FAQ About Our Grants Process

FY2012-2014 Arts for Neighborhood Vitality (ANV). Grantee: Accion Latina for Flor Y Canto Festival. Photo by Guisel Contreras

FY2012-2014 Arts for Neighborhood Vitality (ANV). Grantee: Accion Latina for Flor Y Canto Festival. Photo by Guisel Contreras

This section will be updated on an ongoing basis to respond to questions that our grants team receives throughout the application process. If you find that you still have questions after reviewing this FAQ, please submit them to our staff. Please be advised that this is a resource for general questions about the grant application process and not a replacement for specific assistance for current grant award recipients, or if you have specific questions about your application. Our Grant Programs and Applications page lists the program officers you should direct your questions to for each grant program.

General Questions

Q: How do I create an account on sf.culturegrants.org to apply for SFAC grants?
A: Click here for a how-to that explains how applicants can sign up to access the online application.

Q: I am the bookkeeper for one of the grantees on your list. I was wondering if you do electronic deposits? If so, how does it show up on the deposit.
A: Here is a link that explains how vendors (or grantees) can sign up for electronic payment, along with an FAQ for the process: http://sfcontroller.org/index.aspx?page=85.

Please also note that this FAQ is for questions about the grant guidelines and application process. If you are a current grant award recipient, you may direct your questions to the program officers listed for your grant program on the Grant Programs and Applications page.

Q: Our 990s won’t be finished until after the application deadline given our year just ended. Will you accept ones from 2015 or a later submission of that only?
A: Our applications do not require 990s.

Q: Can you apply for both a CEI and OPG in the same grant cycle?
A: Applicants to OPG may apply to Cultural Equity Initiative (CEI) grants, or be mid-cycle of a CEI grant. Previously you could not have both a CEI and an OPG but this restriction has been omitted.

Q: Can East Bay organizations apply for your grants?
A: The applicant (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must be based in San Francisco.

Q: I live in Oakland, but regularly showcase my work in San Francisco. Am I eligible to apply?
A: No. SFAC grant funding is for San Francisco-based artists and organizations only. You must have proof of a San Francisco corporate address if you are a 501(c)3, proof of continuous residency since 2014 if you are an individual artist, and/or you must have a fiscal sponsor that is based in San Francisco. Any organizations based outside of San Francisco, whether you have an SF-based fiscal sponsor or not, are ineligible to apply.

Q: What proof do I need that I’m a San Francisco resident or that my organization is based in San Francisco?
A: For organizations, you can attach either your IRS Tax Determination Letter, utility or cable bill, lease or contract, mortgage statement, business license, or preprinted financial statement. For individual artists, you can attach any of the aforementioned items that would be applicable.

Q: Can I provide a letter of recommendation, reviews or news articles about me or my organization?
A: Please only submit the documents noted in the application checklist.

Q: For the eligibility “list of activities in San Francisco”, the “Public Presentation Plan,” and other planning based questions it only allows you to input one date per event. What should I do if my event took place over multiple days? For example, a festival that occurred from 6/5/17 – 6/7/17.
A: If your event takes place over multiple events and you would like to list it as a multiple-day event, you can write the end date in the “Date” field and write the date range in the “activity description/public event” field. (e.g. “A. Festival for Arts (6/5 – 6/7) B. 6/7/17”)

Questions about ACIP

Q: Can ACIP applicants have multiple partners?
A: ACIP requires one partner and the appropriateness and strength of that relationship should be the focus of the grant. However, there may be other groups that offer support to the project and that can be expressed in the narrative and in the project team description.

Q: If the CBO is the lead applicant for an ACIP grant, is a DataArts Profile (formerly CDP) report required?
A: The CBO is NOT required to submit a DataArts Profile report unless the CBO has a record of providing arts programming. An organizational budget will be required of any organization that does not submit a CDP. You can email Liz Ozol for instructions at liz.ozol@sfgov.org.

Questions about CEI

Q: Can you apply for both a CEI and OPG in the same grant cycle?
A: Applicants to OPG may apply to Cultural Equity Initiative (CEI) grants, or be mid-cycle of a CEI grant. Previously you could not have both a CEI and an OPG but this restriction has been omitted.

Q: Do CEI grants require letters of support?
A: No, CEI does not require letters of support.

