Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

San Francisco, CA   |  www.ybca.org

Mission

We believe that culture is an essential catalyst for change. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of arts institutions to spur and support societal movement. Our mission is to generate culture that moves people.

Ruling year info

1987

Chief Executive Officer

Deborah M. Cullinan

Main address

701 Mission St.

San Francisco, CA 94103 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Center for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens

EIN

94-3042571

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Performing Arts Centers (A61)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is a public benefit corporation located in the most culturally diverse region of the United States. The organization's work spans the realms of contemporary art, civic engagement, and public life. YBCA knows that culture is essential for positive change. Therefore, it is the responsibility of arts institutions to spur societal movement. YBCA believes the best way to do this is by supporting artists as thought leaders, innovative problem-solvers, expert communicators, and catalysts of inspiration in our communities. YBCA is redefining the role an arts institution can play in empowering all citizens to shape their future. By allowing artists of diverse mediums, backgrounds, and viewpoints to create works that grapple with and offer solutions to the manifold and unprecedented challenges of our time we hope to create a more inclusive, just, and beautiful society.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Film

Supporting artists who are having impact in their communities, by expanding and deepening our connection to these artists through our Senior Fellows program, film residency, and work with CultureBank. YBCA’s Senior Fellows are Brett Cook and Liz Lerman, artists, educators, and community builders who use visual and performing arts as drivers of social and cultural change. The San Francisco Urban Film Festival will spend two years in residency at YBCA, reimagining a film program that centers community voices and storytelling to bring people together around issues of urbanism. CultureBank invests in artists who are in service to their communities, building prosperity in communities traditionally left behind by financial institutions.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Adults

In order to alleviate the most immediate needs of our artistic community YBCA partnered with Zoo Labs, Black Joy Parade, and Always Win Together to launch Artists Now, a relief initiative for those artists most impacted by financial losses. Over $175,000 has been distributed to 350 artists, with priority given to BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ people. 94% of recipients have a household income of less than $55,000 a year, and 80% are facing food and/or housing insecurity. These relief payments will help our valuable but vulnerable artists stay in their communities and continue their important work.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

By advancing policy and thought leadership, building strategic partnerships, and convening key stakeholders, it is designed to change the way we think about investing in the arts and build new pathways for artists and arts workers. Through our work with the San Francisco Arts Alliance, the Mayor's Economic Recovery Task Force, and the Governor’s Jobs and Business Recovery Task Force, YBCA is a conduit between government and the artist community to ensure the future of the arts.

As the first arts organization to join the Well Being Alliance, a group of 26 leading national organizations, we advance arts and culture into a holistic well-being and the conditions that are necessary for everyone to live safe, healthy, and connected lives. Additionally, YBCA continues to bring artists to the table at convenings, as in the case of SOCAP 2020, where a cohort of artists from across the country joins YBCA at the biggest impact investment conference in the world.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

Continuing YBCA’s 26 year legacy of providing educational offerings to underserved youth, YBCA is transforming its facility into a Community Learning Hub for the Fall 2020 semester, providing a safe and digitally accessible distance learning space for at risk youth.

Stepping up to the Mayor’s call to create equitable access to learning resources for students in need, enrollment will be prioritized for San Francisco Unified School District students with the highest need, including children and youth from low-income households, residents of HOPE SF and public housing, youth experiencing homelessness, foster youth, and English Language Learners.

Enrolled students will be matched to facilities within their neighborhood at sites operated in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families. As one of 45+ Hubs around the city, YBCA’s site is unique, offering critical open facility spaces, a learning environment inside galleries featuring art by Bay Area artists, and proximity to the Yerba Buena Gardens’ outdoor area.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

The Artist Power Center was created to build a sustainable and dynamic platform for sharing resources, knowledge, and opportunities, while connecting creatives with each other. While the initial focus has been on pandemic relief, we envision a long-term tool that levels technology, access, and information gaps as well as enables artists to create their own employment models and support networks.

The platform is accessible for no charge via phone, chat, and online, currently in two languages (English and Spanish). The community that uses it is able to easily add to and edit, allowing participants to guide its evolution. The Artist Power Center will also be a repository of stories about the impact artists have had in their communities. By demonstrating the power of artists as change-makers we can strengthen advocacy and civic engagement and create a more equitable society.

