Excerpt cut from a recent text
The conditions for artists in San Francisco have become increasingly precarious since the dot.com boom and bust of the late 1990s. Housing prices have ballooned as has the cost of living. In the US, California suffers from the least state funding for the arts as a result of the professionalization and privatization of the arts that began in the Reagan years and continues under the pressures of neoliberal capitalism. The aftershocks of the culture wars continue to be felt on a national level as a general mistrust of artists as a political liability, despite growing audiences at major museums. The San Francisco Bay Area, however, has been feted as an oasis for the newly identified “creative class” which have, for better and worse, influenced policy makers and real-estate developers who see a thriving culturati as an important register in a city’s quality of life index.