(submission through

For any questions about ACIP-SJ, contact Program Officer Robynn Takayama at or 415-252-2239.


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 Kate Patterson-Murphy al 415-252-2229 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 Artists and Communities in Partnership - Social Justice
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Informational Webinar September 5, 2018, 12 NOON
Technical Assistance Workshop
View the schedule of upcoming dates
September 25, 2018, 5 p.m.
Application Due October 31, 2018, 12 NOON PST
Panel Review February 2019
Funding Recommendations April 2019
Commission Approval May 2019
Grant Period July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Information about Artists & Communities in Partnership - Social Justice (ACIP-SJ)


The Artists and Communities in Partnership – Social Justice (ACIP-SJ) grant program provides project support for arts organizations and community-based organizations to use the arts to address a specific issue impacting historically marginalized communities in San Francisco.

The Artists and Communities in Partnership – Social Justice seeks to foster social justice and equity, centering artists as leaders for social change.

Applicants may seek funding for projects that utilizes one of the following arts-based approaches:

  • Amplify voices that are too often ignored by supporting projects that build community through the development, expression, and empowerment of artistic voices and which activate community members to tell their stories.
  • Develop future leaders by providing arts-based skills and tools to create visions for social change and more just futures.
  • Build community capacity for civic expression, leadership, and organizing. Organizing may be defined as activities that actively engage people affected by societal problems in the process of identifying and pursuing solutions.
  • Preserve, reclaim, and revitalize traditional cultural practices as a form of empowerment or resistance to assimilation.

Applicant categories

ACIP-ARTS: Project-based support to arts organizations partnering with non-arts community-based organizations in San Francisco such as neighborhood associations, tenants’ groups, community-based organizations, social justice organizations, advocacy groups, and health centers.

ACIP-CBO: Project-based support for community-based organizations partnering with an individual artist or an arts organization. Artists or partners may be based outside of San Francisco if they offer a specific expertise to the project. The project must benefit a community in San Francisco.

Alignment with SFAC's cultural equity goals

The San Francisco Arts Commission is committed to creating a City where all artists and cultural workers have the freedom, agency and platform to share their stories, art and culture. 

Priority funding goes to organizations that are 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; Latino/a; 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 and 

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

Up to $20,000. The applicant organization’s two-year average annual operating revenue detailed in the DataArts SFAC Funder Report or two-year Profit and Loss statement determines the eligible funding amount. Organizations can request up to 50 percent of their two-year average annual operating revenue.

Applicants must receive an average score of 75 percent or above by the review panel to be considered for funding. Funding will be determined by the availability of funds and is not guaranteed for a score of 75 percent or above. 

Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions (NAACT-ACIP)

Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions (NAACT) category is aligned with Cultural Equity Grants. Applicants for NAACT-ACIP should apply through the applicable grant category, and will be prompted to choose if they would like to apply through NAACT. By choosing this prompt, these applications will be reviewed by a panel of community members that represent the Native American community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Applicants to NAACT should clearly substantiate that they are connected to the Native American community within their narrative responses. Please follow all of the instructions for ACIP and check the box at the end of the Applicant Information Page to confirm that you would like to be considered under the NAACT-ACIP program. 

