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APEC forces closure of downtown San Francisco museum

The exterior of atwo-story arts center is shown without people.
Because of its proximity to the Moscone Center, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will close during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. | Source: Courtesy George Rose/Getty Images

Street closures related to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit may wreak considerable havoc on the day-to-day lives of San Francisco residents when the economic conference begins next week. Several lanes of the Bay Bridge and much of the city’s South of Market neighborhood will be closed to traffic—and on Tuesday, one of the city’s major arts institutions announced that it, too, will temporarily shutter.

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, known as YBCA, will close for a full week, from Nov. 13-19. Located on the city block bounded by Mission, Howard, Third and Fourth streets, it’s an arts complex containing a museum, a theater and other exhibition spaces, all of which are essentially across the street from the Moscone Center, which is to be APEC’s main site.

It’s therefore inside the security perimeter, necessitating the closures. Notably, Yerba Buena Gardens, the park-like green space surrounding the arts center will also be closed to the public unless they have an APEC credential or are traveling to a specific business or residence.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to welcoming you back to YBCA on Wednesday, November 22, 2023,” the art center told supporters by email.

Yerba Buena’s current exhibition is “Bay Area Now 9,” a multidisciplinary show with 30 artists’ work spread across the campus.

SFMOMA, Downtown San Francisco’s other major art museum, will remain open during APEC. However, because of security concerns, tickets for Nov. 14-17 will only be sold in person.