August 20, 2013
San Francisco's Tenderloin is known for many things, not all felicitous, but the residence there of the Center for New Music is somewhat surprising — although not for Michael Strickland, proprietor of SF Civic Center blog.
Strickland's blog has been giving this "visionary new arts space," which opened almost a year ago, but has maintained a low profile, some well-deserved attention.
Located near the Golden Gate Theater, at 55 Taylor Street, the center has already offered 53 different concerts in its small performance hall, and supported, in various ways, composers of "new music." (Not all new music is "new music," but we will not go there at this time.)
Man-around-new-music Adam Fong is the center's executive director. His manifesto on the center website states:
What we’re proposing is protection for an endangered species: the creative musician ... I’ve felt a strong need for collaborative workspace, affordable rehearsal space, a small performance space for new music, and a platform for administrative support and collaboration.
Along with Brent Miller, the center's managing director, Fong has already welcomed to the building the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the San Francisco Cinematheque experimental film/video organization, and the Rova Saxophone Quartet. Fong says:
The programs we’re implementing are intended to bring in a spectrum of users: We have curated concerts, but anyone can join as an individual member and put on a show. There are private offices for established organizations, but there’s also co-working options for part-timers, and drop-in benefits if you just need to have a meeting or work for a few hours near a bunch of other musicians and producers.
Over time I believe the ethos behind all of this will become more apparent. Our theory is that all of this sharing and collaboration will build a stronger and more inviting new music community, a stronger new music scene, and ultimately more opportunities for everyone.