Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) | First-Time Grantee Initiative




A translation of this grant application is available upon request; however, only applications in English are accepted. For more information please contact 311.

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, 415-252-2217 o



APPLY NOW - Individuals



APPLY NOW - Organizations 


Jump to:
Important Dates
Information about Arts Impact Endowment Grants
Who Can Apply 
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria
Grant Insurance Requirements


Land Acknowledgement

The San Francisco Arts Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone. We affirm the sovereign rights of their community as First Peoples and are committed to supporting the traditional and contemporary evolution of the American Indian community and uplifting contemporary indigenous voices and culture.

racial equity statement

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 artists that are deeply rooted in and reflective of communities listed in the Arts Commission’s 1993 Cultural Equity Endowment Legislation and informed by current best practices in racial equity. 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.)

If you are a part of a community not listed that you feel should be included, we encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence regarding the historical and current inequities experienced by your community.

Important Dates

Grantseeker Webinar  Friday, June 24, 2022 at 12 p.m.
Technical Assistance Webinars  June 2022 - August 2022
One-on-One Consultations  June 2022 - August 2022
Application Deadline  Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 12 p.m.
Public Grant Panel Review  September 2022
Funding Recommendations  Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Commission Approval  Monday, November 7, 2022
Notification of Funding  November 2022
Grant Period  January 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024

*All dates are subject to change.

About the Arts Impact Endowment (AIE)

The vitality and vibrancy of San Francisco depends on the dedication and determination of its arts and cultural communities. These communities and their representatives worked to support the passage of Proposition E in November 2018. With 75 percent voter approval, Proposition E restored the historic hotel tax allocation for the arts, and stabilized funding for continued deep support for arts and culture throughout the City.   

Proposition E established the Arts Impact Endowment, which is jointly administered by the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and Grants for the Arts (GFTA). This funding provides new resources for community-driven priorities. Proposition E charged the SFAC and GFTA with a community engagement process to inform the creation of a Cultural Service Allocation Plan (CSAP) and distribution of funds from the Arts Impact Endowment. This process and plan ensures that the finding is responsive to community needs and reflects equity principles.  

The 2019-2024 CSAP outlined four priority areas that the Arts Impact Endowment will support through the year 2024: 1) Arts Education (40%); 2) Affordable Space (30%); 3) Arts Organizations Core Support (20%); and 4) Individual Artists Support (10%). These priority funding areas were determined after citywide community engagement through targeted mapping activities of key stakeholders and an online poll. 

For questions about this grant category, please contact Candace Eros Diaz at or 415-252-2253.

About the First-Time Grantee Initiative

Public Purpose and Funding Categories

In 2020 and 2021, AIE focused on response and recovery efforts for the arts community. This year, AIE will focus on reaching organizations and individuals who have never received funding from the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) or Grants for the Arts (GFTA). Individuals may apply to arts education/creative exploration, space/capital, or individual artist support priority funding areas. Organizations may apply to arts education/creative exploration, space/capital, or arts organization/core support priority funding areas.

How will this funding make a difference?
The AIE First-Time Grantee Initiative aims to shift beyond Covid recovery to more sustained and transformational investments that begin to address the economic devastation arts and culture workers have, and continue to, endure. The global pandemic only intensified the existing racial and economic disparities in the arts & culture sector and brought to the surface the ways in which institutions and policies have consistently undervalued and underinvested in the creative sector.

The Initiative aspires to uplift and retain the next generation of San Francisco artists and arts organizations with a $50,000 investment and the potential to make tangible change: to build capacity, create infrastructure, generate income, connect more deeply with communities, secure future funding, and dream.

*Arts Education/Creative Exploration 
Engage + Explore

14 grants awarded

Access + Afford

10 grants awarded

Arts Organizations/Core Support
People + Plans

7 grants awarded

      Individual Artist Support
Make + Create

4 grants awarded

*This funding area is for Individuals or Organizations who want to invest in intergenerational learning and/or engaging youth in creative exploration.

