SFAC Galleries & SFPL: COVID-19 Community Time Capsule Project

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Galleries is pleased to announce an opportunity for artists to create work for the San Francisco Public Library’s (SFPL) COVID-19 Community Time Capsule.
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Project Overview

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Galleries is partnering with the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) to fund 10-12 artist projects that will be included in the SFPL COVID Community Time Capsule.  

This opportunity is open to all disciplines (see Eligibility for guidelines) and is for projects that explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, and other events of the last two years (2020-2021) in San Francisco. Works must be completed and ready to be added to the COVID-19 Community Time Capsule by Fall 2022 and can include new works or projects that were initiated during the last two years and completed with the support of this funding. 

Project Description

The COVID-19 Community Time Capsule is a collection located at the San Francisco History Center of the San Francisco Public Library that documents and preserves the collective experiences of San Francisco residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  

For this opportunity, SFAC Galleries is partnering with SFPL requesting proposals of projects by artists of all disciplines that respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The completed works will be preserved in the COVID-19 Community Time Capsule at SFPL and shared with the public, as well as remain in the City and Country Archives of San Francisco for long-term preservation.  

Projects must reflect the events that took place during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Proposals may include projects that have been initiated in 2020 or new projects. We are accepting proposals from artists of all disciplines; however, the final form of the project must be in a form appropriate to be housed at the San Francisco History Center (see Selection Process for more details).  

Selection Process

The applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from Arts Commission staff and Library staff.   

Artist Selection Considerations 
The scoring criteria is informed by the agency’s values and goals, as referenced in SFAC’s Racial Equity Statement and the goals specific to this project.  

SFAC Racial Equity Statement 
The San Francisco Arts Commission 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 face 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.  

SFAC 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.  

Selection Criteria:  

  • The commission is open to professional artists of all disciplines who reside in San Francisco or whose studio is in San Francisco.  
  • Application must be completed and submitted by the application deadline. 
  • Artistic merit may be judged by such measures as originality of concept and artistic vision; the degree to which the work engages the viewer emotionally, intellectually; the quality of craftsmanship or mastery of skills and techniques. Artistic merit may also be accredited to artwork that reflects a significant or direct relationship between artist and distinct racial or cultural communities.  
  • The panel shall consider the assessed ability of an artist to successfully implement the project, such as meeting deadlines, willingness to resolve issues as they arise, budgeting the honoraria towards the completion of the project, and generally manage the demands of the project.  
  • The proposal that meets the specific goals of the project: 
    • Artwork should be inspired by and responsive to the events related to the COVID-19 pandemic  
    • The completed form of the artwork must be appropriate to be housed in the COVID-19 Community Time Capsule at the SFPL.  
    • The proposed project must be completed by Fall 2022. 

How To Apply

Applications are available through SlideRoom, an online application system. There is no charge for artists for using SlideRoom. Please be sure to allow adequate time to submit your application as technical difficulties can occur. We strongly advise applicants to use the information on this page to prepare their application responses in a separate document. Applicants should paste their completed answers into the online application when they are ready to submit.  

Applications that are mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered will not be considered.  

Applications will not be accepted after the Friday, February 18, 2022 deadline.  

Application materials include:  

  1. Resume or CV 
    • 25,000 characters minimum 
  2. Letter of Intent Questions 
    • Please describe your artistic focus. (225 characters or 2 sentences) 
    • Please describe your career highlights and past or current experiences that may relate to the skills and experiences needed for this project. (450 characters or 4 sentences) 
    • Provide a project proposal that outlines: (450 characters or 4 sentences)  
      • The subject matter of the project 
      • What the form the completed project would take  
    • Please summarize your particular interest in this opportunity; what would be meaningful for you to be included in the COVID-19 Community Time Capsule (350 characters or 3 sentences) 
    • Please include a rough budget for funds received  
    • If you are part of a collaborative group, please list all participants  
  3. Work Samples 
    • ​SlideRoom accepts all image file types up to 5MB. Images should be at least 72 dpi and no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels 
    • SlideRoom accepts video files up to 250MB per file. We will only accept videos that are up to 5-minutes long, if your work sample includes a longer video, please send an excerpt.  
    • SlideRoom accepts audio files up to 300MB per file. We will only accept audio recordings that are up to 5-minutes long, if your work sample includes a work that is longer, please send an excerpt.  
    • SlideRoom accepts PDFs up to 10MB per file. We will only accept a total of 10 PDF pages per submission. Excerpted material is accepted.  
    • For more information about working with media on SlideRoom, kindly click here. 
  4. Work Sample Description 
    • When you upload work samples, SlideRoom will prompt you to fill out image descriptions. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. You may also include a brief statement (2 sentences maximum) about each work.  

Please note that Arts Commission staff will be available to answer questions about this call until 5 p.m. on the deadline date, February 18, 2022. Please contact Jackie Im at jackie.im@sfgov.org  

SlideRoom technical support is available Monday – Saturday by email, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. CST: support@slideroom.com  

Project Timeline

RFP Issued January 24, 2022
RFP Deadline Friday, February 18, 2022 at 11:59 p.m    
Artist Selection Panel Late February 2022
Artist Notification March 2022
Submission of Completed Project November 2022


Artists (visual artists, composers/musicians, choreographers/dancers, filmmakers, writers) will each receive between $10,000-$15,000. 10-12 projects will be selected. Qualifying artists can be an individual producer or the primary contact for a collective. 


Eligibility is open to practicing artists and collectives, not enrolled students, who reside in San Francisco or have a business address in San Francisco. Entries not meeting eligibility guidelines will be withdrawn from consideration. Artists must be able to sign up to be a Supplier with the City of San Francisco to receive funds.  

Eligibility is also restricted to artists who can supply a project that can be included in the COVID-19 Community Time Capsule. The COVID-19 Community Time capsule can receive the following materials into its collection:  

  • Portfolio of prints (photography or printed materials; digital and physical prints are acceptable) 
  • Digital portfolios/recordings (CDs/DVDs or digital files [mp3, wav, etc.] are acceptable) 
  • Performance documentation (CDs/DVDs or digital files [mp4, mpeg, mkv, avi, mov] are acceptable) 
  • Sheet music or choreographic notations 
  • Artist books, books and writing pages (scrolls are acceptable) 

The Time Capsule cannot accept original, one of a kind works of art (sculpture, paintings, etc.) and film/videotape/audio tape. 


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