Who Can Apply


  • The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). 
  • The applicant organization (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must be based in San Francisco, and must demonstrate two years of programmatic history with at least four programmatic activities (since January 1, 2016). 
  • The applicant organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities, or rooted in empowering communities in San Francisco. 
  • The applicant organization and its partner cannot be part of another City agency or department. 
  • For ACIP-ARTS: The organization’s two-year average annual operating budget must not exceed $1.5 million in income (determined by the line: Total Operating Revenues (2-year average) in the DataArts SFAC Funder Report). This does not apply to community-based organization applicants. 
    • New for 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 their most recently completed IRS Form 990. 
  • Applicants must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) SFAC, (2) other City departments (including, without limitation, the 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) Northern California Community Loan Fund, (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 a fiduciary relationship with these particular organizations, through either shared City resources or other pooled philanthropic funds. 
  • The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. 
  • 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 vendor, 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. 
  • For NAACT-ACIP: The organization must have a strong track record and demonstrated leadership that substantiates that they are connected to a Native American* community and engaged in significant programming that is rooted in Native American arts and cultural traditions. 
    *Per the Human Rights Commission, Native American is defined as people of indigenous descent from North, Central, and South American heritage as well as Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Marshall Islanders, and the indigenous people of Guam (whether enrolled, federally or nationally recognized or not). All groups indicated are encouraged to apply, but due to limited funds, priority will go to artists that are affiliated and connected to groups falling under the jurisdiction of the United States. 


  • A proposed project cannot receive simultaneous funds from multiple SFAC funding sources; this includes collaborators applying to work on different components of the same project and applying separately. 
  • Only one application per organization may be submitted to the ACIP category. An applicant cannot apply to both an ACIP-SJ and a NAACT-ACIP or an ACIP-Creative Youth. This does not apply to fiscal sponsors who are submitting applications on behalf of different fiscally sponsored projects. 
  • Applicants cannot receive funding for two consecutive grant cycles in the ACIP category. All of our grantees are required to sit out for one year after each grant cycle. In addition, they are required to close out a grant before reapplying. 
  • The awarding of funds does not imply that the Arts Commission or any other City agency will produce, exhibit, promote or present the art created. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure a venue, appropriate insurance and any required permits for public presentations. 

ineligible expenses

    Grant funds may not pay for: 
    1. Activities and events outside of San Francisco; 
    2. Youth arts education workshops and/or classes (see SFAC’s ACIP-Creative Youth grants); 
    3. Deficit reduction; 
    4. Start-up money for new organizations. 

    project requirements

    • All projects must contain appropriate community partnership with letter of support from the partner.
      • For ACIP-ARTS: An appropriate community partner is a non-arts, community- based organization or group located in San Francisco such as a neighborhood association, tenants’ group, or health center. 
      • For ACIP-CBO: An appropriate arts partner is an individual artist, arts collaborative, or arts organization. Artists or arts organizations may be based outside of San Francisco if they offer a specific expertise to the project. The project must benefit a community in San Francisco. 
    • All projects must utilize one of ACIP’s four arts-based approaches. 
    • The target community members must be involved in the artistic and creative process. This grant is not for artists to create work about a community but rather to engage the community as active creators in the work.
    • The applicant’s project team must be from, or reflective of, the communities they are working with. SFAC believes that communities that are most affected by an issue are best positioned to identify effective strategies for change in their communities. The project team must be deeply rooted in the community they are engaging with a two-year history of working in this community.

    Grantee 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 applicant will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions, and approvals. This planning should be reflected in your project timeline. 
    • Insurance Requirements:
      General Liability:
      Awarded grantees will need to submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance and an Endorsement Page with first invoice. General liability insurance cannot be waived. This requirement can met by the following: 
      • Purchasing General Liability Insurance as an individual artist or organization. 
      • Purchasing Special Event Insurance for any public events associated with the grant project. 
      • Obtaining a General Liability Insurance certificate from their host venue, which adds the grantee and event to their policy by endorsement and lists the San Francisco Arts Commission as additionally insured. 

    Workers Comp Insurance: Workers Comp insurance is required for an organization that has employees. If you do not have employees, the San Francisco Arts Commission will provide a waiver for this requirement. 

    NEW: Waiver of Subrogation addendum is required for organizations to do work on ANY City-owned property. 

    Auto Insurance: Auto Insurance is required if the awarded grantee will use a vehicle for the purposes of the grant. The San Francisco Arts Commission will provide a waiver for this requirement. 

    Abuse and Molestation Insurance: Proof of Abuse & Molestation coverage in addition to General Liability coverage is required for working with vulnerable populations (minors, people with disabilities, or elderly people). 

