In 1983 artists began renting studios at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a former Navy ship repair facility, and the shipyard quickly became the nation's largest community of fine arts professionals. In 1985 the City and Navy announced plans to rebuild the base and homeport the USS Missouri and other naval ships at Hunters Point, which almost certainly would have displaced hundreds of artists and other small business tenants.
Faced with eviction, shipyard tenants banded together to preserve the unique mixture of arts and small business flourishing there. Success in delaying evictions was rewarded by cancellation of the homeporting in 1988, followed by the closing of the base in 1991. Subsequently a process was begun to plan for civilian conversion and transfer of the property to the City.
Shipyard Trust for the Arts (STAR), was formed in the summer of 1995, and grew out of artists' involvement in the City planning process, especially the interaction of shipyard artists and representatives of the Bayview-Hunters Point community on the Mayor's HPSY Citizen Advisory Committee. STAR's goal of creating an open, inviting and vital artistic community at Hunters Point Shipyard s both the need for shipyard redevelopment to serve the neighboring community, and the prominent role for the arts identified in the redevelopment plan. Consequently STAR programs are driven by the dual purposes of promoting shipyard arts and building ties to residents and organizations in the community.