CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust

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Keeping Space – Oakland

Built in 1906, tower erected in 1923, the 89,251 sq.-ft. building was the tallest building in Oakland constructed in the 1920s.

Keeping Space – Oakland is CAST’s new pilot program dedicated to providing training and funding for Oakland arts and culture organizations seeking real estate assistance. Through direct financial grants, one-on-one technical assistance, and real estate readiness training, CAST’s goal is to provide safe, stable, and permanent real estate solutions for Oakland’s local arts organizations.

CAST launched the program in December 2016 with funding from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Keeping Space – Oakland is one strategy of many proposed by the Oakland Arts Workspace Group, a public-private partnership that includes the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, CAST, Northern California Community Loan Fund, and the City of Oakland. The group is focused on creating workspace stability to foster, support, and sustain the arts and cultural ecosystem in Oakland.


Real Estate Readiness Workshops

RSVP now for the FREE three-part Real Estate Readiness Workshop Series led by real estate expert consultants at the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF). These workshops help arts groups build their organizational and financial capacities to navigate the real estate market. We encourage both a senior staff person and board/advisory council member to attend the workshops. Register now for one workshop or all three. Limited space available.

Location:
East Bay Community Foundation
Dalziel Building, 353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Plaza A Room
Oakland, CA 94612

Time: 9:30am-12:30pm

Cost: FREE!

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Plaza A Room
On with the Show: Turning your Financial Performance into a Masterpiece
This workshop is open to all Oakland arts and cultural groups, collectives, and organizations, whether or not you are seeking space or a real estate opportunity at this time. Come develop your financial acumen to grow your organization. We welcome all financial questions, including those for which you think you “should” already know the answers. There are no stupid questions in this workshop! Our goal is that you leave feeling empowered with the information and confidence necessary to return to your organization as a stronger financial ambassador.

  • Build your “finance vocabulary”
  • Learn how to create and monitor your budget
  • Learn how to manage your cash flow
  • Understand and use your financial statements for decision-making
  • Get strategies to develop a long-term business model

Bring your most recent financial statements and budget projections:

  • Most recent fiscal year income statement (profit and loss)
  • Most recent fiscal year statement of position (balance sheet)
  • Budget projections (if available)

If you do not have these, we will have sample materials for you to work with.


Thursday, July 13, 2017
Plaza A Room, 353 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Commercial Leasing Strategies: Getting to Yes
Looking to lease new space or renew your lease? Not sure how to approach the landlord? What’s in the fine print of my 15-page lease? In Oakland’s escalating real estate market, organizations are facing large rent increases. Yet, nonprofits are still finding ways to lease space in the communities they serve. NCCLF will share examples of nonprofits that have successfully negotiated leases that fit their budgets and location considerations. Participants in this workshop will learn key terminology in commercial leases, pitfalls to watch for, negotiation strategies with landlords, and current trends in the bay area commercial market.

 

Past Workshops:
Friday, May 5, 2017
Suite 359, Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Real Estate Readiness: Overview

Come learn how to prepare your organization to embark on securing a facility for your program. Get answers to common questions around planning for your space. Are you ready to move? How much space? What can I afford?


Technical Assistance Awards Announced

Six Oakland arts and cultural organizations will receive assistance to secure long-term, affordable, safe space in Oakland. The technical assistance is through Keeping Space – Oakland, CAST’s pilot program to assist arts nonprofits that are vulnerable to space instability and displacement.

$90,000 in professional real estate training and consultation services will be awarded across six local organizations. CAST has hired the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) to carry out the real estate trainings and the private consultations for the Keeping Space – Oakland awardees. Award recipients include:

Alena Museumwhich translates to ‘ we are here’ in the African language Tigrinya, is an active work hub for arts and social enterprise, dedicated to advancing the cultural richness of African diaspora through aspiring entrepreneurs. Alena is dedicated to creating spaces that reflect our heritage, history, and stories. 

Pro Arts is among the oldest and most significant institutions for contemporary art in Oakland. Pro Arts shows contemporary art in all its forms. Through our interdisciplinary approach to curating, which fosters collaboration and the crosspollination of ideas, we champion new art practices and emerging forms of cultural production.

