(Grant application deadline amended 3/20/2020)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 12  p.m. NOON PST

For any questions about the Artistic Legacy Grant, contact Program Officer Debbie Ng at or 415-252-2216.


A translation of this grant application is available upon request; however, only applications in English will be accepted.

Una traducción de esta solicitud de aplicación está disponible a petición; sin embargo, solamente se aceptarán solicitudes en inglés. Favor comunicarse con Lorena Moreno al 415-252-2211 ó para una traducción al español.


Ang pagsasalin sa Tagalog ng aplikasyon para sa pagkalooban na ito ay makukuha kung hihingilin. Ngunit ang aplikasyon sa Ingles lamang ang aming tatanggapin. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si Cece Carpio, 415-252-2217 o


Jump to:
Important Dates
Information about the Artistic Legacy Grant
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Application Due March 30, 2020, 12 NOON PST
Panel Review April 2020
Funding Recommendations April 2020
Commission Approval April 2020
Annual Grants Meeting Presentation October 1, 2020
Grant Period July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021


Information about the Artistic Legacy Grant

About ALG

The Artistic Legacy Grant (ALG) is a grant for up to $40,000 to acknowledge the impact of an artistic director that has served an organization consistently for 25 years or more. Through the vision of the artistic director, the applicant organization demonstrates to be a vital member of their respective community(ies) and has a history of working to educate the broader community on the importance of their culture and/or artistic genre.

ALG funds may be used to support organizational or artistic legacy planning including: transition or succession planning; strategic planning; implementing retirement plans; and/or artistic documentation or publications reflecting the history of the organization. The recipient of the Artistic Legacy Grant is recognized at the annual San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) grants convening taking place on Thursday, October 1, 2020 (time TBD). The awardee is required to attend the grants convening and designate a representative to work with the SFAC on the final presentation. 


The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is committed to creating a city where all artists and cultural workers have the freedom, resources and platform to share their stories, art and culture and where race does not predetermine one’s success in life. We also acknowledge that we occupy traditional and unceded Ohlone land. Fueled by these beliefs, we commit to addressing the systemic inequities within our agency, the City and County of San Francisco and the broader arts and culture sector. This work requires that we focus on race as we confront inequities of the past, reveal inequities of the present and develop effective strategies to move all of us towards an equitable future.

Priority funding goes to organizations that foster artistic expression deeply rooted in and reflective of historically marginalized communities. Using both the Cultural Equity Endowment Legislation and the Grantmakers in the Arts’ “Racial Equity: Statement of Purpose,” these communities include: African and African American; Latinx; Asian and Asian American; Arab; Native American; Pacific Islander; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer; Transgender and Gender Variant People; People with Disabilities; and Women. (SF ADMIN. CODE CHAPTER 68: CULTURAL EQUITY ENDOWMENT FUND. Sec. 68.6. PROJECT GRANTS).

Please note: We recognize that some marginalized communities may not be listed here and encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence about the marginalization for any community not named above. Please also note the legislation pertains to marginalized communities and not fringe artistic disciplines. 

Eligible Request Amount

The Artistic Legacy Grant may be up to $40,000. The applicant organization’s annual operating revenue from the last completed fiscal year determines the eligible funding amount. Organizations can request up to 50 percent of their annual operating revenue.

Who Can Apply


  • The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
  • The organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities in San Francisco.
  • The organization and its artistic director must have a history of partnership spanning 25 years or more.
  • The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
  • The organization must have a fundamental and substantial history of working with and/or presenting ongoing activities to members of the historically marginalized community(ies) identified in its proposal.
  • The organization must demonstrate a continuing and stable presence in the community and must have been in existence for at least 25 years with documentation of creating and presenting original works to the public in San Francisco.
  • The organization’s annual operating revenue must not exceed $1.5 million in income.
  • Fiscal sponsors: Organizations that exceed the $1.5 million budget cap due to regranting must verify their operational budget without pass-through funds at the time of application. Applicants must upload audited financials from the most recently completed fiscal year demonstrating the dollar amount of pass-through funds.
  • Applicants must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) SFAC, (2) other City departments (including, without limitation, Department of Children, Youth, and their Families; Office of Economic and Workforce Development; Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development; and Grants for The Arts), (3) Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund; (4) Community Vision Capital and Consulting; (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; or (6) the Center for Cultural Innovation. This default clause was expanded due to the fact that SFAC has a fiduciary relationship with these particular organizations, through either shared City resources or other pooled philanthropic funds.
  • The organization must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco. In order to receive a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, you must become a registered, compliant supplier (formerly called a vendor) and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit: Please note if you are not already a City supplier, you will only be required to register if you are awarded a grant. Insurance and business tax requirements will be explained and made available upon approval of grant awards.


