Press Release

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Announces $2.85 Million in California Arts Council Funding for Artists in the Bay Area 

The Creative Corps Initiative seeks to provide a living wage to artists to help advance equity and well-being across communities in California

Applications will be accepted starting Monday, May 15, 2023 at 12:00pm PST until Friday, July 14, 2023 at 5:00pm PST

(San Francisco, CA – May 15, 2023) Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Creative Corps Initiative, a partnership with the California Arts Council (CAC) to provide $2.85 million dollars in funding to artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Artists and cultural practitioners, working in partnership with nonprofits in their communities, will receive between $70,000 to $72,000, depending on the volume of applicants.  Projects will address civic engagement, climate justice, community health and wellness, and social justice. Applications will be accepted starting Monday, May 15, 2023 at 12:00pm PST, and will remain open until Friday, July 14, 2023 at 5:00pm PST. To apply and for additional information, visit:

“YBCA is proud to partner with the California Arts Council to support local artists and nonprofits in developing work that speaks to some of the most complex issues affecting our communities,” said Sara Fenske Bahat, CEO of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. “This collaboration will help strengthen communities and improve the lives of residents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The Creative Corps Initiative will prioritize communities that fall below the 25th percentile on the California Healthy Place Index. These communities include select areas of Antioch, Bay Point, Berkeley, Concord, Fairfield, Hayward, Oakland, Pittsburg, Richmond, San Francisco, San Jose, San Rafael, and Vallejo. 

Yerba Buena is one of 14 CAC partners designing programs to help advance equity and well-being across California. In addition to facilitating funding, YBCA will support awardees through information sessions, crowdfunding and financial distribution assistance, group healthcare options, and cultural strategy training from the San Francisco Foundation.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the summer. Applicants will be notified with their application status in September 2023. Information sessions and contracting will be finalized ahead of the distribution of funds in October 2023. The Creative Corps Initiative was established by a one-time $60 million investment from the State of California General Fund allocated to the California Arts Council.

Application Support
YBCA staff will be available to help applicants during office hours on Mondays from 1-3pm and Fridays from 10am-12pm. To schedule an office hour appointment or for technical assistance, please reach out with the subject line “Creative Corps Initiative Support” at [email protected]

About California Creative Corps

California Creative Corps is a $60 million effort by the governor and legislature to, among other things, increase public awareness related to water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, emergency preparedness, and relief and recovery.

About Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Opened to the public in 1993, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) was founded as the cultural anchor of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens neighborhood. Our work spans the realms of contemporary art, performance, film, civic engagement, and public life. Centering artists as essential to social and cultural movement, YBCA is reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the communities it serves. For more information, visit

About California Arts Council 

The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts. 


Ed Winstead
Vice President, Cultural Counsel
[email protected]

Jo Urtasun
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel
[email protected]

Related Stories