Just days before San Francisco’s annual Pride Celebration, the city’s supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance to recognize the Castro District as a cultural district.
The neighborhood, famed for being welcome to all, will be known as the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District.
The cultural district designation will now allow for more funding and resources for the neighborhood, according to Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who serves as the neighborhood’s supervisor and also authored the ordinance.
“The Castro has been recognized worldwide for half a century as a symbol of LGBTQ liberation and as an enclave for LGBTQ people to find safety, acceptance, and chosen family,” Mandelman said in a statement.
“The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District will be an important tool to ensure that the Castro remains a vibrant LGBTQ neighborhood well into the future,” he said.
The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District is now one of the city’s many cultural districts, including the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District in South of Market and the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District in the Tenderloin.
“The Castro has renowned anchor businesses that are synonymous with San Francisco like the Castro Theatre, Cliff’s Variety and Twin Peaks Tavern. It is host to many community organizations including the Castro Country Club, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Strut and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. History has been made in the neighborhood at sites like Harvey Milk’s Camera Shop and the storefront where the AIDS Memorial Quilt was conceived,” Mandelman said.
With the new designation, the Castro District is now eligible for a portion of the $3 million in dedicated funding for cultural districts, which was created by voter-approved Proposition E, which shifted some hotel tax revenue toward arts and cultural purposes, in November 2018.