Tools of the Trade - Performing Arts

Tools of the Trade Logo

Applications are now closed.

Tools of the Trade is a program of the Bayview Opera House, funded by the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development through the Dreamkeeper Initiative. The money comes from the San Francisco General Fund and is part of the 120 million dollars over 2 years that was reallocated from the police department for the direct benefit of the Black community in San Francisco.


Tools of the Trade is a workforce development program intended to primarily support Black San Francisco artists in their quest to become financially successful as artists. Bayview Opera House offers practical skill development in many areas that are not easily accessible elsewhere, but are needed to be successful in today's arts eco-system.

There will be two tracks of Tools of the Trade:

  • Performing arts (October 11 start, now closed)
  • Visual arts (November start, details tba)
    Performing arts Segments II and III (late November and January start, tba)

Tools of the Trade - Performing Arts
The Tools of the Trade performing arts program is centered around real live productions and events happening at the Bayview Opera House this year.

Tools of the Trade teaches elements of the many different creative and technical skills that are needed for any performing artist’s career, as well as aspiring technical artists, who work behind the scenes to create an environment the performer can shine in. Skills taught over the course of the 3-segment program include, but are not limited to:

  • • Production of complex performances that include many collaborators: artists in different genres, technicians, creative leaders and managers
  • • The creative thought process , its implementation and manifestation
  • • Lighting design, lightboard programming and operation
  • • Live sound, indoors and outdoors
  • • Sound and video recording of live performances
  • • Video projection as part of a performance
  • • Costume and set design
  • • Event planning and management
  • • Budgeting for events and performances
  • • Fundraising for artistic productions

Applications for Segment I of the 3-part program are now closed. Successful students are automatically eligible for the next two segments, but are not obligated to enroll in them as well. Participation in Segment 1 or equivalent experience is  a prerequisite for segments 2 and 3. Stay tuned for new application opportunities by signing up for the Dreamkeeper mailing list.

dreamkeeper and oewd logo

Tools of the Trade: Segment I

OP and BVOH header logos

Bayview Opera House has partnered with Opera Parallèle to present Segment I of the Tools of the Trade program. Opera Parallèle has commissioned and is producing a contemporary opera, Harriet’s Spirit, written by renowned San Francisco jazz musician and composer Marcus Shelby and librettist Roma Olvera. Performers will include three soloists, a 10-piece instrumental ensemble and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. The work will be performed at the Bayview Opera House.

Program Description and Guidelines
Schedule of Classes
About Harriet's Spirit

An educational stipend of $1,000 is available to all students who complete the program.

Applications are now closed, but watch this page for announcements about future sessions.


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