San Francisco Jazz (SFJAZZ) is one of the largest performing arts organizations in the Bay Area, sponsoring over 100 performances each year.  SFJAZZ has a dual mission — to explore the full spectrum of jazz, from the music’s origins to its diverse present-day expression, and to educate and inform the public and students through a range of programs aimed at youth in the City’s public schools.

SFJAZZ will be building its first permanent home aptly named the SFJAZZ Center.  It will be one of the first facilities in the country designed specifically for jazz music. Beyond increased production capacity, the center will be able to expand its education programming and the services it provides to low-income youth. Chief among these programs is Jazz in the Middle (JIM), a curriculum for San Francisco middle schools that integrates jazz learning with history lessons on the African slave trade.  The Center will be a ±35,000 performance space in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Among the key features of the Center will be a state-of-the-art 700-seat auditorium; an 80-seat multi-purpose ensemble room; rehearsal and digital lab spaces; and a sidewalk-level café.

In order to meet its timeline of completing the center by late 2012, SFJAZZ has requested a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to cover its temporary funding gap and move the Project forward. Community Vision provided a $7.4 million NMTC allocation combined with allocations from three other Community Development Entities (CDEs) to meet this request. U.S. Bank (USB)—the largest NMTC investor in the country—will be the investor for the SFJAZZ Center.

SFJAZZ currently employs 26 full-time staff and nearly 200 independent contractors annually.  With the completion of the center, SFJAZZ expects to add up to 24 administrative staff, production stagehands, front-of-house, maintenance, and other building operations staff, and 6 to 10 service and cook staff for the on-site cafe. SFJAZZ will also introduce an internship program in which local students will gain experience as stage crew, lighting, and sound assistants.

Community Vision is proud to be a partner with SFJAZZ in the building of their new center. Not only will the center enrich the community with its vibrant musical performances, but it will also create much-needed jobs in the Bay area.