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Project Status: In Operation

CounterPulse, a staple in San Francisco’s art scene for over 30 years, has long been a catalyst for experimental and interdisciplinary dance and performance, providing space, support, and advocacy for artists.

80 Turk Street. Photo by Scott Fin

CounterPulse Groundbreaking, 2016.

CounterPulse Main Stage. Photo by Cesar Rubio

Mixtape of the Dead and Gone #1. Photo by Robbie Sweeny

Photo by Rachel Ziegler

CAST acquired the former adult theater on Turk Street to further its goal of securing permanent art space in the Central Market/Tenderloin area. Previously known as the Dollhouse, the building offered a rare opportunity for purchase as it was already designed to be a theater. It was poised to become the new home for CounterPulse, a dynamic community arts organization renown for experimental performing arts, whose affordable lease in SoMa was coming to an end in 2012.


CounterPulse provides space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators and serves as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art, performance, and culture. For the past 7 years, CounterPulse has been thriving in its location at 80 Turk St, bringing together communities and audiences from around the globe to create and experience innovative artworks.

In February 2015, CAST and CounterPulse officially broke ground on the construction project, which included an interior renovation to the existing historic two-story concrete frame building and full basement. In March 2016, CounterPulse moved into the building, now a newly transformed, vibrant performing arts space that includes two rehearsal studios, office space and a three-story lobby with full ADA access for performers with limited mobility. CAST, in partnership with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, has helped build CounterPulse’s organizational capacity to purchase the building after a period of seven years.

CounterPulse celebrates their building purchase, February 2023. Photo by Rachel Ziegler


After completing their successful capital campaign to secure their stage in early 2023, CounterPulse has purchased the building back from CAST and reached their goal of establishing a permanent home for the arts.

CounterPulse Artistic & Executive Director Julie Phelps and CAST CEO Moy Eng at the building purchase celebration, February 2023. Photo by Rachel Ziegler

Read about CounterPulse’s success story

Related Press:

Julie Phelps

Artistic & Executive Director


The success of our collaboration with CAST has forged an important new model for how artists and communities can realistically afford to own properties that benefit their local neighborhoods, cities, and the global network of cultural exchange.

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