Project Bandaloop honors nature, community, and the human spirit through perspective-bending vertical dance that interweaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and climbing technology. The work re-imagines dance, activates public spaces, and inspires wonder in audiences around the world. 

PLACE for Sustainable Living is a grassroots experiential learning center in Northwest Oakland that showcases and fosters sustainable living practices for the general public through art, community and ecology. Our events, workshops and outreach programs focus on urban homesteading, neighborhood community building, community resilience, social justice and artistic expression.

Qilombo strives to advance Afrikan and Indigenous cultural revitalization through arts and education programming. We believe in promoting Black and Indigenous arts and culture as a vital step toward healing and strengthening communities of color.

Ubuntu Theater Project creates exquisite theatrical experiences that inspire compassion. Ubuntu is a Zulu proverb that means “I am because we are” and “My humanity is tied to yours.” Ubuntu Theater Project’s work brings together divided social groups for transformative artistic experiences that reveal our shared humanity.

See the official press release here.

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Funding is provided by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Keeping Space – Oakland is made possible in collaboration with the Oakland Arts Workspace Group and in partnership with the City of Oakland and Northern California Community Loan Fund.

For more information, please contact Tyese Wortham, CAST Program Manager at 415-556-9888, ext. 103, or twortham@cast-sf.org.


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


Keeping Space – Oakland

Application Period Now Closed

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CAST announces the availability of technical and financial assistance for Oakland arts and culture organizations that are facing immediate space challenges. Keeping Space – Oakland is a one-time pilot program comprised of real estate readiness training, one-on-one technical assistance, and direct financial assistance in the form of grants. The program aims to build the capacity of the arts and culture sector to be “real estate ready” and to secure affordable, long-term, safe spaces for arts and culture organizations in Oakland.


Prior to applying, please read the program eligibility guidelines listed below                                                                                                                                                                                                      Guidelines

Reference Guide: Financial Assistance Application

Reference Guide: Technical Assistance Application 


RSVP now for an Information Session: RSVP now for an Information Session to learn more about the program and ask your questions before applying. Light refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, January 18
*Oakland Hot Plate
348 13th Street
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
*Hot Plates by owner Lina Torio will be available for purchase ($6-$15).

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
SoleSpace
1714 Telegraph Avenue
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

Thursday, February 2, 2017
The Unity Council Fruitvale – San Antonio Senior Center
3301 E. 12th Street, Suite #201
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.


Key Dates:

Application Due Date: Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.

Award Announcements & Notifications: Spring 2017

Real Estate Readiness Workshops: May 1-5, June 5-9, July 10-14 (for Technical Assistance awardees only)


Keeping Space – Oakland is funded by:

krf_logo_web      hewlett_logo_cmyk_full

 

Keeping Space – Oakland is made possible in collaboration with The Oakland Arts Workspace Group and in partnership with the City of Oakland and Northern California Community Loan Fund.


For more information, please contact Tyese Wortham, CAST Program Manager, at 415-556-9888, ext. 103, or twortham@cast-sf.org.

 

 

 

 


NCCLF logo
THE SAN FRANCISCO NONPROFIT DISPLACEMENT MITIGATION PROGRAM FOR ARTS, CULTURAL, AND SOCIAL SERVICE SECTORS

The Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) and Urban Solutions (US) announce the availability of technical and financial assistance for San Francisco nonprofits providing arts and cultural programs and/or social services that are at risk of displacement.  Applications for Technical Assistance will be accepted on a rolling basis and approved/declined within 45 days.

The Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program provides services to support nonprofits facing permanent displacement , or those previously displaced, or with lease renewals at substantially higher rates amidst a volatile real estate market. The technical assistance (TA) services and financial assistance grants are made possible through funding from the City and County of San Francisco, through the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. Nonprofits serving highly at-risk/disadvantaged populations are encouraged to apply.

Technical Assistance services are targeted for organizations most at-risk of displacement in the next 24 months or have been displaced but haven’t secured a new stable site. Technical assistance services include financial planning, space planning, identifying/evaluating potential sites, negotiating leases or purchase agreements, developing construction budgets and project timelines, and analyzing potential funding sources. Technical assistance services may be provided on a one-to-one basis and/or in workshop settings.

