Grants

Image courtesy of Queer Rebels featuring Carrie Leilam Love. Photo: Epli
Image courtesy of Queer Rebels featuring Carrie Leilam Love. Photo: Epli

The San Francisco Arts Commission offers an array of grant opportunities for San Francisco-based small to mid-sized arts non-profits and individual artists through the Community Investments program. Review the categories below to find out which one is a fit.

Guidelines for FY18 grants are now posted. You will find the guidelines for each category. The application window is officially now open. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about any grant program updates and check out the Technical Assistance Workshop schedule and RSVP for an upcoming session. You can also download additional resources including one-sheeters and PowerPoints to help you in your grant application. 

Check out the FAQ below for any questions you may have.

Are you a current grantee, seeking information about how to submit documentation? Check out our information For Grantees

 

The Artists and Communities in Partnership - Social Justice (ACIP - SJ) grant program provides project support for arts organizations and community-based organizations to use the arts to address a specific issue impacting historically marginalized communities in San Francisco. ACIP-SJ seeks to foster social justice and equity, centering artists as leaders for social change. 

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 4, 12 Noon.

For questions, contact Program Officer Robynn Takayama at robynn.takayama@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2239.

The Artists and Communities in Partnership – Youth (ACIP-YOUTH) grant program provides project support for arts organizations and community-based organizations to use the arts to address a specific issue impacting historically marginalized youth communities in San Francisco. Artists and Organizations working with youth from pre-k to transitionally aged youth 18-24 during out-of-school time are highly encouraged to apply. Projects serving youth during the school day will also be considered.

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 4, 12 Noon. ​​

For any questions, contact Program Officer Liz Ozol at Liz.Ozol@sfgov.org or 415-252-2231.

 Arts for Neighborhood Vitality (ANV) program supports small, neighborhood- centered, publicly accessible art walks and festivals where art and culture are main components. Projects should be an event—rather than an ongoing program—and should highlight the integration of arts and economic vitality of the specific neighborhood. Applicants may not apply for multiple grants from the Arts Commission to support the same project. Grants are awarded directly to the applicant or fiscal sponsor responsible for managing the project and the budget. This grant program is administered by the San Francisco Arts Commission with support from Grants for the Arts.

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 25, 12 Noon.

For questions, contact Arts Education Program Officer Liz Ozol at liz.ozol@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2231.

The Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI) grant program offers grants up to $100,000 to small and mid-sized arts organizations for capacity-building initiatives that ensure the artistic and cultural vitality and the sustainability of San Francisco’s arts organizations that are deeply rooted in historically marginalized communities. 

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, November 1, 12 Noon.

For questions, contact Senior Program Officer Barbara Mumby at barbara.mumby@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2215.

Related Policies

Cultural Equity Endowment Fund

The Creative Space (CRSP) grant program supports the enhancement of San Francisco cultural facilities through Planning and Facility Improvement Grants. The category aims to improve existing arts facilities and develop new ones that will support the work of San Francisco’s arts organizations and artists.

PLANNING GRANTS (CRSP-PLANNING): Grants for up to $50,000 to tax-exempt arts organizations for the planning or pre-planning for the development or acquisition of arts facilities. Funds may be used for overall plan development or specific components, such as: feasibility studies, design and engineering consultations, financial and management analysis, market analysis, site analysis, needs assessment, or capital campaign preparation. Organizations must have an average three-year operating budget of less than $2 million.

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 25, 12 Noon.

Please Note: The Native American Cultural Center Creative Space Planning grant application can be accessed under CRSP-Planning.

FACILITY IMPROVEMENT GRANTS (CRSP-FACILITIES): Grants for up to $100,000 to tax-exempt arts organizations with programming space for capital improvements and/or to address key safety, code-compliance, and/or ADA accessibility issues. Improvements must be of a “built-in” or “permanent” nature and/or specific to the space. The affected spaces must be integral to the organization’s arts activities. Organizations must have an average three-year operating budget of less than $2 million.

