Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) Grant - Re-Opening Safely


For any questions about Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) Grants, please contact Deputy Director of Programs, Joanne Lee at or 415-252-2238.


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, 415-252-2217 o

APPLY NOW!   PRINT aie re-opening safely GUIDELINES (PDF) 


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Important Dates
Information about Arts Impact Endowment Grants
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Grantseeker Webinar October 16, 2020 at 1 p.m.
One-on-One consultations October 5 – October 30, 2020
Applications Due October 30, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Panel Review November 2020
Funding Recommendations November 2020
Commission Approval December 2020
Grant Period January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Final Report Due  July 30, 2022

About the Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) Grant - Re-Opening Safely

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. 
The impacts of COVID-19 are particularly poignant for San Francisco’s arts and cultural communities.  Based on community feedback and recommendations from the Economic Recovery Task Force, and respecting the four priority funding areas of the 2019-2024 CSAP, SFAC and GFTA have repurposed the Arts Impact Endowment to support the recovery of arts and culture nonprofits. 
This Arts Impact Endowment Request for Proposals (RFP) is the first of multiple conduits by which the SFAC and GFTA will resource nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 recovery with a priority for funding the communities described below.
For questions about this grant category, please contact Deputy Director of Programs Joanne Lee at or 415-252-2238.

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 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 in Arts Funding 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 communities may not be listed here and encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence about the historical and current inequities for any community not named above. Specific artistic disciplines are not part of this funding priority.


Up to $800,000. Grant amounts may differ from the request amount due to the level of funding available to the program, demand for that funding, and/or the rank an application receives from the review panel.

How to Apply


Applications must be submitted online. Emailed, hard copy, postal mail, and 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.

project description

Re-Opening Safely: Support up to $800,000 for a nonprofit organization to develop a re-granting program to serve the nonprofit arts and culture sector in re-opening safely in compliance with public health orders. 

Up to $500,000 will support re-granting for space and capital needs that enable organizations to make improvements to their physical space. These improvements shall enable staff and volunteers to work safely, and welcome visitors, audiences, and students back to their facility; as well as rent deferrals to preserve arts and culture spaces. Examples include signage, space dividers, fans and ventilation and sanitization stations.  

Up to $300,000 will support re-granting for organizations’ new operating expenses enabling them to comply with health and safety protocols. Examples include PPE, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, technology for virtual programming, staff training and testing expenses.  Activities include:

  • Develop the Re-Opening Safely grant guidelines, award criteria, and application and outreach materials.
  • Conduct outreach to San Francisco arts and culture organizations with a strong focus on those working with the priority populations defined above by the Cultural Equity Endowment Legislation.
  • Administer the Re-Opening Safely grant application process.
  • Administer grant contracts and payments and ensure funds are spent appropriately.

Grant period: January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. It is anticipated that successful proposals will be for a term of eighteen months beginning January 1, 2021 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. Arts Commission reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not exercise an extension option.

Applicants should describe their experience, skills and ability to implement the following:

  • Understanding the unique facility and operating needs of the diverse arts and culture sector to re-open safely. 
  • Developing grant guidelines, eligibility and funding criteria, and application materials that are accessible for small budget organizations.
  • Familiarity with and ability to outreach to the communities and organizations within those communities as described above.
  • Managing and administering grants to nonprofits.  

Who Can Apply


  • The applicant organization must have a track record of providing reputable and equitable arts-related grant administration programming in San Francisco for at least two (2) years prior to this application. 
  • The applicant organization must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
  • The applicant organization must provide proof of maintaining a corporate address in the City and County of San Francisco for at least three full years at the time of application (since December 2017).
  • The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
  • Applicants must provide an 18-month project budget (January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022). Administrative expenses cannot exceed 10 percent of the grant.  
  • Applicants must provide an 18-month grant plan (January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022) with five (5) activities and the intended outputs the applicant hopes to achieve.  
  • 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) 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 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, you 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 you are awarded a grant. Insurance and business tax requirements will be explained and made available upon approval of grant awards.

​ineligible expenses

Grant funds may not pay for: 
  1. Activities outside of San Francisco;

  2. Deficit reduction;

  3. Start-up money for new organizations.

grantee and insurance requirements

General Liability: To authorize any grant payment, insurance must cover the entire grant period (January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022). If funded, grantees will need to submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance with an Endorsement Page with all invoices. 
Workers Compensation Insurance: Workers Compensation insurance is required for an organization that has employees.
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, seniors over the age of 65 or developmentally disabled populations).
Auto Insurance: Auto Insurance is required if use of a vehicle is necessary to fulfill the project.
Waiver of Subrogation addendum is required for projects on ANY City-owned property. Professional services related to construction and facility projects must provide evidence of Professional Liability Insurance.


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 focus your application responses. Please thoroughly review the application instructions for the complete overview of the Re-Opening Safely grant application questions and guidance.





Grant Administration Experience

(10 points)


Describe your experience providing equitable grant administration programs for the arts and culture sector in San Francisco.

Applicant meets the two year experience requirement of providing equitable grant administration programs for the arts and culture sector in San Francisco.

Outreach to the SF Arts and Culture sector

(20 points)


Please describe your experience in conducting outreach to the San Francisco community arts and culture sector. What is your demonstrated experience reaching BIPOC and LGBTQ communities?

Applicant demonstrates experience in conducting outreach to San Francisco community arts and culture sector.  

Applicant demonstrates experience reaching BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.

Familiarity with COVID-19 Impacts on the Arts Sector

(20 points)


Tell us about your experience and understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on the arts and culture sector to re-open safely.  

Applicant demonstrates an understanding of the re-opening challenges faced by arts and culture nonprofits.  


Ability to Develop Grant Program Guidelines, Eligibility and Award Criteria

(30 points)

30 Describe your past experience developing grant guidelines, eligibility and award criteria, and applications that are accessible and low-barrier for small budget organizations.   Applicant has experience developing grant guidelines and application materials that are easily accessible to small budget organizations.  

Financial and Administrative Systems

(20 points)

20 Describe your financial and administrative systems for administering and tracking payments to grantees. Applicant has strong financial and administrative systems in place to administer and track monthly payments to grantees.


Application Review

Grantees will be selected by a review process comprised of representatives from the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and/or other City department staff and funding partners. Panelists will review applications and make funding recommendations. 

Panel Review Attendance and influence

AIE panels are 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.

Funding Recommendations

Based on an evaluation of the applications, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Funding recommendations are determined within each grant category.

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 by the full Commission.  

Grant amounts may differ from the request amount due to the level of funding available to the program, demand for that funding, and/or the rank an application receives from the peer review panel.

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.


Panelists may take notes during their review. You may contact to request panel comments. Requests are fulfilled in the order they are received.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

June 01
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

June 01
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

June 01
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting
Public Meeting

Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners (Cancelled)

June 01
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Virtual Meeting