Yerba Buena Center & Blue Shield of CA

SAN FRANCISCO, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit health plan and champion of lifestyle medicine, to raise public awareness around the relationship between active engagement with the arts and improved health and well-being for individuals and communities.

To underscore the scope of this commitment, the partnership includes the naming rights to YBCA’s namesake theater, which will officially be named “The Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA.” YBCA and Blue Shield will introduce artist fellowships, commissioned programs, and annual community events featuring artists and thought leaders at the forefront of the growing conversation around art and health.

To celebrate, YBCA and Blue Shield will hold a public launch event on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. The event will feature a special performance from Dohee Lee, a South Korean artist who combines dance, music, percussion, and vocals inspired by her inquiries into art and wellness; presentations from health practitioners incorporating art in their practices, and more!

“In recent years, there has been growing evidence to demonstrate that arts and culture have tremendous impacts on individual and community health. The multi-year partnership with Blue Shield of California symbolizes our shared belief in the relationship between the social determinants of health and the role art plays in our overall well-being,” remarks Deborah Cullinan, CEO of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. “YBCA wants to take this further by increasing programming that highlights the powerful connection between art and healthy lives and communities.”

Chief Health Officer of Blue Shield of California, Dr. Terry Gilliland, adds, “Blue Shield of California remains committed to improving the health and vibrancy of the communities we serve, and are proud to be making this investment in YBCA and the cultural arts community in San Francisco, where we were founded in 1939. As we celebrate Blue Shield’s 80th anniversary, we are pleased to enter into a partnership with YBCA to strengthen the resiliency and vitality of our community through the enjoyment of creating and connecting with the arts.”

This collaboration between a nonprofit arts institution and nonprofit health plan comes on the heels of increased international interest in the role of arts engagement in preventative care. By working with Blue Shield, YBCA builds on preexisting efforts with the food justice group Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition (THCSC) to further discussions of health and wellness through the arts. With this commitment, and given recent studies suggesting the positive impact of the arts on resiliency, Blue Shield continues its promotion of lifestyle medicine, in which it identifies building resilience as one of its key pillars.

The Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA annually presents over 300 cultural events on-site, from exhibitions to performances, film screenings, and large-scale community engagements. The 757-seat theater has two-tier seating, dual-level lobbies, a spacious stage, and a generous technical inventory. It also regularly serves as a host venue for events by blue-chip brands such as Apple, Bloomberg, Google, HP, Oracle, TED, and Vanity Fair magazine. Located at the corner of Third Street and Howard Street, the Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA is situated at one of the most densely visited intersections in downtown San Francisco. Its main entrance and facade face the Moscone Convention Center, which increased its functional space by 42% with its recent expansion.

Blue Shield of California strives to create a health care system worthy of our family and friends that is sustainably affordable. We are a not for profit, independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with care for four million members, 6,800 employees and more than $17 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities.

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Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary arts centers. Founded in 1993, YBCA’s mission is to generate culture that moves people. Through powerful art experiences, thoughtful and provocative content, and deep opportunities for participation, YBCA is committed to creating an inclusive culture that awakens personal and societal transformation. YBCA presents a wide variety of programming year-round, including performing arts, visual arts, film/video, and civic engagement. For tickets and information, call 415.978.ARTS (2787). For more information, visit

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