Root Division is thrilled to announce our new pop-up location at 1059 Market Street between 6th and 7th Streets in San Francisco. On the same block as other arts organizations (The Luggage Store and SF Camerawork), and amidst a collection of retail, tech companies, and other non-profits, we look forward to a high visibility storefront and new partnerships in Mid-Market during the coming months. We are delighted that the convenient location on Market Street offers a perfect place for our studio artists to land while we continue our search for a long-term home. The temporary site will extend our commitment to serve the community during our transition as we continue to produce inspiring exhibitions and classes for youth and adults, and offer affordable studios to keep artists working in San Francisco.

We will launch a session of Take An Art Class at our Market Street site in late July, and our Second Saturday exhibition in August, Magical Thinking, will be the first of several exhibitions and events in the gallery. Meanwhile, our Youth Ed programming for the summer session is underway, and our teaching artists are inspiring the students with many exciting projects. We are also co-hosting several offsite events, including our Second Saturday for July, Survival Adaptations, at Adobe Books Back Room (3031 24th Street) on Saturday, July 12 from 7-10 pm, and we are part of First Friday at Aggregate Space in Oakland (801 W. Grand) on Friday, August 1 from 6-10 pm.

We are in the process of fixing up the pop-up location on 1059 Market Street, so stay tuned for upcoming events and opportunities to be involved! It’s the perfect spot for Root Division's temporary site and we can't wait to show you around when we open to the public in a few weeks. And…we are working on an exciting opportunity for the organization's permanent location and look forward to sharing more exciting news shortly!

For reference, our mailing address is:

Root Division
P.O. Box 411605
San Francisco, CA 94141

Thanks again for all your support,

Michelle Mansour, Executive Director

& the entire Root Division Team





Root Division’s relocation plans are rolling along at an amazingly swift pace since our last message about our need to move. Although we're still searching for the right space for our permanent new home, we are happy to report that we have a few great options in the works, so we hope to share some exciting news very soon.

In the meantime, the lease at our current location ends on June 30, so we’ve decided to host some excellent opportunities for you to come and celebrate here during our last few weeks in the space.

Our 2nd Saturday opening—the final one at this address—is coming up on Saturday, June 14 from 7-10, and is the reception for the exhibition, Soft Muscle, curated by Adrienne Heloise. It's a thoughtful show that presents artists working with notions of vulnerability and the body – a theme that couldn't seem more fitting as we prepare to uproot our operations and exit our physical building.

We just can't get enough of bringing people together around art, so we're planning a Closing Reception/ Farewell to the Space on Friday, June 20 from 6-9 pm. We hope to see you at either or both of these events to help us celebrate 10 years of creativity and community-building on 17th Street. After that, we're hocking some extra wares at a big Garage Sale on Wednesday, June 25 from 3-7 pm.

In July, we're presenting some exciting offsite programs, including collaborations with Adobe Books Backroom Gallery (SF) and Aggregate Space (West Oakland) to present the exhibition, Survival Adaptations. Our summer session of the Youth Education Program is underway, including artists teaching classes such as Landscape in 2D and 3D, Personal Narrative through Painting and Drawing, and Stop Motion Animation. And, of course, we continue to support our Studio Artists by storing and moving their belongings until they can settle into our new home. We'll be recruiting heavily for additional artists for the Studios Program, which will be back in full force in no time!

Please feel free to contact us at transition@rootdivision.org if you have any questions or want to volunteer, provide beneficial contacts, offer in-kind donations of goods and services (like moving boxes!), or discuss other ways you can help. We look forward to seeing you during all of our celebrations this month, and cheers to our next chapter... Stay tuned!

With gratitude for all your support,

Michelle Mansour, Executive Director

& the entire Root Division Team



Root Division, Community-Based Arts Organization, Impacted by Mission District Rent Increase

Faced with San Francisco’s rapidly changing real estate market, Root Division announces that it will lose its current space in the Mission District and will need to relocate in Summer 2014. Root Division has resided at 3175 17th Street for more than nine years and has witnessed market rate rents triple in the neighborhood. Despite good faith negotiations on both sides, Root Division and its landlord were unable to find a rent structure that was agreeable for both parties. Although disappointed that Root Division must vacate its long-term home, the organization’s Executive Director, Michelle Mansour, maintains a positive stance, viewing this transition as "an opportunity to plan the development of a vital new, sustainable arts facility” with an affordable long-term lease.

Root Division’s team is working with its supporters, partners, and civic leaders to identify a new site, primarily in San Francisco’s Mid-Market area, where several initiatives are underway to support the relocation of arts, education, and family service organizations. Root Division is diligently searching for a publicly accessible multi-use facility (8,000-10,000 square feet) that can host 18-22 artist studios, two large studio classrooms, a 2,000 square foot exhibition space, and a modest amount of office space. During this transition, Root Division is working to identify interim solutions, including a temporary space and/or satellite programs to continue its support of arts education and emerging artists.

During the past nine years at its site in the Mission District, Root Division has provided subsidized studios to over 130 artists; offered over 4,000 hours of free art classes to neighborhood youth by empowering and training 240 artist-teachers; served 1,500 students in onsite adult art classes; exhibited over 1,700 artists in its gallery; and welcomed over 32,000 visitors to its space. Meanwhile through events, exhibitions, workshops, and other gatherings, Root Division has developed partnerships with two-dozen schools and community centers and over 150 local businesses.

Deborah Blum is partner in three of the businesses that collaborate with Root Division—the popular Mission District restaurants, Beretta, Starbelly, and Lolinda. Blum sees firsthand how strongly Root Division contributes to the community as she effusively explains that her “restaurants are fortunate to be involved with Root Division. During a time when art education budgets are shrinking in public schools, it's wonderful to see an organization that is really walking the walk; investing time, energy, heart, and effort into teaching art to adults and children alike. Root Division artists have created installations in our restaurants, and we’ve really enjoyed seeing young artists thrive and succeed.

Joining Blum in singing the praises of Root Division, Saul Anaya, After School Coordinator at nearby Cesar Chavez Elementary School, expresses his wholehearted agreement. As one of Root Division’s school partners, Anaya describes, “having Root Division at our site was the best thing to happen to our program in quite a while - it was a blessing. The various types of arts our children have been able to create have been outstanding."

While Root Division is disheartened to leave the neighborhood it has worked so hard to revitalize, the organization aims to capitalize on the positive momentum generated in the Mission to expand its constituency and to provide the same excellence in arts education to another community in need. Root Division’s innovative model will thrive at a new site where the organization can continue to maintain a fiscally responsible organization and cultivate community partnerships to reach new audiences with high quality exhibitions, studio space for emerging artists, classes for adults, and arts education for youth. As always, Root Division is proud to be an agent of progress and change. The organization’s vision continues to be a model of creative excellence, sustainability, and collaboration as it empowers emerging artists to amplify art’s positive impact on society.

Root Division is fortunate for its strong leadership and financial health, and the organization is currently undertaking a feasibility and planning study prior to launching an anticipated capital campaign. A variety of advisors, constituents, philanthropists, and leaders in the field are assisting the organization with its planning, and Root Division appreciates its supporters’ investment and understanding as it navigates this challenge.

In the meantime, the organization welcomes the community’s input and support during its planning period. Please feel free to contact us at transition@rootdivision.org if you have any questions or want to volunteer, provide beneficial contacts, offer in-kind donations of goods and services, or discuss other ways you can help. Although it is too early to launch a capital campaign, Root Division welcomes financial contributions to help sustain its programs during the interim period.