Creative Community Response (CCR) Grant


For any questions about Creative Community Response grants, please contact Program Officer Robynn Takayama 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 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



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Important Dates
Information about Creative Community Response Grant
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Grantseeker Webinar October 21, 2020 at 12 p.m.
One-on-One consultations 

October 16 - November 16, 2020

Applications Due

November 18, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Panel Review*  December 2020
Funding Recommendations December 2020
Grant Period January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021

*Dates may be subject to change. 

About the Creative Community Response (CCR) Grant

The Creative Community Response grant program recognizes artists as critical to San Francisco’s economic and emotional recovery. Artists often utilize the creative process to collaborate, solicit community input, and develop solutions to community issues. With funding from the California Arts Council, the Creative Community Response grant supports small-sized arts organizations to respond to urgent needs in BIPOC communities by using art as a vehicle for positive social change.

The San Francisco Arts Commission’s charge from the California Arts Council is to support arts and cultural organizations that serve communities of color disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. At the time these guidelines are released, the Latinx community in San Francisco has the most number of COVID-19 cases and the Asian-American community in San Francisco has experienced the most deaths, exceeding both communities’ percentage of the San Francisco population. Similarly, African Americans experience a disproportionate amount of deaths when compared to their local population*.  San Francisco-specific data on the Native American population is limited, however, this community is included in our charge.

* and

As San Francisco responds to a global pandemic, this grant is intended to reach the community more quickly than our Cultural Equity Endowment grant categories with a grant window starting in January 2021. 

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 and Recommendations for Action,” 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. 

GRANT request Amount

Grant amounts up to $6,500. 

Approved 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 a proposal receives from the review panel.



Applications must be submitted online. Emailed or faxed applications are not accepted.
If you do not have access to the internet, you may mail your application, postmarked Wednesday, November 18, 2020, and you must notify Program Officer Robynn Takayama at (415) 252-2239. Mail to: 401 Van Ness Ave., Suite 325, San Francisco, CA 94102. 
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.

Who Can Apply


  • The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and based in San Francisco.
  • The applicant organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities in San Francisco. 
  • The applying organization must demonstrate two years of programmatic activity since November 2018.
  • The organization’s annual budget must be under $30,000, determined by the applicant organization’s average annual operating revenue over the last two completed fiscal years.
  • The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
  • 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 and Grants for the Arts); (3) Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund; (4) Community Vision Capital and Consulting; (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; (6) the Center for Cultural Innovation; and/or (7) the California Arts Council. This default clause was expanded due to the fact that SFAC has fiduciary relationships with these particular organizations, through either shared City resources or other pooled philanthropic funds.
  • The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. It is anticipated that successful proposals will be for a term of one year beginning in calendar year 2021 with a possible extension for up to one additional year based on extenuating circumstances as determined by the San Francisco Arts Commission in consultation with the grantee. Any extension is subject to San Francisco Arts Commission approval and funding appropriation. San Francisco Arts Commission reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not exercise an extension option.
  • 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 and County 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.


  • A proposed project cannot receive simultaneous funds from multiple San Francisco Arts Commission funding sources; this includes collaborators applying to work on different components of the same project and applying separately.
  • Receiving a grant 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 any required permits and insurance for public presentations or programs.


A contractual arrangement must be confirmed at the time of the application, if an organization/fiscally sponsored project plans to use a fiscal sponsor. Organizations cannot retroactively work with or change fiscal sponsorship after a grant is approved for funding. Fiscal sponsors must be based in San Francisco and register as a compliant City supplier. If an organization is approved for funding, the fiscal sponsor is the legal grantee and fiscal receiver, and the organization is the sub-grantee. The fiscal sponsor and organization are required to work together to complete and submit financial documentation of the disbursement of funds with the grant’s final report.


  • Copyright: If the organization is approved for funding, the fiscal sponsor (legal grantee) and the organization (sub-grantee) must decide who will hold the copyright to any materials or work created during the grant window. This should be discussed and relayed to the San Francisco Arts Commission in advance of a grant contract being executed. The contract includes language regarding copyright which is approved and initialed by the fiscal sponsor, as they are the grantee receiving the funds.
  • Financials: The organization’s Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for the two most recently completed fiscal years is required at the time of application submission, and should be provided by the Fiscal Sponsor for the organization to upload to the online form.

ineligible expenses

Grant funds may not pay for:

  • Physical activities outside of San Francisco;
  • Deficit reduction;
  • Start-up money for new organizations;
  • Lobbying activities that are intended to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials or specific legislation;
  • Hospitality or food costs;
  • Fundraising activities or services such as annual campaigns, fundraising events or grant writing; 
  • Programs or services intended for private use, or for use by restricted membership; 
  • Projects with religious purposes; 
  • Operational, administrative or indirect costs of schools, colleges or universities, or any activities that are part of the curricular base of these institutions; 
  • Trusts, endowment funds or investments; 
  • Capital outlay, including construction projects or purchase of land and buildings; 
  • Equipment; 
  • Out-of-state travel; 
  • Expenses incurred before the start date or after the ending date of the grant window.

project requirements

  • The proposed project must be culturally relevant and responsive to the BIPOC communities that are most impacted by COVID-19 in San Francisco. 
  • The community involved in and impacted by this work must be based in San Francisco.
  • A majority of the budget must go towards employing cultural workers who serve communities of color disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
  • Grantees will participate in training and coaching from a third party specializing in cultural activism.

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 grantee and/or award recipient will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions, insurance, and approvals. This planning should be reflected in your project timeline. 
  • Insurance Requirements
    General Liability: To authorize any grant payment, insurance must cover the entire grant period (January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021). Awarded grantees will need to submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance with an Endorsement Page with all invoices. 

    Abuse and 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 people with developmental disabilities).

    Workers Compensation Insurance is required for an organization that has employees.

    Waiver of Subrogation addendum is required for projects on ANY City-owned property. 

    Auto Insurance is required if use of a vehicle is necessary to fulfill 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. This applies to murals, public sculpture, and similar projects. It will be the responsibility of the grantee and/or award recipient 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 will use the following scoring criteria corresponding 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 CCR application questions and guidance. 





What is your organization’s mission  statement? 

Highlight the organization’s activities over the last two years engaging with BIPOC communities.

Organization is deeply rooted in the BIPOC community it serves.


Describe the issue being addressed and the community impacted. Why is this funding needed now? 

Proposal is responsive to community need in BIPOC communities and explains the timeliness of the project.


How are you using art to address the issue? What role do artists play and how will the community be involved in the creative process? 


The proposed project uses art as a vehicle for positive social change.


Identify the people who will work on the project and their connection to the issue/solution by providing brief biographies. 
Problem solving is enacted by people closest to the issue. 


Budget reflects payment to artists.


Application Review

Applications will be reviewed through an internal panel process comprised of representatives from the San Francisco Arts Commission and other City department staff. 

The Creative Community Response panel review is not open to the public.

Grant Panelists

Creative Community Response 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 cultural equity and field issues; and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the grant.

Panel Review Attendance & influence

CCR 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 to be approved through an administrative review. 


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

Panel REVIEW Notes

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

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

April 17
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

May 06
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

April 24
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online