  • LEVEL 1: Grants for up to $50,000 for arts organizations that have at least three years remaining on their lease at the start of the grant term, or, has a year-to-year lease and has leased the space for a minimum of ten years prior to the start of the grant term.
  • LEVEL 2: Grants for up to $100,000 for arts organizations that hold title to their space, or have a lease with at least five years remaining at the start of the grant term

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 25, 12 Noon.

For questions, contact Program Officer Robynn Takayama at robynn.takayama@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2239.

Related Policies

Cultural Equity Endowment Fund

Individual Artist Commission (IAC) grants support individual artists living and working in San Francisco for specific personal, artistic projects that, in turn, stimulate the creation and presentation of new works of art throughout the city’s neighborhoods. Artists may request funding for the full artistic process, or one phase of a larger creative arc, as long as project scope is appropriately scaled to funding request and project goals. IAC grants support the generation of new creative work. The artist should be focused on realizing creative or aesthetic ideas, rather than on documentation or journalism. Although collaboration is acceptable, the individual artist is the grantee. The commission must include some form of public presentation, either as a work-in- progress (for example: a neighborhood workshop, a reading, an open rehearsal, etc.) or a final polished piece in San Francisco that takes place during the project period.

This grant category considers proposals for projects in alternating disciplines each year. In 2018, Individual Artist Commissions are available for Theater, Music, and Dance. 

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 4, 12 Noon.

For questions, contact Senior Program Officer Barbara Mumby at barbara.mumby@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2215.

Related Policies

Cultural Equity Endowment Fund

Native American Arts and Cultural Traditions (NAACT) grants support individual artists and small and mid-sized arts organizations that are authentically connected to a Native American community and engaged in significant programming that is rooted in Native American arts and cultural traditions. NAACT is no longer a separate grant application, but woven into Artists and Communities in Partnership Youth and Social Justice, Cultural Equity Initiatives, Individual Artist Commission, Organizational Project Grant, and Creative Space Planning and Facilities grant programs. If you are applying for NAACT funding in these grant programs, you must substantiate how you or your organization is authentically connected to the Native American community in San Francisco. If you would like to apply for NAACT, please see further instruction in the grant applications listed above.

*Per the Human Rights Commission, Native American is defined as people of indigenous descent from North, Central, and South American heritage as well as Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Marshall Islanders, and the indigenous people of Guam (whether enrolled, federally or nationally recognized or not). All groups indicated are encouraged to apply, but due to limited funds, priority will go to artists that are affiliated and connected to groups falling under the jurisdiction of the United States.

For questions, contact Senior Program Officer Barbara Mumby at barbara.mumby@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2215.

Related Policies

Cultural Equity Endowment Fund

The Organization Project Grant (OPG) program supports small and mid-sized arts organizations in the production and presentation of artistic works, in all disciplines, accessible to the general public in San Francisco. OPG supports—in whole or in part— specific arts projects that have been determined to be of sufficient quality and benefit or interest to the community at large or to specific segments of the community. OPG grants may be used to fund art exhibitions and installations, film and video screenings, music and dance concerts, theater performances, on-line arts projects, literary readings and publications, workshops in various art forms, local arts festivals, and other activities in a similar vein. Applications will be reviewed in visual art, literary art, media art, music, dance, and theater. This grant does not fund arts education classes.

VIEW GuidelinEs & instructionS Applications due Wednesday, October 11, 12 Noon.​​

For questions, contact Program Officer Liz Ozol at liz.ozol@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2231.

Related Policies

Cultural Equity Endowment Fund

The WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence (WCTAIR) grant is a three-year grant, renewed annually, that provides support to individual teaching artists to offer free, long-term, in-depth literacy–focused arts workshops to youth at San Francisco community sites. Sites may include in-school or after-school classes and must include complementary programming with a neighborhood branch of the San Francisco Public Library. The communities prioritized by the grant may include, but are not limited to, youth who are low-income, impacted by the justice system, pregnant or parenting teens, and/or English language learners.

