Posted on September 9, 2019
The Zellerbach Family Foundation is thrilled to announce that the Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology (BAYCAT) has won the first annual William J. Zellerbach Award for Social Change. Established in 2004, BAYCAT is a nonprofit social enterprise that educates, empowers, and employs young people from historically underserved San Francisco communities in digital media arts including video and music production, animation, and graphic and web design.
Fundamental to its mission, is diversifying the creative media industry to better reflect and represent people of color, changing the stories that are told and who gets to tell them. By educating, empowering, and employing youth and young adults to produce digital media that tells their unique stories, BAYCAT seeks to reduce the creative digital divide; expanding the perspectives offered in tv, film, and other media content, challenging stereotypes, and breaking the cycle of bias that reinforces and perpetuates inequity.
BAYCAT successfully integrates media production, workforce training, youth development, and arts afterschool programming into one comprehensive social enterprise. At the BAYCAT Academy students learn professional media applications through project-based learning and access to the latest digital media. Programming includes youth media classes for ages 11-17 where they explore and create digital media; young adult internships and workshops for ages 18-25 that provide technical training and an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the digital media industry; and training for schools and nonprofit organizations in how to effectively integrate digital learning into their programming and communication efforts.
BAYCAT Studio is a professional media production studio led by a diverse team of designers, film makers, and media producers that builds the capacity of local businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations through high-quality media that tells authentic and transformative stories. The studio has produced over 500 media projects, provided $1 million worth of pro-bono services, created over 225 jobs, and last year, earned 34% of BAYCAT’s revenue. The Studio has produced content for many high-profile clients such as Superbowl 50, the Golden State Warriors, National Park Service, and the United Way.
BAYCAT’s outcomes are impressive. Seventy-five percent of graduates have been placed into creative careers with companies such as Lucasfilm, Pixar, HBO, Netflix, Youtube, NBC, CBS, Interactive, and more. Of those graduates, 78% are people of color, four-times the industry standard, and 55% are women, twice the industry standard.
BAYCAT’s innovative social enterprise model and their commitment towards equity and social justice is a wonderful example of how Bay Area communities are effecting change. William Zellerbach held a deep commitment to San Francisco and believed in the power of partnership and community. ZFF is proud to honor BAYCAT with this award in Bill’s name.