Network dev, planner, strategist, communication design and the occasional all out party

I support Arts for a Better Bay Area because it supports all of us. 

  • Sign the petition: Sign the petition

    Thank You letter to our City officials - Sign & share

    We appreciate all the work our elected officials and community have contributed to make possible an unprecedented $7 million increased investment to the arts in SF!

    GOAL: 90 signatures

    Dear Mayor Lee and Supervisors of San Francisco:

    We stand together with Arts for a Better Bay Area to thank San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee for his historic Shared Prosperity package, a $7 million enhancement to arts funding in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 municipal budget. This represents a 14 percent growth over previous budgets for the San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts. It includes a $2 million enhancement (a 50 percent increase) to the City’s groundbreaking Cultural Equity Endowment Fund as well as $1 million to Grants for the Arts to support small and mid-sized arts nonprofits, individual artists and historically underserved communities through grants and capacity building.

    This effort constituted the largest arts increase by the city in over 20 years, something that was long overdue. The Mayor's investment is testament to San Francisco's commitment to celebrate its diversity and cultures thus ensuring that it remains a world-class city.

    The road to this success could not have been made possible without the support of District Supervisors including Supervisors Breed, Mar, Kim, Avalos, Campos, Yee, Farrell, Weiner, Tang, Cohen, and Christensen.   

    Arts for a Better Bay will continue to bring the community together to support our elected officials in recognizing, valuing, and investing in the arts essential to the well-being of Bay Area residents.

    Thank you,

    San Francisco arts community

    Add signature

  • Contribute to the Online Commons

    To Inform, Mobilize, and Sustain a member powered network we encourage you to contribute to the Online Commons. Please review the Commons Guidelines below and complete the Contribution Form.  


    Information shared through the Online Commons must align with ABBA’s Mission, VIsion, and current Committee Priorities. This space is to help share fair and balanced information about timely and pervasive issues/events impacting the cultural vitality of the Bay Area region and our neighborhoods.

    Mission: Arts for a Better Bay Area (ABBA), is a coalition of San Francisco arts practitioners invested in quality of life, creative expression, cultural equity and vibrant neighborhoods.  

    ABBA’s vision is to:
    > Create a network powered by members who believe that arts and culture play a vital role in this region’s identity and quality of life.
    > Cultivate a healthy environment in which arts and culture thrive and are accessible to all.
    > Inform and mobilize individuals, organizations and coalitions on policies connected to a rapidly changing region.  

    For Up to Date Info & Conversations
    Follow us on Twitter@arts4BayArea
    Like the FACEBOOK page    

    Ways to CONTRIBUTE:


    Write an Essay for the Commons

    Content Parameters: Essays are rigorously edited, and response time averages 3-5 weeks.
    Length: 1,500-2,000 words and 2-3 photos/graphics.
    Publishing: Depending on the backlog of content, articles may wait as long as 2-3 months before publication.  

    Write a Blog or Curate/Write a Blog Series

    Content Parameters: Blog posts are edited for style and information accessibility. Length: 750-1000 words and 1-2 photos/graphics. Publishing: Blogs can usually be published within a month of submission. Series: If you want to propose a blog series, include: One sample post, the total number of posts proposed, along with a content outline, ideal publication timeline (i.e. one per week, one per month, etc.), a title for your series, and a one sentence series description.  

    Event/Education Opportunity Sharing

    Content Parameters: We send a newsletter out twice a month that highlights ABBA events/policy education and other relevant opportunities to participate in advocacy and policy education. Additionally we post relevant events on our Facebook & Twitter. Length: 10-25 words, including event title, date/time, location, short description, event URL Publishing: We will review all shared events posted to our Facebook Page and consider reposting and/or including them in our other communications. Please post news/event info at least 3-6 weeks before to ensure ample sharing time.

    Because space in the newsletter is very limited, events that have substantial arts and artist-specific content are the most likely to be included, as are event submissions that use the following format:

    [event title]
    [day of week, date, time of event]
    [event location]
    [description (max 25 words)]
    [event url]  

    Comments Policy

    All comments on the site are moderated. Most comments will be posted if they are on topic and not personal attacks, but moderating decisions is subjective. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers and generally cannot alter a comment once it is posted. Sometimes we will delete an offensive posting, but not always. We have limited tolerance for personal attacks, incoherence, and shouting. Whenever possible we encourage the use of real names.  

    Facebook Policy

    ABBA values open discussion on issues facing our communities, neighborhoods, and organizations and we invite you to engage in a respectful and collaborative dialogue on these issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our Facebook policy, outlined below. We reserve the right to delete posts on our page containing any of the following elements:

    - self-promotion and/or promotion of organization-specific or individual events
    - profane language that may be offensive to some of our users 
    - misinformation
    - spam
    - off-topic / irrelevant posts
    - personal attacks 
    - promotion of violence
    - promotion of illegal activities or activities inconsistent with the values of ABBA.