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Activists

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YBCA aims to build regenerative communities in our 9 county region, incorporating both rural and urban, large and small cities and towns. To accomplish this, YBCA will build the capacity of artists in service to community, under the belief that communities are the builders of the best models for themselves and that artists are central actors for this work.

Furthermore, YBCA uses its infrastructure to reach community members with programming that is both thought-provoking and imaginative, and audiences frequently have the opportunity and are encouraged to interact directly with the artists, activists, community leaders, curators, and one another as part of the experience. Audience members and visitors provide regular feedback through surveys, focus groups, and interaction with YBCA staff that is used to help shape the user experience.

With a brand promise to be the creative home for civic action, YBCA strives to ensure that experiences are inclusive, inspiring, and safe. YBCA promotes a mission and brand-driven culture that connects external and internal stakeholders to one another through cultural experiences.

YBCA is committed to a financially stable organization by building revenue capacity through new earned and contributed revenue initiatives, particularly in individual giving, corporate sponsorship, and foundation funding.

YBCA's mission is to generate culture that moves people, and it does this through four key strategies that place artists as central figures in this work and reflect a commitment to equity and justice.

Ecosystem development, focused on growing the Artist Power Center and its impact. The Artist Power Center is a digital platform and staffed supportline launched initially to help artists and cultural workers navigate emergency relief and designed to continuously evolve its forum and resource center to help artists build long-term careers. The online platform allows artists to share knowledge, exchange resources and opportunities, advocate for what matters, and create connections across sectors to strengthen the creative community across the United States.

By advancing policy and thought leadership, building strategic partnerships, and convening key stakeholders, it is designed to change the way we think about investing in the arts and build new pathways for artists and arts workers. Through our work with the San Francisco Arts Alliance, the Mayor's Economic Recovery Task Force, and the Governor’s Jobs and Business Recovery Task Force, YBCA is a conduit between government and the artist community to ensure the future of the arts. As the first arts organization to join the Well Being Alliance, a group of 26 leading national organizations, we advance arts and culture into a holistic well-being and the conditions that are necessary for everyone to live safe, healthy, and connected lives. Additionally, YBCA continues to bring artists to the table at convenings, as in the case of SOCAP 2020, where a cohort of artists from across the country joins YBCA at the biggest impact investment conference in the world.

By expanding and deepening our connection to these artists through our Senior Fellows program, film residency, and work with CultureBank we support artists who are having an impact. YBCA’s Senior Fellows are Brett Cook and Liz Lerman, artists, educators, and community builders who use visual and performing arts as drivers of social and cultural change. The San Francisco Urban Film Festival will spend two years in residency at YBCA, reimagining a film program that centers community voices and storytelling to bring people together around issues of urbanism. CultureBank invests in artists who are in service to their communities, building prosperity in communities traditionally left behind by financial institutions.

Executing offerings that builds from a core group of artists and is rooted in a virtual and physical public engagement strategy. As part of its YBCA 100 framework, YBCA is committing to a group of artists that involve the public in the process of creating and iterating works over the course of a year that address racial, climate, economic, and health justice. Additionally, YBCA will offer physical and digital program offerings within a public art series, neighborhood-based art commissions, and online conversations and experiences.

Deeply rooted in the Bay Area and focused on contemporary living artists YBCA is uniquely positioned to serve as a support system and platform for artists creating work that is most relevant to our time and challenges.
YBCA was founded in 1993 as the cultural anchor of San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens development and is one of the nation's most innovative arts institutions. Each year, more than half a million people participate in programs at the downtown campus and throughout the community. The Center presents hundreds of programs annually, making YBCA a hub of creative energy throughout the year. YBCA places equal emphasis on visual arts, performing arts, the art of film, and its civic engagement work and its resources are directed towards developing new, innovative cultural programs that serve the community.

YBCA's Board of Directors is a diverse group of Bay Area residents comprising business executives, civic leaders, and cultural leaders. Together they oversee YBCA's strategic priorities, its financial stability, and its advocacy in the community. Standing committees of the Board include Governance, Advancement, and Finance.
Under the direction of CEO Deborah Cullinan, the organization is led by a distinguished Cabinet of cultural leaders including Meklit Hadero, Chief of Program; Valerie Brown, Chief Marketing Officer; Jonathan Moscone, Chief Producer; Jodi Cobalt, Chief of Operations; and Penelope Douglas, Chief of Strategy and Revenue.

