Our mission is to provide a safe and supportive public environment for the exploration of art, education, performance and community building. Through cooperative relationships and multidisciplinary programs, CELLspace encourages the celebration of intergenerational, cross-cultural collaborations and the promotion of social justice.

CELLspace Today
CELLspace simultaneously serves two key populations in the Mission District: at-risk youth and artists. We provide young adults a space to assemble and exhibit art, produce community events, organize and thus promote positive social change. We currently house nine visual arts studios, a 10,000 square foot performance space, adult arts education programming, a visual arts gallery, a metal shop, and woodshop.

By serving both youth and adults simultaneously, each population benefits from being exposed to the interests and experiences of one another - a rewarding experience that they may not get otherwise. CELLspace occasionally offers fiscal sponsorship for emerging community projects. We currently are the fiscal sponsor of the following projects: Green Depot Sustainable Solutions Project, HealthFuel, The Big Tadoo Puppet Crew, and the Hoffman Music Project.

CELLspace was founded on the Spring Equinox of 1996 when a group of artists and educators leased a former screen printing warehouse on Bryant Street to develop a communal workspace for collaborative and community based arts. This dedicated staff of volunteers nurtured and developed this vision over the years, and eventually filed for 501c3 (nonprofit) status. Events, classes, exhibits, and other types of arts and programming happened while the community developed the actual space inside of CELL, and grants soon came in to support our mission.

CELLspace recently grew in its scope and outreach, expanding its youth services to now offer after school arts classes, tutoring, counseling, off-site workshops, leadership opportunities, and vocational training.

A three year capital campaign helped a city mandated renovation project needed to obtain our Place of Entertainment permit, making us a legal venue for nighttime entertainment. Since our inception, we have provided affordable space for artists to develop their artistic mediums. This not only includes events and exhibits, but also the following: puppetry, circus arts, metalsmithing, fine arts, performing arts, craft making, music recording, and more.

As we head into our 13th year as a Mission District multi-use arts facility, we are embarking on a renewal of spirit and responsibility. Part of that responsibility is asking for all those who have felt the difference CELLspace has made in their lives to spread the word about all the new work done on the facility, and the new energy going into creating a sustainable structure for the future.

the collective

There's the space that is CELLspace, and then there is the CELL collective. the CELL is a volunteer group of artists and educators, working together in a horizontal framework to keep the many parts of the CELL functioning properly. These smaller parts of the space are called Clusters, which work a bit like committees in making more detailed decisions that pertain to their part of the space. The collective's horizontal framework consists of consensus-based decision making, where items are brought up at CELL meetings, solutions are sought, and the whole group shouts a pirate "Arrrrrrgh!" in unified approval.

Becoming a member of the collective begins by volunteering for one of the clusters. Once you've gotten plugged in and worked out the system, you may be able to represent your cluster at upcoming meetings.

CELL also tries to have frequent community meetings as well as open collective meetings, to have broader input in the decision making process. Community meetings are usually less formal, where the collective checks in with the neighborhood and allows for discussion. Open meetings allow people to attend a regular meeting to see how decisions get made. Guests will also be able to participate in the discussions of agenda items at open meetings.

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