CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust

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How Cities Are Trying to Save Their Art Scenes from Rising Rents

  • Photo courtesy of TAK Kartal.

There’s a stock image of the urban cultural ideal: bustling streets filled with colorfully painted walls, galleries with their doors wide open, live music bubbling out from local venues. This is the kind of environment, with economic as well as artistic benefits, that city governments around the world are looking to foster. But such vibrant cultural communities of artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creatives can attract well-off newcomers, who in turn drive rising rents and the cost of living. This cycle can displace the very local artists who created the scene to begin with and push out longtime residents.

To combat this pattern, dubbed by researchers as the “The SoHo Effect,” the World Cities Culture Forum commissioned a report examining the challenges faced by 12 cities, from San Francisco to Shenzhen to Sydney, and how they are working to preserve or expand their arts and cultural scenes. The report created a toolkit that emphasizes collaboration between city authorities, the private sector, and artists in ways that allow cities to maintain and grow their culture sectors.

Often a fragmented group, artists especially see the benefits if they band together. “There is strength in numbers,” said Paul Owens, director of the World Cities Culture Forum.

Increasing housing prices and decline in studio space are already taking a toll on the cultural communities of many cities. In Sydney, with a cultural scene dependent on small commercial and non-government enterprises, the number of artist-run galleries dropped by almost half in the last 10 years. In San Francisco, the influx of 75,000 residents and the addition of 17,000 new housing units earned the city the title of most expensive property market in the U.S.

London, also featured in the report, has seen a 35 percent loss of grassroots music venues between 2007 and 2015. To combat this, the city created a “Music Venues Taskforce” to identify problems and propose solutions. Exemplifying the report’s recommendations for collaboration, a group consisting of economists, city planners, police, a tourism expert, and more then worked to implement the proposals. Among them: the creation of the post of “Night Czar” (based on “Night Mayors” utilized in Amsterdam and Berlin) to champion the city’s evening economy. As a result of their efforts, a progress report from January 2017 found the city incurred no net loss of grassroots venues, which contribute £92 million to London’s economy per year, with £44 million spent showcasing and developing new talent.

  • Wall of Atelier at Seoul Street Art Creation Centre. Photo courtesy of Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.

Other efforts included the targeted creation of affordable spaces. A partnership between Hong Kong’s district councils and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council is working to convert a school into an arts center replete with rentable studios and music practice rooms. San Francisco has seen the use of Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), a collaborative public-private partnership that buys and leases property at below-market rates to nonprofit arts organizations. It has turned to purchasing properties not publicly listed to avoid the fierce competition, and the program plans to sustain itself long-term by offering tax deductions to CAST investors while expanding to places like Oakland.

And city planners, who see creativity as something of a commodity, are increasingly incorporating art and culture in plans for the infrastructure of cityscapes. Most cities, Owens explained, “realize they need to develop dynamic, interesting neighborhoods.”

Owens noted that the case studies revealed that each city faces its own challenges, so it’s up to each city to adopt the report’s suggestions in ways that work for them. The process, Owens noted, won’t be an easy one. The interests of city planners, government groups, private developers, and artists don’t always align. And many of the cities included in the report are only continuing to get more expensive.

Along with threatening artists, rising rents in more affordable neighborhoods also surface complex issues around racial and economic inequality. According to urbanist Richard Florida, it is low-income people with the least options—not the artists or middle-class professionals—who are hit hardest when affordable communities experience an influx of more well-heeled residents. Owens acceded that in some cases, previous residents don’t feel the positive effects of the influx newcomers and lucrative economies they bring.

He also highlighted the importance of maintaining diversity in the midst of extreme growth in population and wealth in cities across the globe. The case studies outline different strategies to engage communities in the arts and provide greater access to city or private resources for artists and other creatives.

In parts of Istanbul and Vienna, in particular, only certain neighborhoods reap the benefits of lucrative economies while others are left out. Some projects have endeavored to address the issue by bringing art to an area in dialogue with the community. To avoid the parable of prescribing what an area “needs,” they have instead sought to engage residents and include them in the creation of novel art spaces and programs. Design Atelier Kartal (TAK Kartal), which runs the Corner Borders program in Istanbul, makes an open call to the public to submit project proposals, and the neighborhood elects one to fund and bring to life.