This funding area is for Individuals or Organizations who want to invest in their creative space by making it more affordable, accessible, collaborative or need support understanding long-term leases, purchase agreements or for developing fundraising plans.

This funding area is for Organizations who want to invest in any aspect of their arts organization including staff salaries + development, monthly bills, tech, programming, and project planning costs.

This funding area is for Individuals who want to invest in their personal creative practice. All art forms and levels of experience are welcome!

*IMPORTANT: ​Individuals working with vulnerable populations (minors under 18 years old, developmentally disabled populations, or elderly individuals over 65 years old) must apply with a fiscal sponsor. See page 8 for more information on fiscal sponsors.

Maximum Grant Request Amount

The maximum grant request amount for an Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) grant is $50,000 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 18 months. The City at its sole, absolute discretion shall have the option to extend the term for additional years as determined by the Arts Commission.

This application is issued pursuant to San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 21G: Grants. The San Francisco Arts Commission reserves the right to: reissue these guidelines and request for applications; reject 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.

Project Requirements

  • Grantee to Pay All Taxes: If funded, the grantee shall pay to the appropriate governmental authority, as and when due, any and all taxes, fees, assessments or other governmental charges, including possessory interest taxes and California sales and use taxes, levied upon or in connection with this grant. 
  • Work Samples: Applicants must create an Instagram (IG) account to post images and/or videos that demonstrate their ability to bring their proposed idea to life and demonstrates their knowledge of and experience in their creative practice or organization’s mission.

    This IG account should be public, contain only 2-5 images/videos, and created solely for the purpose of this application.

  • Insurance is required for all grant recipients. Individuals working with vulnerable populations (minors under 18 years old, developmentally disabled populations, or elderly individuals over 65 years old) must apply with a fiscal sponsor. See pages 8-9 for more information on fiscal sponsors and pages 14-15 for grantee insurance requirements.
  • Fiscal Sponsorship: If an applicant is using a fiscal sponsor, a signed fiscal sponsorship form must be submitted with the application. See more information about fiscal sponsorship on see pages 8-9.
  • Artist Collectives: A lead artist may apply on behalf of a collective.
  • Project Documentation: Recipients of grant funds are expected to produce/provide work samples of the funded idea at the end of the grant window.
  • Project Budget: Recipients of grant funds will be required to develop a project budget that itemizes grant expenditures over the grant window. SFAC staff and technical assistance will be available to provide budget development support to all grantees during the contracting phase.
  • Project Grant Plan: Recipients of grant funds will be required to develop a project grant plan that details the project activities over the grant window. SFAC staff and technical assistance will be available to provide grant plan development support to all grantees during the contracting phase.

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 Candace Eros Diaz at or 415-252-2253 at least two (2) weeks before the application deadline, in order to appropriately accommodate your request. 

Who Can Apply


  • The organization or individual applicant (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must demonstrate a San Francisco corporate address or be a continuous resident of San Francisco, and must articulate a consistent programmatic history and public benefit to the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities over the last two years (since August 2020). Documentation demonstrating San Francisco residency or corporate address must be submitted with the application. For a complete list of acceptable forms of proof of residency, please see the Arts Impact Endowment application instructions. 

    NEW: If an unhoused or housing insecure applicant cannot provide proof of residency, they may submit a self-attestation form certifying their San Francisco residency.
  • The organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt and in good standing under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Documentation demonstrating IRS standing must be submitted with the application. Please see the Arts Impact Endowment application instructions for further details.
  • The individual applicant or organization must never have received funding from the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) or Grants for the Arts (GFTA).
  • The individual applicant or organization must be clearly focused on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities and/or youth arts activities in San Francisco.
  • The individual applicant must be at least 18 years old and cannot be enrolled as a full-time student at the time of the application or during the grant window.
  • 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 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 January 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024. It is anticipated that successful proposals will be for a term of 18 months beginning in fiscal year 2023 with a possible extension for up to one additional year based on extenuating circumstances as determined by the Arts Commission in consultation with the grantee. Any extension is subject to Arts Commission approval and funding appropriation. The Arts Commission reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not exercise an extension option.
  • The individual applicant or 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:

    NOTE: you will only be required to register as a City Supplier if you are 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 applicant and the fiscal sponsor must be confirmed prior to the grant application process. Documentation demonstrating this contractual agreement must be submitted with the application.
  • 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.


