Oakland Art Groups Receive $350,000 for Sustainable, Safe Art Spaces

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Alena Museum, a 2016 and 2017 recipient of CAST's Keeping Spaces — Oakland grant. (CAST)

Bay Area-based nonprofit Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) will award $350,000 in funding to Oakland-based art groups to ensure the viability of artist communities in a rapidly-gentrifying Oakland.

Fourteen arts and cultural organizations will receive funding as part of CAST’s Keeping Space—Oakland program, the nonprofit announced on Nov. 30, mere days before the first anniversary of the Ghost Ship fire.

Founded last year with funding from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the William + Flora Hewlett Foundation, Keeping Space—Oakland is CAST’s pilot program in the East Bay to assist a varied set of arts nonprofits vulnerable to displacement.

“With the Bay Area’s escalating real estate costs,” said CAST Executive Director Moy Eng in a statement, “Keeping Space–Oakland investments are timely and essential to help keep artists and arts groups in Oakland.”

Each organization will receive a grant ranging from $6,200 to $56,250, which can be utilized for acquiring spaces, planning acquisitions, bringing existing spaces up to ADA and safety code, or for paying off rental and moving expenses.


Part of Keeping Space—Oakland’s project, in addition to providing funding for safe, sustainable workspaces, is offering logistical and technical support for organizations looking to purchase real estate in Oakland.

These grants from CAST expand the scope and quadruple the amount in the program’s first round of assistance. Back in May, six organizations, including Black and Indigenous-centered community space Qilombo and contemporary art gallery Pro Arts, received $90,000 worth of real estate consultation services.

Of the program’s six beneficiaries in its initial wave of assistance, two — Alena Museum and PLACE for Sustainable Living — remain beneficiaries.

Among the new grantees for Keeping Space include Women’s Audio Mission, the EastSide Arts Alliance and its Black Culture Zone Collaborative, and the Oakland Ballet Company.

“I am thrilled that CAST is helping our arts and culture organizations remain in Oakland through its Keeping Space–Oakland program,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf in a statement.  “CAST is playing a critical role in supporting Oakland’s diverse creative community.”

A full list of award recipients can be found below:

  • 30th & West Live/Work Community Arts Center
  • Alena Museum
  • Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc.
  • Black Culture Zone Collaborative
  • Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
  • Eastside Arts Alliance
  • Oakland Ballet Company
  • Oakland Public Conservatory of Music/ Music Is Extraordinary
  • Peacock Rebellion
  • PLACE for Sustainable Living
  • Rock Paper Scissors Collective
  • Studio Grand
  • United Roots
  • Women’s Audio Mission