Artists and their unique enterprises are the key to a new system of community investment.
Artists have a demonstrated ability to work with and in community to illuminate hidden assets and spark the collective imagination—but they are significantly undervalued and undercapitalized.
CultureBank is a radical new investment paradigm for arts and culture that sits at the intersection of arts and social impact. CultureBank invests in artists to develop undervalued community assets that contribute to community health and wellbeing, including food security, social cohesion, and community safety. These investments produce compelling and replicable examples of artist entrepreneurs leveraging community change to achieve community health and shared prosperity.
In July 2019, CultureBank Dallas announced a pilot cohort of six game-changing artist enterprises who are building bridges toward lasting change in the Dallas community. These artists are participating in a “co-learning” process and will receive support as they deepen their understanding of the assets and wealth in their own communities. These six projects integrate artistic practices with community to envision more just and vibrant communities. This is the critical first step to establish an arts-focused social impact fund that is self-sustaining and will grow over time.
Ash Studios, located a few blocks from Fair Park, was founded by artists Fred Villanueva and Darryl Ratcliff in 2012 and functions as a do-it-yourself arts center, welcoming artists to the site to collaborate, create, or rent space.
Break Bread, Break Borders
As a catering company with a cause, Break Bread, Break Borders currently provides training, certification and professional mentorship to women who are refugees.
Recipe Oak Cliff
Opened in South Oak Cliff in 2017, Recipe Oak Cliff sells plant-based healthy food in a low-income neighborhood considered a food desert, and also offers shared commercial kitchen space, cooking classes and catering services.
Semillitas Literary Initiative
Oak Cliff-based writer and cultural worker Ofelia Faz-Garza focuses on planting the seeds of lifelong reading.
Sara Cardona + Teatro Dallas
Co-Lab/Theater for Healing in West Dallas
Founded in 1985, Teatro Dallas focuses on using the power of theater to foster increased understanding of both cultural similarities and differences to build a sense of community that celebrates diverse traditions.
Artcycle TX is a project run by VET, a Dallas-based artist who makes art out of discarded objects. Artcycle’s mission is to promote creative art expression while encouraging environmental responsibility through recycling.
A Radical Collaboration
CultureBank Dallas is a radical, national collaboration between San Francisco partners, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and CultureBank@YBCA, and Dallas partners, TACA – The Arts Community Alliance, and SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts Dallas: A Center for People, Purpose + Place. CultureBank@YBCA is the recipient of the 2018 Meadows Prize awarded by SMU Meadows School of the Arts and Ignite/Arts Dallas. The Meadows Prize is made possible through generous support from the Meadows Foundation.