  • Only one application may be submitted to this grant program.
  • Partners and collaborators cannot apply separately for the same project.
  • 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.
  • Programs of another City agency or department are not eligible to apply, which includes the City-owned 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.

City Permits and Permissions

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 grant plan.

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 


(25 points) 



Describe your/your organization’s connection to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (POC), LGBTQI+, and Disabled San Francisco communities. 


(200 words) 

The applicant is deeply rooted in Black, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQI+, and Disabled San Francisco communities. 


(15 points) 



Describe your creative practice over the last two (2) years.

If applying as an organization, over the last two years, how did your organization support the communities described in Question #1. 


(150 words) 

The applicant has a clear understanding of their creative practice and/or how they support the communit(ies) they serve over the last two years.

What + How


(60 points) 



Summarize your/your organization's idea and how is it connected to the funding area you selected? 

  1. Arts Education/Creative Exploration 
  2. Space/Capital
  3. Arts Organizations/Core Support 
  4. Individual Artist Support    


(150 words) 

The applicant describes their idea and shows how it connects to the funding area.






Describe how the funds will help you/your organization fulfill a current need?

(150 words) 

The applicant describes their need for the funds.


Describe how this funding will set you/your organization up for long- or short-term success?

(150 words) 

The applicant describes how the funds will set them up for success.  

10 Work Samples: Create an IG handle/account and upload at least two and no more than five images and/or videos that specifically highlight your personal creative practice or your organization’s mission.

The applicant creates an IG account

The images and/or videos show their ability to bring their proposed idea to life and demonstrates their knowledge of and experience in their creative practice or organization’s mission.  


Grant Review Panelists

SFAC grant applications are evaluated in a virtual 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

Applications are grouped and reviewed based on the selected funding area. Panelists will review and score applications based on the scoring criteria (see page 9-10).

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

Virtual panels will be recorded. Links to the panel review recording 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.


Grant Insurance Requirements

Please note: you/your organization must meet these insurance requirements ONLY if approved for funding.

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

  • NEW: CERTIFICATE HOLDER must read “The City & County of San Francisco, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102”.
  • NEW: Naming the “The San Francisco Arts Commission and Community investments” as the certificate holder is no longer required.
  • Certificates for General Liability and Auto Liability (if applicable) must include an ENDORSEMENT PAGE naming “The City & County of San Francisco, its officers, agents, and employees” as additionally insured.
  • FOR INDIVIDUALS: General Liability requirements can be met by:
    • General Liability Insurance OR
    • Special Event Insurance for all public events associated with the grant project.

Auto Insurance: Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance 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 an exemption for the Auto Liability requirement, if the organization will not be using a vehicle for the main purpose of the grant.
  • FOR INDIVIDUALS: Auto Insurance is ONLY REQUIRED from Fiscal Sponsors

IMPORTANT: Sexual Misconduct Insurance: Working with vulnerable populations (minors under 18 years old, developmentally disabled populations, or elderly individuals over 65 years old) 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.

FOR INDIVIDUALS: Individuals working with vulnerable populations must apply with a fiscal sponsor.

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.
  • FOR INDIVIDUALS: Worker’s Compensation Insurance is ONLY REQUIRED from Fiscal Sponsors

A Waiver of Subrogation must be added to the workers’ compensation insurance, if any work that the grant is funding happens on City-owned or -managed property. The general liability policy must be endorsed with a waiver of subrogation in favor of the City for all work performed by the Grantee.

FOR ORGANIZATIONS ONLY: Professional Liability Insurance: 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.

Note: Please do not password protect certificates of insurance.

If you have questions about insurance requirements, please contact Molly Barrons, Compliance Advocate at or 415-252-2235.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

July 20
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 18
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

July 11
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 18
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting