Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to questions you may have about our work, donating, and our services. If these don’t provide you with the information you need, please contact us.
We work in deep partnership with communities across the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly communities that have endured systemic oppression and historical underinvestment.
CAST models new ways to secure and steward affordable, inclusive spaces for creative and cultural expression. We do this by applying real estate financing tools and structural models in innovative ways, building community knowledge and agency, and creating and holding space for visioning and arts activation. Our programs and services have helped arts organizations build pathways to ownership, enabled artists to secure long-term affordable leases, and created dedicated spaces for cultural connection and exchange.
- CAST supports our community-based partners to take on projects that require additional capacity, providing experience, financial resources, and partnership to achieve goals that would otherwise be more challenging, particularly real estate outcomes.
- CAST supports building teams to navigate the rough and risky waters of real estate development for cultural and community facilities. Specifically, by bringing our experience, capacity, and relationships to support our partners at the most opportune times for cost-effectiveness and project success.
At the moment, we’re focused on supporting Bay Area artist communities and organizations experiencing challenges in space affordability or displacement. There is no application process, but to be considered a potential partner, CAST looks for the following:
- Arts and Culture partners who have deep investments in their immediate community or specific neighborhoods
- Promising creative start-ups
- Women & BIPOC-led arts and cultural organizations
It’s about understanding the priorities and needs of the artists or nonprofits who need our support, assessing what is needed financially, and then developing a solution that fits where they’re at, organizationally.
To ensure a space remains an arts and culture asset in perpetuity, CAST maintains a 1% asset management interest in the operating agreement of the building. This allows us to preserve and enforce the ongoing arts and cultural use so the building can not be sold to anyone other than a nonprofit arts organization.
In the case of CounterPulse, the purchase gives CounterPulse a 99% interest in the LLC, with CAST retaining 1%. That remaining share ensures that should CounterPulse ever sell the property the buyer would need to be an arts nonprofit.
We are not a grantmaker.
We seek organizations that need a partner organization and we invest in a partnership to assist with acquisition and construction. Our goal is to be bought out through future fundraising and to build the capacity of our partners to operate their facilities. We also seek to create economies of scale between our partners to reduce operating expenses, such as insurance maintenance and other expenses.
We help create an opportunity for gathering all the right people (that includes funders, real estate developers, technical consultants, civic and community leaders, arts and culture groups) to form the tapestry that creates a thriving cultural hub. For those facing space challenges, we help weave together the threads by connecting those working in arts and culture to the proper resources, be it tactical, financial, or social.
At 447 Minna, we welcome a range of arts and cultural practices spanning from visual arts to performing arts, contemporary to experimental, and everything in between.
We wrap physical space around artists’ and organizations’ needs, especially those with deep community roots. We want to provide local communities with interactive, engaging art, but for this to be a truly thriving cultural hub, it’s key that we provide accessible space and resources that will preserve SoMa’s legacy and diverse history.
Areas of focus:
- Equitable practices
- Intergenerational & youth programming
- Multidisciplinary and community artist collaborations
- Pilipinx, LGBTQ+, POC Artists, and cultural heritage celebrations that uplift traditions
- Emerging artists
- Wellness and healing through arts
- Community and non-profit use
- Transformative justice
As a multidisciplinary space, we welcome all arts and culture uses from around the Bay Area, especially those with ties to the SoMa neighborhood and/or are located in zip codes that directly impact the immediate community.
These include: 94103, 94110, 94112, 94124, and 94134
In addition to our lowest “neighborhood” rate, we offer a discounted “non-profit” rate which makes up our next pricing tier. There are three levels available (from lowest to highest): neighborhood, non-profit, and standard. View the pricing split here.
Yes! Before we can schedule that, please submit an Event Request Form to tell us about your activity and how we can support. Send that with your proposed availability to firstname.lastname@example.org and our staff will be in touch to set up a time.
All donations are tax deductible. We are a 501(c)(3). EIN number is 46-1897606.
We receive funding from a diverse combination of public and private sources: grants, conventional and tax-exempt debt, tax credits, and property tax abatement and exemptions. CAST was initially seeded and supported with a philanthropic grant of $5 million from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, which was leveraged to unlock additional public and private funds that support individual projects and programs.
Real estate projects require long, often multi-million dollar investments that develop slowly over the course of five, sometimes ten years. Our supporters contribute to project-specific capital, general operating expenses, and broader organization efforts that allow us to work deeper in community.
Gifts of all levels make an impact. Whether it’s $5, $50, or $500, your donation is more than just a drop in the bucket. A one-time or monthly contribution can help immediately fund CAST’s vital community engagement efforts, including artist honorariums for residencies and to acknowledge the work of our Cultural Space Ambassadors, subsidizing the cost of renting space at 447 Minna to make it even more affordable for community groups, and facilitation tools to realize our Dreaming Spaces programming.
Check out our Partner With Us page to learn all the ways your contribution can support CAST’s projects and programs.