San Francisco Arts Commission awards $11.14 million to 148 arts nonprofits and individual artists for grants beginning fiscal year 2022.

This investment in San Francisco's arts ecosystem supports 67 San Francisco-based individual artists and 81 local arts nonprofits, all of whom affirm the Arts Commission’s commitment to Racial and Cultural Equity, and enables artists to be at the forefront of the City’s resilience and recovery effort.

Grantees were selected through a competitive RFP process with application deadlines beginning in fall 2020 for fourteen different grant categories. The majority of projects began July 1, 2021 (with a few beginning as early as spring 2021). Virtual review panels took place over twelve days in March and April with 44 peer panelists serving the process of reviewing 411 applications..

An illustration featuring two women, with their backs to each other, each facing the opposite direction. One, on the left in blue, has her mouth open as if sending out a call. The other in yellow, has one arm outstretched
Monica Magtoto, Answering the Call

To view specific grant categories click on the links below:
Artistic Legacy Grant
Artivist in Residence
Arts Impact Endowment: Re-opening Safely
Arts Impact Endowment: Arts Hub
Arts Impact Endowment: Universal Basic Income

Creative Community Response 
Creative Space
Cultural Equity Initiatives
Dream Keeper Initiative
San Francisco Artists
Sankofa Initiative
WritersCorp Artist in Residence 

Artistic Legacy Grant (ALG)


Anne Bluethenthal & Dancers  

 $40,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to support the creation and early implementation of Anne Bluethenthal and ABD/Skywatchers’ Strategic Succession Plan. The plan will be a roadmap for ABD’s transition from a founder-led dance company to a collaborative community arts collective with deeply horizontal leadership. This will launch a new era in the organization’s history. Over the past five years, Bluethenthal has begun a process of transitioning ABD/Skywatchers into the hands of the next generation through training, mentoring, and leadership development. ABD/Skywatchers’ core creative and administrative staff today is intergenerational, multi-ethnic, mixed-ability, and economically and socially diverse. 95% of the 30-member ensemble identify as QTBIPOC. The Strategic Plan will formalize the steps to a dynamic horizontal leadership structure held by emerging and mid-career artists, and outline the creative systems required to effectively hand Skywatchers over to the Tenderloin community.

Artivist-in-Residence (AIR)


Citizen Film  

 $400,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support an Afrocentric project-based arts-education program serving Western Addition youth and their families. Citizen Film will compensate and provide professional development opportunities for a cohort of 8-12 Artivists, who will teach approximately 80 youth each program year. Youth will present artworks to their families, neighbors, peers, younger classmates and the public. A Community Arts Steering Committee will convene Artivists, CBO directors, after-school program leaders, and respected neighborhood leaders to coordinate their work engaging the community through a cycle of participatory storytelling, arts expression and activism. Students will co-create films, murals, sculptural installations and performance works including dances, spoken word and more, developing community engagement and creative-exploration skills that cross disciplines. Youth will work with Artivists to draw inspiration and material from the community and offer back creative expressions, in a cycle of engagement that deepens Black intergenerational connection to history and place.


San Francisco Youth Theatre  

 $400,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support a three-year cohort of four Artivists that will augment San Francisco Youth Theatre's (SFYT) strong infrastructure of high-quality arts education in San Francisco schools and community-based organizations. To mirror the population of students, the cohort will include Artivists who are Latinx, Black, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, LGBTQ+ and/or fluent in ASL. Artivists will bring to the organization a range of arts expertise and teaching experience, and will include both emerging and seasoned individuals. As part of SFYT's team, Artivists will develop and teach an arts curriculum that is responsive, anti-racist, and builds community. In addition, Artivists will receive financial support to further their own artistic development, including creating and directing SFYT's original productions for SFUSD school audiences. SFYT's new cohort of BIPOC teaching artists will uplift the organization by creating and teaching artwork that reflect the social justice issues of the community, and empowering youth voices.

Arts Impact Endowment (AIE)


Community Vision  

 $800,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Community Vision to administer a program to ensure the safe operations and reopening of arts and culture organizations’ facilities that are deeply rooted in and are reflective of historically underserved communities.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

 $250,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support a three-year grant to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) for the ongoing development and expansion of the Artist Power Center (APC), a digital platform created to help Bay Area artists and cultural workers disproportionately impacted by COVID identify critical resources and build long-term careers.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

 $870,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support YBCA to leverage its experience designing and implementing locally-focused funding programs to execute a Universal Basic Income pilot for artists who had little or no safety net before the pandemic. With a focus on Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color, Disabled and LGBTQ++ artists in our hardest hit communities, YBCA will execute a targeted outreach and application process; administer unconditional $1000 monthly payments to 130 San Francisco artists for six months; document/evaluate impact; catalyze national networks; and secure additional partners to expand the program’s reach and continue beyond the pilot.

Creative Community Response (CCR)


Chavalos de Aqui y Alla  

 $6,500 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support outreach to the Latinx community in the Mission District, using art to connect and showcase what resources are available to them. The Latinx community has been the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chavalos de Aqui y Alla wants to raise awareness to the different sources of aid and tools available regardless of immigration and status in general. Through live performances the organization will be able to connect to their community, display how ancestors battled disease, and tie that into how we should be dealing with Covid-19 in the present. Live dance performances will promote positivity within the community and this will resonate in their families and friends; and they will create a space for the arts to nurture creativity, encourage teamwork, foster discipline and directly uplift community.


Write Now! SF Bay  

 $6,500 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support “Talking to Strangers –Write Now!” and will counter the isolation and upheaval of the pandemic by creating safe spaces to share perspectives around race, class and social disruption through writing. Writing allows the community to marshal their thoughts, and reading enables them to reflect more deeply on one another’s thoughts. Even before the pandemic, social isolation, fear of strangers and distrust of the unknown had become commonplace. Shelter in place disproportionately impacted BIPOC communities: higher COIVD deaths, job loss, housing displacement, reduced educational access, police violence, overt racism exacerbated by election politics. Write Now! will create safe spaces to share perspectives around systemic racism, classism and social upheaval. Through workshops and innovative ways to safely share work with the public, they will help build an informed community that can communicate and cooperate across difference.

Creative Space (CRSP)


Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco

 $50,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Ross - Jia, a planning project for the experimental creative space in Chinatown's Ross Alley. Entitled Jia or Home, the proposed project addresses the need for 1) Enhancing CCC's ability to create a home dedicated to artists' growth; 2) Community space for emerging artists and intergenerational audiences; 3) Creative spaces in Chinatown.


Community Arts Stabilization Trust

 $50,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support and launch CAST's Dreaming Spaces initiative in San Francisco. Dreaming Spaces centers artists in the reimagination of their spaces, with support from designers, city planners, and public health experts to generate design solutions for artists and arts organizations to safely gather in spaces free from disease, oppression and violence. Informed by the visions and designs that are produced in a series of community design charrettes, the SFAC funds will also be used to develop budgets, schedules, and feasibility studies for selected prototype/pilot project designs. Pilot projects will be prioritized based on what can best support arts organizations to recover from the upheaval of COVID and resume programs and activities, and to reimagine and envision how they use and occupy their spaces, and what they define as their spaces.


Friends of SCRAP 

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support increasing the safety of SCRAP's programmatic space. Funds will go toward an environmental consultant’s analysis of asbestos found in the concrete. SFAC funds will also support extensive electrical rewiring to add 33 new power outlets, creating a safer space for the public. Finally, funds will support the repositioning of interior non-load-bearing walls and the repainting of the building's exterior.


