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Sustaining San Francisco Artists: The Minnesota Street Project

Monday, October 26, 2015

Last year, KQED informed us that our neighborhoods were changing–tech sector demand for real estate is driving up prices, and San Francisco art galleries are being displaced. Today's housing market has not improved.

Technology business doesn’t have to cause an end of arts in the Bay Area. The San Francisco Business Times reports that some investors are determined not to let art galleries and studios die. Deborah and Andrew Rappaport, founders of NCG member the Rappaport Family Foundation are making a dent in the tough real estate market. They are leasing and buying three buildings on Minnesota Street in order to rent the spaces out to artists. They have zoned the buildings with strict requirements preventing residential or tech offices from using the spaces. The Minnesota Street Project aims to protect real estate with the Rappaport’s exclusive use for artist studios, galleries and nonprofits.

The Rappaport’s are hoping to support the neighborhood which already houses some galleries and museums in the Dogpatch area and Potrero Hill. The building space will be split with two buildings supporting artist studios and one filled with arts nonprofits, art galleries and an art-service run by the Rappaports themselves. They want the idea to spread and are encouraging other individuals to do the same. “Creative individuals have always come up against odds to be creative and cohabit space,” said Andrew Rappaport. “Our goal is to create a destination with people who wish to engage with the arts.”