CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust

Bay Area News

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.

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.

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



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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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.

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.


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