Gray Area Foundation for the Arts 

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission Funds will support planning a capital campaign and strategy for Gray Area's acquisition and further renovation of the Grand Theater at 2665 Mission Street, which they have operated since 2014. The funds will cover internal staff time and external consultants to support closing on the building by the time of the lease ending in 2024. Gray Area will also be exploring further facilities improvements to expand service capabilities including classroom, co-working, performance and concessions capacity. Securing space is critical to ensuring ongoing support to artists and organizations in San Francisco and the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District for many years to come.


Kultivate Labs

 $100,000


Funds from the San Francisco Arts Commission will support Balay Kreative, Kultivate Labs’ program that provides support and professional development for historically excluded Filipinx artists in SOMA Pilipinas. Specifically, the Creative Spaces grant will be used in the buildout of the Republika x Balay Kreative Gallery, a cultural hub and gallery space dedicated to exhibiting and supporting Filipinx artists who uplift Philippine diasporic experiences in the heart of SOMA Pilipinas. Kultivate Labs will build out and curate the gallery throughout the 2021-2023 grant period and will feature the work of an anticipated 35 underrepresented artists. Thousands of SOMA community members and visitors will have an opportunity to access the exhibitions and artists will expand their audience.;


Youth Speaks, Inc.

$100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the build-out of Youth Speaks' new shared Mission District facility. Through an October 2019 competitive process, the Mission Economic Development Agency selected Youth Speaks (YS) to co-locate with First Exposures (FX) at their new 2060 Folsom Street site in SF's Mission District. Funds from the Creative Space grant program will provide YS and FX to complete final elements in the build-out process, which is the performing arts and community gathering space on the ground and second floor classroom and workshop space.

Four people circled around a large drum on a stage. Three of them have their mouths open to sing.

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

Image credit: Weaving Spirits Festival

Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI)


African-American Shakespeare Company 

 $100,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the hire of a Development Director responsible for leading the organization's individual and legacy giving campaigns as a larger goal towards strengthening the organization's foundation.


AfroSolo Theatre Company

 $75,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support AfroSolo Theatre Company's annual arts programming, organizational development activities, general administrative activities and institutional fundraising. Activities will include curating, producing, and presenting the 27th and 28th AfroSolo Arts Festival; working with consultants to 1) develop organizational procedures, assess existing artistic programming and identify potential new programming, and 2) develop a board of directors in anticipation of becoming an independent non-profit; and hiring an archivist.


American Indian Cultural Center

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the American Indian Cultural Center (AICC) with core support for the organization’s day-to-day operations sustaining the organization with full-time staffing capability, while providing the best cultural programming and workshops that encourage positive identity and prevention for youth, families, elders and at risk populations.


Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support critical infrastructure, much-needed digital preservation and archiving, as well as multimedia integration for core projects of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP).  


A PLACE OF HER OWN

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support A PLACE OF HER OWN's core infrastructural needs: director’s salary, artist coordinators stipends, virtual capacity, and fiscal sponsorship fees in order to sustain, redefine and scale their long-term impact. Funds will support the expansion of the organization’s reach and ability to provide artistic tools for healing, driven to help womxn of color to navigate away from family patterns of ancestral trauma towards resilience, confidence and leadership 


Arab Film and Media Institute (formerly the Arab Film Festival)

 $88,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the Arab Film and Media Institute (formerly the Arab Film Festival) by increasing the capacity of the Artistic Director and the hiring of a Development Director. The Artistic Director will expand the current Education program and will help launch two new initiatives (including the Arab Film Collective for Bay Area media-makers). The Development Director will help implement AFMI's new development plan currently being finalized by the Board, Executive Director and consultant.


Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS)

 

 $75,000


San Francisco Arts Commission Funds will support Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS), a community-based volunteer organization offering culturally relevant activities for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Native Americans, their families and friends. These funds will primarily be used to fund two staff positions: BAAITS first Executive Director and a Communications Manager. These positions will assist BAAITS in being able to provide an annual calendar of programming and the opportunity to stabilize both internal and externally facing communications.


Chrysalis Studio

 

 $75,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Chrysalis Studio’s continued evolution into a professionally managed and sustainable non-profit arts organization. The initiative will maintain the Artistic Director’s pay, increase interns’ compensation, and enable Chrysalis to work with a Social Media Consultant, and purchase materials and supplies for annual programming.


David Herrera Performance Company

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support David Herrera Performance Company’s (DHPCo.) artistic and community impact programming. DHPCo’s programming consists of performances, including a home season in San Francisco, commissioned works, festivals, and touring. Their community impact programs LatinXtensions and Latinx Hispanic Dancers United, provide community and resources for the greater Latinx dance community.


Embodiment Project

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Embodiment Project (EP) in: (1) creating an anti-oppressive leadership structure that embodies their values more fully and shifts power to Black Indigenous and People Of Color (BIPOC) members of the collective; and (2) expanding and deepening programming that focuses on communities of color, survivors of sexual harm, youth, and formerly incarcerated people.


Emerging Arts Professionals San Francisco Bay Area

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the return to an Equity-based Co-Director model, sustainably continuing critical programming such as their personal and professional development Fellowship program, the annual art-workers convening at Emergence, Equity consulting and public workshops, and network engagement with Emerging Arts Professionals’ primarily BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women-identified arts and culture workers and emergent leaders.


Ensemble for These Times

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Ensemble for These Times’ ongoing work to give voice to traditionally underrepresented creative artists in contemporary classical chamber music by enabling the organization to: perform, program and commission music by women composers, bringing them to San Francisco audiences via virtual events and in-person concerts when permitted; continue to employ only women musicians and increase the number of works performed and commissioned by Black, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ creative artists; continue their new interview series in 2021 with a focus on Black and Latinx women composers; keep all of their music performances affordable for San Francisco viewers; and increase regular pay to staff and musicians—all of whom identify as women or LGBTQ—to help them continue their musical careers.


Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers

 $75,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support a capacity building initiative that enhances the Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers' (FLACC) ability to broaden accessibility of the work of contemporary Latinx dance artists during and post-pandemic. Specifically, funds will assist the organization in building an online archive of work created for and presented by FLACC; upgrading technical equipment; purchasing storage space for virtual events as well as upgrading website capabilities to increase audience engagement and website traffic.


Flyaway Productions

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support general operational support for Flyaway Productions. The grant will contribute to the part-time salaries for Flyaway’s Artistic Executive Director and the Development Director. Through staff support, the grant will provide the means for Flyaway’s core staff to develop the organization’s main performance events, and for the annual implementation of GIRLFLY. GIRLFLY is Flyaway’s annual, month-long artist-as-activist program for San Francisco girls and non-binary youth ages 14-19. CEI support will also be used to commission a 30-minute soundscore from composer Maddy “MadLines” Clifford for The Decarceration Trilogy: Part 3. The Apparatus of Repair (development 2021-2023; free performances to premiere 2023), and to hire the Head Rigger to conceive of, and implement the safety design and artistic design of the rigging for The Apparatus of Repair performances.


Foglifter Press

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support LGBTQ+ literary artists by ensuring Foglifter's core programming is sustainable through compensation to staff, editors, and contractors.


