A Foundation's Effort to Anchor Arts Organizations Through Affordable Space

In times when the conversation on how rent increases impact artists and communities' ties with their history, a post by the Northern California Grantmakers discusses how the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has tackled the question of how to make more of its dollars to assist organizations stay put as rents rise across the Bay Area.

Discussing the Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy, Shelley Trott, director of Arts Strategy & Ventures at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation states:

Six years ago, the soaring cost of real estate and rents created a perfect storm with an enormous influx of workers to fuel the Bay Area’s booming high-tech industry. The problem was particularly acute in San Francisco, and it was clear that a significant segment of the city’s cultural identity and economy was at risk of displacement. Rent increases averaging 30% and higher were a major challenge for artists and arts organizations.

The Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy, as Trott explains, was a response from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation after understanding their "grantees’ survival would be in question" and their support through grants "would be futile" under such circumstances.

"The result was a collaborative model that connects resources in the community to the real estate needs of arts and cultural nonprofits," Trott says.

The model, the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), secured permanent, affordable spaces for The Luggage Store Gallery and CounterPulse, two San Francisco arts organizations with roots in their communities, adds Trott.

In November 2017 the Kenneth Rainin Foundation awarded CAST $3 million to expand its work to Oakland.

To read more about Kenneth Rainin Foundation's work with this initiative, click here.

Image: Unsplash/Daryl Elliott