arts Blog

Thank You, Visionary Collaborators

Explore the series "Stories of Gratitude" about the people who inspire our work.  

When it comes to fostering a vibrant arts ecosystem in the Bay Area, we know we can’t do it alone. That’s why we want to acknowledge the collaborative, visionary and pragmatic partners who share our aspirations.

We are so grateful for our friends and partners at the City of San Francisco, City of Oakland, Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), Northern California Grantmakers, and, of course, our many grantees. Thank you partners for being willing to take smart risks with us, and for embracing the collaborative spirit necessary to strengthen our communities!

How do these partners help the Rainin Foundation make a greater impact in the Arts?

Addressing complex issues, such as the displacement of arts organizations, requires strategic partnerships with community, government and our funder colleagues. These cross-sector collaborations allow us all to leverage resources, share knowledge and welcome different perspectives. Their collective input helps us make informed decisions and the most impactful investments possible.

How does collaboration move us closer to a sustainable arts ecosystem in the Bay Area?

Our partnership with NCCLF and CAST originated in San Francisco to help stabilize physical spaces for arts and cultural organizations that are vital parts of their communities. Recognizing that the burdens of escalating rents and dwindling resources were being felt across the Bay, we knew we needed to act to help preserve Oakland’s rich and diverse arts and cultural heritage—our partners agreed.

We approached these partners and provided funding to bring the successful technical assistance and real estate programs they implemented in San Francisco to Oakland.

“We knew we needed to act to help preserve Oakland’s rich and diverse arts and cultural heritage—our partners agreed.”

Oakland’s Vibrant Culture

Instagrammers share the creativity of Oakland’s arts organizations and artists, and the city’s rich and varied artistic and cultural heritage.

Early this year, NCCLF conducted Real Estate Readiness workshops specifically designed for Oakland organizations, and nearly 50 local arts nonprofits benefitted. During the workshops, organizations made new and serendipitous connections with each other. Many organizations remain in touch with NCCLF and discussions have led to new opportunities for co-location and leasing. We’re excited that CAST is now actively working in Oakland by means of their successful real estate model to secure permanently affordable art space as Oakland continues to feel the impact of increased economic development.

Oakland-based Ubuntu Theater’s production of “Hurt Village” by Katori Hall, funded in part by the Rainin Foundation.

What does success look like?

Trust, partnership and collaboration among organizations with shared goals and values are essential to sustain progress. These alliances allow our arts organization partners to concentrate on what they do best—making extraordinary performances that move us.

Each organization that is afforded a stable home to produce work and conduct their operations represents a success. In this challenging real estate environment, we are making strategic investments to ensure more and more organizations have the capacity they need to secure their spaces long term.

What does the future look like?

We envision nonprofit arts organizations with the tools they need to successfully navigate this complex real estate market and the capacity to focus on their artistic visions.

Watch our Arts blog for Oakland arts announcements in early December.

Stories of Gratitude: The People Who Inspire Our Work

Top Photo: Axis Dance Company is an Oakland-based nonprofit and Rainin Foundation grantee that has paved the way for a contemporary dance form called physically integrated dance. Photo credit: David DeSilva

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