San Francisco Mayor London Breed and City Administrator Carmen Chu announced the appointment Thursday of Vallie Brown to the role of director of its main agency for nonprofit arts and culture funding, Grants for the Arts.
Brown comes to the job as a strong ally of Mayor Breed's.
The two women go back a long way, first meeting in the early 2000s when Breed ran San Francisco’s African American Arts and Culture Complex and Brown was a community activist in the Haight. When Breed was a city supervisor, Brown was one of her aides. When Breed became Mayor in 2018, Brown took over the District 5 supervisor seat, which she lost in 2019 to a progressive, Dean Preston.
A former sculptor who specialized in metalwork, Brown said she won the job because of her many years in City Hall and her background fighting for equity for arts programming in underserved neighborhoods.
"I think my experience speaks for itself," Brown told KQED in a video interview shortly after her appointment was announced. "As we know, the city administrator and the mayor are your bosses, and so they have to feel like they can put someone in there that they can trust and that also can push their agenda. And I know Mayor Breed has been very vocal about equity as her agenda."