Friends of SCRAP

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the ongoing planning and implementation of SCRAP’s Bayview arts programming, focusing on providing community services and art materials to families and youth in need. Specifically, SFAC funds will go toward four SCRAP programs through core support as well as specific project funding: A. Delivery of 2500+ SCRAP in a Box guided craft kits from 2021-2023 in partnership with: San Francisco’s Community Learning Hubs, the Latino Task Force, and Mission High School’s Black Student Union. B. Eight (8) community artist workshops taught and led by Bayview and Mission based artists. C. Six (6) intergenerational art classes bringing youth and seniors together in artmaking, in partnership with Bayview Senior Services and artist William Rhodes from 2021-2023. D. Free art supplies for SFUSD’s 100 Visual & Performing Arts teachers and classrooms via monthly giveaways from 2021-2023.


Genryu Arts

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Genryu Arts’ Reset Initiative, supporting the implementation of a hybrid model consisting of a virtual platform development plan for web development, and programming plan for in person programs as part of Genryu Arts’ and San Francisco Japantown’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19. This initiative calls for supporting: 1. virtual website presence, 2. core team members, and 3. marketing fundraiser plan.


Handful Players, Inc.

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Handful Players’ performing arts enrichment programs and the development of original plays that celebrate the histories of their students and their families, many from marginalized communities. The programs and productions developed will foster artistic skills and cultural awareness for the next generation. The programs will provide teaching artists with professional development opportunities to enhance their own artistic skills and expand their knowledge of youth development strategies, including incorporating trauma informed and social emotional learning into their performing arts teaching. Staged and video performances will be developed to provide broader distribution and celebration of historic events and leaders.


Kultivate Labs

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Kultivate Labs’ program, Balay Kreative, regranting, and artist professional development courses for historically excluded Filipinx artists in SOMA Pilipinas. Funds will be used to deepen culturally responsive processes and marketing/outreach in FY 2021-23. Their goals are to return Filipinx Americans to SOMA Pilipinas, create opportunities for minoritized Filipinx Americans in the Bay Area arts community, and provide professional development courses, so artists have access to business and marketing resources to ensure longevity throughout their career.


PUSH Dance Company

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support PUSH Dance Company increase its administrative capacity to implement the final phases of a 5-year strategic plan and deepen the organization's relationship with its constituents through audience engagement.


Related Tactics

 $25,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Related Tactics in stabilizing operations by providing baseline hours and compensation for the core artistic team and to hire a part time administrator/studio assistant, increasing ability to make room for experimentation and visioning projects, steward community relationships, initiate projects to best respond to needs, and build a more robust system to assess the impact of their work creating projects at the intersection of race and culture.


Sammay Productions

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support organizational development and strategic planning for SAMMAY Productions. The organization will undergo a re-evaluation process with Yesenia Sanchez of Soleil Coaching & Consulting. From July 2021-June 2023, Sanchez will coach Executive Artistic Director Sammay Dizon to create a more sustainable infrastructure for the growing production company with the goal of onboarding a part-time Administrative Manager.


SF Urban Film Fest

 $75,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the SF Urban Film Fest to engage in a strategic planning process and increase staff capacity from 1.5 to 2 full time employees. With support from an outside consultant, SF Urban Film Fest will draft a strategic plan to expand and continue to diversify their board, plan for long-term response to continued external emergencies such as wildfires and pandemics, budget, and fundraise to provide staff equitable pay and full benefits. Hiring a second full-time person to take over operations and program management will allow the Executive Director time to execute on the strategic planning, fundraise, continue to deepen existing community partnerships and foster new ones.


The Black Woman is God

 $50,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the Black Woman Is God Collective’s FY 21-22 and FY 22-23 programs, including their planning, producing and promotional expenses. In FY 21-22, their series of exhibitions and live multi-disciplinary events will take place over four weeks in November and December 2021 at South of Market Cultural Center (SOMArts) and at the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC). In fall 2022, the BWIG Collective will host a major visual arts exhibition in addition to dance and music performances, films, healing and career development workshops and interpretive panel discussions over 6 weeks at the same two venues. Throughout the two-year period, BWIG will increase participation in regional membership and advocacy activities.


Women’s Audio Mission

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support critical components of Women’s Audio Mission’s 5-year strategic plan that focuses on expanding paid artist recording residencies and adult music production training programs to deepen and grow their impact on Bay Area artists from historically marginalized communities. SFAC support is critical to meeting currently exploding demand for artist-serving programs, which in turn increases diversity, equity, inclusion across all of programs by: - Increasing the number of paid commissions/recording residencies to BIPOC artists. - Providing scholarships for BIPOC artists for music production training. - Creating a new Studio and Residency Director leadership position to oversee increased studio activity and expanded music production training programs specifically for artists. WAM’s artist residencies and music production training will reach 600+ women/gender-expansive artists/year (92% low income/ 84% BIPOC) by 2022.


Yerba Buena Arts & Events

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support capacity-building initiatives to ensure the long-term stability and sustainability of Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (YBGF): (1) Create a comprehensive post-COVID two-year Organizational Strategic Plan addressing artistic programs, marketing, resources, finances, organizational structure, board recruitment, and office space with various scenarios to project different budgets for July 2021 - June 2023, varying by revenue and expense assumptions; (2) Implement the Organizational Strategic Plan, building in quarterly evaluations and revisions as necessary; and (3) Research and implement an organizational membership program – Friends of the Festival – to build the YBGF family and increase visibility and support for YBGF.


Zaccho SF

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support operational expenses for Zaccho’s 2021-2023 seasons. Funds will contribute support to the salaries of Zaccho’s Artistic Director; Managing Director; Program Manager of Zaccho’s Youth Performing Arts Program; as well as wages for Zaccho Dance Theatre Dancers and Teaching Artists. Funds will also support the hiring of an Education Consultant to work with Zaccho on a strategic plan to expand youth programming in Bayview Hunters Point. These staff positions will sustain Zaccho’s track record of arts programming across multiple initiatives including the presentation of large, interdisciplinary artworks by Zaccho Dance Theatre in San Francisco; two programs for Bay Area dance artists – the Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program and biennial San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival; and arts education for youth and adults in Bayview Hunters Point.

Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI)


African American Art and Culture Complex

 $1,000,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support an 18-month hybrid training and regranting program that will serve the City's creatives and arts organizations, with a focus on the black community and will increase approximately 30 stakeholders' planning, grant writing, promotional and production skills. The project's regranting component will empower artists and arts organizations to plan and implement arts programs that celebrate Black culture and/or explore the systemic wealth, health, education and employment inequities that permeate contemporary American life. Grant writing training and paid employment will also be provided to 30 creatives and arts non-profits that will improve their sustainability. Grantees will also attend intensive workshops on fundraising, publicity and tax workshops for artists.


African American Art and Culture Complex

 $500,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to stabilize the operations and staff infrastructures of San Francisco-based arts organizations focused on the Black community to support the City's Black residents to recover from COVID. AAACC will implement this program by regranting approximately $425,000 through a competitive process. Funding will support artists, healers, instructors or practitioners who are leading or directing online and in-person self-restoration projects or who are creating new works or a curated series that affirm, celebrate and promote both personal and community healing, with a focus on the Black community. AAACC will also fund publicity and production costs including space rental expenses, technical production staff, box office personnel, supplies and social media consultants. The proposed project will also assist arts organizations to navigate the City's post-COVID reopening process by providing COVID compliance training and guidance.


