In response to these events, artists, makers, musicians, producers and performers have come together to form We the Artists of the Bay Area, which is quickly becoming one of the largest self-organized coalitions of creative professionals in the Bay Area. Our goal is to work with our government to develop sensible, workable solutions that support the creative community.
We believe that people come to the Bay Area, and particularly Oakland, because of our culture of creative innovation and hard work. Artists, and the spaces where they work and live, are critical to the survival of that culture. These spaces are artistic accelerators and incubators, fostering the creative capital that makes the Bay Area such a vibrant place to live.
We, like the rest of the world, never want to see a tragedy like this again. We understand the fear that has gripped Oakland and the Bay Area, but together, we can take active steps to move past it and create solutions. People need affordable space to work and to create, but we cannot afford to let safety be neglected.
To accomplish our goals, we need local governments to work with operators of these art spaces rather than against them. We the Artists of the Bay Area are asking the cities of Oakland, San Francisco and other local city governments to initiate policies to help these art spaces come into compliance, rather than saddling them with eviction notices. Only a shared spirit of cooperation and collaboration will allow us to be successful.
We the Artists of the Bay Area commit to working with the city to provide expertise and actions to support these endeavors. We want to have safe spaces to make art and we are willing to work hard to get there — all we need is the chance.
Without spaces that inspire us, without spaces for this community to gather, our cities cannot be homes for artists. We call on the artist community to help us, together with our city, to build safe spaces that facilitate freedom of expression, so that we may continue to call the place we've grown up “home.” Thank you.
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(To repeat: Your email address will not be released).