Community Arts Stabilization Trust - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Community Arts Stabilization Trust

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a major supporter of CAST, which secures affordable space for Bay Area arts and culture.

Securing affordable space is one of the biggest challenges facing nonprofit organizations. In 2013, the Rainin Foundation partnered with Community Vision to launch the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) as a long-term solution to the Bay Area’s real estate challenges for arts and cultural organizations. CAST is a community-centered real estate organization that works to secure and steward affordable spaces, ensuring artists and cultural workers can stay anchored where they create.

The Foundation seeded CAST with a $5 million grant. In 2017, we awarded another $3 million grant to support its expansion into Oakland and its continued focus in San Francisco. In 2020, we awarded another $3 million grant to advance its artist-led innovations to develop permanent affordable workspace and housing to retain artists in the Bay Area. And in 2023, we celebrated a decade of CAST’s success.

CAST exemplifies the Rainin Foundation’s leadership and smart risk-taking toward retaining strong, vibrant and diverse arts communities.

Moy Eng, CEO of CAST, is one of many creative people featured in our video celebrating CAST’s first decade. The video explores how CAST started and how it has been successful in securing safe, affordable spaces for artists to work and thrive. Video credit: Fox Nakai

The Innovative Model

Through collaborations with nonprofits, government agencies and many other community partners, CAST helps to stabilize arts and cultural organizations by:

  • Acquiring properties to lease to arts tenants
  • Bundling leases to sustain affordable rents
  • Building their capacity to gain a permanent asset without risking their operations and programs

CAST’s innovative financial model has gained national recognition. The Rainin Foundation has codified this model as the Rainin Arts Real Estate Strategy.

Two Pilot Projects

CAST’s first major undertaking was acquiring a building for the Luggage Store Gallery (1007 Market Street) and CounterPulse (80 Turk Street). These San Francisco-based organizations have been operating since the early 1990s. In 2013, both were at risk of displacement due to a building sale and fast-rising rents. Today these nonprofits are secure in their spaces with below-market lease rates and have the opportunity to purchase the building in seven to 10 years. In fact, as of 2023, CounterPulse fully owns its building at 80 Turk Street. And, thanks to a deed restriction, these buildings can only ever be used by arts nonprofits.

An icon of three high-rise buildings, one teal building sandwiched between two gold buildings.

A Decade Of CAST: By The Numbers

Over the past ten years, CAST has:

  • Raised nearly $50 million in assets
  • Acquired four buildings that they are stewarding as cultural centers
  • Secured five more projects in the development pipeline

Over the next several years, CAST will:

  • Have $200 million in assets
  • Contribute 250,000 square feet of permanent, affordable arts real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area