San Francisco is a city that values creativity, a longtime value that has drawn myriad new residents seeking support for their artistic ideas. But how can a city tout that value when artists are being priced out by exorbitant rents?
Sadly, the arts community has experienced vast displacement over the past decade. This cultural loss was documented in summer 2014, when the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) sent out a survey, with about 600 artists answering. This survey found that over 70 percent of the respondents had been displaced or were being displaced from their workplace or home — some from both. As for the 30 percent who were not being displaced, most expressed fear that could happen in the future.
To work on addressing this issue, SFAC recently awarded MEDA a grant to assist artists and cultural workers in finding safe, secure and quality housing. SFAC knew of MEDA’s success around affordable housing in the Mission and was also cognizant that the organization could help artists navigate the below-market-rate (BMR) application system. This will include one-on-one coaching for affordable housing — at no cost — whether you are an artist seeking a BMR apartment or are ready to be a first-time homebuyer.
To help artists and cultural workers learn of all of their affordable-housing options in San Francisco, MEDA will be presenting a free workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m.. Just stop by MEDA’s Plaza Adelante neighborhood center, located at 2301 Mission Street @ 19th, in Suite 203. (Facebook event).
SFAC also chose MEDA for this grant because of the wraparound services that could be offered, from job training and financial coaching to small-business assistance and free tax preparation. How these free programs can strengthen the arts community will also be presented at the workshop.
Questions? (415) 282-3334 ext. 126; or email us.
Funding by San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC).
Artist: Ursula Young, 2017
Location: Ames Alley (Guerrero at 22nd) in San Francisco, Calif.