The United States’ first-ever National LGBTQ Center for the Arts will open in San Francisco courtesy of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC).

The new Center, located at 170 Valencia Street, will house a cutting-edge media center, provide a creative and safe space for LGBTQ artists and performers, and serve as a meeting location for community leaders, as well as being the Chorus’ first permanent home since its inception over 40 years ago.

The Center will allow the SFGMC to have programs dedicated to performances, VR experiences, and master classes and interview series featuring notable creatives like Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lippa, and Laura Benanti.

“As the former director of a non-profit arts and culture organization, I know how important it is that we offer inclusive, safe spaces for artists, performers, and collaborators to create works of art that empower communities,” said London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, in a statement. “I know the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will continue to support and serve the members of our LGBTQ community here in San Francisco with this new LGBTQ Center for the Arts.”

Photograph by Jeff Zaruba

One of the driving forces behind the Center was founding Chorus member, Terrence Chan. Chan made a $5 million donation to go to the cost of buying and renovating the building.

“I am particularly excited about the vision for a National LGBTQ Center for the Arts,” Chan said in making his gift. “At this time in our nation’s history, it is vital that we in the LGBTQ community have a home for our art and artists. I am confident that great work will be crated in our new home – work that will inspire, engage, and educate.”

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