African-American Shakespeare Company

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to support a philanthropic donor campaign to have Keith David star in August Wilson's Fences as the catalyst to begin AASC's legacy giving program for an endowment, "Live a Legacy, Leave a Legacy" Campaign. The endowment will bring sustainability and longevity to the institution and the cultural field. Having Keith David in Fences will be a pinnacle project which will bring national attention to San Francisco, and can kick-start the "Live a Legacy, Leave a Legacy" Campaign Program.


Idris Ackamoor and Cultural Odyssey

 $400,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to support Cultural Odyssey's African American Theater Alliance for Independence (AATAIN/BLACK THEATRE COLLECTIVE). AATAIN is composed of organizations dedicated to advancing stories focusing on the Black experience. AATAIN members include Cultural Odyssey, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, AfroSolo Theatre, and San Francisco Recovery Theatre. These organizations have been in existence from 25 - 40 years serving San Francisco's Black community. The aim of AATAIN's Dream Keeper Initiative is to increase the sustainability of each theatre organization by implementing the following goals: (1) Build organizational capacity to stabilize budgets and long-term revenue goals; (2) increase earned income resources; (3) implement audience development and marketing planning; and, (4) present new productions through artistic collaboration. Keeping with tradition, these productions will be deeply rooted in the Black experience, and involve the embedding of artistic programs, while addressing racial equity within San Francisco's Black communities.


San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (SFBATCO)

 $100,000


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to compensate theater workers who will participate in SFBATCO programs during the grant period: Co-Director Rodney Jackson, Artistic Development Director Aidaa Peerzada, and Music Director Othello Jefferson. Additional expenditures will include the fees of actors, singers, dancers, playwrights and designers appearing in SFBATCO’s productions from August 2021 to January 31 2023.

 

A painted portrait of poet Tongo Eisen-Martin playing a guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image credit: Eamon McGivern, Tongo Eisen Martin

San Francisco Artist (SFA)


Afatasi The Artist

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the making of a Black sci-fi short film entitled Black Space Academy. The film will share anonymous stories and narratives from Black educators about the racism they have experienced while working in San Francisco schools in various capacities. Black educators face a completely different set of circumstances than their white counterparts; this film seeks to expose the harm that permeates spaces within the institution of education. Using helmets and space suits as navigational vehicles of space exploration within a school setting, the film will be used to shed light on the Black educator experience in San Francisco, aiming to name the harm that has occurred, then cast the harm out into the universe, releasing it from its space, and never to cause harm again.


Alexander Hernandez

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support an exhibition of five large-scale, mixed-media textile figurative work of bear Latino men. Funds will be used to print pixilated images onto fabric that capture a variety of different body types in the bear community, gay men who embrace body hair, husky or bigger builds. The poses used in this series will reference classic nude boudoir paintings like Venus of Urbino or Olympia. The fabric will then be quilted and painted on, creating a 3d effect on a 2d platform, sizing up to 4 by 4 feet each. This show aims to question unrealistic body expectations set by white cisgender homo-normative gay men and to dismantle the slim twink Latino lover trope. The show will be titled Fabul-oso, a play on Spanish words for fabulous and bear.


Amihan

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the completion of Amihan’s first recorded project entitled For Our Ancestors; it will be written and produced by Amihan. For Our Ancestors is a concept album outlining their journey of discovering her culture and forming her identity as a Pinay growing up in San Francisco; learning about and taking action against institutional racism and sexism through performance; and eventually, becoming a community organizer. This album is an oral history of their own growth as an artist, student and activist, as well as the narratives of the Filipinx community that raised them and therefore, that her own story is innately interwoven within.


Amy Grace Lam

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Unraveling, an immersive theater experience exploring intergenerational healing where the musical is the centerpiece. Audiences first interact with Buried Treasures, a lobby exhibition with local immigrant/refugees sharing their family’s buried life dreams. Audiences then experience the musical, which tells the story of Emily, a successful professor confronting institutional racism on her own terms. Politicized, fearless and articulate, she has the perfect plan. There’s only one problem: Emily’s Chinese ancestor spirits are doing everything they can to derail Emily’s plan. The ancestors are desperate to get Emily to remember who she really is, creating hilarious and heartbreaking moments that unravel her career and question her motives for fighting social injustice.


Andreina Maldonado

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Andreina Maldonado in the creation of a new theatrical piece directed and choreographed by Maldonado in collaboration with members of the Women’s Collective and Day Labor Program (WC/DLP), and professional artists.


Angela Han

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support an interdisciplinary arts project called Realms of Courage: Celebrating Asian Women Composers, that strives to educate the public about Asian women composers through art inspired by their music. Twenty composers self-identifying as Asian women will be interviewed about their lived experiences navigating the field and industry of music. Analyses and reflections about their compositions will be written and, along with the composers' life stories, used as inspirational fuel for the creation of twenty large-scale paintings honoring the composers' lives, identities, and accomplishments. The paintings will be exhibited both online and in-person in 2022. From the inception of the project to its completion, the artist will execute intensive educational campaigns that raise awareness about these Asian composers and their work via the artist's website, social media platforms, newsletters, and project programming which include composer discussion panels.


Antony Fangary

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the development and completion of Antony Fangary’s first full length collection of poetry: Complexity of the Foreigner (Auodiq il Ghoagha). The book’s title is an Upper Egyptian colloquial phrase. The book will function as an investigation of Coptic-Egyptian diaspora and the psychological nuances engraved in a historically persecuted people. Copts are .1% of the U.S. population and visibility is non-existent. Fangary’s poetry is an interweaving of family history, Egyptian colloquialisms, politics, Coptic prayers and stories, personal revelations and more. Fangary’s intent is for the work to be a mirror for Copts in the diaspora; something that they can identify with beyond ancient Coptic texts and images of martyrs.


Bongo Sidibe

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the musical development for the performance From Cuba to Guinea (working title), a music and dance collaboration between Bongo Sidibe, Duniya Dance and Drum Company, Susana Pedroso and her company Arenas Dance. San Francisco Arts Commission funds will specifically support Bongo Sidibe’s composition and arrangement of music, focusing both on traditional Guinean music and collaborations with Cuban musicians.


Brittany Newell

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the completion of a collection of nonfiction essays exploring the relationship between chronic pain, spirituality and BDSM. The collection tells the story of how Brittany Newell’s invisible disability and deviant body led them to two seemingly opposite worlds: the spiritual fellowship of GLIDE Memorial Church and the psychosexual underground of San Francisco's BDSM community.


Calixto Robles

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation of a series of 25 artworks, Prints for the People, that reflect the current times we are living in, including climate change, equal rights, immigration, homelessness, child separations, elections and the pandemic. Calixto Robles will include a series of prints with portraits of people from their LatinX and First Nation communities wearing masks as part of this body of work. Robles’ intention is to uplift the spirit of the spectator and promote spiritual and physical health. Robles will use images and juxtapose words and messages like Resilience, Solidarity, Compassion, Hope, Love, Peace and Unity.


Dan Lau

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Sweetness, a poetry manuscript culminating with a community-generated chapbook and public literary reading. Research for this project will focus on the intersections of queerness, economies of desire, migration and settlers colonialism through a POC lens. As a third-generation Chinese American, the passage and process of their grandfather’s journey across the Pacific through San Francisco intrigues them. Later settling in NYC, many details of their life have been filled in with broad strokes and reductive milestones. This project will be a deep dive into each distinct part of their journey to better comprehend what it means to exist as a foreign laborer on colonized land, overlay forms of queerness and queer strategies, and tell a story of Asian pacific migration through one of the driving economies that brought them to the United States: the pineapple.


