CAST – Community Arts Stabilization Trust

Keeping Space – Oakland

Facilitating the preservation and creation of arts and cultural workspaces to enable existing organizations to remain and thrive in Oakland


The Program

Keeping Space – Oakland is CAST’s new pilot program dedicated to providing training and funding for Oakland arts and cultural 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, permanent, and affordable real estate solutions for Oakland’s local arts organizations.

With generous support from our partners, Kenneth Rainin Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, CAST will provide Technical and Financial Assistance for Oakland’s arts and cultural organizations. Modeled on San Francisco’s Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Program for Arts and Culture, led by CAST and Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), the program aims to build the capacity of the Oakland arts and culture sector to be “real estate ready” and to mitigate the adverse impacts of displacement for arts and cultural groups, collectives, and organizations in Oakland.

The program is one strategy of many proposed by the Oakland Arts Workspace Group, a unified effort by public, private, and philanthropic partners that include the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, CAST, NCCLF, 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.

Moy Eng


Artists and arts organizations have told us of their urgent need for help. Originally focused on arts nonprofits, Keeping Space – Oakland is exploring ways to better assist this wide-ranging network of artists, artist collectives, and arts communities, and to prepare them to thrive in Oakland’s challenging commercial real estate environment. With the Bay Area’s escalating commercial rental costs, Keeping Space – Oakland investments are timely and crucial to help in keeping Oakland artists and arts organizations in Oakland.
~Moy Eng, 
CAST Executive Director, 



Technical Assistance

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, and will be conducted by real estate consulting experts at Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF).


Real Estate Readiness Workshop



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


Award recipients include:

Alena Museum, which 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.

The three-part Real Estate Readiness Workshop Series was led by real estate expert consultants at the NCCLF. These workshops helped arts groups build their organizational and financial capacities to navigate the real estate market. We encouraged both a senior staff person and board/advisory council member to attend the workshops.

Friday, May 5, 2017
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 about planning for your space. Are you ready to move? How much space? What can I afford?

Thursday, June 8, 2017
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
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.



Financial Assistance

Keeping Space – Oakland provides grant funding of up to $75,000 to groups, collectives, and organizations that have a developed plan for securing a long-term or permanent, affordable arts and cultural facility.Organizations may apply for only one (1) of the listed categories. Only one financial assistance grant may be awarded per project for the applicant organization over the pilot period unless you are a Technical Assistance award recipient.



Fourteen arts and cultural organizations, collectives, and DIY models will receive grant funding totaling $350,281 to secure long-term, affordable, and safe spaces in Oakland.The fourteen recipients consist of traditional arts nonprofits, hybrid collective-cooperative models, community-based organizations, and a DIY warehouse model. Organizations are located across Oakland, from East Oakland to North Oakland, to Lakeshore. Based on the needs of each organization, financial assistance will go towards acquisitions, planning expenses, tenant improvements, or rental and moving expenses.


Award recipients include:

30th & West Live/Work Community Arts Center offers a canvas for creative life, inspiration, artistic growth, and resilient community by providing affordable housing, studio work space, and a supportive atmosphere for Oakland artists.


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. 


Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc. empowers individuals to be self-aware and inspired through art, creativity and education, making positive choices to break the cycle of violence for themselves and their communities.


Black Culture Zone Collaborative prevents the dismantling of East Oakland’s Black people and culture. We seek to advance activities that celebrate Black cultural traditions and innovations, Black run businesses including cultural enterprises, direct anti-displacement services, community-based development, and education that give our community their true stories.


Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice empowers young people and their families that have been impacted by the criminal justice system. Using La Cultura Cura, the guiding philosophy and strategy of uplifting our cultural traditions and arts as a pathway to healing and wholeness, we empower the community to become agents of change.


Eastside Arts Alliance is a collective of artists and community organizers of color who live and work in East Oakland. Our mission is to unite art with activism to work for community cultural development and to build bridges between our disenfranchised, racially and ethnically divided communities.


Oakland Ballet Company provide accessible, relevant, and exciting dance for our diverse community.


Oakland Public Conservatory opens the world of music to all through access to quality, economical instruction in a nurturing environment. We value rigor and scholarship in our quest to preserve the musical traditions of Oakland.


Peacock Rebellion is an East Oakland-based, multidisciplinary, trans/genderqueer/gender non-conforming people of color-centered organization of artists and cultural workers who use the arts to advance safety and healing for queer and trans people of color.


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.


Rock Paper Scissors Collective is a volunteer-run consensus decision-making organization that fosters creativity and collaboration in order to strengthen local communities and encourage sustainable practices and alternative models. We promote inclusive sharing of ideas, skills, and resources through the celebration of art, craft, education, and performance.


Studio Grand is a nonprofit multi-use space that supports local families, youth, emerging and established artists by hosting a mix of music, performance, educational, visual art classes and events. Studio Grand’s programming centers leadership and programming for historically marginalized communities including people of color, immigrant, and LGBTQAA communities.


United Roots empowers marginalized youth in socially innovative ways utilizing Creative Arts Education, instilling confidence and developing talent through digital, technological and performing arts.


Women’s Audio Mission is a Bay Area-based nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and creative technology, fields in which women are critically underrepresented (< 5%). WAM uses music/media to attract 1,500+ underserved girls/women each year to free, job-specific creative technology training, career/educational counseling and mentorship.


See the official press release here.

Category A: Acquisition Expenses

Acquisition expenses are costs incurred to finance and purchase an arts and cultural facility. Examples of acquisition expenses include closing costs (title, tax, appraisal, legal fees), holding costs or preoccupancy costs, etc.

