Creative Space - Planning


(submission through

For any questions about CRSP, contact Program Officer Robynn Takayama at 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 Kate Patterson-Murphy al 415-252-2229 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


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Important Dates
Information about Creative Space
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Technical Assistance Workshops
View the schedule of upcoming dates
September – October 2017
Applications Due October 25, 2017, 12 p.m.
Panel Review January – March 2018
Funding Recommendations April 2018
Commission Approval May 2018
Grant Period July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

Information about Creative Space-Planning (CRSP-P)

About CRSP

The Creative Space (CRSP) grant program supports the enhancement of San Francisco cultural facilities through Planning and Facility Improvement Grants. The category aims to improve existing arts facilities and develop new ones that will support the work of San Francisco’s arts organizations and artists.

Alignment with SFAC goals

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; Latino/a; 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. 

Organizations must align with one of SFAC’s goals for equitable grantmaking:

  • Capacity Building: Build capacity, resilience and economic viability of individual artists from historically marginalized communities.
  • Accessibility: Provide a space to access art and creativity for historically marginalized communities.
  • Cultural Integrity: Create or present work that demonstrates integrity and ethical use of material with specific cultural origins and context.
  • Intersectionality: Address how race, gender, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic status, immigration status, religion, class, etc. are interconnected through artistic programming or process.

Eligible Request Amount

Creative Space Planning grant awards are up to $50,000. (but no more than 50 percent of the organization’s three-year average annual operating budget). 

Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions (NAACT-CRSP)

Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions (NAACT) category is aligned with Cultural Equity Grants. Applicants are to apply through the applicable grant category, and will be prompted to choose if they would like to apply through NAACT. By choosing this prompt, these applications will be reviewed by a panel of community members that represent the Native American community in San Francisco Bay Area. Applicants to NAACT should clearly substantiate that they are connected to the Native American community within their narrative responses. Please follow all of the instructions for CRSP and check the box at the end of the Applicant Information Page to confirm that you would like to be considered under the NAACT-CRSP program.


PLANNING GRANTS (CRSP-Planning): Grants for up to $50,000 to tax-exempt arts organizations for the planning or pre-planning for the development or acquisition of arts facilities. Funds may be used for overall plan development or specific components, such as: feasibility studies, design and engineering consultations, financial and management analysis, market analysis, site analysis, needs assessment, or capital campaign preparation.

PLANNING-NEW DEVELOPMENT (P-ND): Grants for up to $50,000 to tax-exempt organizations with a strong track record and demonstrated leadership in the arts community. Funding is to be used for the pre-planning activities, such as a needs assessment and the creation of a long-range plan for the development or acquisition of a San Francisco-based arts facility. Strong collaborations and community partnerships are integral to the intent of this grant.

Who Can Apply


  • The organization must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Organizations that have a fiscal sponsor are ineligible to apply to this category.  
  • The organization must be based in San Francisco.
  • The organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities in San Francisco.
  • The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
  • The organization must demonstrate a continuing and stable presence in the community and been in existence for at least two years with documentation of creating and presenting original works to the public in San Francisco for at least four events that span from October 2015 to the grant deadline.
  • The organization’s three-year average annual operating budget must not exceed $2 million in income (determined by the line: Revenue Less In-Kind minus Non-operating Revenue in the SFAC Data Arts Report).
  • Applicants must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) SFAC, (2) other City departments (including, without limitation, 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) Northern California Community Loan Fund, (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; or (6) the Center for Cultural Innovation. This default clause was expanded due to the fact that SFAC has a fiduciary relationship with these particular organizations, through either shared City resources or other pooled philanthropic funds.
  • The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
  • 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 from the San Francisco Arts Commission, you must become a registered, compliant supplier (formerly called a vendor) and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit: Please note if you are not already a City supplier, you will only be required to register if you are awarded a grant. Insurance and business tax requirements will be explained and made available upon approval of grant awards.
  • For NAACT-CRSP-P: The organization must have a strong track record and demonstrated leadership that substantiates that they are connected to a Native American* community and engaged in significant programming that is rooted in Native American arts and cultural traditions.
    *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.
  • Applicants must receive an average score of 75 percent or above by the review panel to be considered for funding. Funding is not guaranteed for a score of 75 percent or above, and is determined by the availability of funds.


