Mayor London Breed Announces Over $4.7 Million in Grants to Support Cultural Events, Activities, and Arts Programs for the AAPI and Latino Communities


Grants include support for the creation of a Chinatown Bruce Lee historical exhibition and funding for major cultural events such as the Chinatown Light and Arts Festival and Carnaval

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced over $4.7 million in funding to support neighborhood events and activities focusing on Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Latino arts and culture. The investments include funding for museums and exhibitions, including the creation of a historical exhibition in Chinatown showcasing the career of iconic martial artist Bruce Lee, as well as funding for major cultural events like the Chinatown Light and Arts Festival, Carnaval, Día de Los Muertos and other Mission District celebrations.

As part of the City’s economic recovery, the investment aims to attract residents and tourists to the historic commercial corridors in celebration of culture and in support of local small businesses and the arts, entertainment, and tourism industries that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Omicron surge. Additionally, the funding includes grants of $5,000 to 230 small businesses in Chinatown that had not previously received any COVID-19 relief grants from City programs.

“San Francisco’s arts and culture scene showcases everything our City has to offer from our diverse communities. It’s an important part of who we are and a major reason so many people travel from across the country and across the world to visit every year,” said Mayor Breed. “These investments are a celebration of that diversity that will showcase who we are, what we stand for, and what makes our city such a great place to live and visit.”

Arts, entertainment, and tourism are key drivers of employment, commerce, and neighborhood economic vitality in San Francisco. As the City emerges from the Omicron surge, events and festivities that showcase culture and arts are being funded to restore San Francisco’s vibrancy and drive its economic recovery. Mayor Breed allocated $4.7 million to support community-serving nonprofit organizations selected through an open call RFP process with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Over the next few months, San Franciscans and visitors will be able to enjoy festivities and art programs that celebrate culture and history in Chinatown, Japantown, and the Mission.

“These investments allow us to honor and celebrate AAPI and the Latino culture and arts through history, education, and through storytelling,” said Kate Sofis, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “As we partner with the community to create events, activities and programs, we’re bringing people together to ensure our businesses and neighborhoods including Chinatown, Japantown and  the Mission are strong, resilient and vibrant.”

“We have said it over the last two years, if we help the Arts recovery, the Arts will help San Francisco recovery, and that is especially true for BIPOC communities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. These funds are an investment in our economically vital cultural sector and also in racial equity,” said Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs, San Francisco Arts Commission.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant and lasting impact on the local, regional and national economies. COVID-19 has created particular hardships for small businesses and low-income workers, diverse communities, immigrants, and people with disabilities in the Bay Area. The restaurant, hospitality, entertainment, personal services, and retail industries faced major disruption, with many businesses closing permanently.

“Through the Mayor’s visionary support and through the great work of OEWD, the Chinese Historical Society will overturn the history of violence and exclusion experienced by all AAPI and BIPOC community members, creating the change that keeps San Francisco a beacon for justice and equity,” said Justin Hoover, Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society of America.

“On behalf of Northeast Community Federal Credit Union, I would like to extend our heartfelt thank you and appreciation for your support and leadership to save and revive the API small businesses, especially to our Chinatown community. Programs like these truly make a difference,” said Lily Lo, Northeast Community Federal Credit Union. “Our community is extremely grateful for your support, leadership, and continuous investment.”

“Chinese Culture Center is deeply grateful to the City of San Francisco and Mayor Breed for her commitment to the community and investment in the arts,” said Jenny Leung, Executive Director of the Chinese Culture Center. “This support for arts and cultural programming is meaningful and essential to Chinatown as we recover from the pandemic, enabling us to provide vital access to arts programs rooted in community and equity. With this funding, we look forward to launching “We the Future,” a year-round arts programming for youth of color, artists, and community members at 41 Ross in Chinatown, and the Futures Fund, a grant program to support Asian American artists.”

The $4.7 million investment includes: 

  • Creation of a historical exhibition featuring the iconic martial artist Bruce Lee, showcasing his influence within AAPI history while drawing visitors into the Chinatown community.
  • Expansion and support of arts and cultural museums and institutions in Chinatown through a series of arts, history, and culture programs and exhibitions within the neighborhood and promoting AAPI culture.
  • Development of a Community Art Space or Hub operated out of a storefront in Chinatown.
  • Production and promotion of events including Carnaval and festivals that celebrate Latino culture in partnership with small businesses, community organizations, and artists in the Mission.
  • Support community healing through Día de Los Muertos, Festival of the Altars community activities.
  • Development of a year-round film and media festival that features and highlights a diverse array of AAPI experiences through storytelling. Showings for the public will be shared in venues such as theaters, community and outdoor spaces in Chinatown, Japantown and SoMa.
  • Support and creation of a Filipino arts, history, and culture exhibit and gathering space highlighting the experience and legacy of the Manilatown community, including the San Francisco International Hotel (I Hotel).
  • Support of performing arts centered around the Japanese-American experience, including storytelling, music, dance, and other arts year-round.
  • Support of an API Youth Arts Initiative called Generation Chinatown, a multidisciplinary, two-prong arts initiative that will include a Chinatown-based AAPI youth arts program and emerging artist residency. Generation Chinatown will be housed at 41 Ross, a storefront alleyway space in Chinatown.
  • Relaunch of the “AAPI Artists Futures Fund”, a grant program that will fund 20 AAPI artists or artist collaboratives based in San Francisco (up to $10,000 to each individual/collaborative).
  • Production of the Chinatown Light and Arts Festival, a large-scale, community-wide contemporary arts and outdoor lighting event that will incorporate site-specific public art and educational programming at empty storefronts, alleyways, and key public spaces throughout Chinatown. The festival will occur during select days in October 2022 during Autumn Moon Festival and May 2023 during APA Heritage Month.

OEWD will continue to award and distribute small business recovery grants through various programs including an upcoming COVID-19 Commercial Rent Relief Pilot set to launch in February. For more information, please visit OEWD at


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