As was the case for many businesses, non-profits, and individuals, Root Division was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the City & County of San Francisco’s Shelter in Place mandate, we closed our office and gallery to the public in March 2020. Our small but mighty team worked hard to pivot all of our programming to virtual offerings. From virtual Drawing 101 and distanced learning with our youth partner sites to a virtual gallery and hybrid fundraising events, we continued to empower artists, inspire youth, and engage the community through the visual arts.
While we have always strived to be inclusive and accessible, we began prioritizing diversity and equity in more authentic and intentional ways within our organization. In September 2020, we piloted and awarded the inaugural year of the Bay Area Black Artist Studio Fellowship for a fully subsidized studio, mentor, and stipend.