  • A proposed project cannot receive simultaneous funds from multiple SFAC funding sources; this includes collaborators applying to work on different components of the same project and applying separately.
  • Applicants cannot submit more than one application for the Creative Space category. An applicant cannot apply to both a CRSP-P and a NAACT-CRSP or CRSP-L1 and CRSP-P.
  • Applicants cannot receive funding for two consecutive grant cycles unless the applicant was awarded a Planning grant. They may apply for a Facility grant in the next cycle.
  • Organizations can request no more than 50 percent of its three-year average annual operating budget (determined by Revenue Less In-Kind minus Non-operating Revenue in the SFAC DataArts Report).
  • Any previously awarded CRSP grants must be completed and closed out before applying for any additional grants in the CRSP category.
  • Programs of another City agency or department are not eligible to apply, which includes the City-owned Cultural Centers.
  • Grant funds may not pay for:
  1. Routine and ongoing maintenance.
  2. Down payments, lease deposits or deficit reduction.
  3. Projects that do not result in reasonable access for individuals with disabilities under the ADA.

PROJECt requirements

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: New developments aimed at providing shared arts programming space for multiple arts organizations may be considered if they can demonstrate stable, San Francisco-based arts community leadership and confirmed partners. Signed letters from confirmed partners are required to be submitted with the application.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Grants Panelists

CRSP applications are evaluated in an open panel review process by a panel of peers. Grant review panelists reflect the diversity of San Francisco, have broad knowledge about the particular artistic discipline and field issues, and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the specific grant category.

Application Review

We review CRSP grants in two panel categories: Planning and Facilities, and will have panelists with expertise in these disciplines. It is important to select the appropriate category for your proposed project. SFAC staff process applications and send them to panelists for review in advance of meeting. Panelists will convene to discuss applications and make funding recommendations.

Panel Review Attendance

CRSP panel meetings are open to the public. A time schedule of each panel meeting is emailed to applicants in advance. Please be sure that you include a working email address in your application materials. Take steps to ensure that emails from SFAC are not lost in your spam filter. Applicants are welcome to observe the meetings, but may not engage in discussion with the panelists or SFAC staff during the panel. Many applicants find it insightful to listen to the discussions of applications because the panelists are seasoned professionals. 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 proposals, panels may make recommendations for funding and grant amounts. Grant amounts are either the full amount of the grant sought or a substantial portion of the requested grant—usually not less than 75 percent.

Scoring Criteria

Panelists will be instructed to use the following scoring criteria that correspond with the noted application questions. Close review of this grid may help you focus your application responses.





Alignment with SFAC Goals

(25 points)


Thorough understanding of communities served and intentionality for serving those communities; strongly aligns with one of SFAC's goals for equitable grantmaking.

- Who does your organization serve and why?

- Describe how your organization aligns with the selected goal.


The organization has a sound strategy for meeting the needs of the communities they serve; leadership has adequate relevant experience to work in communities served.

- How does your organization meet the needs of the communities you serve?

- Describe the leadership team and staff’s relevant experience and qualifications working in the communities you serve.

Artistic History

(20 points)


Demonstrated commitment to the organization’s mission through artistic programs. Impact on communities including African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American, Pacific Islander, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and women.

- Describe your organization’s history and highlight major accomplishments.

- Calendar of Art Activities

- Work Samples

Quality of Proposed Project

(20 points)


Demonstrated need for the project, strength in the organization's preparation for the project, and thoughtfulness in the impact the project will have on the organization.

- Why is the facility planning project necessary and what are the goals of this project?
- What preparatory work has your organization done to be at this stage of planning?

- Describe how the proposed project will advance the organization's mission and future directions.

- Grant Plan with activities and outputs

Project Feasibility and Organizational Health

(35 points)


Appropriateness of project budget, relevant experience and qualifications of key staff and project personnel.

- Budget & Budget Notes

- Key Personnel

20 Evidence of financial stability and stability of the board of directors.

- Board of Directors

- DataArts SFAC Funder’s Report and Notes

- Balance Sheet

Panel Notes

SFAC staff takes notes on panel comments during deliberations. You may contact to obtain panel comments.

Funding Approval

Panel recommendations are subject to the approval of the Arts Commission. Typically, recommendations are first reviewed by the Community Arts, Education & Grants Committee, then by the full Commission.  Meetings of the Commission are public. The agenda will be available on the Arts Commission website at 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

Grant Awards

Notifications will be emailed. Award notification will include instructions about contracting procedures.




Only include relevant funding (pending or secured) that relates to the budget of your proposed project. Past years' funding could be referenced in your artistic history but will not relate to your current project budget.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 30
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 30
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 30
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

July 30
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125