In 1986, California Lawyers for the Arts (C.L.A.) and the San Francisco Arts Commission developed ArtHouse as a joint program to respond to the acute need of artists for affordable space in which to live and work in the Bay Area. ArtHouse has since expanded its services statewide and has also become a resource for arts organizations seeking to improve their facilities. ArtHouse is located at C.L.A., an organization which provides educational programs, publications, lawyer referral and alternative dispute resolution services for artists and arts organizations of all disciplines.
ArtHouse serves as a clearinghouse for information about artists' studio and live/work space and cultural facilities, providing information to artists and arts organizations, government agencies, architects, developers, and building owners.