Like so many organizations across the world, YBCA has been quickly reorienting its creative, human, and organizational resources in order to help in this urgent moment while already in the process of reinventing what an art center in service of its community could look like. Because of this, the invitation to deepen our collaboration with Zoo Labs, and to partner with Black Joy Parade and Always Win Together, was another absolute YES. The invitation was to respond.

What we know, and are responding to right now, is that one out of every three Americans are just $400 away from a major crisis, falling behind on the basics—rent, food, supplies, being able to care for their family. We also know that local artists—the heartbeat of our culture, key drivers of community identity and cohesion, and critical responders in times of crisis—are often the most vulnerable in these moments as they continue to commit their time and talent to our community, without the promise of stability.  

Zoo Labs proposed that YBCA join a collaboration in order to launch an Artist Relief Fund to bring financial support to those artists most immediately and directly affected by the additional and extreme economic challenges caused by COVID-19, with a specific focus on female, POC, and LQBTQIA artists. Our goal is to help them now so that they can continue to create the art, culture and community, and inspiration we need.  Please find more information here on today’s announcement. 

To complement this effort, later this month, we will launch a Support Center with an initial focus on serving Bay Area artists who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The Center will offer multi-platform ways to communicate with ​YBCA staff trained in support services through phone, mobile SMS, and, allowing us to help artists and cultural workers navigate urgent needs and an overwhelming array of challenges and resources at this critical time. At, we will convene several online opportunities for artists and cultural workers to have their questions answered across a range of offerings such as relief grant programs, loan programs, federal relief efforts, and more. While focused first on Bay Area artists and cultural workers, we will seek to help as many artists as possible through partnerships with national peer organizations.

We look forward to sharing more on the launch of the Support Center this month, and to opening our doors virtually to provide as much assistance as we can at this critical time. If you are able, we hope you will join us in supporting artists now.