The Cultural Districts program is a place-making and place-keeping program that preserves, strengthens and promotes cultural communities. There are ten Cultural Districts located across San Francisco, each embodying a unique cultural heritage.

The program is a partnership between community and City and is coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, in collaboration with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, SF Planning, and Arts Commission.

SOMA Pilipinas Mini Mural Festival
“Performers at the Mini Mural Festival” by SOMA Pilipinas Cultural District


San Francisco is known for being a sanctuary city full of cultural pride, and movements for justice and innovation. There are countless examples of how the City by the Bay has served as a lighthouse for those who envision a better life for themselves and their communities. Established in May 2018 and funded through Proposition E, the Cultural District Program builds on this San Francisco legacy by bringing Community leaders and City staff together to create change for a better present and future.

Photo shows crowd of supporters posing by "Black Trans Lives Matter" street mural
“Black Trans Lives Matter Mural” by Transgender Cultural District (Photo by: Gooch)


Cultural Districts work to safeguard cultural heritage and living traditions.

  • Stabilize: Preserve and promote diverse communities' cultural assets, events, and way of life.
  • Strengthen: Amplify and support the communities' cultural traditions and improve the quality of life for its members.
  • Streamline: Coordinate City and community information, partnerships, and resources.
Photo depicts a mural of Black and African American figures painted on the side of a building
“Tazuri Watu Mural” by SF African American Arts and Cultural District (Photo by: Nate Watson; Mural by Brooke Fancher)

How the Program Works

A Cultural District is formally created by the Board of Supervisors in partnership with the community. Cultural Districts:

  • Share resources and leverage programming to stabilize their community.
  • Connect community with City programs and efforts to increase reach and efficacy.
  • Foster cultural safety, pride, and improve the quality of life for community members.
Two dancers
“Traditional Mexican Folk Dancers” by Calle 24 Latino Cultural District

Children doing crafts at the SCCD Lunar New Year Event 2022
“Lunar New Year Event 2022” by Sunset Chinese Cultural District

Taiko drummers smiling during the JTCD Koho Launch event
“Taiko Drummers at KOHO Launch Event 2022” by Japantown Cultural District

San Francisco Cultural Districts

Japantown Cultural District

Japantown Cultural District

Western Addition, est. 2013

Japantown Cultural District works to preserve a culturally-regenerative, economically-vibrant, and authentic neighborhood who welcomes all, and aims to serve Japanese and Japanese American communities for many future generations to come.

Calle 24 (Veinticuatro) Latino Cultural District

Calle 24 (Veinticuatro) Latino Cultural District

Mission District, est. 2014

The Latino Cultural District will be an economically vibrant community that is inclusive of diverse income households and businesses that together compassionately embrace the unique Latino heritage and cultures of 24th Street and that celebrate Latino cultural events, foods, businesses, activities, art and music

SoMa Pilipinas Filipino Cultural District

SoMa Pilipinas Filipino Cultural District

South of Market, est. 2016

SoMa Pilipinas celebrates the community’s living legacy of making home, celebrating culture, building community and fighting for economic and racial justice in the rapidly gentrifying South of Market neighborhood.

Transgender Cultural District

Transgender Cultural District

Tenderloin, est. 2017

We create a thriving urban environment that fosters the rich history, culture, legacy, and empowerment of Transgender people and its deep roots in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

As the first legally recognized transgender district in the world, we focus on creating safe spaces for trans people that inspire economic advancement, leadership development, and community. 

Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District

Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District

South of Market, est. 2018

“United, we preserve, enhance, and advocate for the continuity and vitality of the Kinky and Queer communities of San Francisco’s Leather & LGBTQ Cultural District.” 

The South of Market neighborhood has served as an LGBTQ enclave since the 1950s with a long legacy of bars, restaurants, bathhouses, and other businesses associated with Leather subculture. 

African American Arts and Cultural District

African American Arts and Cultural District

Bayview Hunters Point, est. 2018

SFAAACD's mission is to advance, cultivate, enrich and advocate for African-American equity, cultural stability, vibrancy, and economic vitality in San Francisco’s African-American Arts & Cultural District.

