Cartoon Art Museum Secures Long-Term Lease in San Francisco

32-year-old nonprofit was also nominated as a Legacy Business

San Francisco, CA —The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the San Francisco Arts Commission today announced that the nonprofit Cartoon Arts Museum has secured a 10-year lease for exhibitions and educational programs at 781 Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf.

“Storytelling is a powerful way to put ideas into the world, and the Cartoon Art Museum has long been a home for diverse cultural and personal stories,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “I congratulate Cartoon Art Museum on its new home and look forward to returning when it opens its doors to the public next spring,” said Mayor Ed Lee.

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development provided ongoing assistance to the Cartoon Art Museum beginning in September 2013 when the museum was struggling with rent increases. OEWD stepped in and connected the Cartoon Art Museum with real estate assistance, leading to their enrollment in the City’s Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program. This assistance helped Cartoon Art Museum locate an affordable administrative office when they had to vacate their former space, and provided a $30,000 grant to assist with relocation through a competitive bid process from the San Francisco Arts Commission in partnership with the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) and the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST).

“We launched the Mayor’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative in 2015 to help nonprofits like the Cartoon Art Museum by connecting them with resources and assisting them during key transitions. I am pleased the Office of Economic and Workforce Development together with our partners in the arts were able to provide much needed support to the Cartoon Art Museum. Our combined efforts ensure citywide access to arts and culture resources that people of all ages can enjoy,” said Todd Rufo, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The Cartoon Art Museum was also recently nominated as a legacy business by the Mayor. Their nomination is one of three arts and culture nominations by the Mayor that will be considered by the Small Business Commission on Monday, November 28.

“We are thrilled about the Museum's new location in Fisherman's Wharf,” said San Francisco Arts Commission President JD Beltran. “The Bay Area and the Cartoon Art Museum have been pioneers in fostering recognition for this essential art form. The new space offers so many more possibilities for the Cartoon Art Museum to reach new audiences, show a broader range of work, involve emerging artists and expand classes for youth. We congratulate the Museum’s leadership on this wonderful new chapter.”

“The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development has been a responsive ally in the Cartoon Art Museum’s search for a new, long-term home. They connected us with critical resources early on and have been a key partner throughout this process,” said Summerlea Kashar, executive director of the Cartoon Art Museum. “Our Museum’s community of artists, staff and supporters is stronger than ever and this includes our City partners.”

The Lee administration’s investments has helped dozens of nonprofits secure space over the past two years. Through the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program, forty organizations have been awarded $2.25 million in financial assistance, and secured leases of three years or more that in total occupy over 250,000 square feet of space. Securing long-term homes for San Francisco’s nonprofits has also resulted in preserving 500 full-time and 249 part-time jobs citywide. The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative is a collaboration between the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Arts Commission, and other key partners.

Nonprofits seeking information about city grants, pro bono resources and real estate resources can visit For more information about the Cartoon Art Museum, visit


PDF icon 11.14.16 Press Release-Cartoon Art Museum Secures Long Term Lease.pdf


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