YBCA 100 — 2015 Honors


The YBCA 100 is an annual compilation of the creative minds, makers, and pioneers that inspire our work at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Each year, our staff convenes to debate: “Who do we believe is asking the questions and making the provocations that will shape the future of American culture?” The result of this inquiry is a diverse list of artists, entrepreneurs, activists, and creative citizens from around the world that have one thing in common…They are all generating culture that moves people.

The 2015 YBCA 100

Kyle Abraham

Choreographer, Dancer

John Luther Adams


Khalik Allah


Robert Mailer Anderson

Cultural activist, Philanthropist, Author


Art and design collective

Byron Au Yong

Composer, Musician

Ayah Bdeir

CEO of Little Bits

Claudia Bernardi

Artist, Human rights activist

Mark Bittman

Journalist, Author, Food activist

Douglas Bourgeois

Sculptor, Painter

Mark Bradford

Artist, Co-founder of Art + Practice

Hannah Brancato & Rebecca Nagle

Founders of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture

King Britt

Sonic architect, Sound archaeologist

Todd T. Brown

Founder of Red Poppy Art House

Carrie Brownstein

Musician, Writer, Actress

Tania Bruguera

Artist, Activist

Noah Budnick

Executive Director of San Francisco Bike Coalition

Susie Cagle

Journalist, Cartoonist

Will Chase

Minister of Propaganda for Burning Man

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Journalist, Author

Herve Cohen

Filmmaker, Cinematographer, Editor

Jem Cohen


Jocelyn Cooper & Matthew Morgan

Founders of AfroPunk Fest

Sharon Daniel

Media artist, Social justice activist

Angela Davis

Human rights activist, Author, Educator

Lear deBessonet

Theater director

Junot Diaz

Writer, Editor, Educator

Sam Durant

Artist, Co-founder of Transforma

Ava DuVernay

Filmmaker, Storyteller

Kevin Jerome Everson

Artist, Filmmaker

Exploratorium's Studio for Public Spaces

Exhibition and Environmental Designers

Flaming Lotus Girls

Female-driven artist collective

Future Farmers

Artist collective

Diana Gameros

Singer-songwriter, Community activist

Alex Gartenfeld


Theaster Gates

Artist, Educator, Founder of Rebuild Foundation

Tavi Gevinson

Author, Editor

Thelma Golden

Director of the Studio Museum, Obama Foundation board member

Joanna Haigood

Co-founder of Zaccho Dance Theater, Arts educator

Headlands Center for the Arts

Multidisciplinary art center

Michelle Hensley

Founder and Artistic Director of Ten Thousand Things

Walter Hood

Artist, Designer, Educator

Kumu Hula Mark Keali’I Ho’omalu

Educator, Choreographer, Musician

Eli Horowitz

Author, Editor

Bill T. Jones

Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer

Van Jones

Activist, Attorney, Co-founder of Rebuild the Dream

Yorgos Lanthimos

Filmmaker, Theater director

Suzanne Lee

Fashion designer, Director of BioCouture project

Shaun Leonardo

Artist, Social activist

Jodie Mack

Filmmaker, Animator, Educator

David Maisel

Photographer, Visual artist, Educator

Malidoma Collective

Artists & community activists

Gregory Maqoma

Dancer, Choreographer, Director

Raya Martin

Film director

Roman Mars

Creator of 99% Invisible, Co-founder of Radiotopia

Erin McElroy

Artist, Founder of Anti-Eviction Mapping Project


Design and research studio

Chris Milk

Filmmaker, Photographer

Hope Mohr

Choreographer, Teacher

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Doctor, Author, Educator

Anthony Myint

Chef, Social activist

Obscura Digital

Creative technology studio

Oculus Story Studio

Immersive cinema

Valerie Cassel Oliver

Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Joshua Oppenheimer

Film director

Christo Oropeza & Brian Perrin

Founders of Incline Gallery

Lucy and Jorge Orta


Trevor Paglen

Artist, Author, Activist

Dan Parham

Co-founder of Neighborland

Park Jung-Bum


Katie Paterson


Susan Philipsz


Adrian Piper

Artist, Philosopher

Laura Poitras

Documentary film director and producer

Paul (Beatriz) Preciado

Writer, Social activist

Laurel Ptak

Artist, Curator, Educator

Claudia Rankine

Poet, Educator

Bill Rauch

Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Martha Redbone

Singer-songwriter, Community activist

Renee Rhodes


Miguel Angel Rios

Artist, Political activist

Favianna Rodriguez

Artist, Executive Director of CultureStrike

Philip Ross

Inventor, Artist, Scholar

Tom Sachs


Doris Salcedo

Sculptor, Educator, Activist

Tomas Saraceno

Artist, Architect

Sarah Schulman

Writer, social activist

Paul Sietsema


Franklin Sirmans


Rebecca Solnit


Doug Stanhope


Simon Starling


Brandon Stanton

Author, Photographer, Blogger

Danielle Strachman

Co-founder of 1517 Fund

Sonya Renee Taylor

Poet, founder of The Body Is Not An Apology

Team Better Block

Urban planning collective

Ana Tijoux

Hip hop MC, Musician

Addie Wagenknecht

Artist, Researcher, Founder of Deep Lab

Kara Walker

Contemporary artist

Richard T. Walker