What Makes Vital Arts Different?


We support artists outside of institutions.

The Bay Area’s creative landscape is home to many esteemed institutions and amazing nonprofits. But what about the artists themselves? Independent thinkers, informal collaborators, and creative experimenters are often at the greatest risk of displacement. They are not eligible for most existing grants and subsidies. Yet they attract an engaged audience, and their innovative cutting edge experimentation with all forms of art enriches our community and often forms the basis for the next new trend in the arts, or deepens existing approaches to art and music. Just as the Bay Area is home to an unprecedented array of cutting edge companies and technologies, Vital Arts will support those who are experimenting in cutting edge artistic creations.


We address housing and the arts - simultaneously.

In Oakland alone, there are more than 280,000 square feet of creative spaces in the creative underground community, representing at least 360 affordable dwellings, across 5 council districts. But many of the residents of these spaces are threatened with eviction due to pressure from building inspectors, private developers and an influx of higher paid employees. If we can legalize these spaces and ensure their safety, they will continue to provide affordable housing, arts space, and performance venues for the community. Vital Arts is also actively partnering with others to advocate for and support development of affordable space for artists to live and work to prevent their exodus from the Bay Area.


We provide sustainable, long term solutions.

Properties we work with through loans and grants will be affordably priced over the long term, and will be contractually obligated to support arts uses. We favor situations where properties can remain available to artists in perpetuity and won’t transition into market rate condos. For example, rents could go to a revolving fund to support more individuals in more spaces and offers artists the opportunity eventually to purchase the properties in which they are living.