News

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts names Penelope Douglas as Chief of Strategy and Revenue

The artist and community development investment pioneer will leverage cross-sector experiences to expand the business model for arts organizations

We are pleased to announce the appointment of artist and social entrepreneur Penelope Douglas as Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer (CoS&R). As CoS&R, Douglas will play a key role in advancing YBCA’s mission as a center for art and social progress. 

Deborah Cullinan, CEO of YBCA remarked: “As YBCA seeks to reimagine the funding and business structures underlying arts organizations, we have found an ideal partner in the tireless creativity and far-reaching experience of Penelope Douglas. Across her career, Penelope has been a leader in positioning cultural workers as a key part of community development. At YBCA, she will advance new sustainable models for us to support artists driving social change in San Francisco and nationwide.”

Douglas will oversee a multifaceted enterprise strategy, encompassing strategic partnerships and philanthropic contributions from corporations, foundations, and individuals, as well as membership, admissions, rentals, and retail. In conjunction with Chief of Program Meklit Hadero and Chief Producer Jon Moscone, she will play a key role in further developing YBCA’s program model and engagement strategy.

Throughout her distinguished career Douglas has established connections across banking, community development finance, social enterprise, impact investing, and arts and culture. She has served as the co-founder and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, a community investment organization supporting small businesses to create good jobs, as well as senior executive and board chair of MissionHub and the global social capital conference SOCAP. Douglas is currently a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and serves on the board of the SAAS startup Startgrid.

Douglas has frequently collaborated with YBCA, most notably as a founding partner of CultureBank. A national initiative of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, CultureBank positions creative workers as central to community investment strategies, supporting artists in solving civic programs. CultureBank pilot programs are currently active in Oakland, Dallas, and Kansas City. 

“Communities are the builders of the best models for themselves, and I am excited to join an organization that places artists in the center of this work,” said Douglas. “At a moment of unprecedented challenges in the arts and culture sector, YBCA recognizes the immense value in positioning artists as agents for community investment and collective wellbeing.”

Douglas joins YBCA at a moment of unprecedented challenges across the cultural sector brought by the coronavirus pandemic. In order to support artists experiencing professional hardship, YBCA created the Artist Power Center, a digital platform and live phone bank that assists cultural workers in navigating emergency relief and long-term opportunities. This builds on YBCA’s participation in Artists Now, a relief fund launched in April 2020 in collaboration with Zoo Labs, Always Win Together, and Black Joy Parade.