The Heart and Soul of the Bay

In 2015, the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) surveyed nearly 600 artists living in San Francisco. The results were frightening; Over 70 percent of respondents said they had been or were being displaced from their workplaces, homes or both. Thirty percent feared displacement would happen in the near future.

–Michelle Robertson, SFGate


By 2030, if trends of the past 15 years continue, Oakland’s Black population could fall to as few as 70,000 people from 140,000 in 2000, declining from roughly 35 percent of the city’s total population to a mere 16 percent.

–Darwin Bond Graham, February 14, 2018, East Bay Express

The arts give the San Francisco Bay area its color, its rhythm, its shape and, and its sound. As much as the Bay Area is known for its capacity to foster innovation in technology, the roots of that region’s creativity–in technology, in the sciences, medicine, activism, and politics–is in its early and continuing role as a welcoming space for new ideas. This legacy has been most clear in its long history as a thriving community for artists and writers of all stripes. If artists are the heart of the Bay Area (and they are), then African Americans are certainly its soul. Yet, both communities find themselves among the many groups who are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate the cost of living and the pace of change in a rapidly shifting landscape. Much has been written about the stark outlook for artists and African Americans, and it is more than reasonable to imagine that

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