San Francisco

Galería de la Raza to vacate main Mission District gallery space after rent doubles

The long-standing Mission-based community arts organization Galería de la Raza has lost its space at 2857 24th St. (and Bryant) after receiving a 100 percent rent increase, Mission Local reports.

The gallery announced that it will vacate its space on November 5. Three days prior to that, on November 2, a Día de los Muertos and closing reception for the Comida Es Medicina exhibition will serve as a farewell celebration. 

"In June 2018 we received notice of a 100 percent rent increase effective August 2018 for the space we are currently occupying," the gallery said in a statement. "Through the summer we were able to negotiate with the property manager to maintain our tenancy at our current rental rates but moving forward have to forgo the 2857 main gallery space."

Galería de la Raza was founded 46 years ago and has been on a month-to-month lease. According to its website, the art space "supports Latino artists in the visual, literary, media and performing arts fields whose works explore new aesthetic possibilities for socially committed art."

Although the gallery will loose its main space, it will continue to operate a smaller space next door, Studio 24. "Even though this is a dramatic reduction in our physical space, [...] we believe maintaining a presence within the community at our corner storefront, [...] is something we must do for the community and the community arts and culture eco system we have flourished in," the organization said.

The gallery's plan before the rent hike came was to transition from its current headquarters to a permanent site in 2020.

Galería de la Raza said it plans to work with the Mission Economic Development Agency and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation to secure a long-term multiyear lease for a new space at 1990 Folsom St., which is currently an empty lot.

According to a permit approved by the city, an eight-story building with 143 residential units is planned for the site. The affordable housing project is currently set to be completed in 2021 with a commercial space targeted for a non-profit and community-serving tenancies, the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation published on its website last October.

The lot at Folsom and 16th streets. | Image: Google Maps

In its statement, the gallery said that "considering the overall real estate dynamic, we feel this permanent relocation opportunity and current civic commitments may not be available again." 

Galería de la Raza hopes to be able to "continue and further enrich the overall cultural life, history, and entrepreneurship of San Francisco and the Bay Area."

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