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Field Work is a new partnership between YBCA and Neighborland, with deep participation by the YBCA Fellows and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The goal of Field Work is to empower residents in San Francisco and Oakland to shape the development of their own neighborhoods. We are exploring answers to the following questions: 

  • How can we amplify the number of people in our city who are deeply, civically engaged? 

  • How can we re-imagine “citizenship,” finding an innovative, democratized, community-driven problem-solving process for today’s cities? 

  • How can we empower community members as change agents, leading to better cities for all?

Working closely with civic organizations YBCA Fellows will use creativity and art to help community organizations find feasible solutions to the challenges they are facing in San Francisco and Oakland. Selected projects will test new, creative, site-specific solutions for improving our neighborhoods, with a particular focus on historically marginalized areas of the city like Central Market and the Tenderloin. 

Our goal with the NEA is to develop a model for engaged community participation that can be adapted in whole or in part by other civic organizations co-creating real community change with the people who live, work, and play in their neighborhoods. 

About this program
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is the Bay Area’s creative home for civic action. We believe that culture precedes change, and it is the responsibility of arts organizations to spur and support societal movement.

The YBCA Fellows program brings together creative citizens from across the Bay Area – artists and everyday people alike – to engage in a yearlong process of inquiry, dialogue, and project generation. Each Fellowship cohort explores and responds to a question that emerged from our annual YBCA 100 summit and together they’ll use art and culture to inspire community transformation. These projects provide platforms to share new ideas and information and drive new possibilities into the public imagination.



Field Work is made possible through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts' Creativity Connects program.