CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust


Impact Investments Can Shape Equitable Neighborhoods

How could using impact investments in the creative economy shape more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable neighborhoods? Find out during a half-day discussion that coincides with the release of a new report, “Creative Places & Businesses: Catalyzing Growth in Communities.”


Laura Callanan, Upstart Co-Lab
Moy Eng, Community Arts Stabilization Trust
Samuel Farrazaino, Equinox Studios
Heather Hood, Enterprise Community Partners
Reed Mayfield, RSF Social Finance
Steven Oliver, Oliver & Company
Eric Rodenbeck, Kenneth Rainin Foundation
Richard Sciortino, Brinshore Development
Liz Sessler, ImpactUs
Drew Tulchin, Meow Wolf


Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Upstart Co-Lab
Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Event Details

Tuesday, October 10, 2–5 PM
Reception to follow
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
101 Market Street, San Francisco

All are welcome. Registration is required for building security purposes.

Report Highlights Key Findings on Impact Investing

Creative Places & Businesses: Catalyzing Growth in Communities” is a new report supported in part by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. It looks at investable opportunities in the creative economy that have the potential to both stabilize threatened communities and benefit regions looking to attract and develop quality jobs. Creative places and businesses are a critical yet under-recognized element of comprehensive community development.

Impact Investments Creative Places & Businesses

A new report shows how impact investment can be used to shape a creative economy.

The report highlights three key findings:

  1. Creative places and businesses are ready for impact investing. Demand for impact capital will be strong over the next five years throughout the US.
  2. Impact investors are seeking ways to deploy capital for creativity. Institutions that value the arts, storytelling and creativity are looking for opportunities to align their capital with their priorities.
  3. There are addressable barriers. The most immediate is that creative places and businesses must be recognized as a segment so that investors, intermediaries and project leaders can find one another and cooperate more easily.

View the Executive Summary and full Report here.

Breakthrough Budgeting Workshop

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breakthrough budgeting

Friday, October 6, 2017
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Oakland, CA 

Reserve your spot

Nonprofit budgets are the frame and foundation of your organization. They are not just a statement of your organization’s priorities; they establish the strategic context within which your organization operates every day. They are an essential decision-making tool and chart a clear path through unknown territory.

In this workshop, we will teach basic budgeting skills through the lens of individual programs that make up the organization’s overall budget. We will use a case study to demonstrate each step of the process, including the adjustment period that comes after finalizing your budget. You will leave with new tools to develop and monitor your program or organizational budget, allocate indirect costs to your programs to see the “true” or “fully-loaded” cost of each program, and create grant budgets that cover true program costs.

This workshop is best for Executive Directors, Finance staff, and Program Managers.

Preservation Park (map)
1204 Preservation Park Way, Robinson B
Oakland, CA

Reserve your spot

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Multiple events from:

Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM
– to –
Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM (PDT)

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As the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland, I’m excited to invite you to attend the second round of conversations about the city’s new cultural planning activities. In this round of conversation we will dialogue further about the Creative Sector, Cultural Equity, Creative Work Development. Here are four coming opportunities in different parts of the city. Pick a time and date when you register!

The Creative Sector: Non-profit, for-profit, or all of the above?

Creative endeavors in Oakland happen in many ways and through different means. Come talk about how you do your work and compare notes with others.


@ Zoo Labs 1035 7th St, Oakland, CA 94607

Why we are here: Making new work/Making a new world

Bring your disciple-bending ideas. Share your up & coming voice, take off your administrator hat, and tell us what makes your world go round.

Monday Ocotber 16


@ Red Bay Coffee Address3098 E 10th St, Oakland, CA 94601

What does equity look like?

The push for equity and justice is monving city governments to think and act differently. Where and how does cultural equity fit into this picture? Come help define what this should mean for Oakland.

Thursday November 2


@ Intertribal Friendship House 523 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter

We hope you can make it!

Roberto Bedoya

News from

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’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.



“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

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.

CounterPulse, one of CAST’s first projects, has won honorable mention in Contract Magazine’s 2017 Inspirations Awards. The award, which recognizes social responsibility in commercial interiors, comes with a $1,000 grant for CounterPulse. Contract will feature the four winning projects in its July/August issue. Thank you to Jensen’s brilliant architectural design and expertise. Sponsorship provided by Contract and Tarkett.

San Francisco grants millions to help nonprofits stay in city 

Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and NCCLF, with key partners, announced $2.7 million in grant awards to 13 neighborhood-serving nonprofit facilities. The awards, part of the San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, provide key funding to nonprofit projects that will create 26,000 square feet of new, permanent nonprofit space and 36,000 square feet of leased space for childcare, employment training, legal services, arts classes, counseling and leadership development in low-income and historically under-resourced communities citywide.

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.
Make a Donation

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.

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.





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

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