Program Support

To support our mission, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco offer an extensive array of education and public programs for audiences of all ages that complement our special exhibitions and permanent collections. The Museums are further committed to caring for and preserving our holdings, conducting and presenting in-depth collections-based research, training and mentoring young conservators, and providing greater access to the collection for scholars, students, and the general public.

For more information about exhibition support, please contact Karen Huang, Senior Director of Individual & Major Giving, at or 415.750.8940.


The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Education department offers programs for schools, educators, families, and the public. These foster connections, expand knowledge, broaden perspectives, create community, and stimulate curiosity and dialogue among diverse audiences of all ages. Last year, approximately 250,000 children, youths, and adults participated in our programs.

Programs in particular need of sponsorship include the following:

K–12, College, and Family Programs

Our award-winning educational programming offers a plethora of opportunities for philanthropic support of the Museums and the community. Available sponsorships include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Get Smart with Art is a set of grade-specific curricula, tours, and projects that are uniquely designed to help K–12 students investigate the connections between their history, language, and visual arts lessons and the Museums’ collections.
  • Past and Present: Building Museum Literacy at the Legion of Honor is an arts-integrated curriculum for sixth-grade students that uses the Museums’ ancient art collection to enliven historical studies and foster student understanding of the cultures that developed in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
  • Special Exhibition Mondays opens the Museums’ special exhibition galleries exclusively for school groups on days when the museums are closed to the public, offering students unique engagement opportunities with major exhibitions such as Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis.
  • The Museum Ambassador program is a professional development and leadership-building program that trains and employs local high school students to become museum educators and guides.
  • Doing and Viewing Art is a participatory program that invites families into the museums on Saturdays for gallery tours followed by related hands-on art projects led by professional artists.
  • The New Generations Student Showcase invites local students to exhibit works of art in relation to a specific theme or special exhibition at the de Young.

Public Programs

The Museums’ public programs, including the following, provide enjoyable and accessible ways to engage with and be inspired by art:

  • Artist Studio offers artists month-long residencies in the de Young’s Kimball Education Gallery to introduce the public to their creative processes.
  • Films and Musical Performances are presented at the de Young and the Legion of Honor to complement the collections and exhibitions.
  • Friday Nights at the de Young runs weekly from March through November and offers live music, hands-on art-making activities, lectures, films, artist demonstrations, docent tours, and other activities aimed at enhancing engagement with the permanent collection and special exhibitions.
  • Opening Day Festivals celebrate special exhibitions; recent events marked the openings of Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George and Anders Zorn: Sweden’s Master Painter.
  • Weekend Programs, at both the de Young and the Legion of Honor, offer a diverse schedule of events for the public, from lectures and talks to dance classes and more.


The conservation and care of artworks is an integral part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s stated purpose to hold our collections in trust for future generations. Objects, paintings, and textiles each have separate and dedicated conservation laboratories at the de Young, while the Legion of Honor houses our paper conservation laboratory. Following internationally established standards to maintain the aesthetic and physical integrity of works of art, staff members strive for the highest quality in their work and documentation.

Individual donors and institutional funders provide critical support for these efforts. Gifts to our conservation program help to sustain the preservation and study of the Museums’ collections for the benefit of both scholars and the general public.