    We will contact you if something you post is interpreted to be in violation of this policy.  If you repeatedly violate this policy, ABBA will remove you from the page.  

    How does ABBA use Twitter?

    ABBA uses Twitter to share good news, engage in direct conversation with our diverse communities, and to spread current knowledge and facts about arts, culture, and arts advocacy. We invite you to follow our Tweets at @arts4BayArea.

  • Cultural Space

    Cultural Space Committee aims to develop and implement preservation strategies for cultural spaces and artist housing.

  • 2016 Priorities

    In 2016, ABBA was organized by part time staff and the evolving Team of Stewards. Programs/events were developed and created through 2016 Program Committees: Building Public Will, Cultural Space, and Arts Budget; and, Operations and Communications / Documentation Committee. For 2017, the staff and Stewards continue to focus on objectives and goals identified by the 2016 Committees but are not operating individual Committees at this time. 


    • The Arts Budget Committee continues where the Arts Budget Coalition left off Summer 2015 by tracking and analyzing municipal funding and developing cross sector partnerships based on the 2015–16 Budget and Policy Recommendations.

    • The Building Public Will Committee develops effective and grassroots community outreach and education around arts advocacy and policy.

    • The Cultural Space Committee develops and implements preservation strategies for cultural spaces and artist housing.

    • The Operations Committee develops a core of internal and external practices and processes that keep ABBA sustainable as a project and movement based effort.

    • The Communications/Documentation Committee works to build a robust online Commons that will act as a hub for resource & knowledge sharing and to connect & amplify existing arts advocacy networks/efforts.


    Want to know even more about ABBA and the coalition building process? Read our three page HISTORY here.

  • History: 2015 Arts Budget Coalition

    Several factors led to the creation of ABBA, including a fractious 2014 budget season centering on the dogged issue of cultural equity and a subsequent Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office report that charted the decline in funding allocations made to groups representing people of color and/or underserved populations over the past twenty-five years in Grants for the Arts docket. Additional sparks included: revelations that the amendment to the ordinance linking the Hotel Tax to arts funding had been severed, decreased engagement at Arts Town Hall on behalf of artists, arts organizations and the Board of Supervisors, and rampant non-profit displacement in the face of the most recent influx of technology workers.

    During the fall of 2014 Lex Leifheit, then Executive Director of SOMArts and Ebony McKinney of Emerging Arts Professionals/SFBA, conducted approximately 30 interviews with arts organization leaders, city departments, the Director of Cultural Affairs, legislative liaisons, funders, artists, arts education partners and support service providers to gauge interest in a group like ABBA. They found a new readiness for collaboration and action around key issues and a desire to speak to City Hall with a more cohesive and thoughtful voice.  

    The first ABBA open meeting was held in January 2015, attracted 70 participants eager to hear Lex and Ebony’s vision for the organization and plans for the mobilization around arts policy in San Francisco. The Organizers’ intention was to amplify and connect existing networks and create platforms that recognize how people currently engage and share knowledge. To date, 444 individuals have registered for ABBA’s email list and 170 have registered for events.

    After the first open meeting it was clear that the most tangible organizing goal would be to build an arts focused budget recommendation for the 2015-2016 Budget cycle. Over the three months more than 500 Bay Area artists and arts workers participated by sharing their needs and priorities with the Arts Budget Coalition. Grantmakers, arts leaders and community organizers from other sectors advised on how to create a framework for advocacy wherein many people could have a voice. During this time 49 people made an ongoing commitment to the Arts Budget Coalition, officially representing 25 organizations—large and small. Working in key issue committees (Access to public and private space, Artists & workforce, Cultural Equity, Vibrant Neighborhoods and public art, and Youth opportunity) over the course of five weeks, they shared their own urgent needs and priorities, researched existing city resources and national innovations, mobilized their colleagues and constituents and drafted budget and policy recommendations for the two city funding sources most directly connected to the arts: the San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts. 

    These five drafts were presented for public comment at an open meeting on March 24, 2015 and then the Steering Committee (two members nominated from each Key Issue Committee) worked together to create one 2015-16 Budget and Policy recommendation for the city of San Francisco. The budget coalition’s key issue committees balanced many needs within an ambitious—but potentially achievable—enhancement funds request: an increase of approximately $8 million. To arrive at this number organizers considered input from many parties including individuals within GFTA and SFAC, GFTA-funded organizations, legislative aides, individual artists and arts organizations rooted in underserved communities. On May 29th, 2015 the Mayor’s Office announced a $7 million shared prosperity package to support the arts, press release. An additional $2 million was directed to the arts by Board of Supervisors add-backs—an unprecedented show of support.

    Policy recommendations of the 2015–16 Arts Budget Coalition continue to guide the work of ABBA so far as they reflect the priorities of the network, full details found here.


I stage performance, produce artist-focused programing in SF, Consult on engagement strategies and overall audience development.
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