We are a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the Asian American community in the Bay Area and beyond. We provide equitable access to our arts and cultural programs.
Clarion was established in 1982, when owner Clara Hsu received an offer from the Captain of the Salvation Army Corps in Chinatown to take over a retail space in the basement of an old church
1982 - 2000:
In the early days, Clarion dealt mostly in pianos, violins and Chinese traditional musical instruments. Musicians who discovered the shop wanted the Chinese instruments, and would trade in their own doumbek or berimbau for a dizi or erhu
Clarion was sold to Clara’s long time employees, Jien Ha and Lu Xian, in 2005. Because of Lu’s China connections, Clarion shifted its world focus to specialize in Chinese music, carrying classical as well as minority musical instruments
The powerful internet finally caught up with Clarion. Retail sales steadily declined year after year and profit margin became smaller and smaller. In early 2016, sensing the inevitable, Jien and Lu decided to close the business.
2016 - 2021:
Clara bought Clarion back in July 2016 with the intention of celebrating music, theater, art and poetry in this high-tech world. Clarion became a Performing Arts Center with a non-profit status. Our story is just beginning . . .
Meet the Team
Greg Pond is a poet and community activist.
Ann is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and advises the board on business management.
Community Cinema Film Curator
Jeff Giordano is a film maker and brings an eclectic selection of films to Clarion. Email Jeff if you have a film to share.