Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI)

FOR PROJECTS TAKING PLACE JULY 2021 — JUNE 2023

For any questions about CEI, contact Program Officer Program Officer Debbie Ng at debbie.h.ng@sfgov.org or 415-252-2216.

Translation

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 lorena.moreno@sfgov.org para una traducción al español.

此拨款申请书的翻译版本将应请求而提供;然而,只有英文版本的申请书才会被接纳。联系电话:311

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 sandra.panopio@sfgov.org.

APPLY NOW 

CEI GUIDELINES (PDF) CEI INSTRUCTIONS (pdf)

Jump to:
Important Dates
Information about Cultural Equity Initiatives
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Grantseeker Information Session October 21, 2020 at 12 p.m.
One-on-One consultations October 23 – December 14, 2020
Application Due December 9, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Panel Review February – March 2021
Funding Recommendations April 2021
Commission Approval May 2021
Grant Period July 1, 2021 –  June 30, 2023


About Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI)

NEW THIS YEAR

Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI) is a cornerstone of the Arts Commission’s grants program. CEI will continue to honor and amplify the legacy of the Cultural Equity Endowment by supporting San Francisco-based arts organizations that are deeply embedded in their communities through multi-year, core support grants. Core support grants provide organizations with the funds they need to sustain day-to-day operations and provide maximum flexibility. 

This shift in strategy and prioritization of resources is informed by deep community engagement and feedback that has been conducted by the Arts Commission over time, along with field-wide research that confirms deep investments in small and mid-sized cultural organizations increase cultural equity. This shift also takes into account the severe financial impacts that the arts sector has experienced due to COVID-19, especially for BIPOC-led arts organizations coupled with the compounding effects of systemic racism. 

Purpose

The CEI grant program supports small and mid-sized arts organizations deeply rooted in San Francisco communities with grants up to $100,000 over two years.

  • Prioritizes organizations led by BIPOC, LGBTQ, People with Disabilities, women and other historically marginalized communities that are identified in the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation.
     
  • Fosters artistic expression and arts leadership reflective of San Francisco’s rich cultural heritage and legacy.
     
  • Provides flexibility and addresses bandwidth challenges in critical sustainability areas including operations and staff development.

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. 

Cultural Equity Endowment

In 1993, SFAC’s landmark Cultural Equity Endowment legislation was enacted into legislation. Artists and activists fought to address 1) the historical lack of municipal funding for small and mid-sized arts organizations that served and were led by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ, people with disabilities, women and other historically marginalized communities, as well as 2) historical funding patterns that prioritize Western European art forms. 

The groundbreaking legislation led to the creation of the Cultural Equity Grants program, which evolved into the Community Investments program. Ahead of its time in uplifting equity and addressing structural racism, the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation has become a national model as an effective strategy to move towards parity in arts philanthropy, and annually stewards grants to artists and nonprofit arts organizations that are deeply rooted in and connected to diverse communities.

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

Applicants may request up to $100,000 over a period of two years. The applicant organization’s average annual operating revenue from the two most recently completed fiscal years determines the eligible request amount. Please review the funding chart below to determine the eligible request amount. 

CEI Funding Table.png

 

 

 

 

The organization’s two-year average annual operating revenue is calculated by adding the IRS Form 990 line item Total Revenue for the two most recently completed fiscal years and dividing the sum by two.

Fiscally Sponsored Organizations:
The fiscally sponsored organization’s average annual operating revenue is calculated by adding the Profit and Loss Statement line item Total Revenue for the two most recently completed fiscal years and dividing the sum by two.

Approved grant amounts may differ from the requested amount due to the level of funding available to the CEI program, demand for that funding, and/or the score a proposal receives from the peer review panel.

How to Apply

APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: https://sfac.tfaforms.net/88 

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, post marked Wednesday, December 9, 2020 and you must notify Program Officer Debbie Ng at debbie.h.ng@sfgov.org or 415-252-2216. Mail to: SFAC, 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

Eligibility
Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with San Francisco Arts Commission staff well in advance of the application deadline to confirm eligibility.

Mission and Program

  • The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) in good standing. 
     
  • The applicant organization (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must be based in San Francisco and provide a business address located in San Francisco verified by a utility bill. 
     
  • Applicants must demonstrate two full years of programmatic activity at the time of application, with at least four public events in San Francisco. Two of the public events may be presented online or in a virtual platform if they took place after March 16, 2020, and the primary intended audience was San Francisco residents. 
     
  • The applicant organization’s mission must be explicitly focused on the development, production, presentation, and/or support of arts activities and/or youth arts activities in San Francisco.
     
  • The proposed initiative must take place in San Francisco between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023.  
     
  • The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
     
  • The applicant organization must have a fundamental and substantial history of working with and/or presenting ongoing activities to members of the historically marginalized community(ies) identified in its proposal.
     
  • 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, business tax and equal benefits requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit: https://sfcitypartner.sfgov.org/pages/become-a-supplier.aspx 

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

fiscal sponsors

If an organization plans to use a fiscal sponsor, a contractual arrangement between the organization and the Fiscal Sponsor must be confirmed prior to the SFAC application process. 

  • Fiscal Sponsors must be based in San Francisco and register as a compliant City supplier. 
     
