Million Fishes closed in October of 2012 due to the social, economic and political forces known as gentrification. Some feel that we, as artists, participated in this process. We feel the loss of our own home, but we also mourn the fast-track erasure of a neighborhood we love. Read our thoughts about Million Fishes and Gentrification.
Million Fishes was an incubation program in San Francisco where emerging artists of visual art, filmmaking, choreography / dance, music, conceptual art, new media, interactive art, interarts, and writing could build the tools necessary to establish themselves as contributors. It was located at 2501 Bryant Street (at 23rd Street), and began its operations in November 2003.
For nine years, Million Fishes nurtured artists by creating an environment in which they could create, critique, present, teach, and develop the concepts and skills involved in producing art and sharing it with others. By making accessible the programs’ new emerging artwork and projects, Million Fishes became a resource to the extended artist community in the Mission District.
The Ranch had it’s own special charm—it was rustic, wild, and weird. With its rough-hewn exposed beams and wooden floors, the two-floor building was like a country house: a labyrinthine mixture of minds and media, filed with machines, tools, paintings, clay, wood, metal, houseplants,and other odds and ends.
People were always coming and going, working, hanging out, or using the communal areas for art exhibitions, storytelling events, open studios, etc. There was nothing else like it.
By 2008, the Ranch was firmly on the map as an established art community, with professionals and artists having worked there continuously from its inception.
In June 2004, however, the Ranch received a thirty-day eviction notice. The Bay Area real estate boom had reached the Bayview. Thirty artists were displace, many of them not likely to be able to afford a Bay Area art space.