Who is CounterPulse?
CounterPulse is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. We provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPulse acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, sparking transformation in our communities and our society. We work towards a world that celebrates diversity of race, class, cultural heritage, artistic expression, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We strive to create an environment that is physically and economically accessible to everyone.
CounterPulse represents a 25 year legacy of experimental and interdisciplinary dance and performance in San Francisco—no other single space has supported a comparable breadth of performance. Known as 848 Performance Space 1991-2005, the organization premiered many of San Francisco’s most daring dancers and choreographers and was a pioneering venue for experimentation. In 2005, the organization moved into a 95-seat theater in the SoMa neighborhood and re-branded as CounterPulse, as a result of a merger with Bay Area Center for Art and Technology.
CounterPulse thrived for ten years at their SoMa location, launching their flagship Artist Residency and Commissioning (ARC) program as a springboard for emerging and/or experimental artists and exploring creative placemaking activities in senior and family housing complexes on their SoMa block to increase social engagement among residents through the arts. In 2012, CounterPulse reaffirmed its commitment to supporting art and community, and charted a course toward greater impact through partnerships with social service organizations, critical community engagement, and much-needed facilities development.
Most recently, CounterPulse was approached with a pilot partnership opportunity by the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST). Through this partnership, CounterPulse leased to purchase the 80 Turk Street facility, enabling the organization to build capacity and contribute to the neighborhood’s vibrancy without the threat of displacement. After a 17 month renovation period, and $3.8 million dollars raised, CounterPulse opened to the public at the new facility Spring 2016.