Kultivate Labs Leads New Filipino American Cultural Center in San Francisco’s South of Market Neighborhood

The team behind successful creative night market UNDISCOVERED SF to invest $100k in new cultural programming

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - August 2, 2019 - Kultivate Labs, a non-profit business accelerator that advances socially-conscious commerce and produces the successful creative night market UNDISCOVERED SF, announces their plans in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD), to develop a new Filipino American Cultural Center in the Filipino cultural district, SOMA Pilipinas. The team’s comprehensive program strategy — which ultimately envisions the center as a thriving, intergenerational Filipinx community, cultural destination and living expression of Philippine/Filipinx history — includes a pop-up strategy used to determine long-term approaches and to assess needs; a community-driven artistic vision; and a strong, economic development component that stand separately but parallel to their curatorial approach. To this end, Kultivate Labs has allotted over $100,000 in their budget for new collaborations, artistic-driven programming and to commission new works.

“We are proud to award Kultivate Labs a $275,000 grant to support the development of the new Filipino American Cultural Center in SoMa. We see this effort as an extension of our anti-displacement work and our support of Cultural Districts city-wide,” said Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development for MOHCD. 

“In addition to celebrating the robust cultural history and contributions of the Filipino community, we are invested in weaving arts and culture, with authentic community engagement and collaboration from a broad range of Filipinxs from the San Francisco bay area,” added Claudine del Rosario, Director of the SoMa Community Stabilization Fund.

Asian Perinatal Advocates (APA) Family Support Services will also provide fiscal sponsorship for the project.

“Kultivate Labs' vision, along with bold creative and innovative strategies, will also be dynamic in a normally cumbersome space.  Richness and vitality in the Filipinx cultural landscape will be brought alive in the SOMA Pilipinas cultural district and APA Family Support Services is glad to partner and support the effort,” says Amor Santiago, Executive Director of APA Family Support Services.

In the next few years, the Kultivate Labs is going to test new, innovative programming and monetization strategies to prove that Filipino culture can be an economic engine for the Filipino community. 

“Our goal is to invest $100,000 into the arts and to produce $200,000+ in economic activity.” Shares Desi Danganan, Kultivate Labs Executive Director. “Kultivate Labs has a strong track record of investing public money into economic development programs like UNDISCOVERED SF and doubling the return. For example, we receive a ~$125,000 grant to produce UNDISCOVERED SF and we generate over $250,000 in economic activity for the Filipino community.”

To ensure inclusivity and transparency of curatorial decisions and that the evolving needs of the Filipinx community are heard and met, Kultivate Labs will develop a diverse Programming Advisory Committee; maintain avenues of community dialogue through surveys at events, talkback walls at UNDISCOVERED SF and community town halls; and train all cultural center staff on trauma-informed systems.

“As an arts organization that has served the Asian American community for over 47 years in visual, performing, and literary arts, we've seen the need for a multigenerational space for our communities to express our creativity. This center will be a much needed home for arts organizations like Kearny Street Workshop, and we look forward to building together,” says Mihee Kim, Executive Director of Kearny Street Workshop. 

In order to fulfill the vision of the new Filipino American Cultural Center, the Programming Advisory Board seeks individuals through public nomination who demonstrate expertise in fields such as Philippine & Filipino American History and Ethnic Studies, Museums/Curation, Dance, Performing Arts & Theater, Literary Arts, Contemporary Visual/Fine Arts, Media & Film and Applied Design. The board also seeks experts with wide knowledge of Philippine traditional/Folkloric arts or Anthropology, Arts & Culture-focused professionals in Development & Fundraising, Filipino/American Restaurateurs & Culinary Artists, as well as a representative for low-income families who live with their family in the South of Market, South of Market resident Youth and a representative from SOMA Pilipinas and/or represents a community-based arts organization in the South of Market.

Kultivate Labs and the new Filipino American Cultural Center are actively seeking programming ideas for the series of pop-ups, nominations for the Program Advisory Board, and invites anyone interested in contributing to please visit http://www.kultivatelabs.com/cultural-center.

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About Kultivate Labs:
Kultivate Labs is a Non-profit Economic Development and Arts Organization. We create thriving commercial ecosystems by accelerating businesses that preserve culture and community. We provide space and opportunities for the arts to flourish so that commercial activities are activated and reflect the community at large. The diverse team behind Kultivate Labs itself demonstrates a considerable range of experience. 

Executive Director Desi Danganan is a 1st generation Filipino immigrant, SOMA resident, and business owner. Desi’s role in the cultural center is to interface with City officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders to generate the support and resources needed for this project. Desi will also guide the development of the Filipino American Cultural Center.

Gina Mariko Rosales is a 2nd generation Filipina-Japanese “Entrepinay” (Pinay entrepreneur), event producer, and figure in the urban dance scene. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Gina is the Co-Founder of UNDISCOVERED SF and Founder of Entrepinays, an annual summit for established & emerging pinay entrepreneurs. Her event production company Make It Mariko is based in SOMA Pilipinas. Her role in the project is to spearhead the operations and event planning of our pop-up events, as well as become the eventual venue managers of the cultural center.

Kimberley Acebo Arteche is an artist, educator, cultural worker, curator, and arts professional working to advance opportunities for emerging Filipina/o/x artists, and to collaboratively build initiatives with arts institutions for better artist sustainability. As former Program Manager for Kularts and collaborating artist with KSW, she holds a confident track record in grant writing for the arts, generating over $100K in government and foundation grants. Kim’s role as the Cultural Center Coordinator is to manage the programming calendar and develop new exhibits, educational programs, and projects with the artists and arts and culture organizations collaborating with KL.