  • An organization that has multiple artistic leaders may submit one joint application.  If funded, both will be recognized. For example, if an organization has two artistic directors that have served for at least 25 years, they may apply. You cannot combine the experience of multiple artistic directors to make 25 years total.
  • An organization may only be awarded an Artistic Legacy Grant once, and cannot reapply in subsequent years. If an organization has more than one artistic director, the application can include co-artistic directors but the award amount will not be increased. 
  • Organizations cannot submit more than one application to the Artistic Legacy Grant category in the same year.
  • The awarding of funds does not imply that the Arts Commission or any other City agency will produce, exhibit, or present the art created. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure a venue and any required permits and insurance for public presentations or workshops.

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Deficit reduction.
  • Start-up costs/seed money for new organizations or businesses.

grantee and insurance requirements

  • City Permits and Permissions: If the proposal includes components that require City permits or approval such as publicly installed art, street closures, sound amplification in public space, or murals, the artist will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions, insurance, and approvals.
  • Insurance Requirements:
    General Liability:
    • To authorize any grant payment, insurance must cover the entire grant period (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021). Awarded grantees will need to submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance and the Endorsement Page with the first and final invoices. General liability insurance cannot be waived.

      Abuse and Molestation Insurance: Abuse & Molestation Insurance must be purchased and added to the General Liability policy if the project involves working with vulnerable populations (youth under the age of 18, people with disabilities, or people over the age of 65).

      Professional services related to construction and facility projects must evidence Professional Liability Insurance coverage.
    • Workers Comp Insurance: Workers Comp insurance is required for an organization that has employees.
    • Waiver of Subrogation addendum is required for projects on ANY City-owned property.
    • Auto Insurance: Auto Insurance is required if use of a vehicle is necessary to fulfil the project.
    • Art Installation: Please note that any art installed with these grant funds on property owned by the City and County of San Francisco or on private property, must be reviewed and approved by the San Francisco Arts Commission starting with the Visual Arts Committee of the Commission. This applies to murals, public sculpture, and similar projects. It will be the responsibility of the grantee to build this process into their grant plan, budget narrative and timeline. Please contact Craig Corpora at for questions about murals or Luna Izpisua at for questions about sculpture or any other type of public art.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria


ALG applications are evaluated in a closed panel review process by previous ALG awardees.

application review

SFAC staff process applications and sends them to the panelists for review in advance of the review. Panelists will convene to discuss applications and select one award recipient.

Funding Recommendations

Based on an evaluation of the proposals, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Panelists will evaluate and rank proposals where upon the top scoring applicant will be considered for funding.

panel review attendance 

The ALG panel meeting is not open to the public. Please note, an applicant that is found to have made attempts to influence a panelist in any way will be automatically disqualified. Staff may contact applicants for information during any phase of the review process. Take steps to ensure that emails from SFAC are not lost in your spam filter.

Panel Notes

SFAC staff takes notes on panel comments during deliberations. You may contact to obtain panel comments. We fulfill requests after all panel reviews have been completed and in the order they are received.

scoring criteria





Cultural Significance

(40 points)


Organization is deeply rooted in and able to express the experiences of historically marginalized communities. 

- Highlight the organization’s primary activities over the last two years engaging with historically marginalized communities.

20 The organization and its artistic leadership’s history and accomplishments are strong and demonstrate a meaningful evolution, as well as a deep connection to and impact on historically marginalized communities.

-Describe the artistic leadership and how they have contributed to the vitality of the organization.

-Highlight the Artistic Director’s major accomplishments that have supported the organization's general trajectory.

- Artistic Director’s Resume or CV

Project Design

(40 points)


The applicant demonstrates that the proposal will further the artistic director’s vision, and ensure the organization’s longevity and lasting impact on the community(ies) served.

- Describe the proposed project in detail and the continuing impact the Artistic Director and organization seeks to achieve.

- Describe the desired outcomes and strategy for evaluation.

- Completed Project Budget


Letters of Support provide meaningful firsthand account(s) of the artistic director(s) and organization’s impact on the communities the organization serves.

Work samples document the span of the Artistic Director’s time with the organization.

- Letters of Support (2 required)

- Up to five (5) work samples

Ability to Complete the Project

(20 points)


Organization demonstrates appropriate capacity to complete the project.

- Completed Grant Plan

- An IRS 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF from the last completed fiscal year

    - or fiscally sponsored applicant’s Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for the last two completed fiscal years.

- Budget notes

Funding Approval

Panel recommendations are subject to the approval of the Arts Commission. Typically, recommendations are first reviewed by the Community Investments Committee, then by the Full Commission. Meetings of the Commission are public. The agenda will be available on the Arts Commission website 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

Grant Awards

Notifications will be emailed to the address listed in the application. The award letter will include instructions about contracting procedures.​

What's Coming Up


Artist Reception for we were here

January 11
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

SFPL Main Branch
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 27
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online

we were here

December 21 to March 01
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM


EarthSea Film Screening

December 14
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

SFAC Main Gallery