ACSF works to preserve, develop, and share the martial art of capoeira with integrity, and to use capoeira and culture to build a healthy, just, and vibrant society in which people feel connected to and responsible for their community. By exploring creative ways of sharing the dynamic aspects of capoeira and related arts, ACSF remains a pioneering force in the preservation and development of Brazilian arts.
ACSF’s mission is focused on using capoeira and culture to improve the health and vitality of the SF Bay Area. We recognize that our artistic contributions alone are not what have allowed us to continue to thrive and grow for over 20 years. We are proud to serve as a valuable cultural resource that helps meet the community's need for a safe, accessible space for participants of all ages and abilities to participate in meaningful activities. Through inclusive programs, equitable fee structures, and by operating in underserved communities, we ensure accessibility. We aim to teach respect for diversity, address social and economic inequities in accessing high-quality arts and physical programs, and implement ways in which our community can exercise both choice and responsibility. Through this pursuit ACSF makes a profound impact on the health, the cultural and social standing of our communities, and in the lives of youth and adults of all backgrounds.
ACSF now offers professional instruction and performance of capoeira at its Mission-based Brazilian Arts Center, and at over 30 partnering sites throughout the Bay Area.
Founded in 1991, by master capoeira artist Márcia Treidler "Mestranda Cigarra" , ACSF shares its name and philosophy with its parent organization-the Brazilian Association for the Support and Development of the Art of Capoeira founded by Mestre Camisa and based in Rio de Janeiro. ABADÁ-Capoeira is an international organization with independent branches in over 20 countries with over 40,000 practitioners. The organization adheres to a philosophy founded on the belief that capoeira has the power to improve society.
In 1991, Márcia Treidler, then a recent immigrant from Brazil, established ACSF to expand capoeira outside of Brazil, and to ensure the integrity of the art was maintained during its development in the United States. Working in dance centers, schools, and community venues, Márcia introduced capoeira and her unique philosophy and teaching methodology.
Based on respect and the belief that given the skills and opportunity, all people have the ability to succeed. Her teaching aimed to provide all participants, regardless of socioeconomic status, identity, or ability, the tools to become professionals in the art.
What started with just two weekly capoeira classes for about 10 students generated overwhelming community response and developed into a Bay Area cornerstone for cultural arts. In 1997, Márcia partnered with Executive Director Jennifer Walsh "Instrutora Sereia" and established ACSF as a legal non-profit. With a grant from The San Francisco Foundation, they opened the ACSF Brazilian Arts Center. Within two years of opening the Center, ACSF's constituency had grown from approximately 600 to 15,000. After five years of operation in its original SF Mission District location ACSF outgrew the facility and relocated in 2002, to its Center to its current, better-equipped facility only two blocks away from its former site. The current facility does justice to the caliber and potential of ACSF's work.
Today, ACSF continues in its mission to improve the vitality of the Bay Area through accessible, high-quality arts programming.
(Image: Mestranda Cigarra & Instrutora Sereia)