Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Guaranteed Income for Artists

Project Added: May 14, 2024
Project Point of Contact: [email protected]
Women in blue dress dancing

Guaranteed Income for Artists



San Francisco, California


Population Density:

Large Intended Impact Area:



The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the inadequacy of our existing social support systems, and in particular, the fragility of our arts and culture ecosystem.

Artist Relief’s COVID-19 Impact Survey found that 62% of artists became fully unemployed and 95% experienced income loss because of shutdowns due to COVID-19. Two thirds of artists surveyed couldn’t access supplies, resources, spaces, or people necessary for their creative work and 80% had no plan to recover from the crisis. Across the country, as pandemic relief and protections (eviction moratoriums, unemployment benefits) ended, artists remained vulnerable.

Core to our work at YBCA is advocating for new ways to secure artists’ futures. Guaranteed income, or unconditional cash, is a powerful way to build sustainable opportunities for artists in communities that have been historically overlooked and underfunded. YBCA’s $4.6 million investment in artists’ financial security through a guaranteed income reflects the imperative to recognize artists as human beings, regardless of “productivity,” who, like all of us, deserve to thrive and exist in their fullest expression of personhood.



Currently not available.