About Us

The Luggage Store, also known as The 509 Cultural Center is a non profit artist run multidisciplinary arts organization, founded in 1987. We obtained our 501C3 non profit status in November, 1989.

Our mission is to build community by organizing multidisciplinary arts programming accessible to and reflective of the Bay Area’s residents. Our programs are designed to broaden social and aesthetic networks, and to encourage the flow of images and ideas between the diverse cultural communities that cross paths in our exceptionally dynamic downtown San Francisco neighborhood. To implement our mission, we organize exhibitions, performing arts events, arts education and public art programs designed to amplify the voices of the region’s diverse artists and residents, to promote inclusion and respect, to reduce inter-group tensions and to work towards dispelling the stereotypes and fears that continue to separate us.

We began an an all volunteer collective (17 members), predominantly of residents from the the former Aarti Cooperative Hotel at Ellis and Leavenworth, in 1987. We remained as a collective until about 1989, right about the time of the Lomo Prieta Earthquake. to be continued….

Creative Music-experimental/improvisational electronic noise and jazz
Performing Arts
Public Arts Programs – murals, Block by Block (The LIZ), Prototype Festival
Tenderloin National Forest (formerly known as Cohen Alley Project; GreenLab)
Artist in Residency Program
Short Cuts
Tenderloin Arts Collaboative:
Fresh From the Oven *(Amara Tabor Smith)
ABD Productions/Skywatchers – Ann Bluethenthal Dancers
Sewing for the People, Laurie Moyer + friends – every 15th of the month
Luggage Store projection Series/mobile projection unit;br>

Former Programs
In the Street Festival (11 years) maybe this will start up again…?
1000 Market Street (1994-2000)installations/performances in the windows