(Ineligible Activities amended 9/18/19)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 13, 2019 at 12 p.m. NOON PST


11/13/19 - MP3, MP4 and other audio/visual format files are not accepted by form assembly. You will need to use on online link for work samples in this format.

Artists who have already submitted will be contacted after 12 p.m. and notified about next steps for this work around.

For any questions about IAC, contact Program Officer Anne Trickey: or 415-252-2213. 

2019 Individual Artist Commission (IAC) Webinar - Part 1 (31 minutes)
2019 Individual Artist Commission (IAC) Webinar - Part 2 (10 minutes)


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 Cece Carpio, 415-252-2217 o

Jump to:
Important Dates
Information about Individual Artist Commission
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Community Investments Grants Webinar September 18, 2019 at 4 p.m.
IAC Technical Assistance Workshop
View the schedule of all upcoming dates
October 5, 2019 at 11 a.m.
Applications Due November 13, 2019 at 12 p.m. NOON PST
Panel Review February 2020
Funding Recommendations April 2020
Commission Approval May 2020
Grant Period July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Information about Individual Artist Commissions (IAC)

About IAC

Individual Artist Commission (IAC) grants fund artists living in San Francisco. Grant funds support artistic commissions throughout the City’s neighborhoods and require an event open to the public that takes place in San Francisco between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Applicants may use the funds to cover the entire project or for part of a larger project. While documentation, archiving, or journalism can be part of a project, the purpose of this grant is for artists to make their own work. Projects may include working with partners, but the individual who applies for the grant and approved for funding will receive the grant award.


The San Francisco Arts Commission alternates art forms for this category each year. The 2020-2021 grant cycle will review proposals in Dance, Music, and Theater.

Interdisciplinary projects are eligible, but the project must be rooted in dance, music, or theater. Literary, media, and visual art projects will be open in the next grant cycle.

traditional and folk artists

Artists working in folk and traditional arts are encouraged to apply. Please select one of the three primary disciplines (dance, music, theater) best suited to your art form.


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: 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 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. 


Up to $20,000. 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 peer review panel.

Native American arts & cultural traditions 

Applicants who would prefer to be reviewed by a peer panel of community members deeply rooted in the Native American community of the San Francisco Bay Area can check the box at the end of the Applicant Information Page. Applicants should clearly substantiate how they are connected to the Native American community within their narrative responses.

The individual must show that they are connected to a Native American community and that their artistic practice is informed by that connection.

*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.

Who Can Apply


  • The applicant must be a continuous resident of San Francisco since November 2017 (2 years). Artists must submit paperwork demonstrating San Francisco residency with their application.
  • The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • The applicant must have held two publicly accessible activities or events in San Francisco that span from November 2017 to the grant deadline.
  • The applicant may be in any phase of their artistic career can apply including emerging, midcareer, and established artists.
  • The applicant cannot be enrolled as a full-time student at the time of the application or during the grant period.
  • If the applicant is an employee of the City & County of San Francisco, or plans to be employed by the City at any time during the grant window, they cannot receive funds directly and must have a San Francisco based fiscal sponsor who is Supplier-compliant. Employment may include short-term teaching positions with departments such as Recreation and Park or San Francisco Unified School District. This policy is due to IRS regulations that forbid the city from issuing both a W2 and 1099 to the same payee in a year.
  • The applicant must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) San Francisco arts Commission, (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 because the Arts Commission has fiduciary relationships with these particular organizations through either shared City resources or other pooled philanthropic funds.
  • The applicant 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.


  • The applicant cannot apply and receive funding for the same project in two different grant categories. This includes partners and collaborators applying to different grant categories for the same project.
  • The applicant can only submit one application in this category
  • The applicant may not receive consecutive grants in this category. All grantees are required to sit out for one year after each grant cycle. Grantees must close out a grant before reapplying.
  • 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 a venue, insurance and any permits for public presentations.
  • Ineligible activities: 
    • Project activities outsides of San Francisco;
    • Projects for which the main intent is curation, archiving, or journalism.
    • Arts education classes, workshops, or youth focused activities. (amended 9/18/19)

project requirements

  • New Work: The project proposal must include work made by the artist during the grant window. Only activities scheduled during the grant period are eligible for funding.
  • Public Event: An event open to the public that takes place in San Francisco during the grant window is required.
  • Venue Confirmation Form: Applicants must include a signed venue confirmation form from a publicly accessible San Francisco venue for the project.
  • Fiscal Sponsor: If the applicant is using a fiscal sponsor, a signed letter of agreement is required at the time of application submission.

grantee and insurance requirements

  • City Permits: 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 artist will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions, insurance, and approvals.
  • Insurance Requirements:
    General Liability:
  • Grantees must submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance and an Endorsement Page. General liability insurance cannot be waived. This requirement can met by the following:
    • Purchasing General Liability Insurance or;          
    • Purchasing Special Event Insurance for any public events associated with the grant project.
  • Auto Insurance: 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 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 for questions about murals or Aleta Lee at for questions about sculpture or any other type of public art.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Grant Panelists

Individual Artist Commission 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, the particular artistic discipline, and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the grant.

Application Review

Applications are reviewed based on discipline and years of experience. Artists select the appropriate primary art form (Dance, Music, Theater) for their proposed project.

Panel review Attendance

Individual Artist Commission panel reviews are open to the public. A schedule of each panel review is posted on our website and applicants are 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 SFAC 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 SFAC staff during the panel. If an applicant 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 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.

If approved by the Arts Commission for support, 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 Awards

Grant award notifications are e-mailed to the address listed on the application and include instructions about the contracting process and orientation dates.

Panel Notes

SFAC staff take notes on panel comments during panel review deliberations. You may contact to request panel comments. Requests are fulfilled in the order they are received.

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 IAC application questions and guidance.





Racial & Cultural Equity
(20 points)


Individual is deeply rooted in and able to express the experiences of historically marginalized communities.

Describe the community in which you are deeply rooted and involved.

Artistic Relevance

(10 points)


Applicant successfully describes their experience relevant to the proposed project.

Tell us about your relevant experience to the  proposed project.

- Two (2) page Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- Biography


Work Samples

(20 points)​


Work samples should show ability to complete the project.

Work Samples: Please upload examples of your past work. The samples you choose should show your ability to complete your proposed project.  

Artist Project

(50 points)


Applicant clearly details the concepts and processes involved in making the project.

Describe the concepts and processes involved in making your project.

If you are working with other artists, please describe their role in the project.


Applicant describes the event, location, date, outreach, and audience. Artist sets goals for a successful event.

Please tell us about your event including: where and when it will be, who you are inviting and how you are inviting them; and how will you know the event was a success?

Applicant articulates how this funding will advance, affect or move their artistic practice in a meaningful way.
How will this project advance, affect or move your artistic practice in a meaningful way?
5 Applicant clearly translates their project description into specific activities during the grant window.
- Completed grant plan



What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

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

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

December 16
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

December 11
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 408 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

December 09
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online