Jennifer Bielstein Joins Mayor Breed’s Economic Recovery Task Force

By Simon Hodgson

Congratulations to A.C.T. Executive Director Jennifer Bielstein for her appointment to San Francisco’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force. “We are looking for ways to keep businesses and organizations afloat and prepare San Francisco for recovery,” says Mayor London Breed. “This Task Force will help us get there.”

Jennifer Bielstein. Photo by Kevin Berne. 

Bielstein is one of a select group of arts and culture leaders joining the task force. Given the diverse economic challenges facing San Francisco and the Bay Area, the Task Force draws its talented members from many areas: elected officials, representatives from multiple unions, city planning administrators, Chinatown community leaders, prominent local business owners (representing many sectors including the restaurant and construction industries), chamber of commerce leaders, as well as executives from California-based multinationals including Google, Gap, and Salesforce.

A.C.T.’s executive director is well suited for this participation—Bielstein brings 25 years’ experience of civic collaboration. Nationwide, she is the president of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), representing 76 large regional theaters. She also has a wealth of experience working with business and community groups in metropolitan areas across the country. As managing director of the Guthrie Theater, she was a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council Board of Directors. In Chicago, she worked for several major cultural organizations and played a leadership role in the region’s theater. And during her time at Actors Theatre of Louisville, she served on boards for downtown development, the chamber of commerce, and also for the arts.

City of San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the needs of the arts in our city’s recovery,” says Bielstein, “as well as help to lead our collaboration in being an essential part of San Francisco’s ability to rebound from this devastating crisis.” The arts are a critical part of Mayor Breed’s task force—at a meeting in May, Breed’s team shared data that showed the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector was the hardest hit, with 54.5 percent job losses. Other sectors also heavily impacted include Food Services (48.2 percent), Other Services (54 percent), and Accommodations (40.8 percent).

Despite the challenges ahead, Bielstein is optimistic. “What makes me feel hopeful about the Economic Recovery Task Force is its diversity of perspectives and its focus on inclusion and representation. If we come back stronger, it leads to a more appealing San Francisco.”

Learn more about the task force here. Share your ideas for economic recovery by visiting

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