In a similar attempt to give residents a say in development in their neighborhoods, F23.wir.fabriken in District 23 of Vienna holds children’s programs, a local farmer’s market, urban gardening, and workshops for refugees living there. In its first 18 months, it has reportedly seen over 40,000 visitors for events and been well-received by the local community. The program is but one example of how the right level of collaboration between residents, artists, and both private and government financing can not only help art and culture, but also a city and community as a whole.

—Ilana Herzig


Rec & Parks Approves $3 Million To Transform Geneva Car Barn

Today, the SF Recreation and Parks Commission approved $3 million in funding from a 2012 parks bond to fund design and construction on the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.

The unanimous vote brings total funding to $11 million for the project to transform the vacant building into an arts and events space.

The Car Barn opened in 1901 for use by San Francisco’s first electric railway system. Since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which damaged the property, the Car Barn—comprised of two buildings, the 3,000-sq.-ft. Powerhouse and the two-story, 13,000-sq.-ft. Office Building—has been vacant.

The Powerhouse was used to generate electrical power for the trains, while the Office Building was for administrative workers.

Ever since it was damaged, residents and history buffs have fought to secure funding to transform the buildings into community meeting and arts spaces for District 11 residents.

Former District 11 supervisor John Avalos secured $3.2 million in general funds for the renovation while current District 11 supervisor Ahsha Safai secured a $3.5 million pledge from the Historic Preservation and New Market Tax Credit Funds and $1 million from the Community Arts Stabilization Trust.

With the renovation funds, Rec and Parks will begin finalizing a conceptual design package approved by the commission in 2014 before putting the Powerhouse segment of the project out for bid for construction. The Office Building will not be updated with the current funding.

“We look forward to design and build a creative space that will become a community hub for healthy recreations for generations to come,” said Rec and Parks general manager Phil Ginsburg.

“This is really moving forward, finally, after many years,” said Daniel Weaver, founder of the Friends of Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.

The Car Barn in the 1970s. | PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF GENEVA CAR BARN AND POWERHOUSE.

 

The Car Barn’s location next to the Balboa Park BART Station transit hub and the building’s historic nature have attracted fans who have spent years imagining the possibilities of the vacant building and advocating for funding.

A hub of streetcar operation throughout the twentieth century, the Geneva Car Barn was designated as a San Francisco landmark in 1985, four years before it was damaged in the earthquake.

Neighbors rallied against a plan to demolish the building 1998, convincing Mayor Willie Brown to save the building. In 2004, SFMTA sold the buildings to Rec and Park for $1 with plans to transform the space into a arts and events space.

ILLUSTRATION BY NEIL BALLARD

 

“The Geneva Powerhouse renovation will restore this historic landmark and create one of the premiere performing arts and cultural centers in San Francisco, right here in District 11,”  said District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai, noting that the district is home to the largest number of children under the age of 18 living in San Francisco.

In three other agenda items related to the Car Barn at today’s meeting, the commissioners approved an increase in funding for a designer working on the project and allowed Rec and Park to begin negotiations with the Community Arts Stabilization Trust and Performing Arts Workshop, two groups that will lease, manage and provide arts programming at the Powerhouse.


More than 1,000 grantees across the state receive support for wide-ranging arts and culture projects.
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California Arts Council Awards $15 Million to Record Number of Organizations

More than 1,000 grantees across the state receive support for wide-ranging arts and culture projects

Grants totaling $15,032,837 have been awarded to various nonprofit organizations statewide this year, the California Arts Council announced today. A total of 1,076 grantees will receive state grant funding for their work spanning the Arts Council’s 15 unique program categories, benefiting California’s students, veterans, arts educators, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, underserved populations, and communities at large.

Both the award amounts and number of recipients show marked growth over the previous year. As the result of a one-time $6.8 million state arts funding increase, the Arts Council nearly doubled its financial impact for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Investments in core grant programs and recent pilot programs increased by an average of 20 percent. Arts education grants were expanded to support field trips and after school and summer projects. The added funds were also used to develop three new pilot grant programs, aimed at serving formerly incarcerated individuals and supporting arts-focused public media and arts research.

