Cartoon Art Museum
Why We Like This Place
Just a hop-skip from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Moscone Convention Center, SFMOMA and the San Francisco Academy of Art, in what is becoming the increasingly artsy Mission corridor, is a cool and creative event space that might still be a bit of a secret. Whether you’re planning a company or social event, a zany product launch or a sophisticated, out-of-the-ordinary urban wedding reception, you don’t want to overlook the Cartoon Art Museum. Affairs here aren’t merely enjoyable; they are a blast.
Your experience begins in the contemporary, stainless steel and concrete lobby, where a big heart sculpture from the 2004 Hearts in San Francisco campaign greets guests warmly and a large black animation camera stand creates the perfect spot for guest photos. Or how about doing caricatures of some of the celebrants? The museum can easily recommend a talented cartoonist who can dash off keepsake sketches of guests.
Beyond the lobby, five galleries provide space for multiroom events with a flow that is totally art-astic. Galleries 1 and 2 on the left side of the museum are the largest and share a movable wall that allows for maximum event flexibility. Plan a ceremony, a sit-down affair or dinner and dancing here. The ceilings are high, the acoustics fine, and the treated concrete floors can handle plenty of action. All the lighting is on tracks and dimmers, which means it can be adjusted to make both the art and the partygoers look their best. Even the soft gray walls add a level of festivity and inspiration: They might feature artwork on loan for the rotating exhibits, or selections from the museum’s permanent 5,000-piece collection of original cartoon drawings and watercolors. Possibilities include early Mickey Mouse and Superman cels, as well as turn-of-the-century comic strips like George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. They even have underground comix from Robert Crumb and favorite Peanuts strips, not to mention dozens of other choices.
Galleries 4 and 5, which are situated on the left, are a bit smaller and better suited for more intimate gatherings or for food stations, cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. Set up bars or desert tables in one or both of the rooms. Here, too, the artwork can contribute to spirited conversation and keep guests merrily moving and mingling.
Gallery 3 in the back of the museum has a 42″ flat-panel TV monitor and doors leading to Minna Street and one of the neighborhood’s many large public parking structures. With easy access for caterers, it’s a terrific place to stage food service or situate more elaborate food presentations and buffets.
But why limit your planning to these options? Consider an evening that progresses from one gallery to the next, entertainers who roam the entire museum, or food from a different culture in every room. Whatever your vision, the experienced museum staff—well versed in art openings and other functions—can help make it smoothly take shape.
Best of all, the Cartoon Art Museum is a nonprofit organization, so not only is a portion of your rental fee tax deductible, your use of the gallery space also helps provide for arts programs.
Max. Seated Indoors: 120
Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
Max. Seated Indoors: 150
Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
Max. Standing Indoors: 250
Max. Standing Outdoors: 0
|Max. Seated: 120|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The site can accommodate 120 seated guests indoors.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The museum holds 150 seated or 250 standing indoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: The site holds 120 seated guests.
Fees & Deposits
A $500 deposit plus a refundable cleaning deposit is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 30 days prior to the event. Rental fees range $1,000–4,000. Liability insurance is required. A movable wall can be modified to open up the space for larger events for an additional fee ($100 weekdays, $200 weekends).
Year-round, all day on Mondays, and Tuesday–Sunday, 5pm–midnight.
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Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
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