$1.7M to Fund Affordable Artist Spaces in Oakland

The Oakland warehouse that caught fire December 2 was said to be an illegal residence.
Image: KGO-TV via AP

Following the “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire, Oakland, Calif., announced a $1.7 million investment in a trust to procure affordable artist spaces.


Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Tuesday a multi-million dollar investment that would help create sustainable, affordable and safe spaces for the city’s artists and art organizations.

While the investment has been in the pipeline for months, the funds come at an especially crucial time following news of a three-alarm fire that killed 36 people at a warehouse that had allegedly been illegally converted into affordable living spaces for artists.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will donate $1.7 million to the non-profit real-estate organization the Community Arts Stabilization Trust, which will launch a new financial and technical assistance program to help arts organizations facing displacement, according to the mayor’s office.

The investment will help support a capital fund to allow CAST to initiate a real estate acquisition program, which will create permanently affordable, safe spaces for artists and art organizations in the city.

The investments come at a significant time, as housing and commercial rents are rising, resulting in artists and art organizations being displaced. The investments are a result of recommendations made by a multi-disciplinary taskforce put together by Schaaf in 2015, Schaaf’s office said.

Continue reading the story on the CBS website.

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