    • 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 and timeline. Please contact the following Public Art Program staff if you have questions: Alyssa Torres at for murals; Aleta Lee at for sculpture or any other type of public art. 

    Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

    Grants Panelists

    ACIP applications are evaluated in an open panel review process by a panel of peers. Grant review panelists reflect the diversity of San Francisco, have broad knowledge about the particular artistic discipline and field issues, and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the specific grant category. 

    Panel Review Attendance

    ACIP panel meetings are open to the public. A time schedule of each panel meeting is emailed to applicants in advance. Please be sure that you include a working email address in your application materials. Take steps to ensure that emails from SFAC are not lost in your spam filter. Applicants are welcome to observe the meetings, but may not engage in discussion with the panelists or SFAC staff during the panel. Many applicants find it insightful to listen to the discussions of applications because the panelists are seasoned professionals. An applicant that is found to have made attempts to influence a panelist in any way will be automatically disqualified. 

    Funding Recommendations

    Based on an evaluation of the proposals, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Panelists will evaluate and rank proposals. Staff will also take into consideration applicant category (ACIP-ARTS and ACIP-CBO) when determining how deep into the ranking recommended funding will go. Applicants that do not score above 75 percent of the allotted points will not be eligible for funding. Grant amounts are either the full amount of the grant sought or a substantial portion of the requested grant—and never less than 75 percent. 

    Scoring Criteria

    Panelists will be instructed to use the following scoring criteria that correspond with the noted application questions. Close review of this grid may help you focus your application responses. 





    Clarity of the Partnership (30 points)


    The applicant and partner demonstrate a thorough understanding of communities served and intentionality for serving those communities.

    - Mission statement

    - Who do you engage and why?


    The applicant and partner have sound strategies for meeting the needs of the communities they serve.

    - How do you meet the needs of your communities?


    Confidence in an authentic partnership that will benefit the targeted community.

    - Why is this partnership appropriate and timely?

    - Partnership Letter

    Quality of Proposed Project

    (40 points)


    Applicant has strong understanding of the issue. The issue is timely. Project has clear and measurable goals. 

    - Describe the issue being addressed and its urgency. How will this project move the needle on the issue? State your measurable goals. 


    Applicant has strong understanding of the target community. 

    - Describe the target community and how the issue specifically impacts this community. 

    10 Strong use of an arts-based process. Targeted community is fully engaged with the art making. Confidence in the arts-based process to address the issue. - Describe the art-based approach you will use to address the issue. Detail what a workshop or meeting session will look like. How will the project engage and involve community members in the creative/arts process?

    - Work Sample


    Evaluation plan is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Grant plan is thorough and reflects the narrative. 

    - How will you evaluate the impact of the project?

    - Grant plan with activities and outputs

    Ability to Complete the Project

    (30 points)


    Applicant instills confidence that the target community will participate in the project.

    - Describe your outreach strategy to ensure participation of the targeted community. 

    10 Confidence in the team to work with the targeted community and meet the goals. - Provide bios for the project team and their relevant experience and qualifications working with the target community.


    Viability of project budget and overall fiscal health of applicant.

    - Budget/budget notes

    - DataArts SFAC Funder’s Report and Notes or 2 year financial report which includes the past two years’ Profit and Loss statements and balance sheets

    Panel Notes

    SFAC staff takes notes on panel comments during deliberations. You may contact to obtain panel comments.

    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 at 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

    Grant Awards

    Notifications will be emailed. Award notification will include instructions about contracting procedures.

    Print Guidelines (PDF) APPLY NOW Print INSTRUCTIONS (WORD DOC) 


    What's Coming Up

    Public Meeting

    Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

    January 05
    1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    Virtual Meeting
    Public Meeting

    Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

    January 05
    1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    Virtual Meeting
    Public Meeting

    Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

    January 05
    1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    Virtual Meeting
    Public Meeting

    Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

    January 05
    1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    Virtual Meeting