Gray Area is community-funding the revival of the Grand Theater into a media arts center and our permanent home. With your investment, we will set in motion a model where members, events, classes and an active retail space for San Francisco artists and makers, will pay for the center for years to come. Our Goal: $400,000 in 100 days. The good news: We are already 1/4 of the way there!
$100,000Last year, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Gray Area $100,000 to develop an immersive theater for experimental surround cinema. While the grant allowed us to secure this historic building, we still have much more to do.
$175,000An additional classroom and scholarships for our education program will be developed to allow for an increased number of classes and private meeting area for artist members.
$225,000At this level we will turn The Grand Theater lobby into a store that is equal parts: retail, gallery, and community space. We will curate new products and highlight artworks from the community.
$300,000Based on the guidance received from the City of San Francisco, we will make improvements to ensure fire safety and create the infrastructure that will allow the theater to be a safe community space for everyone to utilize. These specific requirements are city mandates for our permit and must happen prior to fully opening our public programs.
$400,000Additional funding towards rigging , equipment, and improved sound system will enable Gray Area to focus on public programming specific to the performing arts. Funding will allow us to work with dance troupes, theater companies, experimental performance artists and creative coders looking for a venue.
Gray Area, founded in and part of the Mid-Market/Tenderloin community, since 2008, was displaced from April 2012 to April 2014 because of the state of the current real estate market. This year, in the heart of the Mission District, Gray Area has signed a 10 year lease for the 10,000 square foot Art Deco gem, The Grand Theater.
For the past 5 months, we have invested money, time and our hearts into the building but we are now calling on our community to take us to the finish line so we can bring the historic Grand Theater back up to code.
Based on the guidance received from the SF Planning Department, we must ensure fire safety, retail activation, and additional restrooms that will allow the planning department to deem the theater to be a safe community space. These requirements are mandates of our permit and must happen prior to opening to the public.
After the successful completion of our #ReviveTheGrand Campaign, within two years, we will scale our programs to serve the same number of people in one year that we have served in six years.
Our Programs Will Serve Thousands of Community Members Each Year:
150 Artists will be invited to participate in our Cultural Incubator program which provides affordable workspace for media artists to use the theater as a lab for their work.
30,000 Community Members will visit our transformed Grand Theater Lobby. With our the Retail activation we will curate new and innovative products that reach a broad audience and highlight our community's work.
3,000 Students will be served with our affordable education program. These students include adults, youth, and low-income San Francisco residents.
278,080 Attendees will be able to visit the theater for public events. The legal theater capacity is 790 people. This means that if we were active 352 days per year we have the ability to host 270k+ patrons!
We are thrilled to fulfill our mission in The Mission! With funding from our community, we will finish tenant improvements to the theater that include renovations to the building infrastructure, additional workspaces for artists, and a safe space for events.
All founding supporters of this campaign will be recognized on the Grand Theater itself and your names will be the shining lights that illuminate The Grand once again.
Friend and Fan
As a friend and fan, show your love and support for Gray Area with our special edition t-shirt and sticker package. While any amount helps us reach our goal to revive the Grand Theater, your generous contribution goes towards general maintenance and utilities necessary to operate the theater.
Supporting Act, Marquee Donor
As a Marquee donor, your name will be inscribed below the theater's historic marquee. Your supporting act will be recognized as a permanent adornment to the building.
Movie Star Status, Showtime Donor
Showtime donors get movie star treatment! With your contribution, you will see your name listed as a donor on the original film showtime boards. This listing will become a permanent fixture to the building.
Special Effects Mastermind, Projection Donor
It takes a mastermind to help create the behind-the-scenes special effects necessary for generative and immersive artworks in such a glorious space. Your contribution helps us maintain the old projection room, which has been converted into a classroom dedicated to adult and youth education. For years to come, our students will know who to thank!
Brilliant Screenwriter, Lobby Donor
Every masterpiece film has a brilliant screenwriter playing with language and creating magic much like the artists at Gray Area using creative code! At this donor level, a placard with your name will be placed in the lobby area above the theater entrance for all our visitors to see.
Director and Visionary, Lightbox Donor
Unforgettable shows require direction and vision. As a staunch supporter and visionary, you play a director role in our success. This level of support will be recognized by inscribing your name on one of the four light boxes at the entrance of the Grand Theater. These vitrines will serve as an exhibition space and showcase artwork at the street level.
Executive and Cultural Producer, Proscenium Donor
At such a high level of support, you are one of our executive and cultural producers. Keeping the legacy of the Grand Theater alive with such a big-hearted and charitable donation deserves special recognition. Your name will be inscribed next to the decorative architectural grates in the Grand Theater Proscenium.
Gray Area became a 501(c)3 nonprofit during the last recession, a point when it was impossible to rely on institutional support for a new organization. We quickly learned that our services to the community needed to be valued and pay for themselves through earned income. A prime example of this development, is our Creative Code Education program that allows us to teach code to create art at only $30 per instruction hour. Since 2009, this has operated as a self-sustaining program, where the tuition students pay for the classes directly pays for instructors, a salaried staff member, and a classroom.
Within the Grand Theater we will increase our services to the community with increased venue capacity and a new retail offering. We are challenging our organization to create a model where our program services will set the foundation for a sustainable arts organization for the next 10 years.
Your investment in us will set us up for success for the next decade. Thank you from Gray Area's Staff and Board of Directors.