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San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum Honored as “Legacy Business”
Esteemed 32 Year Old Institution Receives Designation at November 28th Meeting
29 November 2016 – San Francisco, CA: What becomes a legend most? If you happen to be San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum (www.cartoonart.org), part of the answer is being recognized for your iconic nature as an official Legacy Business (http://sfosb.org/legacy-business) by the City’s Small Business Commission.
“The Business Legacy program has provided small businesses and organizations like ours the opportunity to endure the increasingly competitive commercial real estate climate, persevere and continue to flourish,” said Museum Executive Director Summerlea Kashar. “Funds from this program will be essential to a successful transition to our new location near Fisherman’s Wharf.”
The 30-year-old nonprofit institution — the first museum dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms in the western United States — just announced a 10-year lease in an historic building along the City’s tourist-rich northern waterfront. The site is currently in the midst of renovation and will reopen to the public in Spring 2017. This unique institution houses approximately 7,000 original pieces in its permanent collection and attracts more than 30,000 visitors annually.
Inspired by programs in cities such as Buenos Aires, Barcelona and London, the Legacy Business Program was instituted in 2015 by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and by San Francisco’s Small Business Commission. The designation denotes businesses and organizations that have made a significant impact on the history or culture of their neighborhood. Through the Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund, Legacy Businesses on the registry may receive Business Assistance Grants while landlords who extend the leases of such businesses for at least 10 years may receive Rent Stabilization Grants.
The Cartoon Art Museum’s new location is at 781 Beach Street (just one block from Aquatic Park, the Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround). Housed in an historic 1912 brick building, it features a classic façade, prominent street presence, convenient parking, and easy access to and from public transportation. It offers highly visible public access to the museum’s nearly 8,000 square feet of space featuring galleries, screening area, workshop, classroom, bookstore, library and collections facility.
The Benton family, owners of the historic structure, are equally excited about the museum’s new home. A family representative noted, “We’re thrilled to have the Cartoon Art Museum as one of our new tenants. As owners in San Francisco for more than 50 years, it is great to be working with a non-profit that offers unique programming and exhibitions, as well as community outreach. We’re proud to be a part of keeping artistic culture alive in San Francisco.”
The Cartoon Art Museum has begun making improvements to the location, and plans to reopen to the public in the spring of 2017. During the transition, the museum will continue to host offsite events and work with partner organizations throughout the Bay Area.
Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum has something for everyone—from comic strips, superheroes and anime to political cartoons, graphic novels and underground comix. People of all ages can view original cartoon art at exhibitions and screenings, produce their own comics and animation at classes and workshops, research deeply into our collection and library, and mix and mingle with professional and aspiring cartoonists. The Museum’s mission is to ignite imaginations and foster the next generation of visual storytellers by celebrating the history of cartoon art, its role in society, and its universal appeal. The Museum’s vision is to be the premier destination to experience cartoon art in all its many forms from around the world, and a leader in providing insight into the process of creating it.
During the Museum’s past three decades, nearly 200 exhibitions have featured hundreds of artists from almost every continent and artistic style, including Mary Blair, Dan Clowes, Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Phil Frank, Edward Gorey, Hayao Miyazaki, Spain Rodriguez, Charles Schulz, Ronald Searle, Dr. Seuss, Art Spiegelman, Garry Trudeau, Morrie Turner, Bill Watterson and many more.
The Museum’s unique permanent collection houses 7,000 pieces, including original Disney animation art from the collection of Mike Glad; historic comic strip art from Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), Bil Keane (Family Circus), Walt Kelly (Pogo), George Herriman (Krazy Kat) and Winsor McCay; political cartoons from Bill Mauldin and Lou Grant; comic book art from Bob Kane, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, and many others.