COMMUNITY & EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Cow Palace Arena & Event Center benefits the community year-round. Besides generating tax revenue, programs make the Bay Area a better place to live. From First Responder training and driver safety instruction to programs about agriculture, the performing arts, and community fundraisers, Cow Palace activity creates jobs, provides labor income and generates tens of millions of dollars in consumer spending.
Training & Staging Area for First Responders & Disaster Relief
Among its many roles, the Cow Palace is a crucial training and staging area for first responders and disaster relief. A key component of state and local disaster response plans, it can serve as a command post, field hospital, citizen shelter, and helicopter landing area.
During a major emergency--such as an earthquake--the Cow Palace could accommodate hundreds of emergency vehicles and provide helicopter landing zones, livestock refuge, and evacuation support and logistics of all kinds. No other location in the Bay Area has this capability.
Future Farmers of America (FFA)
Founded in 1925--when many farm children began leaving agriculture--FFA aims to instill a sense of pride in farm families and provide leadership training and an outlet where they can express themselves.
The California FFA Association now serves over 80,000 student members in over 320 high schools, from urban schools in Los Angeles and the Bay Area to rural schools all across the state. In the classroom FFA members can learn agricultural science and trade skills. Outside the classroom they grow crops, raise livestock, participate in research trials and job shadows, and compete against other FFA members in leadership skills.
Victorian School of Performing Arts from the Living History Centre
Each year the Cow Palace hosts the Living History Centre College of Performing Arts for hundreds of actors, hobbyists, and theater and history enthusiasts from The Great Dickens Christmas Fair. The workshops, taught by a faculty of 40 instructors, present the best information gained from over 50 years of theatrical living history.
Offering five weekend days of workshops and then rehearsals at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, the Living History Centre College of Performing Arts is a free program and open to the public upon request. Those who complete the required classes, receive approval of their costume and characterization, and pass an audition can participate as performers in the Dickens Fair.
AIDs LifeCycle: The annual AIDS LifeCycle changes lives by raises funds for medical and social services for people living with HIV/AIDS or at risk of infection. For 7 days and 545 miles, riders cycle from the San Francisco Cow Palace to Los Angeles. The event raises awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic and funds services such as HIV testing, prevention, care, and much more.
Dreamforce: In 2016 the Cow Palace hosted Dreamforce, a joint event put on by philanthropists Lynne Benioff and her husband, Salesforce founder-DEO Marc Benioff, for the Salesforce concert and Dreamfest charity concert benefitting UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.
Featuring U2, the Dreamfest concert raised $10 million at the sold-out show, on top of the over $250 million already pledged by the Benioffs to the UCSF hospitals to establish state-of-the-art care and facilities.