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Among the many attractions bringing 17 million visitors to San Francisco each year, cable cars, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Ghirardelli chocolate, and Fisherman’s Wharf seem among the favorites. San Francisco’s true legacy, however, has very little to do with the mainstream tourist destinations; rather, its history as a city of social progression, conscientious activism, and alternative lifestyles is the true essence of the city. This is evidenced throughout history as San Francisco bore witness to the Beat Generation, the counter-culture movement of the 60s, the Women’s Movement, and, most recently, the Gay Civil Rights Movement. Given these qualities, San Francisco is an obvious choice for many artists who, much like the city itself, see the world through different eyes. The endless resources available for students is even more evidence of this city’s artcentric appeal. For example, SoMa (South of Market) is a neighborhood in transition and home to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Ansel Adams Museum, and the SoMArts Cultural Center. SoMa is also replete with galleries, especially those that have mastered the art of presenting exhibitions in a club-like setting such as 111 Minna Street Gallery, Studio Z, Varnish, and the most popular On Six Gallery. Other popular spaces include the Cell Space, Luggage Store, and the politically active Fifty Crows Gallery. SoMa is also where you’ll find a number of art organizations, independent bookstores, and throngs of art students taking advantage of all the local amenities. The Haight-Ashbury section of the city, famed for the Summer of Love, hippies, and radicalism, still maintains its bohemian identity, despite significant changes in commerce and real estate. In addition to the expected boutiques and “lifestyle” stores, there remains an artistic undercurrent that draws many local art students seeking to conjure artists of old (or patronize one of the dozen or so tattoo parlors). Other attractions not to be missed in and around the city include the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, Asian Art Museum, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Ultimately, art students choosing to attend school in San Francisco will find a large population of open-minded, eccentric peers who share a desire to challenge norms, test boundaries, and hone their own artistic abilities.