The Creative City: An exploration of the utopian idea of the creative city, where artists and arts organizations are viewed as critical components of a healthy ecosystem. We’ll ask what role the arts sector can play in civic creativity or cultural strategy that creates social wealth and helps shape public sentiment, city planning and policy. We will also discuss the robust migration of the technology community from Silicon Valley to San Francisco and Oakland and the eect it’s had on the non-prot and commercial arts sector. Could we have predicted the challenges? How can we move forward? Can a revived social logic, balancing independence and interdependence cultivate resilience for artists, arts and culture workers and arts organizations?

2015-16 Creative City Fellows

Selected Readings


In our project, Mapping Your Creative Landscape, we investigate constructive methods to address the perceived disconnect between the arts and tech sectors in the Bay and elsewhere; to demystify and scrutinize our perceptions of one another; and to collectively consider long term, empathic, and rational solutions to the issues we face together. We consider this project as an inquiry into preliminary models that might be replicated or furthered by others, as opposed to presenting solutions or concrete actions with desired outcomes.


Ultimately, our project does not aim to ‘reinvent the wheel’ regarding this hotly contested and highly visible debate, nor do we advance any potential solutions. Rather, our interest is in sustaining the conversation by having diverse sectors of the city (who typically may not interact) to come together, break bread and share constructive, respectful, and empathetic dialogue. Through this gesture, our intention is to embody the kind of empathic, compassionate values we hope that citizens of the Bay, new and old, will uphold moving forward – which we feel is an important statement in and of itself.


Have resources or questions for us? Please email fellowship(at)emergingsf(dot)org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you want to apply for the next Fellowship cohort, please sign up for our newsletter for updates  and upcoming deadlines.