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About Us

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.

Our Story


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

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I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.


Cynthia Yee

Vice President


Serai Yan



Greg Pond

Board Member

Greg Pond is a poet and community activist. 

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Ann Wong

Board Member

Ann is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and advises the board on business management.

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Ruby Fong

Board Member

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Ynga Chernogradskaia

Director's Assistant


Jeff Giordano

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.

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