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YBCA and SOCAP Come Together to Build Artists’ Capacity for Social Impact

Artists are catalysts for change. Sustainable change requires investment. YBCA’s CultureBank initiative sits at this critical intersection, shaping new models of investment for artists working in service of communities.

Since 2016, YBCA has worked with SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) to bring artists and arts and cultural leaders together to identify and enact social reform through CultureBank. With a unique lens on artist-run enterprises, these discussions amplify how artist participation is an essential ingredient in creating equitable communities. This year, we are doubling down on our commitment to integrating artists in community investment strategies. 

As part of this commitment, we are thrilled to announce the inaugural YBCA Artist Cohort in partnership with SOCAP. This group of artist-entrepreneurs already actively create community impact, and our newly established scholarship program will provide educational and investment opportunities to grow their crucial work both leading up to and during the SOCAP 2020 Convening to be held on October 19-23, 2020. These artists will also share their creative strategies with the SOCAP community by leading workshops around the themes of Truth and Reconciliation, the Future of Work, and Health and Wellbeing.

Each cohort member was selected for their stewardship of equity, health, and wellbeing, with a vision of regeneration. With artists spanning across the United States, projects supported through this program include The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, founded by Executive Director Vashti DuBois to honor the stories and experiences of Black women, and Gossypion Investments in Dallas, co-founded by Darryl Ratcliff, which works with government agencies, foundations, culturemakers, and companies to create systematic shifts that implement paradigms that benefit everyone. Each artists’ project works towards building real solutions to our most urgent social, cultural, and environmental needs. 

Bay Area artists are represented in the cohort and include Vincent Medina and Louis Travino (both Ohlone), who together founded mak-’amham Contemporary Ohlone Cuisine to use food as a strategy to foster wellness and decolonization for their Ohlone communities, and Ayodele Nzinga, who founded The Lower Bottom Playaz Inc. in Oakland and uses performance as a method of group communication following the tradition of the Black Arts Continuum. Cohort member Fay Darmawi uses diverse forms of storytelling and media to create lasting social change as the Executive Director of the SF Urban Film Festival, visual artist Binta Ayofemi explores urban space through themes of vacancy, abundance, and latent systems, and Alice Shepard’s choreography explores the intersections of disability, gender, and race. 

The full YBCA Artist Cohort includes: 

Brian Adams, Photographer 

Binta Ayofemi, Visual Artist

Grimaldi Baez, Professor and Community Art Practitioner

Tisha Creer, Teaching Artist, Entrepreneur, and Arts Administrator

Fay Darmawi, Founder and Executive Director of the SF Urban Film Festival

Vashti DuBois, Founder and Executive Director of The Colored Girls Museum

Christy Namee Ericksen, Multidisciplinary Poet, Teaching Artist, and Organizer

Vincent Media and Louis Trevino, Founders of mak-’amham/ Ohlone Cafe

Ayodele Nzinga, Transformative Artist Educator

Maria Cherry Rangel, Artist, Cultural Organizer, and Philanthropic Strategist

Darryl Ratcliff, Artist and Co-Founder of Gossypion Investments

Alice Sheppard, Artist, Dancer, and Choreographer

Melissa Shaginoff, Artist and Curator of Contemporary Indigenous Art and Culture at the Anchorage Museum 

Yngvil Vatn Guttu, Musician, Composer, and Executive Director of Northern Culture Exchange

Allison Warden, Interdisciplinary Artist

Throughout their time as members of the YBCA Artist Cohort and as SOCAP scholars, these artists will explore sources of capital for their work and develop tailored digital storytelling to articulate their impact on community health and wellbeing. Please join us in welcoming the YBCA Artist Cohort!