Every year, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts honors a new group of culture-makers and leaders in the Bay Area and beyond. But for the first time in its six-year history, 2020’s YBCA 100 includes nominations from the public in the spirit of “celebrating everyday heroes.”
Like past years, the new YBCA 100 includes honorees from a wide variety of disciplines, like the arts and activism. For example, this year’s list includes San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho, Anti Police-Terror Project co-founder Cat Brooks, and the city’s Filipino cultural district, SOMA Pilipinas. The full YBCA 100 can be viewed on their website.
“In creating the YBCA 100 list, it was important for us to meet the current moment by elevating the provocateurs and innovators who boldly made a difference in the health and well-being of their communities, worked tirelessly in pursuit of racial equity, and used art and activism to heal and bring us together in spirit when we needed it most,” YBCA CEO Deborah Cullinan said in a press release. The majority of those honored in this new list are women, and 93 percent of the honorees are Black, Indigenous or people of color. “Through the work of these individuals and movement builders, we have found inspiration and a reason to keep moving toward and accelerating social change.”
Though the list is primarily composed of Bay Area-based leaders, YBCA is also honoring “nationally recognized luminaries” such 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones and Algorithmic Justice League founder Joy Buolamwini.
Honorees receive a $500 honorarium and are invited to be a part of the Yerba Buena’s annual summit. “At YBCA, I can bring together the various streams of my work as an educator and interdisciplinary writer and artist,” Leticia Hernández-Linares, a lecturer at the Department of Latina/Latino Studies at San Francisco State University, wrote to SF Weekly in an email. Hernández-Linares has partnered with YBCA in various capacities since 2013. “To have one of my artistic hubs see me so fully, and now celebrate my work in this way is a precious gift.”