Approximately 80% of YBCA's operating budget goes toward direct program expense, and YBCA maintains diversified revenue streams to support its programs activities. Contributions come from individuals, foundations, corporations, and from government agencies such as the City of San Francisco, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. Earned revenue comes from gallery admissions, ticket sales, exhibition fees, facility rental fees, and naming rights. YBCA also receives income from Dream House Raffle ticket sales.

YBCA maintains dozens of collaborative partnerships with entities throughout the Bay Area, including the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, the Yerba Buena Cultural District, and the Yerba Buena Business Alliance. Together with its collaborators, YBCA is able to undertake impactful cultural programming online and throughout the city.

YBCA has continued to be responsive to the needs of its community, launching multiple initiatives in response to the current challenges caused by COVID-19.

In order to alleviate the most immediate needs of our artistic community YBCA partnered with Zoo Labs, Black Joy Parade, and Always Win Together to launch Artists Now, a relief initiative for those artists most impacted by financial losses. Over $175,000 has been distributed to 350 artists, with priority given to BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ people. 94% of recipients have a household income of less than $55,000 a year, and 80% are facing food and/or housing insecurity. These relief payments will help our valuable but vulnerable artists stay in their communities and continue their important work.

The Artist Power Center was created to build a sustainable and dynamic platform for sharing resources, knowledge, and opportunities, while connecting creatives with each other. While the initial focus has been on pandemic relief, we envision a long-term tool that levels technology, access, and information gaps as well as enables artists to create their own employment models and support networks. The platform is accessible for no charge via phone, chat, and online, currently in two languages (English and Spanish). The community that uses it is able to easily add to and edit, allowing participants to guide its evolution. The Artist Power Center will also be a repository of stories about the impact artists have had in their communities. By demonstrating the power of artists as change-makers we can strengthen advocacy and civic engagement and create a more equitable society.

Continuing YBCA’s 26 year legacy of providing educational offerings to underserved youth, YBCA is transforming its facility into a Community Learning Hub for the Fall 2020 semester, providing a safe and digitally accessible distance learning space for at risk youth. Stepping up to the Mayor’s call to create equitable access to learning resources for students in need, enrollment will be prioritized for San Francisco Unified School District students with the highest need, including children and youth from low-income households, residents of HOPE SF and public housing, youth experiencing homelessness, foster youth, and English Language Learners. Enrolled students will be matched to facilities within their neighborhood at sites operated in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families. As one of 45+ Hubs around the city, YBCA’s site is unique, offering critical open facility spaces, a learning environment inside galleries featuring art by Bay Area artists, and proximity to the Yerba Buena Gardens’ outdoor area.

Through its support of artists working in community, new platforms for investing in and connecting community members, and programs and experience that catalyze creative thinking and action, YBCA is and will continue to use arts and culture to drive social impact.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    YBCA is committed to doing the best we can to find and use the words to ensure that people are seen and acknowledged and that we are accountable to our commitment to social, racial, and economic equity and justice. This list of our prioritized communities was honed through consultation with social practice artists from multiple communities and backgrounds and is meant to call folks into participation with us. American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian and Asian American, Black and African American, Disabled, Indigenous and Indigena, Latinx, Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender Queer Intersex Asexual Two-Spirit +, Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Consultations,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The SF Creative Corps mobilized artists to provide creative education, encouraging COVID safe behavior in public spaces. After every shift the artists were asked for feedback. Several important changes to the program were made based on that feedback, including which public spaces they were in and hiring more support staff.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Advisory groups were formed for two new programs, the San Francisco Guaranteed Income Pilot for Artists and the YBCA Artist Power Convenings. Several meetings were held with each group in order to formulate the application process to participate in those programs.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Board of directors
as of 5/13/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sara Fenske Bahat

Jeff Chang

Race Forward

Amy Eliot

Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

Laura Livoti

Zak Williams

NewCo

Sara Bahat

Dave Weber

Wells Fargo Bank

Dale Cook

McKinsey

Nancy Levinson

Places Journal

Renuka Kher

Philip Sager

Stanford University School of Medicine

Helen Sauce

Corinne Sklar

IBM iX

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/11/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/11/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.