In 2008, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) and Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (GFTA) embarked on a four-year funding partnership to encourage systemic and sustainable structural change in the relationships of Bay Area arts organizations to their audiences, supported by the Wallace Foundation. Community offerings during the grant period (2008-2011) included seminars, workshops, large public convenings, implementation grants,
development of a regional shared mailing list, and expansion of the SFArts.org website.
Since 2000, SFArts.org has been the Bay Area’s leading online arts and entertainment resource, directing hundreds of thousands of visitors and locals to arts events in the city and larger Bay Area. In 2009, with support from the Wallace Initiative and Grants for the Arts, SFArts.org launched a completely revamped website with a customizable user interface. SFArts.org offers its users a powerful search tool, a completely customizable experience, a one-stop resource for events information, insider picks on great arts values, RSS feeds and feature articles about San Francisco arts and artists, all with the ultimate goal of increasing support of and attendance at local arts events.
In 2010, SFArts.org created an online form that allows arts groups to input their own data, which is posted to the SFArts.org site after editorial review. More then 1,400 events and 400 arts organizations have been added to the database from public input. Additionally, SFArts.org entered into a partnership with Bay Citizen, in which the data from SFArts.org populates Bay Citizen’s online arts calendar. SFArts.org has also created apps for the iPhone and Android. The iPhone app has become a major source of traffic to the SFArts.org database. Currently, it has served nearly 155,000 requests for information since it was launched in September 2010. SFArts.org is currently working on a push notification system that will build upon this success.
Despite the proliferation of local online arts calendars, SFArts.org remains the top-ranked site in web searches for San Francisco arts on both Google and Bing. With the launch of its new user-event submission system, concurrent with the Bay Citizen launch, the site has also seen a significant rise in event listings from outside of San Francisco.
Betsy Crabtree is the publisher/editor of SFArts.org and San Francisco Arts Monthly.