Bayview Opera House/ Barbara Ockel
If you're like many San Franciscans, the first thing you think of when you hear "Bayview" likely isn't an image of arts and culture. But there is a burgeoning art scene, one that encourages city kids and neighbors to take part in, and the place that hosts this all has hit a very large milestone. Happy 125th birthday, Bayview Opera House.
One of the oldest entertainment venues in San Francisco, the opera house was built in 1888 by Free Masons for use as a community center and place of entertainment -- and it has stayed true to its original purpose.
"It's always going to be a place that provides arts and entertainment for its community," says Bayview Opera House executive director Barbara Ockel.
Several years ago Ockel founded the Dare To Dream ARTS Youth Enrichment program, which she says has had a huge impact on both the Bayview Opera House and the surrounding community.
"Kids need somewhere to go during the summer," Ockel says of the summer program. "Last summer, we had over 600 kids come in... it's exciting and they have something to do. They have a positive experience at the opera house and tell their parents about it, so their parents feel more comfortable about it and about Bayview as a whole."More »