ArtSpan is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building connections within San Francisco's visual arts community and between that community and the general public.
In 1975, a small group of enterprising artists who wanted to make artwork accessible to the public founded San Francisco Open Studios. Through this program, artists around San Francisco open their studios to the public during the four weekends of October. The program gives both emerging and established San Francisco artists the opportunity to invite the public into their workspaces, sell artwork, build mailing lists and gain exposure. Open Studios is a fun, unique way for the public to meet artists, see where artwork is created, explore San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods and build collections. The program has grown to include 900 artists and 60,000 participants' making it San Francisco's most popular and best-attended, free visual art event. Art for City Youth (ACY) helps 5,500 students enjoy art with professional artists. The program gives artists experience working with youth and publicizes their ability to work with schools and community groups. The program consists of three projects: Kaleidoscope (hands-on art making), ArtSpan Tours for Youth (art appreciation activities).