Stern Grove Festival
832 Folsom Street, Suite 1000
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: 415.252.6252 Fax: 415.252.6250 info@sterngrove.org

About

Stern Grove Festival Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make live musical experiences accessible to all.

Every year since 1938, the organization presents Stern Grove Festival, a free concert series, in Sigmund Stern Grove, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco.

In 2019 Stern Grove Festival presents its 82nd Season of free concerts from June 16 through August 18, 2019.

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About Stern Grove Festival

Board

Stern Grove Festival Board of Directors

Douglas E. Goldman, Chairman
Matthew Goldman, Vice Chairman
Jason E. Goldman, Treasurer
David Sikes, Secretary
Elizabeth Shepherd Bourgeois
Britt A. Deyan
Jennifer R. Goldman
Erin Hastings
Melissa Hung
David Katznelson
Jordan Kurland
Fiona Ma
Danielle Madeira
Kimberlea McManigal
Robin W. Michel
Morton A. Pactor
Bert Polacci
Stephen B. Ruben
Deva Santiago
Mark C. Schulze
Aaron P. Waxman

 

Staff

Bob Fiedler
Executive Director
bfiedler@sterngrove.org

 

Audrey Faine
Director of Marketing
afaine@sterngrove.org

 

Esther Flaharty
Development Manager
eflaharty@sterngrove.org

 

Amy Haltom
Outreach and Education Manager
ahaltom@sterngrove.org

 

Joseph Lafond
Director of Operations
jlafond@sterngrove.org

 

Judy Tsang
Director of Programming
jtsang@sterngrove.org

 

Ilana Vasconcelos
Director of Development
ivasconcelos@sterngrove.org

 

 

Contact

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Questions? Comments?

Email: info@sterngrove.org

Stern Grove Festival Association
832 Folsom Street, Suite 1000
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: 415.252.6252
Fax: 415.252.6250

 

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Blog

Keep up to date, go behind the scenes and learn more about the Festival on our blog.

 

 

News & Media

PRESS INQUIRIES AND PHOTO REQUESTS

Photographs of Stern Grove Festival are available to authorized press representatives.

Please contact: Audrey Faine, Director of Marketing at afaine@sterngrove.org.

 

Articles, Press Releases and Interviews

Press Releases:

Interviews: 

Articles:

Jobs

Volunteer Coordinator

House Manager

Production Assistant

Artist Assistant

A2 Sound Technician

Stagehand

Driver

 

 

History

Rosalie M. Stern purchased Stern Grove and gave it as a gift to the City of San Francisco in 1931, in memory of her husband Sigmund, a prominent civic leader.

George Greene originally homesteaded the Grove, a tract of sand dunes and marshes, in the 1840's. The Greene family planted the first eucalyptus trees in the Grove and built the Trocadero Inn, a popular recreation spot until its closure in 1916.

Marveling at the Grove's natural acoustics, Mrs. Stern determined that the site would be preserved as a park in which the public could enjoy admission-free music, dance, and theater performances.

On June 4, 1932, Stern Grove was dedicated. Two weeks later, the San Francisco Symphony played the first concert in the Grove. Mrs. Stern, then President of the San Francisco Recreation Commission, formed the non-profit Stern Grove Festival Association in 1938, stipulating that all concerts were to be free to the public and designed for everyone's enjoyment.

Mrs. Stern chaired the Festival until her death in 1956. Her daughter, Elise Stern Haas, served as chairman until 1969; she was succeeded by her daughter, Rhoda Haas Goldman. Following Rhoda Goldman's untimely death in 1996, her son, Dr. Douglas E. Goldman, became Festival Chairman.

Today Stern Grove, a natural amphitheater surrounded by giant eucalyptus, redwood, and fir trees, is one of Northern California's favorite concert sites.

In keeping with Mrs. Stern's vision, the wide selection of performers reflects the Festival's commitment to exceptional programming and to serving diverse audiences. A beloved Bay Area tradition, every summer Sunday, family and friends gather to relax, picnic, and enjoy performances by some of the world's greatest artists in this glorious natural setting.

While Stern Grove itself is still owned and operated by the City of San Francisco, and Mrs. Stern's descendants remain actively involved, today the Festival is truly a community institution. Each year, the Festival must raise nearly $3 million to produce concerts and related outreach and education programs. Individual donors, volunteers, foundations, government agencies, and businesses provide the generous support that makes it all possible.

Stern Grove Festival has brought eight decades of the best performing arts — completely admission-free — to the people of the Bay Area. With your ongoing help, the Festival can continue for generations to come.

