Architect Mark Cavagnero to Design CMC’s Expanded Mission District Campus

PR Contact:
Sonia Caltvedt, Marketing Director
Community Music Center
(415) 647-6015 x75

Architect Mark Cavagnero to Design Community Music Center’s
Expanded Mission District Campus

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 20, 2014) — Community Music Center (CMC), a non-profit music school with the mission of making music accessible to all, has announced the selection of renowned architect Mark Cavagnero for an exciting  and critical  campus expansion project.

To meet a growing need for high quality, affordable music lessons in the Bay Area, Community Music Center purchased the property next door to its Mission District Branch in September of 2012. Gifts from CMC’s Board of Directors and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, coupled with financing from the Northern California Community Loan Foundation made this ambitious step possible. The timing couldn’t have been better: CMC’s Mission branch is at capacity, with waiting lists for prime lesson times and offsite teaching due to limited classroom space.

Says Executive Director Christopher Borg, “We believe that music transforms lives and that everyone should have access to a high quality music education.  The expanded campus will prepare Community Music Center well for our second century of serving Bay Area residents.”

Integrating the Victorian next door to CMC’s home at 544 Capp Street will nearly double the center’s capacity to offer music lessons and classes. When the campus is completed, students, faculty, staff and performers will enjoy more teaching studios, ensemble rehearsal spaces, work areas, and a state-of-the-art renovated concert hall.

Architect Mark Cavagnero was selected in part for his deep understanding of how architecture creates and fosters community.  His unique and thoughtful approach to leading an organization through the design process makes him the clear choice for this project.  In partnership with Community Music Center stakeholders, Cavagnero will develop a solution that best captures CMC’s identity and meets its needs while being mindful of cost.  Mark Cavagnero Associates has won many awards and is responsible for the acclaimed new SFJAZZ Center, as well as the innovative renovations of the Oakland Museum and the historic East Bay Center for Performing Arts.

Mark Cavagnero shares CMC’s enthusiasm for an enhanced and expanded presence in the Mission District: “Community Music Center’s lovely campus has been an important player in San Francisco’s cultural and community life. It is with great excitement that we begin our journey of taking CMC to an even higher level of music instruction and performance, all the while reinforcing the community connection in a city searching for just such opportunities.”

To manage the project, CMC has engaged Equity Community Builders (ECB), a real estate developer with a focus on responsible development that contributes to the strength and vitality of neighborhoods and communities. ECB has worked with clients such as the East Bay Center for Performing Arts and Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage Coffee House.

Community Music Center is in the early stages of raising funds for this $10-12 million project.


About Community Music Center:

Community Music Center is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization founded in 1921 with the mission of making high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of their financial status. CMC is the Bay Area’s oldest community arts organization and San Francisco’s largest provider of free and low-cost music classes and concerts. During the 2012-13 school year, over 2,300 students of all ages, ethnicities and income levels enrolled in CMC programs and over 19,000 people enjoyed musical performances at no or low cost. Learn more at