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San Francisco Arts Commission and Heyday announce new book San Francisco Arts for the City—Civic Art and Urban Change

San Francisco Arts Commission and Heyday announce new book San Francisco Arts for the City—Civic Art and Urban Change, 1932–2012 on Bookshelves April 1, 2013.

History and art buffs alike can journey back in time and discover the events, politics and creativity that shaped San Francisco’s physical and cultural landscape. Commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission and published by the Berkeley-based Heyday, San Francisco: Arts for the City—Civic Art and Urban Change, 1932-2012 is written by New York Times best-selling author Susan Wels (Amelia Earhart: For the Thrill of It). In Arts for the City, Bay Area-based Wels chronicles the role of the Arts Commission as the force behind the city’s evolution into an urban center filled with world-class painting, sculpture, music, dance, literature and community arts programs.

The book begins with the building of Coit Tower in 1934 and the years of debate and artistic passion that went into its creation. Coit Tower was one of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s first projects, and it set the tone for the next eighty years of public art in the city. Wels traces the development of the city’s public arts scene from the WPA era through the creative upheaval of the mid-century, the digital boom of the nineties to today. From the Ethnic Dance Festival to slam poetry performances at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Arts for the City tells the story of an urban landscape where diversity, creative energy and political activism are reflected in civic art that is bold and innovative and where citizens take pride in vigorous, often contentious, creativity. Illustrated with rare archival images and photographs by distinguished Bay Area contemporary photographers such as Todd Hiddo, Richard Barnes and Catherine Wagner, and artwork from the city’s Civic Art Collection of over four thousand artworks, the book is a celebration of a uniquely fascinating American city.

About the Author
Susan Wels has written seventeen books, including The New York Times best-selling Titanic: Legacy of the World’s Greatest Ocean Liner, California Academy of Sciences: Architecture in Harmony with Nature, and Amelia Earhart: The Thrill of It. She is an author who specializes in history and an award-winning editor. She lives in San Francisco.

Where to Buy
San Francisco: Arts for the City
is available through bookstores, major book distributors including Ingram, Baker and Taylor, and other distribution centers, or by contacting Heyday directly at (510) 549-3564, ext. 304, via fax at (510) 549-1889, by email at [email protected], or by visiting our website at

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