and community engagement space in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Founded in 1986 by an eclectic, talented group of women artists, Brava evolved from an all-volunteer organization into a nationally recognized producing and presenting organization with a devoted audience and a production history of more than 1,400 performances seen by over 350,000 people. For over 25 years Brava has been a gathering place for community arts organizations, and nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Of equal importance is the role Brava has played in sustaining arts education in neighborhood schools, providing vital programming in theater training to the young people San Francisco.
In 1996, Brava bought the York Theater – a 10,000 square foot property on 24th street between York and Hampshire that included a 70-year-old former vaudeville house and six storefronts - and began a three-stage renovation. The first two stages converted the 900-seat movie house into an intimate 365-seat theater that included a renovated lobby and a 1,200 square foot studio/second stage multi-purpose space. The third and final stage of the renovation, which began in 2008, was put on hold as Brava, like many organizations both locally and nationally began to feel the impact of the Great Recession. This final stage will convert the six abandoned storefronts along 24th Street into much needed dressing rooms for the main stage, office space for Brava and other non-profit arts and community organizations and a 1,000 square foot area destined to be a multi-purpose performance/rehearsal space.
Brava Theatre Center is an anchor in the grassroots driven economic development of the 24th Street Corridor in the Mission District. The Center provides vital artistic and cultural enrichment for the community, and serves as an important tool in arts education. We are very happy that on March 15th Loco Bloco moved in as a resident company. They will join long time renters Cuicacalli Escuela de Danza and 915 Cayuga, a radio drama performance group as artists-in-residence at the Brava Theater Center. Additional bookings and new residents include: Teatro Vagon, Classical Revolution, La Bohemia Productions, Volti Chitresh Das Dance, Freshmeat Productions, Thrill Peddlers, and The 1st Annual Son Jarocho Festival.
It is these community artists, educational and community engagement organizations that will benefit from a complete and self-sustaining building. In addition, the completed facility will have significant economic impact on the 24th Street corridor, as Brava’s audiences, students, and production staff that pass through our doors the more our neighboring restaurants, eateries, cultural institutions, corner stores, bookstores, and shops will benefit from our clientele.
BRAVA!’s leadership has a strong vision of how to improve our facilities to better serve our mission by completing this renovation. In preparing to move forward Brava recently has under gone staff restructuring. The organization’s new Executive Director is Stacie Powers Cuellar. In a career spanning 30 years in San Francisco’s community arts scene, Stacie has worked with a wide range of organizations as an arts and financial administrator, including the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Frameline’s International LGBT Film Festival, Dance Brigade and Dance Mission Theater.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
This amazing space needs your help. We are trying to raise $50,000 in order to stabilize the organization, do some much-needed repairs, subsidize the community artists who perform here and support our educational programming. These funds will allow us to move forward and give us the base we need to continue operating.