San Francisco officials announce creation of new art center

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San Francisco school district officials announced Thursday the creation of a new arts center and plans to move the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts to a new location. (KGO-TV)

San Francisco schools are ready to invest millions in the arts. The school district announced the creation of a new arts center. It also has plans to move the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts to a new location.

Now that the economy is better and schools have more money and of course there is a new bond out there.

Don Harris is known in the San Francisco art community and his new title will be executive director for creativity and the arts for the San Francisco Unified School District.

For years proponents of the arts have talked about bringing student performers closer to those who already work for the symphony, ballet and opera. "Fifty-seven thousand school district children are going to be touched by the kind of art energy that we're putting out and the institute is going to do it," Harris said.

Harris has now been picked to spearhead the next stage of the school district's arts center development at 135 Van Ness Street.

The $300 million plan consists of an art institute for all district children. In addition, the high school named Ruth Asawa School for the Arts will also move to that location where the Nourse theater will also be.

About $300 million will come from three previous bonds and a fourth one that will be on the November ballot. "The other part of that funding is a capital campaign that we're going to be launching," San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza said.

There is also speculation that an angel investor may be behind this development.

Harris once directed the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts before it was given that name. Then, he left to head the Oakland School for the Arts at the request of then Mayor Jerry Brown. Now, he returns to San Francisco. "There is also fantastic impetus and momentum behind the arts that we weren't seeing before," Harris said

The school is named after well-known artist Ruth Asawa. Her dream was to have the school closer to the Van Ness corridor, a dream which is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

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