Danny Thanh Nguyen

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the writing of Leather Daddy Beauty Pageant, a memoir broadly examining issues of intimacy, sex, and belonging through the lens of queerness and race. More specifically, the book explores how the author’s ethnic identity—as a mixed-Southeast Asian child of refugees—has challenged the exploration of their sexual identity as a queer kinkster, and has complicated their place in the predominantly White leather/BDSM community. Inversely, the book explores how their growing leadership as a visible kinkster has affected the ways in which they are received within the Vietnamese and queer Asian American community.


David R. Molina

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the composition, performance and recording of Lost American Dream by David R. Molina. The piece addresses ICE raids, deportation, the cruel act of separating Latino immigrant families, and the abuses they face in detention at U.S. concentration camps. Molina will be working with San Francisco immigrant communities, activists, and NGOs to collect testimonies of their struggles and perseverance. These stories will be the foundation of the composition of Lost American Dream. Recordings of community voices will be woven and sampled into the score, providing the driving narrative of the piece. The result will be a cinematic soundscape, similar to an audio documentary or experimental radio play. The piece will blend the genres of experimental, ambient, sound art, jazz, and improvised “new” music. It will be an hour long and performed as a trio using stringed instruments, electronics, and percussion.


Éamon McGivern

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support a series of oil portraits of members of the city’s transgender community and an exhibition of the work at a location within the Trans Cultural District. As a trans artist Éamon McGivern will create paintings that focus on the quiet beauty and dignity of trans life and contain multiple figures of trans people living in community with one another. McGivern’s art practice is deeply rooted in portraiture and each painting will be in collaboration with the model with the aim to reflect how each subject wants to be seen, capturing the nuance and specificity of their lives. To highlight that the trans experience is not monolithic, McGivern will be collaborating with the Trans Cultural District to reach out to trans people from all walks of life to be part of the project. They will also draw upon the District’s connections with local business to find a venue for the exhibition within the district, in the heart of San Francisco. From start to finish this project will be by and for trans people, with the funds going towards paying trans models, trans preparators, and collaborating with trans institutions to place and promote the project.


Eric Garcia

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the premiere of UP ON HIGH, a series of dance films, live performances and panels that interrogate notions of queer legacy and our role as future ancestors for next generations. The work will be collaboratively devised by a multi-generational ensemble of QTBIPOC drag artists.


ET IV

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the development of Filipinx multidisciplinary artist ET IV’s first visual album, CORE. Rooted in the “Pinoy Spirit” of San Francisco and its long-standing contributions to Filipino-American history, this project will find intersections in music, film and visual art to create a unique narrative that seeks to bridge the Philippine diaspora from a second-generation Filipinx perspective. Through repurposing archived material and sampling beats, ET IV will deepen his practice of remixing - the essence of Hip Hop - to create a multi-modal interdisciplinary offering and prayer to his lineage and community that will center themes of longing, immigration, duality and kapwa (shared identity/inner self).


Fernando Marti

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Visualizing Colibrí, a series of 8-12 site-specific panels connecting ancestral traditions and Latinx Futurism, highlighting urban liberatory practices and resilience in the face of gentrification, anti-immigrant xenophobia, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The images, with accompanying multilingual interpretive text, will be printed on weatherproof panels and installed in publicly-accessible locations along the entrances and pathways of Hummingbird Farm, an urban agriculture project stewarded by PODER in the Excelsior and Crocker-Amazon neighborhoods.


J Miko Thomas, Landa Lakes (Pashofa Designs)

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the second year of the Weaving Spirits Festival of Two-Spirit Performance with J Miko Thomas as co-curator. Expanding on the first year’s curatorial theme of basket weaving, the second year’s theme asks how LGBTQT-S+ and Native American people can share traditions and cultural ways in virtual space. The festival will consist of two parts: first in 2021, a month-long video screening series of previous performances by festival artists with Q&A; then in 2022, a 2-week performance series showcasing at least four Two-Spirit artists’ performance work, and several workshops/panels on various urgent community issues.


Javier Briones

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the completion of the mid-length documentary, BORDER CROSSING THEME PARK. This film tells the story of a small Mexican town trying to stop migration, by hosting a unique tourist attraction: a five-hour participatory reenactment of an “illegal” border crossing into the United States. BORDER CROSSING THEME PARK peers behind the curtain to examine why this Mexican community built a tourist economy based on their own migration stories to survive. The grant will be used to pay for editing and finishing costs including sound design, music composition, mixing, color grading, mastering, distribution and presentation.


Jenifer Karla Wofford

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support VMD, a suite of 30-35 drawings, paintings and illustrations inspired by Filipina-American Olympic champion diver Victoria Manalo Draves (VMD), who was born and raised in San Francisco. These images will be rendered in a clean, illustration style, engaging VMD’s legacy in an abstract, poetic way that focuses on tension points between worlds; the dreamlike world of her diving practice versus the realities of her daily life. The images will be a complementary mix of subjective, semi-abstract interpretations of Manalo Draves moving through air and water, and more literal renderings of Manalo Draves' life and experiences in San Francisco and beyond.


Jo Kreiter

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to support artistic creation as an element of transformative justice. Sorry/Please/No is a new aerial solo directed by Jo Kreiter that values repair over punishment, collaborating with a dancer who is a survivor of sexual violence. It brings together choreographer Jo Kreiter, dancer Sonsherée Giles, musician Maddy “MadLines” Clifford, and organization partners Community Works and Prison Renaissance. It leads with the question, well stated by activist adrienne maree brown, “How do we believe survivors and still be abolitionist? And still practice transformative justice?”


Josh Faught

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the production, development and execution of Eternal Flame, a solo exhibition at the Wattis Institute in San Francisco. The proposed project consists of a series of hand woven, crocheted and dyed works that articulate the often ambivalent relationships between material, language, and community. Thematically, these works revolve around concepts of time, exposure and transition: restlessly oscillating between moods; between light and dark; between mourning, witness and flamboyance. Central to the exhibition is the presentation of a 30-foot-wide woven wall-based work: an abstraction appropriated from the candlelight flicker seen in an archival image of an AIDS vigil held in San Francisco during the late 1980s.


Josie Iselin

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the research, writing, artmaking and design of a book titled, Entangled: Bull Kelp, Sea Otter, Sea Urchin, and Abalone. This project is a book length inquiry into the story of Nereocystis luetkeana, or bull kelp. Nereocystis luetkeana is the majestic kelp that grows up to sixty feet in one season, to reproduce and be washed away by winter storms each year. It is the signature species making up the vastly productive kelp forests of the northern Pacific coastline from Big Sur through Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and halfway through the Aleutian Islands. Each section of this coastline presents a fascinating and unique history of the interactions of primary producer (kelp), herbivores (sea urchin and abalone amongst others), and top predators, a story in which we humans compete for position.


Juli Delgado Lopera

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Tú Dólar Churro, a collection of personal essays exploring the linguistic phenomenon of Spanglish. Ranging from stories highlighting the language of Latinx drag queens of Esta Noche, to Spanglish at the dinner table with immigrant tías, to the signs written on stores on Mission Street, these essays destabilize the notion of language purity. The project centers immigrant language as a brilliant cultural and linguistic force.


Kelly Falzone Inouye

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the development and exhibition of a series of large-scale watercolor paintings exploring the 1980s & 90s cultural touchstone, Music Television (MTV), in relation to power dynamics, representation and our current political climate. These paintings will be displayed in a solo exhibition at Marrow Gallery in the Sunset District and will be documented and compiled into a limited-edition artist’s book.


