Arts & Economic Development

arts alleyways san francisco chinatown
As a place where people work, live, and play, Chinatown’s economic life serves as an entry-point for employment for recent immigrants, fulfills the daily needs of local residents, and helps catalyze tourism. Chinatown CDC’s strategic support revolves around a comprehensive, culturally specific and creative approach that integrates people, place, and storytelling that promotes a healthy, economically and culturally vibrant neighborhood.

CCDC sees itself as a voice for community-serving business owners as core to who we are and what neighborhood we want to build. Chinatown CDC tracks up-to-date information on all Chinatown businesses, assists businesses with accessing city services, and coordinates economic strategies with local city agencies, other stakeholders, nonprofits, and neighborhood efforts that promote the neighborhood and its unique offerings. We believe the stories of the arts, culture, history, and people who live and work in Chinatown can bring investment into the community and provide a rich experience for visitors and locals alike.

Spotlight Chinatown is CCDC’s initiative that promotes local business, especially those that are impacted by the Central Subway construction, and highlights Chinatown’s unique neighborhood character through photographs, stories, and annotated maps. The stories are often first exhibited at 41 Ross, a community resource space and interactive studio situated in historic Ross Alley.

Other efforts include improving storefronts and creating murals and installations including at the International Hotel, the Chinese Recreation Center, and in Chinatown alleyways. For example, in 2009 Chinatown CDC worked on the Art in Storefronts program with the Chinese Culture Center, Kearny Street Workshop, and the Intersection for the Arts to develop a program to beautify the neighborhood, create a draw for visitors, and to attract potential commercial tenants, by displaying the work of local artists in number of vacant storefronts.