Castro LGBTQ Cultural District

Castro LGBTQ Cultural District

Castro, est. 2019

“Preserving, sustaining, and promoting the queer history and culture of the Castro.” 

The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District supports the neighborhood’s history, fosters racial, ethnic and cultural diversity among its residents and businesses, and works to create a safe, beautiful, and inclusive space for LGBTQ and allied communities, for those who call this neighborhood home to those who visit it from around the world. 

American Indian Cultural District

American Indian Cultural District

Mission District, est. 2020

The American Indian Cultural District (AICD), located on Ramaytush Ohlone land, is the first established Cultural District of its size in the United States dedicated to recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the American Indian legacy, culture, people, and contributions.

Sunset Chinese Cultural District

Sunset Chinese Cultural District

Sunset, est. 2022

The Sunset Chinese Cultural District aims to preserve the authenticity and cultural richness of the Sunset's working-class families and seniors, as well as enhance its cultural assets and unique character. This neighborhood’s distinct identity holds historical, social, and political significance for the Chinese American community and the city of San Francisco overall.

Pacific Islander Cultural District

Pacific Islander Cultural District

Visitacion Valley and Sunnydale, est. 2022

Coming soon!

Community Based Planning

Cultural Districts lead a robust community engagement process and work alongside City departments to create to a legacy document and strategic plan aimed at fulfilling each District’s vision and goals. This plan, called the Cultural History, Housing, and Economic Sustainability Strategies (CHHESS) Report, serves as a roadmap of priorities and strategies for stabilizing the cultural community. The final reports are approved by the full Board of Supervisors by resolution and are revisited every three years.

View a map of the Cultural Districts.

Learn More

For more info, contact:
Grace Jiyun Lee
Cultural Districts Program Manager

Focus Areas & Strategies

Cultural Heritage Preservation

Cultural Heritage Preservation
  • Preserve, maintain, and develop unique cultural and historic assets
  • Preserve and promote significant assets such as buildings, businesses, organizations, traditions, practices, events- including venues/outdoor special events & their geographic footprints
  • Preserve works of art and public-facing physical elements/characteristics that have contributed to the history or cultural heritage or highlight people important to San Francisco history

Tenant Protections

Tenant Protections
  • Stop the displacement of residents of Cultural Districts who are members of vulnerable communities that define those Districts
  • Promote affordable housing opportunities and homeownership within the Districts
  • Develop and strengthen new tools to prevent displacement

Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
  • Attract and support artists, creative entrepreneurs, cultural enterprises and people that embody and promote the unique cultural heritage of the District especially those who were displaced.

Economic & Workforce Development

Economic & Workforce Development
  • Promote tourism to stabilize and strengthen the identity of the district while contributing to the district's economy.
  • Promote employment and economic opportunities for residents of Cultural District.

Land Use

Land Use
  • Create appropriate City regulations, tools, and programs such as zoning and land use controls that will promote and protect businesses and industries that advance the culture and history of Cultural Districts.

Cultural Competency

Cultural Competency
  • Promote cultural competency and education by diversifying historic narratives on the history of San Francisco's many diverse cultural and ethnic communities, with an emphasis on those who have been previously marginalized and misrepresented in dominant narratives.
  • Promote culturally competent and culturally appropriate City services and policies that encourage the health and safety of the community, culture, or ethnic groups in Cultural Districts.
  • Promote and strengthen collaboration between the City and communities to maximize cultural competency and pursue social equity.

Each Cultural District’s CHHESS Report includes a set of stabilization strategies that fall within six focus areas. The Community and City work together to ensure that the strategies reflect community priorities and are feasible. Put into practice, these community-driven approaches create change for a better present and future.

Article Series

Take an in-depth look at the history of the Cultural Districts, the residents they serve, and the partners supporting their vision.

“Mural "Showtime" at Oasis in San Francisco” by Rachel Z Photography


The Cultural Districts program brings together San Francisco Community leaders and City staff to actualize visions and create change for a better present and future.