  • Organizations cannot retroactively work with or change fiscal sponsorship after a grant is approved for funding. 
     
  • If an organization is approved for funding, the fiscal sponsor is the legal grantee and receives the funds on behalf of the organization (subgrantee). 
     
  • 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.

Additionally:

  • 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.
  • 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 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.

RESTRICTIONS

  • Only one application per organization may be submitted to the CEI category. This does not apply to fiscal sponsors who submit applications on behalf of multiple fiscally sponsored organizations. 

    Current CEI grantees are ineligible to apply. Applicants cannot receive funding for two consecutive grant cycles in the CEI category. CEI grants are two years or 24 months.  All 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. For example, applicants who received a two-year CEI grant in 2017 would be eligible to reapply in 2020 and an applicant that received a two-year CEI grant in 2018 would be eligible to reapply in 2021, provided grants were successfully closed, including final report submission.
     
  • Funding from the Arts Commission does not imply that the Arts Commission or any other City agency will produce, exhibit or present the art created. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure any required permits and insurance for public presentations or programs.
     
  • Programs of another City agency or department are not eligible to apply, which includes the City-owned Cultural Centers and the Cultural Districts.

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).

project requirements

  • The organization’s annual operating revenue must not exceed $1.5 million in income.
     
  • Fiscal Sponsors and arts service organizations: Organizations that exceed the $1.5 million budget cap due to re-granting 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) San Francisco Arts Commission; (2) other City departments (including, but not limited to, 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; 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.

grantee and insurance requirements

  • General Liability Insurance: To authorize any grant payment, general liability insurance must cover the entire grant period (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023). If funded, grantees will need to submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance with an Endorsement Page. 
     
  • Workers Compensation Insurance: Workers Compensation Insurance is required for an organization that has employees.
     
  • Abuse and Molestation Insurance: Abuse & Molestation Insurance must be added to the Workers Compensation policy if the project involves working with vulnerable populations defined as: minors under the age of 18, seniors over the age of 65 and 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.
     
  • If funded grantees using professional services, related to construction and facility projects must provide evidence of Professional Liability Insurance.
     
  • 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 will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions, insurance and approvals.
     
  • 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, budget narrative and timeline. Please contact Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org 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 focus your application responses. Please thoroughly review the application instructions for the complete overview of the CEI application questions and guidance.

CATEGORY

POINTS

SCORING CRITERIA

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

Cultural Significance

(30 points)

15


Organization’s mission and activities center and expresses the experiences of historically marginalized communities.

Describe the ways in which the organization’s mission centers the experience of historically marginalized communities.
 

15


Organization demonstrates a thorough understanding of historically marginalized audiences/communities and has a sound strategy for reaching them.
 
Describe how core support will enhance the organization’s ability to engage historically marginalized communities. 

San Francisco Arts Community Impact

(40 points)

40

Organization has clear artistic vision, impact and benefit for San Francisco communities, plays a vital role in San Francisco’s arts and culture ecosystem and measures and understands benefits of their artistic programming.

Program Overview
Describe the organization’s programs, the number of people each program served in the last fiscal year and the number it projects to serve in the current year. Distinguish between main (core) and ancillary programs, such as outreach. 

Program Planning and Evaluation
How is arts programming planned, developed and evaluated? Who is involved? How are artistic goals defined and evaluated?  What other issues are considered? What were the major challenges and successes in the last year? How have they changed this year? 

COVID-19
How has the organization and community/ies been affected by COVID-19? In what ways have you responded artistically OR to the community’s needs?

-    Complete Grant Plan
-    List of San Francisco-based activities over the last two years
-    Work Samples

Operational Effectiveness

(30 points)

10

Organization demonstrates appropriate advisory or governance structure, strong community representation and financial and programmatic oversight.


Describe the role of the advisory board or board of directors and their level of engagement as it pertains to artistic programming, decision-making, fundraising and governance. 

- List of Advisory Board or Board of Directors and their areas of expertise.

10

Has appropriate staff with relevant skills and experience with intended audience/or  historically marginalized communities.

Provide bios of the core staff and include relevant experience and qualifications.

10

Organization demonstrates fiscal health, resiliency and capacity.


Describe how the organization has been financially impacted by COVID-19 and the steps that the organization has taken to address these impacts. 

-    Nonprofits: IRS 990 or 990-EZ 
-    Fiscally Sponsored Projects: Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for the last two completed fiscal years 
-    Budget Notes 
-    Complete Grant Budget

 

Application Review

Panelists evaluate and rank applications according to budget size: organizations with annual operating budgets under $150,000; organizations with annual operating budgets between $150,000 and $400,000; and organizations with annual operating budgets between $400,000 and $1.5 million. 

Grant Panelists

Cultural Equity Initiative 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

Cultural Equity Initiative panel reviews are held online and accessible to the public. A schedule of each panel review is posted on our website and applicants are notified about panel dates 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 are not lost in your spam filter. Many applicants find it insightful 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 organization is found to have made attempts to influence a panelist in any way, their grant application 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 budget 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.  

Approved grant amounts may differ from the request amount due to the level of funding available to the CEI 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 sfartscommission.org 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

You may contact sfac.grants@sfgov.org to request panel scores and a link to the recording. Requests are fulfilled in the order they are received.

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