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New Legacy Business: Performing Arts Workshop

Children participate in a Performing Arts Workshop Program.

A legacy business leads a new chapter for a historic landmark: One of the newest businesses to join the Legacy Business Registry is Performing Arts Workshop, an arts and education nonprofit founded by Gloria Unti in 1965. In 2020, Performing Arts Workshop began a 10-year lease to develop a cultural and performing arts space at the historic Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, a San Francisco landmark in the Excelsior District. The Car Barn, which began serving San Francisco’s first electrified streetcar line in 1901, recently completed the first phase of a $14 million renovation project, with Performing Arts Workshop activating the landmark as a hub for creativity, performance, and community connection.

A brief photographic history of the Geneva Car Barn, from the Friends of the Geneva Car Office Building & Powerhouse.

The first phase of renovations at the historic Geneva Car Barn & Powerhouse were completed in 2020. 

Gloria Unti began teaching dance in 1956 in Telegraph Hill, and as an instructor became increasingly interested in how movement could facilitate self-expression, empower youth, and advance social justice. She incorporated Performing Arts Workshop as a nonprofit in 1965, and today it provides arts instruction for more than 4,200 K-12 age youth each year, offering classes in dance, music, spoken word, theater, and other forms of expression.

Performing Arts Workshop offers free youth classes at the Car Barn and provides almost 100 annual residencies for K-12 age students. To learn more about their in-person and virtual opportunities, visit their website at

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