The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is saddened to learn of the sudden passing of San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee. He was a champion of our work to preserve arts and cultural organizations through permanently affordable, safe spaces. Mayor Lee believed, as we do, that the arts are essential to San Francisco’s unique social fabric.
“I’m so grateful for Mayor Lee’s commitment to the idea that artists and arts organizations should own their own destiny,” said Jennifer Rainin, CEO, Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “His support was a powerful vote of confidence for the Foundation’s work launching the Community Arts Stabilization Trust.”
In 2013, we were honored to have Mayor Lee speak at our press conference to celebrate our seed funding of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), a nonprofit dedicated to stabilizing physical spaces for arts and cultural nonprofits. CAST had just purchased buildings for the Luggage Store Gallery and CounterPulse, both of which had been at risk of displacement due to a building sale and fast-rising rents.
“Quickly stabilizing two arts organizations in Central Market wouldn’t have been possible without Mayor Lee’s leadership,” said Shelley Trott, the Rainin Foundation’s Director of Arts Strategy & Ventures. “He was an early believer in our efforts and CAST’s work to secure permanent, affordable space for the arts in San Francisco.”
Under Mayor Lee’s administration, funding for the arts increased and vital programs like the Nonprofit Stability Initiative have helped secure spaces for nonprofits.
“We will honor Mayor Lee’s memory through our continued work to promote and support San Francisco’s vibrant arts communities,” said Jennifer Rainin.
The Rainin Foundation sends our condolences to Mayor Lee’s family and friends and the entire San Francisco City Hall family during this difficult time.