January 17, 2019 at 12:53 pm PST | by Mariah Cooper
San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus opens National LGBTQ Center for the Arts

National LGBTQ Center for the Arts (Photo by Jeff Zaruba)

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has embarked on an ambitious project to open the first National LGBTQ Center for the Arts, located at 170 Valencia Street in San Francisco.

The four-story building, which was purchased for $9.6 million, will undergo renovations to provide the appropriate space and utilities to support the LGBT arts community. It will also serve as the home base for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

One of the chorus’ founding members Terrence Chan gave a generous donation of $5 million towards the building’s purchase and renovations and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus pledged $1 million. Later, the chorus also plans to launch a campaign to help cover the cost of the building, renovations and to start an endowment fund.

Plans for the venue include a media center and a creative space for LGBT artists to work.

San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus will now offer master classes and interviews with top names such as Award-winning composers Stephen Schwartz and Andrew Lippa, a recording and producing studio, a virtual reality experience and much more.

“In its forty-year history, the Chorus has performed at the world’s most prestigious venues, but we have never had our own home,” Board Chair Keith Pepper said in a statement. “The new space will allow the organization to expand its performing calendar to include master classes, an interview series with leading LGBTQ voices and ‘sing-ins’ that welcome members of the community to perform with the Chorus.”

Dr. Timothy Seelig, artistic director of the chorus, added, “In my 30 years conducting LGBTQ choruses, none of us have had the ability to purchase a building that had multiple rehearsal spaces, a recording studio and the ability to provide space for the community. Our new Center will be open to all. It is appropriate that the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, which started the LGBTQ choral movement 40 years ago, once again is leading the field.”

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