Arts for Neighborhood Vitality


(submission through

For any questions about OPG, contact Program Officer Liz Ozol at or 415-252-2231.


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 Arts for Neighborhood Vitality
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Technical Assistance Upon request, contact Program Officer Liz Ozol at or 415-252-2231
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, 2020

Information about Arts for Neighborhood Vitality (ANV)

About ANV

Arts for Neighborhood Vitality (ANV) program supports small, neighborhood- centered, publicly accessible art walks and festivals where art and culture are main components. Projects should be an event—rather than an ongoing program—and should highlight the integration of arts and economic vitality of the specific neighborhood. Applicants may not apply for multiple grants from the Arts Commission to support the same project. Grants are awarded directly to the applicant or fiscal sponsor responsible for managing the project and the budget. 

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

NEW: Arts for Neighborhood Vitality grant requests may be up to $5,000 and must demonstrate a 50 percent cash match to the grant award.

This grant program is administered by the San Francisco Arts Commission with support from Grants for the Arts (GFTA). Requests we will fund include:

  • Artistic and cultural performance fees (musicians, dancers, theater groups, etc.
  • Project-related administrative expenses
  • Art supplies for engagement activities taking place during the event
  • Permit and insurance fees
  • Staging or technical equipment for the presentation of artistic performers
  • Marketing and promotion costs associated with outreach for the event. 

Who Can Apply


  • The organization must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) or have a fiscal sponsor that is so qualified.
  • The organization (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must be based in San Francisco.
  • The applicant is a community or arts based organization that has an established relationship and stable presence in the neighborhood served. Examples of community based organizations include: neighborhood associations, tenants’ groups, social service organizations, social justice organizations, neighborhood advocacy groups, merchant associations, health centers.
  • 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 have 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants must identify a San Francisco neighborhood and demonstrate a strong connection and history of service provision to the neighborhood and residents
  • Grants may be up to $5,000 and must demonstrate a 50 percent cash match to the grant award.
  • The request is for a discrete event, not an activity within a larger festival or program.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 ANV category. This does not apply to fiscal sponsors who are submitting applications on behalf of different fiscally sponsored projects.
  • The awarding of funds does not imply that the Arts Commission or any other City agency will produce, exhibit, or present the art created. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure a venue and any required permits for public presentations or workshops.
  • Grant funds may not pay for:
  1. Capital improvement projects
  2. Programs in the schools during school hour
  3. Awards for competitions
  4. Food or hospitality expenses
  5. Non-arts entertainment costs (balloons, clowns, face-painting, bouncing castles, etc.)
  6. An ongoing series of activities

PROJECT requirements

  • Public Presentation Requirement: Projects must be developed and presented in San Francisco and culminate in a local affair or festival with meaningful, accessible engagement of the public within the grant period.
  • City Permits and Permissions: 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 applicant will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions, and approvals. This planning should be reflected in your 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 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 and timeline. Please contact the following Public Art Program staff if you have questions: Jenn Crane at  for murals; Aleeta Lee at for sculpture or any other type of public art.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Application Review

ANV applications are evaluated in an internal review process by SFAC staff.  Panelists will convene to discuss applications and make funding recommendations.

Funding Recommendations

Based on an evaluation of the proposals, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Applicants that do not score about 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

Arts for Neighborhood Vitality Grants support efforts where neighbors — residents, artists, schools, service organizations, and businesses — collaborate and partner to share and celebrate their neighborhood. 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
(20 points)


The applicant demonstrates a thorough understanding of communities served and intentionality for serving those communities, and has a sound strategy for meeting the needs of the communities they serve.

- Who does your organization serve and why?

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


The organization strongly aligns with one of SFAC goals for equitable grantmaking and leadership has adequate relevant experience to work in communities served.

-  Using detailed explanation and examples, describe how your organization aligns with the selected goal.

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

Artistic History
(20 points)


The neighborhood is highly likely to be well served and enriched by this event; organization demonstrates strong artistic accomplishments, and provides examples of previous achievements that are relevant to the proposed project.

-Describe your organizational history and highlight major accomplishments that are relevant to the proposed project.

-Include organization’s experience serving neighborhoods.

Quality of Proposed Project
(40 points)


Organization has history of being rooted and/or immersed in the neighborhood. Project will offer opportunities to neighborhood to engage in offerings; Arts will be integral to event offerings and reflective of target neighborhood.

-Describe your proposed project in detail. Include description of organization’s relationship with target neighborhood.

-Describe how target neighborhood will be engaged in the event.

-Describe how the arts are in integral part of the event and reflective of target neighborhood.


Realistic project timeline and presentation plan.

- Grant Plan with activities and outputs.

Ability to Complete the Project
(20 points)


Viability of project budget; confidence in the project's team.

- Budget & Budget notes
- Key Personnel

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.


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