“Our Council has been honored to lead this year’s state arts grants process, investing so much and reaching so many Californians through the arts and creative expression,” said Donn K. Harris, California Arts Council Chair. “These funds can be life-changing for our grantees, who often point to Arts Council support as a pivotal moment in their future success. To witness that exponential return on our state’s investment, the ripple effect in our communities’ health and vitality, is the greatest reward. The state’s growing commitment to the arts and creativity is a clear signifier of who we are and what we value. California and the arts are indivisible.”

The California Arts Council’s grant programs are administered through a multistep, public process. Following an open call for applications, all submissions are adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts field. Based on panel recommendations and available funds, the Council voted on grant awards at public meetings in San Diego on May 9 and Sebastopol on June 7, 2017.

The need in California communities for more arts resources and activities runs deep, and the Arts Council’s programs inspired a tremendous level of public demand this year. Grant programs will serve a groundbreaking 51 percent more grantees than the previous year. The competition for state arts grants is substantial, with one-third of 2016-17 grant applicants unfunded.

Interested members of the public, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to visit the California Arts Council’s website to learn about future grant opportunities as details become available.

Notification of grant program guidelines, applications, and technical assistance opportunities will be also published in the California Arts Council’s weekly e-newsletter, ArtBeat. Subscribe at http://arts.ca.gov/news/artbeat.php.

Click here to view the complete announcement and grantee details
Are you talking about the big grant announcement?
Tag your tweets and posts on social media using #ArtsBoost.
Congratulations to all our grantees!
Join us in celebrating state arts funding on social media.

REGISTER
In Intersection‘s upcoming Financial Empowerment Bootcamp, we’ll work with you to transform financial concepts from abstract lists of numbers into hidden stories that underpin your organization’s or your individual artistic practice’s values, goals, successes, challenges, and aspirations. Working with the idea that your numbers are a powerful narrative tool for supporting your mission, we will…
 
  • Walk you through a review of fundamental financial concepts
  • Identify where your project is and what it needs for financial sustainability
  • Learn how to tell stories about your mission based on real, hard numbers
  • Work with you to set goals for your project and budget towards those goals
  • Share ways to transform your financial anxiety into financial empowerment
 
Saturday, June 17, 2017
11 AM – 3 PM
901 Mission Street, Suite 306
San Francisco, CA 94103
Discounts available for students and members of Intersection’s fiscal sponsorship program. Contact us for further information.
Workshop led by Yesenia Sanchez and Jericha Senyak. Read more about the facilitators here.
REGISTER
Make a Donation

Registration Is Now Open:
Learning Sessions on Strategic Restructuring
As part of the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, in partnership with La Piana consulting, invites San Francisco-based nonprofit executives and board members to a half-day discussion about the principles and practices of strategic restructuring, including nonprofit mergers, joint ventures, and partnerships.
Monday, May 15, 2017
9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Z Space
450 Florida St
San Francisco 94110
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
San Francisco Public Library
Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin St
San Francisco 94102

 

Nonprofit Impact Accelerator: Learning Sessions

 

On the Agenda: Insights, Options, Firsthand Experiences & Technical Assistance Grants
The program will open with remarks from Bob Harrington, Managing Partner at La Piana Consulting, who will discuss mergers, joint ventures, and partnerships, and review the pitfalls that can prevent nonprofits from moving forward toward success. Bob’s remarks will be followed by a panel of local nonprofit leaders sharing their experiences with mergers, joint ventures, and partnerships, including:
May 15, 2017
Joelle Gomez, former CEO of Women’s Center – Youth and Family Services
Dori Rose Inda, CEO of Salud Para La Gente / Watsonville Law Center
March 16, 2017
Brett Andrews, CEO of Positive Resource Center / Baker Places / AIDS Emergency Fund
Sharon Miller, CEO of Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Participants will come away with a solid understanding of the principles and practices of strategic alliances, including how to begin, when they are appropriate, and the keys to success. In addition, registered attendees will be eligible to apply for one of a limited number of assessments using La Piana’s Strategic Restructuring Assessment Tool, and a few will receive technical assistance grants for in-depth exploration. Details about these opportunities will be shared at the sessions.

Nonprofit executive directors or CEOs are highly encouraged to attend with their board chair or another board representative. As space is limited, Board/CEO pairs will be given priority for admission.

