San Francisco Artist (SFA) | Grant Guidelines


APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 12 p.m.

For any questions about SFA, contact Program Officer Anne Trickey at or 415-806-5664.


A translation of this grant application is available upon request; however, only applications in English will be accepted.

Para obtener información en español, comuníquese al 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




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

Information About San Francisco Artists (SFA)

Important Dates

Grant Information Session September 30, 2022 at 1 p.m.
San Francisco Arts Organizations Information Session October 6, 2022 at 12 p.m.
Fiscally Sponsored  Artists, Organizations, & Fiscal Sponsors Information Session  October 7, 2022 at 12 p.m.
Application Work Sample Information Session  October 11, 2022 at 12 p.m.
One-on-One Consultations October 3 – November 9, 2022
Application Deadline November 3, 2022 at 12 p.m.
Grant Panel Review February – March 2023
Funding Recommendations April 2023
Commission Approval May 2023
Notification of Funding May 2023
Grant Period July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2025

*Dates are subject to change.

ABOUT THE San Francisco ARTIST (SFA) grant

The San Francisco Artist Grant (SFA) category fund artists and works of art in all genres made by artists living in San Francisco. Artist projects and the majority of activities must take place in San Francisco and provide a public benefit to the City of San Francisco and its communities. Creation of work and any related public benefit must take place between July 1, 2023 and December 31, 2024. Artists may use the requested funds to cover an entire project or part of a larger project. This grant is not intended to support organizations, artistic companies or collectives. Projects may include collaborations, but the individual who applies for the grant and is approved for funding will receive the grant award. The application should be written from the perspective of the specific artist applying and highlight their personal experience, work and role in the project.


  • Panels will be multi-genre and curated by number of applications, not by content. Artists who identify as having five years’ experience or less will be reviewed by a separate panel.

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.

maximum grant Request Amount

The anticipated grant request amount for a San Francisco Artist grant is $20,000 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 eighteen months. The City at its sole, absolute discretion shall have the option to extend the term for additional years or 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

  • New Work: The project proposal must include work made by the artist during the grant cycle. Only activities scheduled during the grant cycle are eligible for funding.

  • Public Benefit: Projects funded in this category must have a demonstrated public benefit, something that is open and accessible to the general San Francisco-based public. This can be through a virtual or in person public event, or through other means as imagined and realized by the artist, which benefit the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities.

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.

If you need special accommodations, you must contact Program Officer Anne Trickey  at or 415-806-5664 at least two weeks before the application deadline in order for us to appropriately accommodate. 


Who Can Apply


  • The applicant must be a continuous resident of San Francisco since November 2020. Documentation demonstrating San Francisco residency must be submitted with the application. For a complete list of acceptable forms of proof of residency, please see the San Francisco Artist Grant application instructions.
  • The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • The applicant must have a practice that provided a public benefit and was publicly accessible virtually or in person, to the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities within the last two years. Please see the instructions document for further information on the San Francisco Art Activities requirement.
  •  The applicant may be in any phase of their artistic career.
  • The applicant cannot be enrolled as a full-time student at the time of the application or during the grant period.

Projects working with vulnerable populations: The applicant must apply with a fiscal sponsor if the proposed project involves working with vulnerable populations who are defined as: minors under the age of 18, seniors over the age of 65 or developmentally disabled populations. If funded, the fiscal sponsor must provide sexual misconduct insurance.

  • 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; 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 July 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024.
  • The individual 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 individual must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance requirements.

    For more information about supplier requirements, visit: Please note: You will only be required to register as a City Supplier and provide insurance if you are approved for funding.
  • An artist or fiscal sponsor awarded a grant pursuant to this application must agree to comply with the requirements of the 38th Supplement to Mayoral Proclamation Declaring the Existence of a Local Emergency (“Emergency Declaration”), dated February 25, 2020, and the Contractor Vaccination Policy for City Contractors issued by the City Administrator (“Contractor Vaccination Policy”), as those documents may be amended from time to time. A copy of the Contractor Vaccination Policy can be found here:

fiscal sponsors

  • Fiscal sponsors must be based in San Francisco.
  • Fiscal Sponsors must be tax-exempt and in good standing with the State of California and under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3).
  • NEW: Fiscal sponsors must be in good standing with the California Franchise Tax Board. To check or update your status visit:
  • If the artist plans to work with a fiscal sponsor, a contractual arrangement between the artist and the fiscal sponsor must be confirmed prior to the San Francisco Arts Commission’s grant application process.
  • Organizations may not act as a fiscal sponsor for employees or artists contracted by that organization; a third-party fiscal sponsor is required.
  • Artists 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.
  • The Fiscal Sponsor 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:

    Please note: you will only be required to register as a City Supplier if you are approved for funding.