Kevin Dublin

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the production of the full-length poetry manuscript, Mural, and to produce a curated multi-media public reading. Mural is an exploration of what remains after a loss that people can find comfort in from the loss of family members, relationships, places, and fellow citizens to cultural identity and memorials. The writing will be biographical in part, speculative in part. The reading will include excerpts from the poet’s manuscript, live painters, and film poems produced by the poet that explore the theme “Mural.”


Kevin Seaman

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support soft (working title), an hour-long interdisciplinary media project applying a queer lens to themes of vulnerability, gentleness and soft power (using appeal or attraction rather than force). soft will have three developmental presentations by December 2022 with Brava! for Women in the Arts, SOMArts Cultural Center and Pacific Felt Factory (PFF).


Kevin Simmonds

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to support My Protest Novel, a work by San Francisco writer and musician Kevin Simmonds that spans 200 years and uses biography, memoir and poetry to trace the life of his great-great-grandfather, noted 19th-century musician, actor, politician and activist Victor Eugène Macarty (1820-1881) alongside his own.


Kija Lucas

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support a solo exhibition at SF Camerawork titled The Taxonomy of Belonging containing photographs of plant clippings, rocks, and other objects Kija Lucas uses to explore their bi-racial identity through the emigration patterns of their family and the racial taxonomy of Carl Linnaeus. This work questions how the scientific frameworks inherited from Linnaeus mis-represents othered communities; specifically addressing the invention of race in his taxonomy of man, a racist categorization of human beings that perpetuate stereotypes used widely today. This exhibition serves as the final chapter to a seven-year-long project, and funding from SFAC would allow Lucas to create the final series of images in this body of work, and a new series of large scale vinyls for an immersive installation.


Kimberly Acebo Arteche

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Kundiman ng Katawan, a performative and visual installation using S&M as a metaphor for Filipinx relationships to abusive government and family dynamics. Recontextualized through Philippine materials & history, Kundiman ng Katawan explores S&M as a reclamation of body sovereignty from colonial power dynamics. This project, by interdisciplinary artist Kimberley Acebo Arteche, will include photographs, installation, projection, and sculptural objects. The exhibition is planned for 2022 at Heron Arts, and co-presented by Tiffany Yau (the Galallery) and Lian Ladia (Yucca).


Kimberly Shuck

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the publication and release of What unseen thing blows wishes across my surface?, a collection from the author’s Quarantine Poems series. The collection also features artwork by LisaRuth Elliott, from her series, Stripe-al Distancing, created during the pandemic and inspired by the stories and landscape of San Francisco, of Yelamu and its creatures. Weaving together traditions, techniques and stories of place, Shuck will produce a hand-bound book incorporating the raw material of collective daily works created during the earliest days of the pandemic as well as poems written in response. Their project will culminate in a gallery installation combining poetry and visual art, with an official book release.


Kyle Casey Chu

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the writing and production costs of two new episodes (Episodes 5-6) of Kyle Casey Chu’s debut narrative film series, Chosen Fam. The series follows “Chosen Fam”, an all-Queer & Trans People Of Color (QTPOC) indy rock band, as they rise to local notoriety within San Francisco’s rapidly-vanishing independent music scene. Based on qualitative interviews with, and featuring original music by Bay Area QTPOC musicians, Chosen Fam explores how QTPOC found social support systems to weather toxicity in its many forms: with families, partners, co-workers and the larger LGBTQ+ community.


La Doña

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation of an album that presents and amplifies the messages of radical Black and NBPOC female and non-binary artists living and working in San Francisco. As the executive producer and main composer of the this album, they will work on organizing artistic collaborations, composing the bulk of the instrumental components, buying and supplying artists with a COVID-safe mobile recording rig, providing lessons on sound engineering, mixing, and mastering, as well as recording voice, trumpet, guitar, baritone and accordion, among other instruments.


Lauren Andrei Garcia

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the writing and development of an original San Francisco-based one-woman show, written and performed by Lauren Andrei Garcia. The content of the writing directly speaks to filipinx/latinx queer experience in San Francisco by exploring three characters, almost like a split personality, three generations in San Francisco. The content aims to reveal the current oppressive narratives of power within the the intersections of the different generations of immigration in San Francisco, the power dynamics attributed to the intersectionalities of being latinx/filipinx, and challenge them with counterstories and perspectives.


Lenora Lee

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation and presentation of In the Movement, a site-responsive, multimedia, dance project on Alcatraz taking place over two weekends of performances with community dialogues in September 2022. It will focus on the separation of families and mass detention of immigrants as a form of incarceration, and will serve as a meditation on reconciliation and restorative justice, speaking to the power of individuals and communities to transcend.


Leticia Hernández-Linares

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Daughters of the Volcano, a work of historical fiction told through persona and free verse poems for young adult readers. This work will focus on three Salvadoran female characters: folkloric trickster, La Ciguanaba; a 1930’s Salvadoran writer and suffragist, Prudencia Ayala; and Sisi, a fictional character based on the author’s experiences growing up as a first-generation U.S. Salvadoran. The poems give voice to each character; their interaction on the page unfolds a narrative of their imaginary conversation. How they learn to be audacious and independent despite the obstacles set up by heteropatriarchal societies provides the through line between the generations.


Lourdes Figueroa

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the making of El Azadón & the Marimachas, a poetry film that narrates a queer migratory story through the use of poems, monologues and images. The word marimachas is slang spanish for dyke or lesbians, a word that Figueroa is reclaiming in the same way the word queer has been reclaimed with a sense of pride and love. The words el azadón are used by those that have worked the fields under the blistering sun. The project seeks to narrate and define migratory routes from Central America to Mexico to Yolo County, California, to San Francisco through the life stories of womxn, specifically the migrant worker queer womxn, and connecting the city to what sustains it, specifically weaving the migrant worker into the city's hxstory.


Lyzette Wanzer

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support TRAUMA, TRESSES, & TRUTH: Untangling Our Hair Through Personal Narrative, a book and weekend conference that grows out of Wanzer’s 2020 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference panel on the controversial topic of Black women’s natural hair. Contributors in this collection, in addition to Wanzer’s own three creative nonfiction essays, will be African American and Afro Latina authors relating their often shocking real-life experiences through personal essays. Particularly relevant during this time of emboldened white supremacy, racism, and provocative othering, this work explores how writing about one of the still-remaining systemic biases in schools, academia, and corporate America might lead to greater understanding and respect. Wanzer will convene a virtual San Francisco-based natural hair conference in tandem with the book, offering panels, workshops and how-to sessions. Wanzer and contributors will serve as speakers.


Marina Fukushima

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the research, development and performance of the multi-media intergenerational dance project, Relative Audience, examining acts of witnessing the shifting distances (geographic and immaterial) that exist in families over time. The project will develop from family collaborations, interviews with elder Japanese Americans and text from Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa written to his ailing sister. Observing the unique family connections, the work will reflect on the difficulties of caring for each other through varied proximity.


Melissa Hung

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the writing of a collection of linked creative nonfiction work about Asian American girlhood and a family’s immigration history through the lens of food. An excerpt of the work will be presented in an event at The Ruby with other artists.


