Welcoming New Co-Chairs for the Arts Loan Fund
NCG's longest-running fund, the Arts Loan Fund (ALF) is welcoming two new Co-Chairs! NCG's own Viridiana (Viry) Romero chatted with Ron Muriera, Director of Arts Industry Support at the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs, and Denise Pate, Director of Community Investments at the San Francsico Arts Commission to talk about what's in store for the ALF, why it's unique and how they are sharing power to support communities. Read the conversation below.
Viry: How does the Arts Loan Fund support our region's arts & culture ecosystem?
Ron: The Arts Loan Fund is an essential resource supporting the financial health of our arts & culture ecosystem in Northern California. To my knowledge, there is no other type of fund that provides loan products for small to mid-size arts and cultural organizations. The ALF is unique, especially for organizations facing periods of tight, sometimes unexpected, financial situations.
Denise: ALF is supporting the region’s arts and culture ecosystem by providing short term loans and providing technical assistance for arts organizations. ALF is an accessible, friendly, and simple way for arts organizations to receive the funding needed and support cash flow and other opportunities.
Viry: What are your hopes for ALF in the coming years?
Ron: My hope is that more arts and cultural organizations become aware of the ALF and take advantage of the products that are offered in order to sustain and stabilize their organization’s financial base.
Denise: That we continue to support the field in ways that are applicable and timely. Also, I want us to be able to adapt to the changing economy and other circumstances that impact our arts ecosystem.
Viry: What makes ALF a unique or necessary or important resource for organizations?
Ron: Having been an executive director of a small, cultural nonprofit organization many years ago, I remember having to wait a long time to receive incoming grants (especially government grants). I was always concerned about being able to pay my exhibit curators on time or having enough funds to cover program costs. ALF is an important resource for small to mid-size arts & cultural organizations that may be faced with cash-flow issues, or unexpected expenses as it provides a viable option for financial support, rather than maxing out an organization’s credit card.
Viry: What brings you joy? What offers you hope and inspires you?
Ron: My 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son bring me joy. Both have developed confidence through the arts. My daughter through Mexican baile folklórico, and my son through his talents as an artist. They are the ones who inspire me and bring me hope every single day.
Denise: It brings me great joy to see that ALF is able to expedite the check disbursement. I believe in the sincerity of this group of funders. They all have a generous spirit and have great empathy for those who work in the arts sector.
Viry: How are you using your power in your role? How are you sharing power with the communities you’re supporting either in your own organizations or at the ALF?
Denise: I believe that I am using my power by working to advocate for artists and organizations through my work as a funder in an agency that values cultural equity. Also, as an ALF steering committee member I bring over 30 years of experience working in the arts sector. I strongly advocate for the rights of members of the BIPOC, Female-identified, LGBTQ, disabled, and immigrant communities, as they work to find funding to support their work.
Learn more about the Arts Loan Fund