Q: I received a CEI L1 in 2015, am I eligible for apply in FY2016-2017?
A: Yes, if you had a CEI-Level 1 in FY2014-2015, you CAN reapply this cycle. Since the CEI-Level 1 in FY2014-2015 was for a one year initiative, than FY2015-2016 was your sit out year. However, please note that the organization is still required to close out any open grant before reapplying.

Questions about CRSP

Q: Your guidelines say that programs of the City cannot apply to CRSP, but what about applications for locations on City property?
A: The intent of the Creative Space grant is to support nonprofit arts organizations to enter into leases or improve their spaces. Who owns the property, if it’s not the applicant, isn’t of concern, but rather the focus is on the long term stability of the arts organization.

Q: I have an open Creative Space Planning (CRSP-P) grant. Can I apply this year for a Creative Space Facilities (CRSP-F) grant?
A: This is the one case where you may apply for the same broad grant category while you have an open grant in that category. The intention is to allow the opportunity for the funded planning work to lead to project implementation with a CRSP-F grant.

This eligibility does not work in reverse. If you have an open CRSP-F grant, you must close it and take one year off before applying for a CRSP-P grant or another CRSP-F grant.

Questions about IAC

Q: I live in San Mateo, but have a fiscal sponsor in San Francisco. Can I apply for an IAC?
A: No, the artist must be a continuous and legal resident of San Francisco since 2013.

Q: I have a studio in San Francisco, but live in San Rafael. Am I eligible to apply?
A: Unfortunately, no. You must be a resident of San Francisco to apply for the Individual Artist Commission.

Q: I’m an artist who doesn’t live in San Francisco. Are there resources that I can access?
A: The San Francisco Arts Commission supports a broad array of institutions and resources within the artistic and cultural community. This is in part because we recognize that our community is an interlocking and interdependent ecology that needs support in several different areas. We are very fortunate that we are able to fund San Francisco-based artists directly (which is rare amongst arts funders). But it is also important to remember that because we are funding different parts of the arts ecology, you may not realize that the commission, honoraria, presenting fees, etcetera that you receive from an arts organization, a collaborating artist, or other institution may actually come from SFAC grant funds.

Below are other grantmaking entities that may be a good fit for your work. Each funder has their own priorities, restrictions and levels of artistic experience they tend to support, so be sure to look at their guidelines, past grantees, and other information carefully. Notes here are just general descriptions and should not replace a review of the funders’ information.

Q: What role does cultural equity play in evaluating the IAC applications?
A: The IAC application does not have specific cultural equity outcomes. We did however include a reference to cultural context within the scoring category Quality of Artist Work. Here the applicant has the opportunity to describe their cultural background and how it has shaped their artistic lens or practice. Well rounded responses to Quality of Artistic Work should address cultural context. We chose this method to support our intention to simplify the application process for individual artists and to give artists space to articulate their particular and authentic connection to cultural heritage.

Q: Can I use the first page of my credit card statement as proof of residence?
A: To prove San Francisco residency we recommend submitting a utility or cable bill, house lease or contract, mortgage statement, property or income statement, preprinted financial statement or vehicle registration title.

Q: Is it possible to attach my full C.V. (11-pages)? It is very difficult trying to condense so much information onto 2 pages.
A: We ask that you provide the most relevant information in two pages. You also have question #21. Quality of Artistic Work to highlight pertinent experience or qualifications. This is an opportunity to accentuate areas of your resume or to include areas not included in your resume.

Q: Can a drivers license be proof of residency?
A: To prove San Francisco residency we recommend submitting a utility or cable bill, house lease or contract, mortgage statement, property or income statement, preprinted financial statement or vehicle registration title.

Questions about OPG

Q: Can you apply for both a CEI and OPG in the same grant cycle?
A: Applicants to OPG may apply to Cultural Equity Initiative (CEI) grants, or be mid-cycle of a CEI grant. Previously you could not have both a CEI and an OPG but this restriction has been omitted.

Q: Should the project budget expenses now just include those that add up to the requested amount ($20,000) instead of the entirety of project expenses (as previously requested in OPG budgets)?
A: The Total Project Budget template should include the full cost of the project being proposed. For example, if your full project is $30,000 but you’re requesting $20,000 from the SFAC grant, we want to see the project expenses for the full $30,000. A breakdown for the costs that will be covered solely by the SFAC grant, if funded, will be entered into the SFAC Grant Budget template.

Questions about NAACT

None yet.