 

Festival Timeline

1847
Stern Grove site homesteaded by Alfred Greene and his wife.
Alfred Greene's nephew, George, plants the first eucalyptus trees on the property.

April 21, 1869
Rosalie Meyer is born.

1892
Alfred Greene builds the "Trocadero Inn", a suburban resort.

October 3, 1892
Sigmund Stern and Rosalie Meyer marry in San Francisco, at her parents' home on the corner of Pine and Gough.

1919
Rosalie Meyer Stern joins the San Francisco Playground Commission and, with Sigmund, begins a search for a suitable property to donate to the City for recreational purposes.

April 24, 1928
Sigmund Stern passes away.

April 14, 1931
Rosalie Meyer Stern buys the Greene family's 12 acres of land for $50,000. She names the site Sigmund Stern Grove in honor of her husband.

September 16, 1931
Mrs. Stern offers the Grove to San Francisco Mayor Angelo Rossi to be used expressly for recreational activities. Renovation work begins shortly after with the architects Gardiner Daily, Bernard Maybeck, and William Gladstone Merchant.

June 4, 1932
Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove is officially dedicated by Mayor Rossi.

June 19, 1932
First official concert in Stern Grove, featuring the San Francisco Symphony, Gaetano Merola conducting.

1938
Stern Grove Festival Association is founded to present "a summer series that is distinctly a forward mark in newness, "designed to educate and entertain the public."

July 10, 1938
First summer concert of the first Stern Grove Festival, performed by the Bay Region Symphony of the Federal Music Project. The first season ran every Sunday until September 25 (12 programs) and the San Francisco Symphony performed twice.

August 22, 1943
San Francisco Ballet performs at Stern Grove Festival.

February 8, 1956
Rosalie Meyer Stern passes away.

February 15, 1956
Elise Stern Haas, Rosalie's daughter, is named Festival chairman.

1959
San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program's first performance, Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann.

1963
The Festival celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season with a performance by the San Francisco Symphony. Ansel Adams, in the audience that day, takes a series of photographs of the Grove.

1966
First jazz concert in the Grove, with Turk Murphy, John Handy, Rudy Salvini, and Vince Guaraldi. The performance was taped and televised nationally on the Bell Telephone Hour in 1967.

1968
Rhoda Goldman, Elise S. Haas's daughter, becomes Festival chairman.

1969
Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs for the first time at Stern Grove Festival. They performed nearly every year since then up to 1999.

1980
Documentary on Stern Grove airs on PBS stations across the country.

1987
The Festival celebrates its 50th Anniversary Season.

July 22, 1990
Isaac Stern performs with the San Francisco Symphony at Stern Grove in celebration of his 70th birthday. Mstislav Rostropovich performs in a tutu.

1996
Rhoda Goldman passes away. Her son, Dr. Douglas E. Goldman assumes the chairmanship of the Festival.

August, 2004
Construction begins on the renovation of Sigmund Stern Grove.

June 19, 2005
Stern Grove Festival kicks off its 68th Season with the opening of the newly renovated Sigmund Stern Grove with a concert featuring Lucinda Williams and John Doe. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Supervisor Bevan Dufty declares "Stern Grove Festival Day" in San Francisco.

June 24, 2012
Stern Grove Festival's celebrates its 75th Season with The Big Picnic fundraiser, featuring Anita Baker, The Family Stone and Glide Ensemble.

 

Partners

San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

McLaren Lodge
501 Stanyan Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415.831.2700
sfrecpark.org

A longtime partner of Stern Grove Festival, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department's mission is to provide enriching recreational activities, maintain beautiful parks, and preserve the environment for the well-being of our diverse community.

Stern Grove Festival is a collaboration with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Commission.

San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission

Mark Buell, President
Allan Low, Vice President
Kat Anderson
Gloria Bonilla
Tom Harrison
Larry Mazzola
Eric McDonnell

San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Staff

Phil Ginsburg, General Manager
Eric Andersen, Superintendent of Parks & Open Spaces
Robert Muhammad, Park Service Area Manager
Brandon Young, Park Section Supervisor
Dennis Kern, Director of Operations
Dana Ketcham, Permits & Reservations Manager
Bob Palacio, Superintendent of Neighborhood Services
Marcus Santiago, Head Park Patrol Officer
Andrew Sharkey, Park Section Captain

Click here for information on renting facilities at Stern Grove for a wedding or event.

Stern Grove Festival thanks the residents of the Sunset and Parkside neighborhoods for their cooperation and support. Special thanks, also, to Captain Nicholas Rainsford and all the officers at Taraval Station, San Francisco Police Department.