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2022 in Review: Making Space to Dream

Dear Friend,

For almost a decade, CAST has aimed to make space to dream in one of the most expensive places in the world. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to do that, and here are some highlights of what you helped us accomplish this year.

As we continue our mission of securing arts and cultural spaces in the Bay Area, CAST is increasingly integrating the voices of our communities in the development of spaces to ensure we’re meeting their needs. A prime example of this shift is our latest project in the heart of San Francisco, 447 Minna, which opened this year.

As part of Undiscovered SF in October 2022, CAST had the honor of hosting resident artists from local Filipino arts incubator Balay Kreative at 447 Minna. Photo by Mogli Maureal

Envisioned as a community gathering place, promoting arts and culture traditions and creating a sense of connection and inclusion, 447 Minna has received interest not only from arts groups, but other neighborhood organizations as well. CAST recognized that neighborhood groups in need of affordable space for after-school programs, pop-ups, classes, and meetings are faced with the same challenges as the arts.

Youth from United Playaz and United Playaz Director of Community & Family Engagement Misha Olivas with Patricia Zamora, photo by Robbie Sweeny.

Thanks to grants from #StartSmall and the First Republic Foundation, we’ve been able to offer subsidized space for groups such as Bessie Carmichael School/Filipino Education Center, Bindlestiff Studio, the Mayor’s Youth Employment and Education ProgramMuseum of the African Diaspora, and Ashara Ekundayo Gallery. We look forward to continuing to work toward the goal of providing a welcoming, accessible meeting place for our SoMa neighbors and beyond.

Across the Bay…

We’re thrilled to collaborate with two dynamic Black-led organizations that are using real estate and culture as a tool for empowerment: Black Cultural Zone, on an affordable housing and commercial complex in East Oakland; and Oakstop, in support of their work in anchoring communities of color through strategic placemaking and meaningful employment opportunities.

CAST Senior Advisor Josh Simon and Black Cultural Zone CEO Carolyn Johnson in Liberation Park at a May 2022 Community Breakfast.

Oakstop offices in Downtown Oakland.

We’ve also begun a re-engagement process with our broader arts community in Oakland to continue what we started and execute on ideas that came out of Dreaming Spaces with EastSide Arts Alliance and Betti Ono.

CounterPulse exterior at night
Photo by Scott Fin

2022 will conclude with the transfer of one of our buildings to one of our first partners. In 2015, we joined with adventurous arts presenter CounterPulse in a new lease/buyback scheme, designed to enable them to lease a future home at a below-market rate while using the time to raise funds to buy.

This month, CounterPulse will officially purchase and own their home at 80 Turk Street, and CAST’s proceeds from the sale will be recycled into a new cultural space project.

This year CAST expanded our organizational capacity to meet our expanded vision. We brought on two new staff members, a Real Estate Project Manager and a part-time Social Media Associate, and also welcomed back our Director of Community Engagement from a yearlong leave of absence.

Looking ahead to 2023

CAST is incredibly excited to break new ground in several ways. We’ll begin conceptual work in January for a soon-to-be-announced cultural center in San Francisco. We’re expanding to San Jose with an equity investment in the School of Arts and Culture Mexican Heritage Plaza’s (SOAC) acquisition of a new building.

CAST’s investment will support SOAC’s acquisition of their commercial building at La Avenida, a project that will transform a 30,000-square-foot retail space on Alum Rock Avenue into a 200-seat theater and community-oriented cafe, along with a wellness center.

We’ll also be celebrating our 10th Anniversary with a series of events, including the March premiere of artist Adrian Arias’ multidisciplinary event Tarot in Pandemic & Revolution and our newly announced and first-ever Artist in ResidenceMattie Loyce. We hope you’ll join us!

With appreciation and gratitude for your belief and support of CAST,

Moy Eng, CEO

Make a contribution to CAST today and let’s ensure artists and cultural workers can stay anchored where they create.

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