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How Do Bay Area Artists Handle Their Money?

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Dear Readers,

It’s no secret that the Bay Area is an expensive place to live. And yet talking openly about money, the subject constantly on our minds, is still a social taboo. That’s why we’re glad to bring back The Hustle, our award-winning series on how Bay Area creatives handle their money. In frank and transparent profiles each month, you’ll meet artists talking about income, side gigs, studio expenses and more. Leading off the series is dancer Stephanie Hewett, who commuted four hours each day until landing a $33,000-a-year day job. (And if you’ve got a hustle of your own, we want to hear from you.)

Sadly, gun violence is also on our minds. After the horrible shooting in Gilroy, Pendarvis Harshaw asked that it be called domestic terrorism; a week later, the FBI did just that. Then El Paso happened. Then Dayton. We don’t have any easy answers for this moment in our country’s history, but I can share this: earlier this week, we postponed our regular department meeting to simply sit and talk with each other for an hour. It helped. In fact, studies show that talking to strangers, or even acknowledging each other’s existence, can make you happier and more connected.

If you’re headed to Outside Lands this weekend, let us be your guide. If you’re in Oakland, you might be surprised at what’s happening to downtown 13th Street. And for your fun read of the week, it’s hard to beat the two joggers who plan their runs in San Francisco to recreate famous works of art.

Thanks for reading. As always, you can email me here, and let us know how we’re doing.

Gabe Meline, Senior Arts Editor




Gabe Meline
Senior Editor, Arts



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How Stephanie Hewett Found Her Financial Footing in the Bay Area Dance Scene

By Sarah Hotchkiss

Stephanie Hewett’s story is a classic Bay Area artist experience of constant hustles, side gigs, long rides on public transportation — and finally, her body telling her to slow down.

As an administrative assistant, dancer and performer Stephanie makes $33,000 a year and has insurance. With the support of funding from local organizations, the Oakland-based choreographer has reached a level of financial stability while continuing her creative practice.

Read More



An Artist With Four Jobs and a 380-Mile Weekly Commute
By Sarah Hotchkiss



A Photographer Juggling Contract Gigs, Toddler in Tow
By Nastia Voynovskaya



How Many Jobs Does a Musician Need To Stay in San Francisco?
By Chloe Veltman



Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. How Long Before We Call it What it Really Is?

By Pendarvis Harshaw

“As a citizen — one who regularly attends public cultural events — I can’t help but see these details in shootings over and over,” writes KQED columnist Pendarvis Harshaw.

“A larger context needs to be mentioned every time a shooting influenced by ideology happens in America. Every single time.”

Read more



‘We Need These Two Strava Running Artists to Collaborate Immediately 
By Rae Alexandra



Headed to Outside Lands? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
By Nastia Voynovskaya



Steph Curry Helps Renovate Run-Down Basketball Court in East Oakland
By Pendarvis Harshaw



Scott Adams Tried to Exploit Gilroy — But He’s Not the First to See Profit in Tragedy 
By Rae Alexandra


Copyrighting the “Building Blocks” of Music? Why the Katy Perry Case Alarms Producers

By Nastia Voynovskaya

Experts say that the case against Katy Perry illuminates the discrepancies between the way copyright law is enforced and the real-life practices of pop music producers.

Read more

To ‘Reduce Loitering,’ a Plaza? Downtown Oakland Landlords Plan To Annex a Street

By Sam Lefebvre

Downtown Oakland will soon experience a dramatic transformation on 13th Street East of Broadway. Critics say the redevelopment efforts are the City of Oakland’s attempt to remove the homeless and poor from the downtown corridor.

Read more


We Have Studied Every Mass Shooting Since 1966. Here’s What We’ve Learned About the Shooters via Common Dreams
‘Amor Eterno’ Rings Out at Mass Shooting Vigils via New York Times
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Says Gender Needs To Be Part Of Gun Violence Conversation via HuffPost
San Francisco Will Raise Maya Angelou Sculpture via Hyperallergic

Are you a Bay Area artist with a “hustle”? Have you found creative ways to stay in the region while pursuing your work? We’d love to hear from you.

Share your story


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