Creative Space - Facilities


(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 - Level 1 October 25, 2017, 12 p.m.
Applications Due - Level 2 November 1, 2017, 1 p.m.
Panel Review January – March 2018
Funding Recommendations April 2018
Commission Approval May 2018
Grant Period July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020

Information about Creative Space-Facilities(CRSP-F)

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.

NEW: The Creative Space priorities are for:

  1. Capital expenditures for emergency situations that render the artistic activities at a creative space inoperable such as to correct cited fire, ADA and/or safety code violations or to address issues prior to receiving a citation.
  2. Capital expenditures to improve the capacity of the creative space by significantly improving an organization's artistic presentation such as improved stage floor, lighting system, or new sound equipment.
  3. Capital expenditures which will have significant positive effect on audience accessibility, comfort, and enjoyment to creative space such as soundproofing, seating areas, or heating/cooling equipment.

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 Facilities grant awards range from $50,000 for CRSP-Facilities Level 1 to $100,000 for CRSP-Facilities Level 2 applicants. 

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.


FACILITY IMPROVEMENT GRANTS (CRSP-FACILITIES): Grants for up to $100,000 to tax-exempt arts organizations with programming space for capital improvements to address emergency situations, improve the capacity of the creative space, and/or to have significant positive effect on audience accessibility, comfort, and enjoyment. Improvements meet at least one of the CRSP priorities. Multiple projects may be included in the request. The affected spaces must be integral to the organization’s arts activities. Organizations must have a three-year average annual operating budget of less than $2 million.

  • LEVEL 1: Grants for up to $50,000 for arts organizations that have at least three years remaining on their lease at the start of the grant term, or, have a year-to-year lease and have leased the space for a minimum of ten years prior to the start of the grant term.
  • LEVEL 2: Grants for up to $100,000 for arts organizations that hold title to their space, or have a lease with at least five years remaining on their lease at the start of the grant term.

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’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 (June 30, 2020 for CRSP-L2).
  • Organizations must either hold title or be in possession of a qualifying lease, or, have a letter of intent from the property owner to enter into a qualifying lease or sale.
  • NEW: Grant funds may pay for transportable items such as seating, fire-retardant curtains, theater lights, or sound equipment so long as it meets our Creative Space criteria.
  • 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-F: 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 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

  • Lease/Ownership Requirement:
    • LEVEL 1: Organization has at least three years remaining on their lease at the start of the grant term, or has a year-to-year lease and has leased the space for a minimum of ten years prior to the start of the grant term.
    • LEVEL 2: Organization holds the title to its space, or has a lease with at least five years remaining at the start of the grant term.
  • To apply for Level 2, applicants must have full board participation in the campaign and we ask that you provide a list of board members and their gifts and/ or pledges.
  • Level 2 requires a 20 percent cash match to the grant request.
  • Level 2 requires three bids for the work you seek to accomplish with this funding.

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, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Panelists will evaluate and rank proposals. Applicants that do not score above 75 percent of the allotted points will not be eligible for funding. Grant amounts are either the full amount of the grant sought or a substantial portion of the requested grant—and never 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)
(30 for Level 2)


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

10 Level 2 only: The applicant utilizes the venue to serve the local arts community and its neighbors. Level 2 only: Consider your role as an anchor institution with great potential to support the surrounding community. How do you make your resources available to youth, neighbors, or others in need of space?

Quality of Proposed Project

(20 points)
(30 for Level 2)


Strong understanding of the need for the project and how it would benefit the organization. Solid alignment with the CRSP priorities. Strong preparedness for the project. Achievable plans for project implementation.

-Describe the current state of your creative space, including any opportunities, challenges, and major changes.

- Describe the proposed project, how the project will address the Creative Space priorities, and the organization's preparations for the project.

- Grant Plan Template with activities and outputs

- Images of the space that will be modified and design drawings of the intended outcome

- Letters of support for the project


History of quality care of existing facilities and solid plan to adapt to, and maintain, the proposed improvements

- Summarize past improvements made to the facility by your organization

- Describe your current facility maintenance plan, schedule, and budget including personnel

- What are your plans for covering the costs of operating the new facility, maintaining the improvement, and/or adjusting to the programmatic impact?
10 Level 2 only: The proposed project will impact not only the applicant, but also its neighbors and the local arts community.

Level 2 only: How will this project benefit the neighborhood, the arts community, and the community at large

Project Feasibility and Organizational Health

(35 points)
(45 for Level 2)


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

Level 2 only: Scrutiny of the project budget and evidence of financial support for the project

Level 2 only:

- Describe the process and sources for obtaining the required 20 percent match.

-  List the organization's board of directors with their gifts and/or pledges to the proposed project.

- Attach bids from three sources

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. 


A work sample helps the panelists score the organization's artistic history. There is a separate opportunity to upload images of the affected area and for architectural drawings.

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