Artists’ Television Access Gets New Lease! Will Stay at 992 Valencia Street
Film and arts organization eludes death-by-gentrification
Hey it can’t all be bad news right? ATA is that anti-storefront on Valencia that usually has something very interesting in the window, it’s the spot that makes you think, ‘oh hey, there might still be actual artists in the Mission after all.” Inside, there is typically a movie theater packed with artists and weirdos, which quite frankly, is our favorite type of movie theater. Artist collective Right Window curates exhibitions in the right storefront window and filmmaker Craig Baldwin, whose legendary Other Cinema screenings have run on Saturday nights for decades.
“ATA is a fixture of the underground film and art scene in San Francisco, as well as being a long-time haven for artists, weirdos, and film lovers”
Says board president Kelly Pendergrast, “but with zero commercial rent control and a totally insane market, cultural value can’t trump capitalism.”
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With support services from the Northern California Community Loan Fund via the city’s new Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program, Artists Television Access was able to negotiate a new lease with acceptable terms. While Pendergrast says the new rent will be “a considerable increase from our current rate, and definitely a stretch,” it is still well below market valuation, thanks to the landlord’s willingness to cut a small break to a group that has brought film and art to the neighborhood for almost thirty years. (since 1986)
With almost a quarter of San Francisco’s nonprofits forced to leave the city or shut down since 2011, ATA’s all-volunteer staff is overjoyed that they avoided the chopping block and signed a 5 year lease agreement. The next five years won’t be a cakewalk, with increased rent meaning more fundraising and appeals for member support. For the time being, though, ATA is happy to take a moment to relax and celebrate. “The next thing on our list is to plan a huge party to celebrate and say thanks to our friends and supporters” says staff member Linda Scobie.