Michael Arcega

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the production and presentation of a documentary film featuring a Filipino traysikel (tricycle) as a personified object-immigrant. TNT traysikel was partially funded by SFAC as a cultural marker for San Francisco’s SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Cultural Heritage District. Besides functioning as a roving public artwork, for this project, TNT Traysikel will be a site for engagement and collecting stories about the Filipino Diaspora and the contribution of the Fil-Am community to the United States. TNT is a Tagalog acronym for Tago ng Tago that literally translates to “always hiding,” often used as a codeword among Filipino immigrants for an undocumented person. In this context, the artist seeks to uncover these stories while highlighting their important roles in the American landscape.


Michael Warr

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the development of an online virtual space featuring What Not To Do...(an unfinished poem). It is “unfinished” because the poem will continue to be regularly updated with the names of especially unarmed black boys and men who have been unjustly killed by the police. The poem will spell out the circumstances under which the victims suddenly found themselves in a life and death interaction with the police and capture the way their lives were lost.


Monica Magtoto

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation of an oracle divination deck. Monica Magtoto will create a series of illustrations incorporating symbolism and images from their own multicultural background, spiritual, and life experience, as well as different cultures around the world. The accompanying booklet will explain the meanings of the cards and how to use them for spiritual development, reflection, empowerment and guidance. The guidebook aims to break down stereotypical, often shallow depictions of self-care/wellness language and spiritual development, with a more holistic mental health and equity lens. Historically, tarot and oracle decks and their interpretations have been fear based and use the white, able bodied, cis-hetero patriarchy as the framework for human experience. This deck and guidebook aims to be representative of a more diverse population and to demystify concepts and practices related to spiritual development, self-caretaking and healing.


Natasha (Tashi) Tamate Weiss

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will be used to support ritual work that tends to and resuscitates a place within a sacred web of relations—human, animal, plan, spiritual, elemental, celestial. Through ritual creative practice and ancestral medicine work, Weiss will release the malignancies held in bodies and psyches that are rooted in separation, hierarchy, polarity, and individualism. They will create a clearing—a fertile space in which poetry is prayer, dance is embodied surrender to the prayer, sound is transmission of the prayer, and film is the vessel. Through myth, memoir, and mantra, they speak life into a timeline where days are slow, spirits touch, wounds are tended, land is listened to, and the sovereign wellbeing of all relatives is honored. Through dance, sacred adornment, animation, and music, they knit a world out of longing. This project will be created in collaboration with women and nonbinary people of the Asian diaspora, and will culminate in a digital platform, material chapbook, and ritual performance in San Francisco Japantown.


Niloufar Talebi

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the research and writing of the historical novel, The Disinherited. The protagonist, Roxana, is a Bay Area-based painter who discovers family secrets dating back to her great grandmother. The novel spans 4 generations of women from Tsarist Russia to Silicon Valley.


Pamela Z

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation and performance of Simultaneous, an intermedia performance work exploring the concept of simultaneity through voice, electronic processing, chamber ensemble (viola, cello, English horn, and percussion), speech samples, gesture control and (fixed and interactive) projected video.


Ploi Pirapokin

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Extraordinary Aliens, a collection of essays written by Ploi Pirapokin, exploring the myths of American Exceptionalism and the damaging effects of meritocracy through the lens of an Asian nonimmigrant woman. An excerpt of this work will be read at Kearny Street Workshop, as part of a solo exhibition.


Rachel Khong

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the writing of a short story cycle of three short stories, exploring themes of race, identity and climate. These three stories will complete Khong’s short story collection, currently in progress, tentatively titled MY DEAR YOU. The collection itself is an assemblage of stories that illuminate the varied experiences of hyphenated-American women in a white-dominated America; Khong’s characters navigate coming of age, love and relationships, and professional fulfillment, and seek belonging and connection in a home that often views them as the other.


Ricki Dwyer

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support a large scale textile installation and a new series of sculptural work. The funds will allow for an extended period of research, material exploration, sample development, and studio production. The installation will span the entire gallery activating an environment for the audience to traverse. Developed on loom, the installation will be many layers of intersecting cloth, vibrantly hand dyed. The accompanying series of smaller works will be metal and cloth assemblage, soldered and welded structures with handwoven cloth drapery. The installation is based on anarchist economic theory, current modalities of mutual aid, and the historic trajectory of weaving as a global industry. This grant will support ongoing research of weaving as a global cosmology myth, the production of cloth metaphorically equated to community strength.


Rodney L Ewing

 $20,000 


The African American community has always given their children a set of social instructions about how to survive encounters with law enforcement and private citizens. However, with the escalating violence by police against Black citizens, these operating instructions are becoming obsolete. San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support this line of inquiry. Ewing started this project while in residence in 2019 at The Headlands Project Space, called The Devil Finds Work. The title is taken from a group of essays by James Baldwin on identity and racism in the American movie industry. Ewing’s work will document how the Black Body has had to navigate physical, social, and psychological spaces in America, forever code-switching adapting, and morphing. The series will include works on paper, installations, and sculptures that document Black communities' history of survival techniques, and the continued struggle for autonomy over their physical and spiritual well-being.


Sarah Matsui

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the completion of Hello, Boar—You Must Be Hungry, a Taiwanese and Japanese American daughter’s coming of age story. Structured as a four-part solo performance piece, Parts I and II have already been written and performed at Stage Werx Theatre, The Fresno Fringe, The Berkeley Marsh and The Marsh SF.


Sephora Woldu

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the pre-production for Woldu’s feature length film, Aliens in Eritrea, a film about the Eritrean American diaspora in the San Francisco Bay Area. Set in the 1990s, the mid-2020's, and the far off future, the story explores the upbringing of different generations where the word "alien" means a very different thing in each era. There are elements of magical realism as well, and actual aliens are introduced in a science fiction way relevant to this cultural abyss.


Shawna Virago

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support filmmaker and songwriter Shawna Virago to create a trilogy of short films set to her original songs and music: Eternity Street: An Elegy will interrogate the impact of gentrification on San Francisco’s working and poverty class transgender and queer communities, from the first-person perspective of a 50-something transwoman as she watches her own transwoman peers displaced and erased. This trilogy of short films will each feature a new song written and performed by Shawna Virago. The Eternity Street: An Elegy short film trilogy will premiere at the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival in November 2022 at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater.


Shizue Seigel

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Shizue Seigel’s hybrid memoir, What Endures. The book, based on the author’s personal experiences, family stories and extensive research, traces a Japanese American family from its old-country roots as ex-samurai and farmers to the 1960s era of civil rights, Vietnam, and youthful rebellion. Each generation grapples in its own way with ideals of goodness, until intergenerational conflicts escalate into a life-threatening crisis.


tanea lunsford lynx

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support I Used to Live Here, a series of free generative creative writing/creative storytelling workshops offered publicly to longtime residents of San Francisco as well as those displaced from San Francisco. These workshops, particularly centering the voices of Black people and other people of color, will focus on telling the story of neighborhoods in the city that were previously predominately Black and working class (with a focus on Lakeview/Oceanview, Fillmore, Hayes Valley, Bayview/Hunter's Point and Visitacion Valley). The project will address themes of healing through writing, resilience, belonging, and community building despite isolation and displacement.


Tania Santiago

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support COMUNIDADE : In Community We are One, a dance-theater-poetry work arising from weekly dance workshops led by Santiago at Crissy Field’s East Beach during COVID. This new Folkloric and contemporary Afrobrazilian dance will be rooted in African spirituality and slave resistance and the importance of healing in community. The performance will be produced and presented by World Arts West, producers of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.


