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Articles & Interviews

These Symphony-commissioned feature articles offer insights into the music you'll hear in the concert hall. We hope you'll find them provocative and entertaining.

Oct 15, 2018

Yes on Prop E: Support the Arts in San Francisco

"On election day, November 6, we have the opportunity to further enable the San Francisco’s arts community to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, by joining the chorus of SF voices in support of Prop E. It will fund arts programming for all ages, artists, and demographics, . . .  and develop cultural equity programs for underserved communities." - Mark C Hanson

As I sat in the hall for the opening weeks of our new season, I was reminded yet again of all that our music can do and the role that it can play. In those weeks, we supported young musicians and celebrated diversity at our Opening Gala. We honored community service organizations fighting for social justice at our All SF concerts. We added to the conversation around Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit in the powerful way that we could, through our music. The music did more than just inspire. It built shared connections and offered our audiences a place to impact social change.

In 1935, then-US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed that “music is good for the soul of the people” and urged citizens to support their local arts organizations. That same year, the people of San Francisco responded with a public commitment to fund the arts and their symphony like never before. It reinforced the mission of our founding 25 years earlier as an “orchestra for all.”

Next month offers two important and connected themes: We celebrate another legacy courtesy of Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt, as we honor the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights with two programs that echo our belief that music and access to the arts are just as much a human right. These programs feature MTT’s own From the Diary of Anne Frank and Beethoven’s call for unity, his transcendent Ninth Symphony.

Then, on election day, November 6, we have another opportunity to build on the Roosevelts’ legacies by strengthening San Francisco’s arts community and further enabling it to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We can join the chorus of San Francisco voices in support of Proposition E. Without raising taxes or taking away from other city services, this measure would restore funding that was established in 1961 to fund arts and culture in San Francisco. It will fund arts programming for all ages, artists, and demographics, allocated by Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission. The funding also calls for development of cultural equity programs for underserved communities and funding for Cultural Districts and Cultural Centers. For more information and to get involved, please visit and support the arts in San Francisco.

On behalf of the San Francisco Symphony, thank you for showing us how empowering music is in our community.

For more information about Proposition E, click here.

Mark C. Hanson 
CEO, San Francisco Symphony