Maximum Request Amount: $ 75,000

Eligibility Requirements: Must be purchasing a facility for permanent use AND must have a fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement or Letter of Intent, as of January 1, 2017.


Category B: Planning Expenses

Planning expenses are costs incurred in the planning for the acquisition or expansion of an arts and cultural facility. Examples of planning expenses include consultation for architectural, engineering, and legal expertise, feasibility studies, financial and management analysis, market analysis, site analysis, needs assessment, capital campaign consultation, etc.

Maximum Request Amount: $ 50,000

Eligibility Requirements: At least one (1) site must be identified OR must submit a Purchase and Sale Agreement or Letter of Intent, if available, as of January 1, 2017.


Category C: Facility Improvement Expenses

1. Tenant Improvements: Tenant Improvements (TI) are customized alterations made to the property for the specific needs of the tenant. These include walls, floors, ceilings, and lighting, among others. TIs tend to be fixed to the property and tenant cannot remove them when vacating the premises.


Maximum Request amount: $ 30,000

Eligibility Requirements: Must have at least three (3) years remaining on lease from November 1, 2017 OR a fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement or Letter of Intent to enter into a PSA.


2. Code, Safety, & ADA Improvements: Code, Safety, & ADA Improvements are facility emergency corrections for cited fire, ADA and/or safety code violations OR for prevention of such citations and violations.


Maximum Request amount: $ 10,000

Eligibility Requirements: Must have at least one (1) year remaining on lease from November 1, 2017, OR a fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement or Letter of Intent to enter into a PSA.


Category D: Rental, Moving, and Other Expenses

1. Rental Expenses: 

•  A stipend for up to six months of the difference between prior and new rental amounts. (Stipend may be used for temporary/short-term/per use space costs for agreements executed in 2016 or later.)

•  A stipend for the portion of the rental cost for up to six months for organizations paying market lease rates ($1.80/sf/mo. – $2.40/sf/mo.), or greater.


2. Moving Expenses, including:

•  Holding costs (costs incurred while operating two facilities at one time while moving)

•  Furnishings, Fixtures, and Equipment (Restriction: Only for applicants moving into a newly leased or purchased space and with leases or PSAs dated June 1, 2017)


3. Other Expenses, including:

•  Particular facility costs that place the organization at-risk of displacement, such as special, required permitting, a significant increase in property taxes, etc.


Maximum Request amount: $ 10,000

Eligibility Requirements: Must have at least three (3) years remaining on lease from November 1, 2017 OR a fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement or Letter of Intent.

Exception: May be on a month-to-month lease for Rental Expenses ONLY.




You must meet the following basic eligibility requirements to apply for Keeping Space – Oakland programs.

  • Mission statement or programming must prioritize the development, production, presentation, and/or creative processes of arts and culture OR on providing services to such defined arts and cultural organizations.
  • Must be incorporated and in good standing as a Section 501(c)(3) corporation or be a fiscally sponsored project of a tax-exempt corporation that is operating for purposes consistent with Section 501(c)(3) status.
  • Must be located in the City of Oakland.
  • Must demonstrate a stable, active, and continued presence in Oakland for the past three years.


Priority will be given to applicants that are able to demonstrate one (1) or more the following requirements:

  1. Displaced in the past five years, since January 1, 2012, and have not yet secured a new lease of three (3) years or more.
  2. Facing displacement over the next 12-18 month period from May 31, 2017.
  3. Financial hardship and need.
  4. Cultural equity, cultural preservation, and geographic equity.
  5. Received a Keeping Space – Oakland Technical Assistance award.







In order to receive a financial assistance grant award, the applicant must submit the following documentation to demonstrate:

  • Section 501(c)(3) status by submitting a letter of determination or fiscal sponsorship by submitting an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
  • An established track record of serving the residents of the City of Oakland by providing at least three (3) events or programs produced in Oakland over the past three years, since November 1, 2014.
  • Displacement risk by submitting a current and/or terminated executed lease(s), Letter of Intent, Purchase and Sale Agreement, OR any other documentation that clearly indicates that the organization is facing displacement.
  • Organizational capacity by submitting leadership resumes and/or biographies, and, if available, a strategic or business plan.
  • A high degree of project readiness by submitting identified funding sources for the project, a preliminary project budget, and timeline, identified project management team (as applicable) and projected operating budget.
  • Site Identification, for Category B ONLY, by submitting the street address of the site identified and owner or real estate broker’s name.
  • A track record of artistic and/or programmatic excellence and quality delivery of programs and/or services by submitting one-three (1-3) documentation items below:

MANDATORY: One (1) letter of support from a community member, audience, artist served, or funder/donor that can speak to the organization’s artistic and programmatic quality. The LOS must be no more than two (2) years old and must have a signature.

OPTIONAL: One (1) press review—not a preview—from the past two (2) years covering local work and attesting to organization’s artistic and programmatic quality.

OPTIONAL: Two-Five (2-5) minutes of audio or video OR eight (8) PDF or JPEG images OR 10 pages maximum of film treatments, literary manuscripts, publications, and scripts, which demonstrate the organization’s artistic and programmatic quality.

  • Financial stability, hardship, and need over the previous three (3) consecutive years by submitting year-end financial statements or the most recent Data Arts report (formerly the California Cultural Data Project), current year operating budget, most recent tax year Form 990 (for 501(c)(3) organizations only), and most recent audit, if available.



Restrictions on Grant Funds

  • Only one financial assistance grant may be awarded per project for an applicant organization for the duration of this one-time pilot program.
  • Financial assistance projects must be expensed and completed by August 1, 2018.
  • Grant funds may not be used for any of the following:
      • Ongoing mortgage payments
      • More than six months of a rental stipend
      • Staff salaries











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


Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :