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$3 Million Awarded to Support BIPOC-led Real Estate Acquisition

Gaby M. Rojas

Community Vision Capital & Consulting is thrilled to announce $3 million in real estate acquisition grants to five community-based performing arts groups. These awards are funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and administered by Community Vision, with the intention of stabilizing and advancing performing arts throughout the Bay Area, especially in historically disinvested communities.

“We are excited to support these community-led projects that demonstrate how investing in performing arts spaces drives equitable community development and holistic support for artists and the communities they represent,” said Catherine Howard, President of Community Vision. “These grants will build power and advance community ownership of community assets.”

The five projects funded were selected from among 42 applications representing more than $25 million in requested funds from 9 of the 10 Bay Area counties where organizations were eligible to apply. Priority went to projects led by organizations that are driving change and amplifying visions for their own communities.

“Arts facilities are vital to maintaining the presence and fostering self-determination of cultural and artistic communities,” states Emiko Ono, Performing Arts Program Director with the Hewlett Foundation. “These grants help ensure spaces are owned and activated by local artists, cultural leaders, and community-based organizations, which is part of what makes neighborhoods and the Bay Area unique and vibrant. These projects ensure the arts and artists have a place to call home in the Bay Area — they’re a source of stability and vitality now and for future generations.”

The five projects receiving funding are:

East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative & House/Full of Blackwomen, West Oakland ($600,000)

This award will be used to activate the Esther’s Orbit Room Cultural Revival Project, a historically Black-owned space closed for many years, and transform three parcels into a new BIPOC-centered hub of culture and art.

Oakstop, LLC & Black Music Entrepreneurship Incubator, West Oakland ($707,200)

This award will be used to purchase a property in West Oakland, fit with recording and performance studios, that will offer wrap-around business support services and shared space rentals.

Black Cultural Zone Community Development Corporation, East Oakland ($553,000)

This award will be used to develop a ground-up community arts hub on a lot in East Oakland known as Liberation Park, activated by the Black Cultural Zone since April 2020.

Pajaro Valley Arts, Watsonville ($540,000)

This award will be used to purchase a 11,980 sq ft building in downtown Watsonville that will open as a new visual and performing arts hub for the Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Berkeley ($599,800)

This award will support the acquisition of the organization’s currently leased space in Berkeley and will permanently stabilize the legacy of its US-Bali musical exchange.

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