Questions may be directed to Amia Grashin  at La Piana Consulting (grashin@lapiana.org).
Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

 

San Francisco’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative deploys a variety of tools to help stabilize nonprofits. The Nonprofit Impact Accelerator and technical assistance for strategic restructuring efforts are administered by La Piana Consulting. Real estate assistance including grants and supportive services are provided by the Northern California Community Loan Fund.
The Initiative is led by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the San Francisco Arts Commission and key partners.
With increasing and diverse demands for government services, San Francisco is home to 6,952 nonprofits that often work in partnership with the City to address complex challenges and the needs of its residents.  In 2015-16, the city’s financial investment in nonprofits increased by more than $48 million (8%), the largest increase in more than 10 years.

Learn more>>>


 

 

Greetings Moy,

Northern California Grantmakers is pleased to announce the release of new loan opportunities for Bay Area arts nonprofits. We have launched a new website with more user-friendly loan applications in order to support organizations like yours.

Last year the Arts Loan Fund (ALF) embarked on a journey to better serve the needs of the arts community. For more than 30 years, the ALF has provided short-term financial assistance to nonprofit arts organizations who face periodic cash-flow gaps.

We learned that despite thirty years of loans and continuing cash-flow struggles for arts organizations, the ALF is not widely known in the arts community, and its website and applications needed a major face-lift.

In response, the ALF launched a new website, switched to a user-friendly application platform, created three new loan products, and opened two social media spaces. Follow us on Twitter and we will follow you right back. Like us on Facebook for new resources and funding opportunities!

The new website and loan products were designed and created to be accessible resources to support organizations like yours, we’re eager to hear your feedback. Let us know how it’s working for you!

The next application deadline is April 24, 2017. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like more information about the application process.

All the best,

Krystle Chipman
Coordinator, Collaborative Philanthropy
Northern California Grantmakers

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An Important Message from the California Arts Council:
Today, President Trump submitted his administration’s first budget request to Congress. The proposal calls for an elimination of all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in fiscal year 2018.

With this news about the proposed elimination of the NEA, the California Arts Council has published a webpage to serve as a resource for the field, the public, and other stakeholders wishing to learn more about the situation and how they can become involved in local and national advocacy efforts. This page will be updated regularly as new information and resources become available.

 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
If this budget is enacted, the elimination of the NEA would have dire consequences for every state, including California. For a synopsis of what’s at stake, please see The National Assembly of State Arts Agency’s Statement on Proposed Elimination of the NEAClick here to read a statement from Jane Chu, Chairman of the NEA.

Keep in mind, the proposed White House Budget is the first — not the final — step in the FY 2018 appropriations process. The President’s request outlines his administration’s policy priorities. However, Congress holds the constitutional authority to appropriate funds to federal agencies. You can use your voice to tell Congress that the elimination of or radical reductions to the NEA are unacceptable to taxpayers.

As a supporter of the arts, you know that the impact of the NEA is essential, and wide-reaching. Each $1 in NEA grant funds leverages another $9 from other public and private sources. The NEA’s grants and programs are powerful examples of how the arts are a vital part of our everyday lives. This power can be seen in communities across the nation, and California is no exception. Yet, the NEA’s $148 million budget represents just 0.004% of the federal budget, less than 1/2 of one hundredth of one percent.

It is important to be reminded at this time that the arts have benefited from bipartisan support for many decades. This is true in California and nationally. In fact, under our last Republican president, appropriations to the NEA increased by $40 million, while the Republican Party controlled both chambers of Congress for four of those eight years. Leaders from all political parties can be engaged in supporting our country’s investment in culture and the arts.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.

Copyright © 2017 California Arts Council, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this mail because you have signed up for the California ArtBeat.Our mailing address is:

California Arts Council

1300 I Street, Suite 930

Sacramento, CA 95814


SF Arts Advocacy Day 2017!

 

In solidarity with National Arts Advocacy Day, we’re headed to San Francisco City Hall!

Join a contingency of artists, arts administrators, cultural producers, and art + culture ambassadors as we share with Supervisors and staff our (1) policy priorities, (2) a message of “No Cuts,” and (3) personal and collective stories about the transformative nature of cultural and creative expression to make San Francisco a better place to live for everyone.