The WCTAIR grant will support teaching artists with a proven track record of working with the proposed youth population to deliver high quality programming. The Arts Commission will provide a multiyear grant award to cultivate a deep collaboration between a literary teaching artist and a community-based organization or school. The Agency will also provide technical assistance and professional development for the teaching artist. These activities will include periodic meetings with the grantee cohort and occasional learning institutes for mutual support and shared learning. The grant prioritizes funding for teaching artists with experience to be effective in the community they propose to serve.

WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence grant applications are not available for FY18. 

Questions about the grant should be directed to Program Officer Liz Ozol at liz.ozol@sfgov.org or (415) 252-2231.

Occasionally, the Arts Commission receives additional funding from the Board of Supervisors for one-time projects. Please check the Find Opportunities section for current Requests for Proposals.

FAQs

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Organizations based anywhere outside of San Francisco are ineligible to apply for San Francisco Arts Commission grants.
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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 2015 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.
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No. Panelists are instructed to not visit weblinks. You can reference past projects in your narrative, but they must be uploaded as work samples in order for panelists to view them. 

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You may only submit one application to each grant category. It might be possible for you to submit applications for the same project to multiple categories, but that is not a good use of your time; if you received both grants, you could only accept one.

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The DataArts report should reflect the applicant organization, not the sponsor. 

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We do not recommend having more than one person logged in to the same account at the same time. We recommend that you work on the application in a separate document and then go to the GMS to enter the completed narrative.

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Yes. Some grantees may choose to use a fiscal sponsor to alleviate the entire tax burden, however you will be responsible for paying any taxes on funds you directly receive. 

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On average, we fund approximately 60% of the applications reviewed by each panel. Please note that all applicants that scored 75 and above are eligible for funding, but funding is not guaranteed. It is determined by the amount of funding available each year.

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All expenses (aside from the 10 percent indirect expenses) must have proof of payment. You may pay artists who don’t have a bank account with a gift card and you’ll need to show evidence that the gift card was purchased.

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Each question has a character count, so economy of words is necessary. The applicant should decide which community or communities should be highlighted in this grant application.

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All applicants that choose to apply under the NAACT category are self-identifying as being authentically connected to a Native community. We do not require legal proof of their affiliation. However, they will have to articulate within their application how they are deeply connected to the Native community, which will then be reviewed by a panel of community members. If the applicant is electing to work within the Native community as part of their project, they will need to demonstrate in their application that they have the expertise and authentic cultural experience to work within this community. 
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We will let you know once you pass the eligibility process. We will send you an email notification that your application is eligible and will be forwarded to the appropriate panel. Panel reviews will take place Jan through March.

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Three million total for all categories. Hard to say because allocation can change. Last year it was a little over a million. We fund about 60% of the applications. 

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Each panel is made of five individuals who score each application and we use the aggregated average.

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It can be a consultant. You could have collaborators, too. For example, if you’re inviting stakeholders to provide input, you can list them and their role.

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No. If the organization is on a calendar year, submit a report that includes the last full calendar for FY16 (Jan 2016-Dec 2016). You don’t have to enter the current year (2017).

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No. Images must be either a PDF or JPEG and uploaded through the Grant Management System. Please refer to the Supporting Materials on the grant guideline instructions for more details.

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Recommend that you take advantage of the admin indirect line item in the budget section. You can add 10% of your grant to admin indirect line item. We don’t require reporting for admin-indirect (doesn’t need to be itemized). This line can cover any overhead to manage the project. Sometimes, organizations include janitorial services, utility bill, etc.

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Good question. If you get a two year grant, SFAC will release a 50% advance. Your interim (25%) and final payment (25%) are reimbursements. Once you submit the invoices and proper paperwork, we reimburse you for the remaining balance.

If you get a one year grant, SFAC releases 50% of the grant and you submit the final payment (50%) as a reimbursement.  

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

November 07
/
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

November 07
/
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

November 07
/
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

November 07
/
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125