Helping Displaced Artists

December 9, 2016

The visual arts nonprofit, Root Division was fortunate to move into a new location after being displaced, and received help from community partners including Studio O+A and Fog Studio.

Artists are often described as the heartbeat of our cities. From the graffiti artists who provoke our minds during the morning commute to the musicians who entertain and delight us, without these creative individuals our world would be bleak and unimaginative. Alongside these small wonders comes the increasing trend of income disparity and housing pressures that are displacing many creators and performers who now find themselves in compromised spaces. In light of the recent Oakland warehouse fire, Public Architecture is challenging the 1+ program’s design community to step up and provide pro bono design services to help increase the health and safety of artist live/work spaces.

As a national intermediary between the nonprofit and architecture and design communities, Public Architecture is well-positioned to support artist housing and work facilities. Through our flagship 1+ program, architects and designers take their expertise and resources gained through professional practice, including business and civic relationships, into pro bono service engagements in under-served communities. Public Architecture is hopeful, seeing so many of our 1+ members already deeply committed to partnering with community arts and cultural organizations.

In response to this critical need, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf recently announced $1.7 million in philanthropic funds to support sustainable, long-term solutions to creating affordable, safe space for Oakland’s artists and arts organizations. The 1+ program is primed to help groups like Safer Space, Omni Commons, We the Artists of the Bay Area, Community Arts Stabilization Trust and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, to name just a few of those who are addressing the immediate and long term needs in the Bay Area.

Want to be a part of the pro bono design movement? What are you waiting for? Join now.  Lastly, please consider investing in the future of Public Architecture and the 1+ program. Donate here.


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