  • Only one application may be submitted to this grant category.
  • 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.

Please note: Current grantees are required sit out one cycle after a completed grant period. If your grant was amended, your amended grant must be closed and you must have completed the one cycle sit out period, before reapplying.

CRSP Table.png


Please note: Insurance is NOT required to submit an application, you will only be required to provide insurance if you are approved for funding.

General Liability Insurance: Requirements can be met with the following certificate of insurance requirements or with Special Event Insurance for all public events associated with the grant project.

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

  • CERTIFICATE HOLDER must read “The City & County of San Francisco, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.”
  • Certificates for General Liability and Auto Liability must include an ENDORSEMENT PAGE naming “The City & County of San Francisco, its officers, agents, and employees” as additionally insured.

Sexual Misconduct Insurance: If the proposed project involves working with vulnerable populations defined as: minors under the age of 18, seniors over the age of 65 and developmentally disabled populations, you must work with a fiscal sponsor who can provide the sexual misconduct insurance, added to the general liability policy in amounts not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 general aggregate.

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 project timeline.

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


(20 points)


1. Highlight your personal experience with one or more of the racial equity communities identified in the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation.
300 word limit

Applicant is able to express their personal experience with one or more of the racial equity communities identified in the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation.

Artistic Relevance

(10 points)



2. Tell us about your experience relevant to your proposed project.
250 word limit


  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae

2-page maximum

  • Biography

150 word limit

Applicant successfully describes their experience relevant to the proposed project.


Applicant’s Resume/CV and Biography reflect their experience relevant to the proposed project.

Work Samples

(20 points)


3. Work Samples: Upload samples of your past work. The samples should show your ability to complete your proposed project, as well as demonstrate knowledge of and experience in your creative practice.

Any combination of the following:

5 images, 5 pages, 5 minutes of audio/video

Work samples show an ability to complete the proposed project, as well as demonstrate knowledge of and experience in the applicant’s creative practice.

Artist Project


(50 points)


4. Describe the ideas and processes involved in making your project and your role in the creative process. It is important to give the panelists a clear picture of what you are doing and how you are doing it.

500 word limit

If you are working with other partners or collaborators, please outline their role in the project. 
250 word limit

Applicant clearly describes the ideas and processes involved in making the project and their role in the creative process.




If applicable: Roles of any partners or collaborators are outlined.








5. How will your project provide a public benefit to San Francisco, its neighborhoods and/or communities and why is it appropriate for your project? How will you know the public benefit achieved your intended purpose (goals)?
250 word limit

Applicant describes the public benefit. Applicant’s explanation of why the public benefit is appropriate for the project makes sense. Applicant sets goals for a successful public benefit.


6. Why is this project important to you and to the future of your artistic practice? 
350 word limit

Applicant articulates why the project is important to them and to the future of their artistic practice.


7. Completed grant plan with distinct activities, outputs and date completed by.

Applicant translates their project description and plan into distinct activities during the grant window.

*We recognize that some communities may not be listed in the link above and encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence regarding the historical and current inequities experienced by their community. Please review the San Francisco Arts Commission Racial Equity statement. 

Grant review Panelists

SFAC grant 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 racial equity, and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the grant. 

Application Review

Panelists evaluate and rank applications according to the stated scoring criteria.

Panelists use the Scoring Criteria to review and score applications. Additionally, panelists may reference the Aesthetic Perspectives Framework and list of Aesthetic Attributes identified by Americans for the Arts. These concepts help panelists recognize and discuss qualities of art-making outside of an academic or institutional lens.

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 and Panelist Scores​

Virtual panels will be recorded.

Links to the panel review recording and preliminary scores 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.

What's Coming Up


Artist Reception for we were here

January 11
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

SFPL Main Branch
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 27
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online

we were here

December 21 to March 01
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM


EarthSea Film Screening

December 14
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

SFAC Main Gallery