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SF Pledges $4.7M to Support Bruce Lee Exhibit, Other Asian, Latino Cultural Events

Written by Han LiPublished Feb. 04, 2022 • 11:37am

A comprehensive Bruce Lee exhibition and a new welcome center in Chinatown are two major highlights of Mayor London Breed’s recently announced plan to boost tourism and economic recovery in San Francisco.

The plan, unveiled Friday, directs $4.7 million of the city’s fiscal year budget to local community nonprofit organizations to host neighborhood events and activities, with targeted allocations for supporting arts and culture in Asian and Latino communities, which were hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

“San Francisco’s arts and culture scene showcases everything our city has to offer from our diverse communities,” Breed said in a statement, adding that people have historically traveled from “across the country and across the world to visit” San Francisco every year.

Curated by the Chinese Historical Society of America museum in Chinatown, the “We Are Bruce Lee” exhibition, which is slated to open this spring, is getting about $400,000 of the allocation. Another $600,000 will be used for building a new welcome center, gallery and a gift shop right next to the museum.

Bruce Lee
The “We Are Bruce Lee” exhibition in San Francisco Chinatown is set to open in mid-April. | Courtesy photo from Chinese Historical Society of America

Bruce Lee, the legendary movie star and martial arts master, was born at Chinese Hospital in San Francisco’s Chinatown. He remains an international icon and Chinatown hero years after his untimely death in 1973 at the age of 32.

Justin Hoover, the executive director of the museum, told The Standard that the exhibition’s installation is in progress and the planned opening date is mid-April. Visitors will see rarely displayed historical artifacts from Lee’s life and career.

Other major arts and cultural programs to receive the funding include Carnaval, the Mission District’s annual festival, currently scheduled for May 28-29; Generation Chinatown, an art initiative supporting Asian youth; the Chinatown Light and Arts Festival; Filipino art exhibits highlighting the legacy of the Manilatown community and more.

Breed’s plan also pledged 230 grants of $5,000 each for small businesses in Chinatown, which “had not previously received any Covid-19 relief grants from city programs.”

Han Li can be reached at

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