California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

December 07, 2016Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Statement Following the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland

Sacramento -

 California Arts Council members and staff issued the following joint statement in response to the tragic fire at the Ghost Ship artist live/work space in Oakland on December 2nd that resulted in multiple fatalities and injuries:

 "Our thoughts go out to all who have been affected by the horrible tragedy at the Ghost Ship artist space. We are deeply concerned by the reality that so many artists across California are not able to live and work in spaces that are safe - either in structure or in spirit. This unimaginable incident is a painful reminder of a critical challenge facing artists in many of California's communities. On behalf of the California Arts Council we express our deepest condolences for the artists and individuals lost, and we share our hopes for healing and strength in Oakland's remarkable creative community and beyond."

The California Arts Council will adjourn its December 15, 2016 business meeting in honor of the victims of the Ghost Ship fire.


The "Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire" is accepting donations in collaboration with the Oakland Mayor's Office and the Red Cross. More information is available at

On December 6th, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced $1.7 million in philanthropic funds to support sustainable, long-term solutions to creating affordable, safe spaces for Oakland's artists and arts organizations. Though this support has been in development for many months, these funds are especially important and prescient in light of this recent tragedy. More information is available at

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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