Once organizations receiving technical assistance secure site control, they may be eligible for financial assistance. Financial assistance may be used for relocation costs, such as predevelopment expenses (architect, engineer, permits), tenant improvements, holding costs, legal expenses, and moving expenses. (For more information about the Financial Assistance application and awards, please see Financial Assistance Program Guidelines.)

Applications for Technical Assistance will be accepted on a rolling basis and approved/declined within 45 days.

Please read the program guidelines for eligibility requirements.  

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Questions? Contact Owen Serra, Real Estate Consulting Analyst, at oserra@ncclf.org.


 

NCCLF logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Daniel Hlad, Director of Development & Communications
Northern California Community Loan Fund
Tel: 415-392-8215 ext. 307; email: dhlad@ncclf.org

CITY FUNDS HELP SAVE SIXTEEN NONPROFITS FROM DISPLACEMENT IN SAN FRANCISCO

 

San Francisco—  Sixteen social service and arts and cultural nonprofits will receive just under $1 million in City funds to enable them to continue providing key services to low income residents of their current neighborhood locations in San Francisco.

The Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), and Urban Solutions (US) today announced the results of the initial round of the financial assistance awards for the $4.515 million Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund. A total of $994,591 was awarded to eleven social service organizations and five art and culture nonprofits to support their relocation and ongoing operational expenses necessary to remain in San Francisco’s high-cost real estate market.

“Preserving community spaces and services that benefit low income residents is a challenge today in San Francisco’s expensive commercial real estate market,” said NCCLF President Mary Rogier.  “The Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program is a timely collaborative response to assist these services – which otherwise could not afford to remain in San Francisco — to continue to provide much-needed art, cultural, and social service resources that benefit residents of City neighborhoods with the greatest needs.”

The eleven social service awardees provide health services, legal assistance, residential treatment, and education to low-income seniors, veterans, homeless, families and youth in San Francisco. They include: AIDS Legal Referral Panel, BreastCancer Action, Catholic Charities, Hyde Street Community Services, LarkinStreet Youth Services, Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Lutheran SocialServices of Northern California, Metropolitan Fresh Start House, NationalCouncil on Alcoholism, San Francisco Study Center, and Youth With aMission.

The selected art organizations, Boxcar Theatre, CounterPulse, Gray Area Foundation for theArts, Inc., Root Division, and Women’s Audio Mission, promote a wide range of cultural resources and programming, dance and theatre performances, exhibitions, arts education and workshops.

Introduced in by Supervisors Jane Kim and David Chiu and amended by Supervisor John Avalos to include arts and culture, the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund provides critical services to support nonprofits facing permanent displacement and those previously displaced as a result of today’s highly competitive real estate market.  The Fund was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor in October 2014. In order to expedite the technical assistance services and financial assistance support for organizations in need, the City selected NCCLF, in partnership with CAST and US, to manage the program through a competitive process administered by the SanFrancisco Arts Commission and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and CommunityDevelopment.  NCCLF will be announcing the second round of Request for Proposals for technical assistance services and financial assistance in summer 2015.

For a complete list of grantees and awards, please visit: www.ncclf.org/

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The Northern California Community Loan Fund is a nonprofit lender and consulting organization headquartered in San Francisco which provides financing, financial expertise, and socially responsible investment opportunities that benefit hundreds of community-based organizations serving low income people in Northern and Central California.

The Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) secures space and works with community arts organizations to help develop and strengthen their financial and organizational capacity to purchase permanent facilities and navigate complex real estate issues. By collaborating with local government agencies, businesses, civic leaders, funders and artists, CAST celebrates, promotes, and preserves artistic and cultural traditions and innovations. Its goal is to ensure that San Francisco remains a vibrant and thriving home for arts organizations that sustain creativity, community participation, economic development and neighborhood stability.

Through 1:1 technical assistance to small businesses, workshops to support business owners, leasing services and neighborhood revitalization programs, Urban Solutions makes visible impact, from open storefronts that transform blighted vacancies to proud small business owners who support their families and their city. Urban Solutions’s overarching goal is to build strong neighborhoods, one business at a time.