(SAN FRANCISCO, CA): The Haight Street Art Center today announced the hiring of Kelly Harris as its new executive director. Harris brings 10 years of diverse experience to the Art Center in the areas of communications, fundraising, program development, management, and artistic performance.
In addition to her professional experience, the Lower Haight resident is passionate about the history of San Francisco from the 1960s & 1970s, and how it has contributed to the way the world embraces art and music as a vehicle to effect social change.
“In its first three years, the Haight Street Art Center established itself as a community resource that promotes poster art and artists,” said co-founder Roger McNamee. “Kelly Harris is the ideal person to lead the Center so that it achieves its potential as an agent of positive social and cultural change.
“The Haight Street Art Center Board extends its gratitude to our founding executive director, Peter McQuaid, for bringing the Center to life and making it a key contributor to San Francisco’s arts community. We look forward to Peter’s ongoing contributions to the Haight Street Art Center and affiliated projects.”
Harris most recently served as a mission engagement manager for Openhouse, LGBTQ Senior Housing, Community & Services in Lower Haight. Over the past three years at Openhouse, she managed the organization’s fundraising efforts. Previously, Harris spent three years with the Institute on Aging where she oversaw its daily operations, also implementing music and art programs.
Her connections to music and the arts are deep. Harris co-created and operated the Lucky Alley Gallery for three years after spending five years with the all-girl electro soul-punk San Francisco-based group Von Iva, as a writer, performer, and producer of three albums. Harris also wrote the music and performed in the Jim Carrey film, “Yes Man.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Haight Street Art Center,” said Harris. “The Center is poised to build on the momentum of the recent exhibits focused on social justice, along with continuing to hold the rich history of poster art. I look forward to becoming a part of the effort to bring the Art Center to the next level, centering the voices of artists that propel positive cultural change as well as continuing to provide a venue that enriches and engages the Lower Haight community and beyond.”
Harris is a 1997 graduate of the University of San Francisco and was a two-time student-athlete of the year as a volleyball player.
The Haight Street Art Center promotes the advancement of poster art and artists to enable poster/graphic art and artists to thrive and continue to enrich American popular culture. Drawing upon the influence of San Francisco’s counterculture history, the Art Center provides educational and engaging experiences through art, music, exhibitions, and public programs to create community, encourage personal exploration and inspire action toward positive cultural change.