Applause! SF’s Performing Arts Hub

Neighborhood: Hayes Valley


Heard about the gold rush? Know that early San Francisco’s reputation was for booze, brawls, and brothels? Heard that today’s “rush” is from the city being fertile ground for technology entrepreneurs?  Right?  And ask about the history of music here, people will likely first mention psychedelic rock. All true.

But on this tour you will discover another San Francisco, a city that went bonkers for opera (sung in saloons!) in the 1800s, founded a symphony that was the first to offer radio broadcasts of its entire season to the nation nearly 100 years ago, nurtured a ballet company (and school) that choreographers love for the dancers’ classical and contemporary skills, and most recently didn’t listen to reports of jazz being dead and instead built a world recognized jazz center. Learn about the people who made this happen and the present-day collaborations growing the next generation of musicians, dancers, and actors.

Join us to hear the astonishing story of San Francisco’s performing arts—opera, symphony, ballet, and jazz—their path of development, and their homes here in San Francisco’s Performing Arts Hub. Nestled together within a handful of blocks are more than 15 venues and seats for over 11,000 patrons. Speaking of homes, we won’t go inside, but you’ll get a crash course in their architecture and learn about their performing spaces. And, speaking of seats, you’ll want to grab one to experience a future performance first-hand!

Next Tours

  • Sunday, February 5 at 10:00 am given by Gail MacGowanSign Up
  • Sunday, February 19 at 10:00 am given by Renee BergerSign Up
  • Sunday, March 5 at 10:00 am given by Renee BergerSign Up
  • Sunday, March 12 at 10:00 am given by Gail MacGowanSign Up
  • Sunday, March 19 at 10:00 am given by Gail MacGowanSign Up
View Calendar


Tour Length: Approximately 2 hours


Meet at 55 Oak Street.

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Please note: Private groups tours required for groups of 8 or more.