sf|noir is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001, highlighting and celebrating African American arts and culture, both as innovator and interpreter, and also recognizing the interpretations of other cultures to uniquely Black art forms—helping to make our collective experiences richer.
sf|noir began as a multi-disciplinary arts organization highlighting the contributions and excellence of African Americans to arts and culture. It also was a direct response to the diminishing Black presence in San Francisco to ensure the positive and dynamic representation of the culture in the face of a continued exodus of creative and intellectual Black capital from the city.
sf|noir is proud of the community it's cultivated and has remained on the cutting-edge of arts programming, producing innovative shows that speak to all audiences. The 85th Anniversary Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald featured Grammy award-winning singer Ledisi, backed by the 15-piece Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra. Hip Hop: A World View included partnerships with Alliance Francaise, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and Goethe-Institut to present a sold-out symposium on global hip-hop culture. Our events have honored the literary legacy of June Jordan, explored the connections between Marvin Gaye and contemporary dance, highlighted the contributions of Black visual artists, and provided San Francisco students with museum tours, educational workshops, film screenings and much more.
One of the more compelling powers of the arts is its ability to connect communities and bring diverse audiences together, and the preservation and representation of Black arts and expression are critical to maintaining San Francisco’s standing as a diverse, cosmopolitan center of culture.