CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust

News

News from artsy.net

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


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.


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.

________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

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.


Press Release – Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131

Mayor announces new nonprofit venture to provide permanent homes for arts organizations in Central Market & the Tenderloin 
Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) Keeps Arts Organizations Thriving in Central Market & Tenderloin Neighborhoods

San Francisco, CA — Mayor Edwin M. Lee and District Six Supervisor Jane Kim joined newly formed nonprofit Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) to announce the purchase of two arts buildings in the Central Market and the Tenderloin.

IMG_6633The CAST purchase will allow the Luggage Store Gallery owners to maintain occupancy of their building and ultimately to assume full ownership, which was at risk of sale due to private investors, and will enable the Luggage Store Gallery’s subtenant Hospitality House Community Art Program to sign a long term lease. CAST also announced the purchase of the underutilized former adult theater at 80 Turk Street in the Tenderloin, one block off Market, and CounterPulse, a cornerstone of the Bay Area performing arts scene now located South of Market in a building it rents, will begin fundraising to assume ownership of the 80 Turk Street building and move its multi-use performing arts facility in early 2015.

“A major transformation is underway on Central Market, and arts are central to that revitalization,” said Mayor Lee. “Long-time neighborhood institutions like CounterPulse and The Luggage Store not only anchor the growing arts district but maintain the fabric of creative nonprofit organizations that characterize Central Market. Creative endeavors like CAST propel the City’s efforts to enhance the role of arts organizations in the neighborhood while ensuring the longevity of these important institutions.”

“I appreciate the importance of permanent physical centers to provide stable spaces for generating creativity and audiences for the arts,” said Supervisor Kim. “Recognizing the challenges for the arts during the last boom cycle, CAST took action and developed a program to permanently acquire buildings in the Tenderloin and Central Market to support these organizations. This is one solution the City can continue to support and expand in order to preserve what builds community and neighborhoods.”

CAST was recently formed by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) to support the City’s efforts to expand and provide long-term stability to arts groups in Central Market and the Tenderloin as part of the Central Market Economic Strategy. The Kenneth Rainin Foundation committed $5 million over five years as seed funding to pilot their program for stabilizing space for community arts organizations in the Central Market area. The pilot program includes the acquisition of two arts facilities sites in Central Market and the Tenderloin.

The City’s Grants for the Arts, the Arts Commission, and Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) are currently providing over $150,000 capacity-building funding for the Luggage Store Gallery and $180,000 to CounterPulse for capacity-building and predevelopment for the Turk Street theater space. CAST will work closely with tenant organizations as they raise the remaining funds for building renovations. CAST is seeking capital to undertake more acquisitions to serve as permanent affordable art space in the neighborhood. “CAST will enable these nonprofit arts organizations to build their capacity and contribute to the neighborhood’s vibrancy without the threat of displacement,” said CAST Board Chair Eric Rodenbeck. “This is particularly important in the Tenderloin and Central Market where skyrocketing property values threaten the stability of community arts organizations.”

“In taking these vital first steps, CAST, with relatively limited means, is making the effort to achieve an equitable transformation of our Mid-Market neighborhood, securing affordable housing for not for profit arts organizations and the artists they serve,” said The Luggage Store Co-Founder and Director Darryl Smith.

“I believe the arts can play a powerful role during this time of rapid change in our City,” said CounterPulse Executive and Artistic Director Jessica Robinson Love. “CounterPulse is a hub where long-time low-income residents are as valued as the tech workers new to the neighborhood, and where these communities can come into dialogue through shared cultural experiences. Participating in CAST offers us a unique opportunity to secure our future, and we will be looking to the community for the additional support we need to renovate and purchase our new building.”

Mayor Lee and Supervisor Kim also announced the availability of real estate and financing technical assistance services to nonprofit arts organizations and small businesses on Central Market, Sixth Street and the Tenderloin through City funding for NCCLF and Urban Solutions. The Central Market/Tenderloin Technical Assistance Program, along with CAST, were developed as part of the implementation of the Central Market Economic Strategy, whose objectives included the cultivation of an arts district in the area and a vibrant cluster of retail storefronts. The program is coordinated through OEWD and can assist existing nonprofit and small businesses in the neighborhood as well as act as a resource for those wishing to locate in the area. A primary goal of the program is to secure long-term leases for these businesses and organizations.

About Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST)
CAST purchases and leases space for the exclusive use of nonprofit arts organizations while also providing these groups with technical assistance to develop and expand their capacity to fundraise, manage their facilities effectively, and potentially own their building. CAST seeks additional support from foundations, individuals and investors for its capacity building efforts and expansion beyond its pilot projects. For more information, go to: cast-sf.org.

About Kenneth Rainin Foundation
The mission of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation is to enhance quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy, and supporting research to cure chronic disease. The Foundation believes that people trying to affect change need an early champion for their ideas. Like its founder, the Foundation listens to and invests in innovative and collaborative projects that can achieve real breakthroughs and make life better for us all. For more information, go to: krfoundation.org.

About Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF)
NCCLF is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution that provides financial resources and real estate consulting and financial training to nonprofits that serve low-income communities throughout the 46 Northern California counties in its service area. NCCLF’s mission is to alleviate poverty and provide economic justice to low-income, low-wealth and disadvantaged communities. NCCLF is one of the lead advisors for the Mayor’s Central Market Economic Strategy on revitalizing the Central Market area and also provides financial training and real estate consulting to nonprofits and project management services for CAST. For more information, go to: ncclf.org.

About CounterPulse
CounterPulse is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. The organization serves as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture by offering a high-quality season of contemporary dance, theater and performance, providing subsidized studio space and support services to independent artists and cultural innovators, and partnering with social service organizations to offer unique arts experiences to youth, seniors, and neighborhood residents. For more information, go to: CounterPulse.org.

About The Luggage Store Gallery
The Luggage Store Gallery (as known as 509 Cultural Center) is an artist-run nonprofit multidisciplinary arts organization founded in 1987 by a group of Tenderloin artists and residents to build community by organizing arts programming accessible to and reflect of the Bay Area’s residents. Their innovative programs are designed to broaden social and aesthetic networks, to encourage the flow of images and ideas between the diverse cultural communities that cross paths in the exceptionally dynamic downtown San Francisco neighborhood. They operate three distinct venues: the Luggage Store Gallery, the Luggage Store Annex at 509 Ellis, and the Tenderloin National Forest at 511 Ellis Street. For more information, go to: luggagestoregallery.org

About Hospitality House Community Art Program
Hospitality House is a community center for San Francisco’s Tenderloin, Mid-Market, and Sixth Street Corridor neighborhoods. Their Community Arts Program is the City’s only free-of-charge fine arts studio and gallery, offering more than 250 community artists the materials and space to create, exhibit, and sell their artwork. For more information, go to: hospitalityhouse.org

###


  • A video of the announcement by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jane Kim about CAST and its partners is available here.
  • You can also view Cast in the News for coverage of the announcement.