Tech Companies Get It Right With Donation to CounterPulse

CounterPulse, the rad non-profit arts organization currently located on Mission at 9th Street, has been producing cutting edge work in some form or another for the past twenty years. With a focus on “socially relevant, community-based art” and a location that serves as “a theater, performance space, community center, gallery and more,” they are without a doubt a pillar in the San Francisco arts scene.

And so when CounterPulse announced that their lease was set to expire at the end of 2014, many in the arts community were understandably nervous that “the organization [would] likely face eviction or a dramatic increase in its rent.” So, in a refreshing bit of news, CounterPulse demonstrated that they have their shit together by deciding to preemptively move to a permanent home. CounterPulse explains that they “embarked on an exciting partnership with the newly formed Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) to lease-to-own the rundown former pornography theater located at 80 Turk Street in the Central Market/Tenderloin neighborhood” pictured below.

With a planned move-in date of early 2015, renovations on the space began this past summer. However, as these things tend to go, the renovation process turned out to be quite costly and CounterPulse decided to do what many non-profits do: crowd-fund some of the expenses with an Indiegogo campaign.

The campaign, which successfully ended this past Monday, is notable for two reasons. First, it surpassed the targeted goal of $50,000 by more than $20,000. Second, it did so with the not-insubstantial help of Twitter, Honey Soundsystem and Zendesk. As CounterPulse put it, “adding to the Twitter match, the Zendesk contribution marks another endorsement by a local tech company that values space for experimental performing arts in San Francisco.”  Twitter and Honey Soundsystem contributed a $10,000 match, and Zendesk contributed $15,000.

As the San Francisco arts community so frequently struggles to benefit from the city’s tech boom, seeing two major tech companies donate to CounterPulse provides a glimmer of hope that positive engagement from the tech sector is indeed possible. Hopefully this donation is just the first of many.

If you’re interested in learning more about CounterPulse, check out this recent interview with Shamsher Virk and Julie Phelps, the Communications / Engagement Director and Artistic Director of CounterPulse, on the Born Ready Podcast.

[Top Photo: Sandra Fang]

Comments (7)

There’s really a fund which helps arts organizations own their real estate?  Excellent! San Francisco’s exceptionally high percentage of renters and leasers is what makes its communities so unstable.

Hmm, leaders of the anti displacement movement have interests in this space. What an unusual coincidence..

are you suggesting that Twitter and/or zendesk find the antidisplacement movement so inconvenient that they are funding an arts organization to take the space so that the anti displacement movement cannot?

Of course! It makes perfect sense, if you think about it for two seconds or less.

nah, investments preserving relevant arts and culture spaces as a frienemizing tactic is good PR bruh

did everyone conveniently forget that honey soundsystem isnt a tech company?

And that’s why Jack wrote that two major tech companies contributed and not three….