The event will consist of an Arts Advocacy rally on the steps of City Hall with artists/culture bearers from the community, followed by constituent meetings with the Supervisors.

WHERE: Meet at SF City Hall steps in front on Polk Street between Grove St. and McAllister St.

Checkout what went down last year at the 2016 SF Arts Advocacy Day: http://arts4bayarea.nationbuilder.com/sf_arts_advocacy_day_needs_your_support

Help save the National Endowment for the Arts!

About National Arts Advocacy Day:

On March 21st, Americans for the Arts will bring together 85 national arts organizations & over 500 grassroots arts advocates to visit their Congressmembers in D.C. to develop strong public policies investing in the creative cultural life of our cities, focusing on saving support for the National Endowment for the Arts this year.

Interested and able to support the national fight also? Join statewide arts leaders headed to DC to advocate on Capitol Hill for saving the NEA. SIGN UP HERE.

WHEN
March 21, 2017 at 12pm – 1:30pm
WHERE
SF City Hall
CONTACT
Katherin Canton · info@betterbayarea.org · 510-393-8580

 

 


Kenneth Rainin Foundation
February 2017
Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy Goes Online to Stem Displacement
Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy
Jen Lewin Studio’s The Pool at Lafayette Square, New Orleans. Photo credit: Marcus Alfred.
Hello,

Displacement threats to arts and cultural organizations are an increasingly urgent problem in cities and communities across the country. Fellow funders, city governments and nonprofits are searching for solutions to help protect our most valued arts and cultural assets.

Today, I’m proud to announce that the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has launched a new online resource to showcase an innovative solution that can help secure permanent, affordable spaces for arts nonprofits.

The journey for this solution began five years ago when it was clear the Bay Area was poised for another displacement crisis due to escalating rents. Fearing the loss of our vital organizations, the Rainin Foundation brought together community leaders, including our most progressive thinkers on creative finance and nonprofits to challenge the status quo. And we succeeded.

Together, we developed the Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy, a groundbreaking solution that creatively uses existing financial tools and leverages public and private resources.

At the center of the model is a real estate holding company like the San Francisco-based Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) that works with multiple partners to purchase real estate on behalf of arts organizations. This bold solution came just in time for two of our grantees that were facing displacement due to building sales.

Today, both of these arts organizations have secured below-market leases with an option to purchase their buildings and own permanent homes in San Francisco.

With momentum for this model building in the Bay Area, I’m excited about the potential for this replicable strategy to find similar success elsewhere.

I hope you are inspired to explore our new website to learn how the Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy works, and how it can benefit your community.

Sincerely,

shelley trott
Shelley Trott
Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures
Kenneth Rainin Foundation

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San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Stabilizing nonprofits in a 
changing real estate market


The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative helps San Francisco’s nonprofits secure new, nonprofit-owned space and creates solutions for organizations seeking long-term leases. The initiative includes two new programs — the Nonprofit Space Investment Fund and the Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program. The programs provide technical and financial assistance to support nonprofit sustainability amidst a changing, and volatile, real estate market.

NCCLF is partnering with San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the Arts Commission. 

Initiatives


Nonprofit Space Investment Fund

Grant awards for organizations seeking to purchase their facility.

Services Offered: 


Grant Awards
Organizations must have an executed Letter of Intent (LOI) or a Purchase Agreement to apply.
 
Application Deadline: 5 pm on March 28, 2017 


Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program

Supporting nonprofits to find creative space solutions and mitigate increased expenses.

Services Offered: 


Technical Assistance 
Technical assistance available for shared space cohorts – two or more organizations seeking space together for co-location and shared services.
 
Application Deadline: 5 pm on March 28, 2017 
 
Financial Assistance
Financial assistance available to offset rent expenses, moving expenses, and tenant improvements. Grant awards only available to organizations with executed LOIs/Lease Agreements since January 1, 2016. 
 
Application Deadline: 5 pm on March 28, 2017
 


Informational Workshops

March 2, 2017 

401 Van Ness Ave, Suite 125
San Francisco, CA
2 pm – 3 pm
 
 

March 7, 2017 

Roxie Theatre
3117 16th Street
San Francisco, CA
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
 


To learn more about the San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, please visit www.ncclf.org/sfsustainability.
For questions, please contact Owen Serra at oserra@ncclf.org.

www.ncclf.org