SAFEhouse Arts is celebrating its 10th anniversary by moving into a new home and bringing new life to a shuttered theater space.
Launched in SoMa in 2007, the art space moved into its current home at 1 Grove St. in 2010. The organization's name is informed by its mission of "Saving Art From Extinction."
The theater has operated on the second floor above a Burger King for seven years, but its lease is up in 2018 and “it was clear we couldn’t renegotiate,” executive director Joe Landini told Hoodline.
Today, SAFEhouse has a 15-year lease at 145 Eddy St., former home of the Tea Room Theatre, an adult entertainment venue that closed in May 2016.
But the location was in dire need of renovation. SAFEhouse received financial help from the Community Arts Stabilization Trust and the San Francisco Arts Commission, Landini said.
Since its founding the theater company has produced the longest-running residency program for queer performance in the country, AIRspace, founded thirty years ago at the former Jon Sims Center.
Landini is himself celebrating his 25th year working as a choreographer and arts administrator in San Francisco.
"It will be great to have a storefront and feel more part of a neighborhood," Landini said. Civic Center didn't have a neighborhood vibe, and being on the second floor was a public relations challenge, he added.
One of the first major programs hosted at the new location will be 5 on 25, two weekends of performances choreographed and produced by Landini with friends and colleagues like Alma Esperanza Cunningham, Nina Haft, Amy Lewis, and Ronja Ver.
SAFEhouse has softly launched the black box stage at its new location, hosting a sold-out performance last weekend by two participants in its RAW (residence artist workshop) program. The Fyber Vision, directed by Elke Calvert, includes Caitlin Hicks, Katrine Dailey, Olivia Reidy, Peri Trono, and Shelby LaRosa.
A grand opening party is scheduled for November 18th, and tickets are available now for 5 on 25, which runs from December 7th–16th.
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