Descriptive Title: Per capital public arts funding distributed by the San Francisco Arts Commission

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Supervisorial District

Public Funding for the Arts Per Capita (2011)
Supervisoral District Neighborhoods Total SFAC funding received (FY 2010) District Population (2010) Per Capita Funding % of Total SFAC Funding
1 Seacliff, Outer Richmond, Inner Richmond $165,040 68,296 $2 0.5%
2 Marina, Presidio, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill $1,128,588 68,251 $17 3.2%
3 North Beach, Chinatown, Russian Hill, Financial District, Downtown/Civic Center $3,856,025 69,040 $56 10.8%
4 Outer Sunset, Parkside $156,900 71,586 $2 0.4%
5 Western Addition, Haight Ashbury $743,702 69,828 $11 2.1%
6 South of Market, Mission Bay, Downtown/Civic Center $15,414,116 95,073 $162 43.1%
7 Lakeshore, West of Twin Peaks, Inner Sunset $238,120 70,051 $3 0.7%
8 Castro/Upper Market, Noe Valley, Diamond Heights/Glen Park $487,841 70,071 $7 1.4%
9 Mission, Bernal Heights $2,393,887 64,733 $37 6.7%
10 Visitacion Valley, Bayview, Potrero Hill $10,804,901 78,898 $137 30.2%
11 Ocean View, Outer Mission, Excelsior, Crocker Amazon $396,450 79,507 $5 1.1%
  TOTAL $35,785,570 805,334 $40 100%

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Research finds that the influence/effects of the arts on health are to: induce positive physiological and psychological changes in clinical outcomes; reduce drug consumption, shorten length of stay in hospital, improve recovery time, increase job satisfaction, promote better doctor-patient relationship, improve mental healthcare, and, reduce depression and blood pressure.a-d According to the San Francisco Arts Master Plan, "Arts education benefits students in ways that other curricula cannot. It deepens expression and interpretation, and accommodates individuals' strengths and learning styles. It challenges learners to develop skills needed to perceive, inquire, create, reflect and critique. When students are offered quality arts education continuously throughout their school years (sequential arts education) and are given the opportunity to build upon and refine acquired skills, they will carry those skills from the school, to the workplace, to society at large." (accessed on October 3, 2006).

Funding is an important component to making sure that arts are accessible to all community residents. The San Francisco Arts Commission is charged with making the arts available to every person in San Francisco through administration of numerous programs, including: City Hall docent tours, the Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts and Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art: Art Enrichment, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists, and the San Francisco Symphony.  Details on the projects and programs funded with fiscal year 2010-2011 monies in each district are detailed in the Arts Commission’s 2011 Annual Report (link listed in Data Sources section).

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the eastern side of the city, including districts 3, 6, 9, and 10, received more arts funding per capita than the rest of the city. Districts 6 and 10 received the most funding per capita, at $162 and$137 per person respectively. Cumulatively Districts 6 and 10 received 73% of all of the funding for that fiscal year. Districts 1, 4, 7, 8, and 11 received the least funding, at less than $10 per person.


Per capita funding was calculated by dividing the district level funding for the 2010-2011 fiscal year by the number of residents living within each district from the 2010 US Census.


This indicator does not include other sources of public funding (i.e. from the State of California or the federal government) or private funding (i.e. from foundations, corporations, non-profit advocacy organizations, private development, etc.). Funding by district varies from year-to-year; thus, districts with low per capita funding one year may have received generous funding in previous years. It is also important to note that funding invested in arts and cultural infrastructure and programming in one district does not mean that residents from other districts are not benefiting from those investments.

Per capita funding for the arts is one method of showing geographic differences in the investment in public arts; however, it should not serve as a proxy for access to the arts. Many different factors influence whether an individual as access to art and culture including (but not limited to) geographic proximity, hours of operation, costs of entry or participation, transportation to the event, culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and publicity, the cultural relevance to the individual, and time/availability.

Data Source

San Francisco Arts Commission.  Agency Report on District Based Programming.  FY 2010-2011.  Accessed on October 26, 2011:

2010 US Census

Maps prepared by City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software

Detailed information regarding census data, geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found at the following links:

Interactive boundaries map

  1. Staricoff RL. Arts in health: a review of the medical literature. Arts Council of England. Research Report 36. September 2004. Accessed on December 4, 2006:
  2. Jermyn H. The Arts and Social Exclusion: a review prepared for the Arts Council of England. September 2001. Accessed on December 4, 2006:
  3. Arts in Medicine and Arts Therapy Citations. The Society for Arts in Healthcare. Accessed on December 4, 2006:
  4. Ridenour A. Creativity and the Arts in Healthcare Settings. JAMA. 1998;279:399-400. Accessed on December 4, 2006: