In the wake of last week’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire, in which 36 people died at an event featuring performances from 100% Silk artists, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has announced a $1.7 million grant to help create affordable spaces for artists and arts organisations in the city.
In a statement released on Tuesday 6 December, Schaaf called the move ‘especially important and prescient,’ following the deadly blaze, which is thought to have been caused by a refrigerator. Schaaf said that ‘the arts are at the center of vibrant and diverse communities, and are critical to neighbourhood health and well-being, yet artists and cultural organizations are increasingly vulnerable to instability and displacement.’
The grant combines funds from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the nonprofit Community Arts Stabilization Trust. Investments are aimed at ‘preventing displacement, growing the capacity of the city’s artists and cultural organizations, and enhancing municipal resources for the cultural sector over the long haul.’
100% Silk artists Cherushii and Nackt, real names Chelsea Faith Dolan and Johnny Igaz, were confirmed as among the latest victims to be identified following the devastating fire, which took place last Friday at the DIY venue.