Artistic Legacy Grant (ALG)


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 Sandra Panopio, 415-252-2255 o





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

Important Dates

Grant Information Session October 1, 2021 at 1 p.m.
San Francisco Arts Organizations Information Session October 6, 2021 at 12 p.m.
Fiscal Sponsors Information Session October 8, 2021 at 12 p.m.
Application Work Sample Information Session October 13, 2021 at 4 p.m.
One-on-One Consultations October 4 – October 18, 2021
Application Deadline October 19, 2021 at 12 p.m.
Grant Panel Review February – March 2022
Funding Recommendations April 2022
Commission Approval May 2022
Notification of Funding May 2022
Grant Period July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

*Dates are subject to change.

Information about the Artistic Legacy Grant

About ALG

The Artistic Legacy Grant (ALG) acknowledges the impact of an artistic leader who has served a San Francisco-based organization consistently for 25 years or more. An artistic leader may be an individual that conceives, develops and implements the artistic vision of an organization. This may include artistic directors, chief artistic officers, program directors, executive directors or curators.

Through the vision of the artistic leader, the applicant organization is 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. 

Purpose and Funding Categories

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 by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The awardee is required to attend any public presentation and designate a representative to work with the SFAC on the announcement and/or 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 deeply rooted in and reflective of communities listed in 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).

maximum grant Request Amount

The anticipated grant request amount for an Artist Legacy Grant is $40,000 based on current budget availability. Should additional City funding become available, grant amounts could be increased.

Grant Term
A grant funded pursuant to these guidelines will have a grant term of one year. The City at its sole, absolute discretion shall have the option to extend the term for additional years or as determined by the Arts Commission.

The San Francisco Arts Commission reserves the right to: reissue these guidelines and request for applications; reject or cancel any or all applications; prior to application deadline, modify all or any portion of the selection procedures, including deadlines for accepting responses, the specifications or requirements for any services to be provided under this Solicitation or the requirements for content or format of the applications.

how to apply


Applications must be submitted online. Emailed or faxed applications are not accepted. In fairness to others, we cannot accept late or incomplete applications. If the applicant does not provide the complete set of information in the appropriate format by the deadline, the application may be deemed incomplete and ineligible. No deadline extensions will be granted.

NEW: If you need special accommodations, you must contact Program Officer Debbie Ng at or 415-252-2216 at least two weeks before the application deadline for us to appropriately accommodate. 


Who Can Apply


  • The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt and in good standing under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
  • The applicant organization (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must be San Francisco-based, and must demonstrate a history of consistent programmatic history and public benefit to the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities over the last two years.
  • The applicant organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities and/or youth arts activities in San Francisco.
  • The applicant cannot be part of another City agency or department.
  • The organization’s annual operating revenue must not exceed $1,500,000.

    Fiscal sponsors: Organizations that exceed the $1,500,000 income cap due to regranting and/or non-arts related emergency COVID response funding 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 but not limited to the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Grants for the Arts); (3) Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund; (4) Community Vision Capital and Consulting; (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; and/or (6) the Center for Cultural Innovation. This default clause was expanded due to the fact that SFAC has fiduciary relationships with these particular organizations.
  • The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.
  • 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 payment from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the organization must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit:

    Please note: you will only be required to register as a City supplier if your application is approved for funding.

fiscal sponsors

  • Fiscal sponsors must be based in San Francisco and register as a compliant City supplier.
  • If the applicant plans to work with a fiscal sponsor, a contractual arrangement between the two parties must be confirmed prior to the San Francisco Arts Commission’s grant application process.
  • Organizations may not act as a fiscal sponsor for employees or artists contracted by that organization; a third-party fiscal sponsor is required.
  • Applicants cannot retroactively work with or change fiscal sponsorship after a grant application is approved for funding.
  • If an applicant is approved for funding, the fiscal sponsor is the legal grantee and receives the funds on behalf of the applicant who is the subgrantee.
  • The fiscal sponsor/grantee is required to work with the subgrantee to complete and submit financial documentation of the disbursement of funds with the grant’s final report.
  • All funds must be paid to the subgrantee in advance of the final disbursement of the grant.
  • Copyright: If the applicant receives funding, the fiscal sponsor and the applicant must decide who will hold the copyright to any materials or work created during the grant period. This should be discussed in advance of signing the grant agreement, as it includes language regarding copyright, which is approved and initialed by the fiscal sponsor.
  • Financials: The applicant organization’s Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for the two most recently completed fiscal years are required at the time of application and should be provided by the fiscal sponsor for the organization to upload to the online form.


  • Only one application may be submitted to this grant category.
  • Partners and collaborators cannot apply separately for the same project.
  • Organizations with open grants must fully close out the grant within that grant period before reapplying in in the same grant category.
  • Programs of another City agency or department are not eligible to apply, which includes the City-legislated Cultural Centers.

Ineligible Expenses

Grant funds may not pay for:

  1. Activities outside of San Francisco;
  2. Deficit reduction;
  3. Start-up money for new organizations;
  4. Planning and development of space (see Creative Space grants for funding opportunities).

insurance requirements

General Liability or Special Event Insurance: Coverage with limits not less than $1,000,000 each occurrence and $2,000,000 general aggregate.

  • CERTIFICATE HOLDER must read “San Francisco Arts Commission, Attn: Community Investments, 401 Van Ness Ave, Suite 325, San Francisco, CA 94102”.
  • Certificates for General Liability and Auto Liability must include an ENDORSEMENT PAGE naming “The City & County of San Francisco, San Francisco Arts Commission, Community Investments, its officers, agents, and employees” as additionally insured.

Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance: Coverage with limits not less than one million dollars $1,000,000 each occurrence for Combined Single Limit for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, including Owned, Non-Owned and Hired auto coverage, as applicable.

  • You may request a waiver for Auto Liability insurance if the organization will not be using a vehicle for the main purpose of the grant.

Sexual Misconduct Insurance: Working with vulnerable populations (minors under 18 years old, elderly over 65 years old, developmentally disabled populations) requires that sexual misconduct insurance be added to the general liability policy in amounts not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 general aggregate.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Coverage is required for all organizations that have salaried employees; in statutory amounts, with Employers’ Liability limits not less than $1,000,000 each accident, injury, or illness.

  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance is a California State law.
  • You may request a waiver for Worker’s Compensation insurance if the organization does not have employees as defined by the California Labor Code.

A Waiver of Subrogation must be added to the worker’s compensation insurance, if any work that the grant is funding happens on City-owned or -managed property.

Professional liability Insurance: Coverage is required from your contractor for professional services related to construction and facility projects, in amounts not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 general aggregate. Please visit the CA Department of Consumer Affairs-Contractors State License Board to confirm your contractor is licensed by the State.

City Permits and Permissions

Grant funding does not imply that the San Francisco Arts Commission or any other City agency will produce, exhibit, promote or present the art created. It is the responsibility of the artist to secure a venue, insurance and any permits for public presentations.

If the proposal includes components that require City permits or approval such as publicly installed art, murals, street closures or sound amplification in public space, the organization will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions and approvals. This planning should be reflected in the project timeline.

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. 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, sculpture or any other type of public art.


Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Panelists are instructed to use the following scoring criteria which correspond to the application questions below. Close review of this grid may help you prepare your application responses. Please thoroughly review the application instructions for the complete overview of grant application questions, required uploads and guidance.





Racial Equity

(30 points)


1. Describe the organization’s history engaging communities identified in the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation* and how this grant will enhance the organization’s mission.

(300 word limit)

Organization demonstrates a history and mission of engaging communities identified in the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation.*

Artistic Leadership

(50 points)


2. Describe the artistic leadership and how they have contributed to the vitality of the organization and San Francisco’s arts ecosystem. Include highlights of the artistic leader’s major accomplishments that have supported the organization's general trajectory. (300 word limit)

-Artistic Leader’s Resume or CV
-Up to five (5) work samples

The organization and its artistic leadership’s history and accomplishments are strong and demonstrate a meaningful evolution.

Work samples document the span of the artistic leader’s** time with the organization.


3. Describe the proposed project in detail and the continuing change the artistic leader and organization seeks to achieve. Describe the desired outcomes and strategy for evaluation.

(300 word limit)

The applicant demonstrates that the proposal will further the artistic leader’s vision and ensure the organization’s longevity and lasting change on the community(ies) engaged. 


- Letters of Support (2 required)

Letters of Support provide meaningful firsthand account(s) of the artistic leader’s and organization’s effect on the communities the organization engages.

Project Design and Fiscal Health

(20 points)


4. Completed grant plan and budget.

Grant plan aligns with project summary and describes what the organization hopes to achieve; and grant budget aligns with the project summary and line items are explained in detail.

5 -Nonprofits: IRS 990 or 990-EZ

-Fiscally Sponsored Projects: Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for the last two completed fiscal years

-Organization Budget Notes
Organization demonstrates an understanding of its financial position by providing financials and budget notes.
*We recognize that some communities may not be listed in the link above and encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence regarding the historical and current inequities experienced by their community. Please review the San Francisco Arts Commission Racial Equity statement.
**An artistic leader may be an individual that conceives, develops, and implements the artistic vision of an organization. This may include artistic directors, chief artistic officers, program directors, executive directors or curators.

Grant Review Panelists

SFAC grant applications are evaluated in an open review process by a panel of peers. Grant review panelists reflect the diversity of San Francisco, have broad knowledge about racial equity, and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the grant.

Application Review

Panelists evaluate and rank applications according to the stated scoring criteria.

Panel Review Attendance and Influence

Grant review panels are publicly accessible. A schedule of the panel review will be posted on the SFAC website calendar and applicants will be notified in advance via email. Please be sure the email address in your application is current and regularly checked. Take steps to ensure that emails from the San Francisco Arts Commission’s email address are not lost in your spam filter. Many applicants find it informative to listen to the discussion of applications and are welcome to observe the panel review. Applicants may not engage in discussion with any panelists or San Francisco Arts Commission staff during the panel.

If an applicant is found to have attempted to influence a panelist in any way, including contacting them before or after the panel to discuss their application, their grant application will be automatically disqualified.

Panel Reviews and Panelist Scores

Virtual panels will be recorded.

NEW: Links to the panel review recording and preliminary scores are emailed to applicants within 10 business days of the review.

Funding Recommendations

Based on an evaluation of the applications, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Grant amounts are either the full amount of the grant request or a substantial portion of the request.

Funding Approval

Panel recommendations are subject to the approval of the Arts Commission. Typically, recommendations are first reviewed by the Community Investments Committee and then must be approved by the full Commission.

Arts Commission meetings are open to the public. Agendas are available at 72 hours in advance of a meeting.

Grant notifications

Grant notifications are emailed to the address listed on the application and include instructions about the contracting process and orientation dates.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

October 19
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

October 17
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

November 07
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

October 17
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting