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CAST Event

The Art of the Fair Deal: Securing Space for the Arts in San Francisco

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022

Time: 12:30 pm

Location: Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, 110 The Embarcadero

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Securing Space for the Arts in San Francisco

Talk & Reception: Featuring Julie Phelps (CounterPulse) & Moy Eng (CAST) moderated by Michelle Meow


How can small nonprofit art organizations afford the cost of living in the Bay Area? Innovators in the field have been working for nearly a decade to solve this problem. Join CounterPulse’s Julie Phelps and CAST’s Moy Eng at the Commonwealth Club for a conversation moderated by Michelle Meow. As CounterPulse poises itself to buy its building in the Tenderloin from CAST later this year, learn how they’ve worked together in piloting a new real estate model which could be applied throughout the city and around the world to keep artists and creatives rooted in their communities amidst economic upheaval.

Join CAST and CounterPulse for a pre-show reception featuring a reading by Monique Jenkinson from her book Faux Queen: A Life in Drag with refreshments provided by Fluid Cooperative and pastries provided by Crumble & Whisk.

Event Details

12:00pm-12:30pm      Pre-show reception
12:30pm-1:30pm        Commonwealth Club Talk
1:30pm-2pm               Meet & Greet


About the Speakers

Julie Phelps

Artistic & Executive Director Julie Phelps has been at the helm of CounterPulse since 2014. Working at the intersection of the arts, activism, and community development, Phelps enacts hybridity as a mode of advancing the multi-faceted mission of CounterPulse. Phelps is active in connecting the artistic works of CounterPulse to the community by coordinating panels, symposia, discussion series to promote the power of the arts to catalyze change in our society. Under her leadership CounterPulse has grown from $800,000 to $1.2 million annual budget through funding and launching curated and acclaimed programs positioning CounterPulse as a curatorial leader worldwide. She is herself an internationally touring performer, social practice artists and cultural representative, and is deeply rooted in the queer and dance communities. She was featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy 2019 and 2020, was named a YBCA 100 Honoree in 2017, is a published essayist in Performance Research Journal in 2021, is a contributing author in choreography: strategies (Art Stations Foundation, Poland, 2022) and was recently interviewed by the New York Times on her unique ability to build new sources of philanthropy in the tech sector. Between 2013-2016, Phelps spearheaded the process of acquiring and renovating a new facility for CounterPulse, helping to launch a new model for placing arts at the center of community development as the pilot project of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), with full acquisition slated for July 2022 after raising over $7 million. Learn more at

Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow, host and producer of “The Michelle Meow Show,” is your A-Z, covering the LGBT, LMNOP, and everyone in between. She attended San Francisco State University and received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and shortly after, started her career in radio. Michelle’s
show can be heard in San Francisco and nationally on the Progressive Voices Network. The local TV show can be seen on KBCW TV, Ch 44/ Cable 712 Sunday nights at 1030pm. In late 2017, Michelle began producing programs at the iconic Commonwealth Club of CA- dedicated to conversations around social justice with an intersectional lens. She has interviewed notable thought leaders such as Olympic medalist Adam Rippon, NFL’s first out LGBTQ coach Katie Sowers, first American woman in space, Sally Ride’s widow Tam O’Shaughnessy, actresses Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, and Lily Tomlin and more. Her interviews also include local dignitaries, community advocates, and elected leaders. Michelle has also been a co-host of the San Francisco Pride Parade broadcast since 2006. She served as Board President of the San Francisco Pride Board of Directors from 2015-2018. She is a self-described LGBTQI+ history geek, information sponge, and a lover not a fighter.

Moy Eng

Moy Eng began her career in New York City, fundraising with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and has worked for over three decades as a senior executive in arts and culture, renewable energy, and human rights. At the center of her life is art, supporting artists and making artworks as a poet, songwriter and vocalist. By day, Moy serves as the CEO of Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), a San Francisco-based real estate development nonprofit dedicated to creating permanent affordable housing and workspace for the arts and culture sector in one of the most expensive cities to live and work in the world. Only nine years old, CAST has already been cited as a creative placekeeping model by civic and cultural leaders in Amsterdam, Austin, Denver, London, Paris, Seattle, Sydney, and Vancouver, among many others, and in publications by the World Cities Culture Forum and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Prior to her appointment at CAST, Moy served during the 2000s as the Hewlett Foundation arts program director, making $165 million in grants of which $20 million helped to build over 750,000 square feet in new artspace for small and midsized cultural nonprofits such as Ninth Street Media Consortium, ODC, Freight and Salvage, Los Cenzontles, and Tannery Arts Center. By night, Moy is a writer and vocalist. She recently released her first recording, the blue hour, co-produced with four-time Grammy Award nominee Wayne Wallace, to critical acclaim and international airplay.




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