As a performance space, the Red Poppy Art House presents a diverse and international program of artists working in both traditional and contemporary performing arts. The Art House produces an average of 150 multi-disciplinary performance events per year, featuring music, poetry, dance, and literary events, as well as offering workshops and lectures.
Diversity & Cultural Exchange
The culturally diverse programming at the Red Poppy offers an intimate window into the rich and complex intersection of cultural traditions and contemporary trends, both locally in the Bay Area and internationally throughout the world. Through its programming, the Red Poppy stands as a meeting point for cultures and communities.
Quality of Performance Context
Our choice of small-scale presentation is based on the recognition of the historic, often pivotal, role played by tiny and informal venues in the incubation of some of the world’s greatest art forms and most certainly as the site of many of the most sublime moments of creative human expression. Such settings draw out the subtlety and nuance of an artist’s craft. These venues are increasingly rare in the U.S. due to their unsustainability in a market economy that necessitates a larger capacity venue in order to meet financial demands. The Red Poppy affirms the rightful place of the intimate performance space within the cultural domain, regardless of challenges posed.
Funding the Local Arts Economy
Through hosting 150 yearly performances, the Red Poppy channels a steady stream of revenue into the local arts economy, making a significant difference to the livelihood of local artists while maintaining the viability of its own operations.
Developing a Collective Artistic Base
Through our performance program, we come to know an ever-increasing number of artists from a multiplicity of disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Over time, many artistic relationships have formed. As artists, presenters, cultural thinkers, and community members come to know one another, a stronger artistic community begins to emerge, gaining momentum and depth, giving artists a greater voice and a more meaningful relationship to the broader community of which they are a part.
The Red Poppy Performance Philosophy
Part of the Red Poppy’s goal is to give greater value to the arts. After all, arts and culture are what has given San Francisco its unique character. With this in mind, we strive to support the local arts community by treating our performers fairly. We encourage our guests to join us in participating in the spirit of this endeavor.
Door admissions from our shows are always split with our performing artists. The majority of this amount goes directly to the performers, while a small percentage goes to directly to supporting the overall operating costs of the Red Poppy and mainly, our rent! We offer this arrangement knowing that the revenue is not nearly sufficient to cover our own overhead and staff stipends (for which we seek support through individual donations, grants, and other fundraising initiatives) but believing in the importance of supporting artists as well as the arts.
We invite our guests to consider their contribution at performances not as a monetary payment but as a direct “audience grant” supporting the arts economy of San Francisco. We ask that they consider the value of a two-hour experience of the arts ($10–$20 for a ticket) as compared to other valued experiences.
*Please note that we do not sell advance tickets for our performing arts events. Tickets can only be purchased at the door with cash. We will sell advance tickets if the artist specifically makes a request for it. There has generally been no issue with people being turned away at the door for lack of tickets/seats. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work towards establishing a more up-to-date ticket sales system at the Red Poppy.