Tara Dorabji

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the development, production and screening of a new documentary film, Call Me Azadi, which explores why people stand up to injustice. The film will be produced, directed and screened by San Francisco-based artist, Tara Dorabji. The community screening of the film and curated panel will invite San Francisco audiences to engage in dialogue around occupation, courage and authoritarianism. Filmed in Kashmir, the world’s most militarized land, the film follows human rights activists working amidst COVID and militarization, exploring how people harness courage to stand up to injustice and authoritarianism. The film will weave together the experiences of a journalist, filmmaker, researcher and an author, who are considered to be part of the new generation of activists.


Tsungwei Moo

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation and exhibition of Mothers and Daughters–Generations of Female Immigrants. This project developed as a response to the political climate immigrants find themselves currently. It included seven documentary portraits describing female immigrants of Asia American, African American and Latino American descent in San Francisco. The works celebrate lives and honor those remarkable unknown women, and uplift diverse ethnic female immigrants, inspire and empower women in our society. The exhibition venues are the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, the Women’s Building, the National Day of Taiwan event, City Art Gallery and the California State Building Senator’s office.


Vanessa Sanchez

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Ghostly Labor: A Dance film. Featuring Tap dance, Zapateado Jarocho, Afro-Cuban dance, and original Son Jarocho sones, this work explores the legacies of the exploitation of female labor in the US-Mexico borderlands. Choreographer and Co-Director of the dance film, Vanessa Sanchez will conduct interviews with local domestic workers, farmworkers and laborers to develop the narrative of the work, consult with historians, collaborate with local and international musicians to develop an original sound score, work with members of her company La Mezcla to set new polyrhythmic choreography, and collaborate with a film production team made up of an experienced director of photography, a sound person to record the percussive dance and live music and an award-winning filmmaker and animator.


Vero Majano

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation of Dearest Homegirl, an animated short film that tells a personal story of Latinx queer youth in San Francisco's Mission District in the 1980's. Based on the life experiences of artist Vero Majano (aka Shorty), the film evokes a Mission that no longer exists in space or time, and weaves together the complexities of trauma, cholo culture, queerness and healing.


Vida Kuang

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation of Dear Chinatown, a quarterly bi-lingual printed neighborhood zine that documents arts, culture and activism of San Francisco Chinatown. Each zine will profile working people on the frontlines of history (with a special highlight on working women of Chinatown), along with the movers and shakers that shape the community we call home. The zine will be led by the creative direction of Vida Kuang, in collaboration with the community leaders of members based organizations like the Chinese Progressive Association. Together, they will identify themes that respond to issues relevant to the community. Through storytelling by community based artists, zine topics may cover the following issues: organizing for economic, labor, and housing rights, language and racial justice, food history and community healing practices, and creative practices in sustainability.


Virgie Tovar

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the development and deployment of a 2-week virtual event in Fall 2021 tentatively titled FEAST. FEAST invites San Franciscans to gather around a virtual table 1 hour a day for 2 weeks with artist, Virgie Tovar. Each day Tovar will prepare a meal of personal and/or cultural significance and prepare a short essay, San Francisco foodway history lesson, story, or recipe recitation to pair with the meal. Attendees will be encouraged to bring a snack or meal of their choice. The event will have two parts. For the first half, everyone will be able to see each other and eat together for 30 minutes. Then participants will be encouraged to "meet" one another in virtual breakout rooms and share their meals and stories for the second half.


William Rhodes

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the creation and exhibition of two original quilts informed by the life stories and experiences of San Francisco Black seniors who are participating in the arts programs operated by Senior Centers in the Fillmore and Bayview neighborhoods. Rhodes’ active and authentic partnership with the Black community will be central to the development of two original quilts. They will create the quilts after conducting oral history interviews with the seniors about how they ended up in San Francisco and their observations about the gradual displacement of San Francisco’s Black community over the past 40 years.


Yalitza Ferreras

 $20,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the writing of a 200-300 page draft of The Four Roses, a novel-in-progress which follows Altagracia, a poor young artist from a small town in the Dominican Republic who immigrates to Spain to provide financial support for her family. The novella's fulcrum takes place in Madrid in 1992, the year Lucrecia Perez, a Dominican woman working as a domestic was murdered by Spanish Neo-Nazis in a former nightclub used as a squat by unhoused immigrants. Against this backdrop, Altagracia struggles to find her voice as an artist as police crackdowns threaten her art—and her life. Ferreras will read an excerpt of The Four Roses, along with other writers at a virtual or in-person public event as a 2021 Brown Handler Writer-in-Residence sponsored by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Image credit: Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers. Photo by Dierdre Visser. 

Sankofa Initiative


Alliance for California Traditional Arts  

 $225.000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ regranting program serving BIPOC individuals and organizations in San Francisco specializing in the practice of cultural traditions. The program will provide $1,500 to $15,000 grants to individuals, nonprofits and fiscally-sponsored organizations, and will facilitate a broad range of activities including cultural practice and transmission, performance/exhibitions, documentation and gatherings among other projects. All grant recipients will be required to present a publicly-accessible event.


Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts & Technology  

 $250,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support the BAYCAT BIPOC Media Maker Fund, focused on closing the digital divide for approximately 75 youth and early-career creatives (ages 15-24) from vulnerable, low-income San Francisco communities most affected by COVID-19. The Fund will provide computers, DSLR cameras, lighting, sound and other equipment, and creative and technical tools to complement BAYCAT’s award-winning digital media storytelling programs, that help to launch grantees’ careers as aspiring media makers in the competitive Bay Area creative industries. Funds will enable grantees to tell their own stories and heal from this moment of collective trauma.


Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco  

 $225,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support BGCSF's regranting program to disburse $180,000 to a majority of Black-, Indigenous- and People of Color (BIPOC)-led arts organizations and BIPOC individuals creating and offering community-centered art projects and programs. Grant recipients will use funds to invest in their own professional and wellness development. Activities include attending webinars, workshops, trainings and events to develop skills for remote work, education in the arts and self-care. Regranting decisions will be made through a lens of racial equity and social justice.

WritersCorp Artist in Residence (WCTAIR)


Madeline Clifford  

 $55.000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Madeleine Clifford as a WritersCorps teaching artist in residence to facilitate weekly poetry workshops in collaboration with Woodside, the school housed within the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center. Workshops will be held online or in person. Funds will also be used for Class Preparation, Administration, Site Collaboration, Site Publications, Special Projects and Professional Development with the WCTAIR cohort.


Mandeep Sethi  

 $55,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Mandeep Sethi as a WritersCorp teaching artist in residence in Year 2 with high school students at the June Jordan School for Equity in grades 9-12. Mandeep will provide two hour-long distance learning, in-school and after-school writing workshops to multiple groups of fifteen to twenty students twice a week for 32 weeks annually. Students will learn to use poetry and lyric-writing as a means of self-expression and healing, and will work towards creating a student publication which will be printed and shared upon culmination.


Robyn Carter  

 $55,000 


San Francisco Arts Commission funds will support Robyn Carter as a WritersCorps teaching artist in residence in Year 2 with students at Redding Elementary School in grades 3-5, providing daily, hour-long writing workshops to two groups of approximately 20 students for 32 weeks annually. Robyn will work with a group of third-graders during the regular school day on Mondays-Thursdays, and a second group of third- through fifth-graders during an after-school program on Fridays. Workshops will take place in person and/or online.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

August 16
/
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

August 16
/
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

August 16
/
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

August 16
/
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting