Artists and Communities in Partnership - Social Justice


(submission through

For any questions about ACIP-SJ, 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


Jump to:
Important Dates
Information about Artists and Communities in Partnership - Social Justice
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Technical Assistance Workshops
View the schedule of upcoming dates
September 2017
Applications Due October 4, 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 Artists & Communities in Partnership - Social Justice (ACIP-SJ)


The Artists and Communities in Partnership (ACIP) grant program provides project support for arts organizations and community-based organizations to use the arts to address a specific issue impacting historically marginalized communities in San Francisco. ACIP seeks to foster social justice and equity, centering artists as leaders for social change. For any questions about ACIP, contact Program Officer Robynn Takayama, 415-252-2239.

Applicants may seek funding for projects that utilizes one or more of the following arts-based approaches:

  • Amplify voices that are too often ignored by supporting projects that build community through the development, expression, and empowerment of artistic voices and which activate community members to tell their stories.
  • Develop future leaders by providing arts-based skills and tools to create visions for social change and more just futures.
  • Build community capacity for civic expression, leadership, and organizing. Organizing may be defined as activities that actively engage people affected by societal problems in the process of identifying and pursuing solutions.
  • Preserve, reclaim, and revitalize traditional cultural practices as a form of empowerment or resistance to assimilation.

Applicant categories

ACIP-ARTS: Project-based support to arts organizations partnering with non-arts community-based organizations in San Francisco such as neighborhood associations, tenants’ groups, community-based organizations, social justice organizations, advocacy groups, and health centers.

ACIP-CBO: Project-based support for community-based organizations partnering with an individual artist or an arts organization. Artists or partners may be based outside of San Francisco if they offer a specific expertise to the project. The project must benefit a community in San Francisco.

Alignment with SFAC goals

Priority funding goes to organizations that are 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.  

Eligible Request Amount

ACIP requests may be up to $20,000 (but no more than 50 percent of the organization’s three-year average annual operating budget).

Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions (NAACT-ACIP)

Native American Arts & Cultural Traditions (NAACT) category is aligned with Cultural Equity Grants. Applicants for NAACT-ACIP should 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 ACIP and check the box at the end of the Applicant Information Page to confirm that you would like to be considered under the NAACT-ACIP program.

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.
  • Mission Statement:
  • For ACIP-ARTS: Arts organizations must have a mission statement that is clearly based on the development, production, and/or presentation of arts activities in San Francisco.
  • For ACIP-CBO: Community-based organizations must have a mission statement that is clearly rooted in empowering communities based 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 San Francisco activities representative of your mission that span from October 2015 to the grant deadline.
  • For ACIP-ARTS: Arts organization’s three-year average annual operating budget must not exceed $1.5 million in income or expense. This does not apply to community-based organizations.
  • 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 vendor, 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-ACIP: 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.


  • NEW: ACIP-SJ is for adult programs. If you have a youth program, we have a new category – ACIP-Youth Arts.
  • 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 ACIP category. An applicant cannot apply to both an ACIP-SJ and a NAACT-ACIP or an ACIP-YA. This does not apply to fiscal sponsors who are submitting applications on behalf of different fiscally sponsored projects.
  • Applicants cannot receive funding for two consecutive grant cycles in the ACIP category, regardless of sub-category.
  • Organizations can request no more than 50 percent of their three-year average annual operating budget (determined by Revenue Less In-Kind minus Non-operating Revenue in the SFAC DataArts Funders Report).
  • Any previously awarded ACIP grant must be completed and closed out before applying for any additional grants in the ACIP category.
  • The awarding of funds does not imply that the Arts Commission or any other City agency will produce, exhibit, promote 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. Projects that take place outside of San Francisco.
  2. Ongoing operating expenses or administrative costs that are not project based. Funds can be applied toward covering an appropriate cost allocation of overhead expenses (such as salaries, office rental, telephones, supplies, etc.) that support project activities.
  3. Deficit reduction.
  4. Start-up costs/seed money for new organizations or businesses.
  5. Food and beverage expenses.
  6. Projects that take place outside of San Francisco.
  7. Ongoing operating expenses or administrative costs that are not project based. Funds can be applied toward covering an appropriate cost allocation of

project requirements

  • All projects must contain appropriate community partnership with letter of support from the partner
  • For ACIP-ARTS: An appropriate community partner is a non-arts, community- based organization or group located in San Francisco such as a neighborhood association, tenants’ group, social justice organization, advocacy group, and health center.
  • For ACIP-CBO: An appropriate arts partner is an individual artist, arts collaborative, or arts organization. Artists or arts organizations may be based outside of San Francisco if they offer a specific expertise to the project. The project must benefit a community in San Francisco.
  • All projects must utilize one or more of ACIP’s four arts-based approaches. (see page 3)
  • The target community members must be involved in the artistic and creative process. This grant is not for artists to create work about a community but rather to engage the community as active creators in the work.
    The applicant’s project team must be from, or reflective of, the communities they are working with. Applicant must be deeply rooted in the community they are engaging with a two-year history of working in this community. Communities that are most affected by an issue are best positioned to identify effective strategies for change in their communities.
  • 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; Aleta Lee at for sculpture or any other type of public art.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Grants Panelists

ACIP 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. 

Panel Review Attendance

ACIP 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. Staff will also take into consideration applicant category (ACIP-ARTS and ACIP-CBO) when determining how deep into the ranking recommended funding will go. 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.





Clarity of the Partnership (30 points)


The applicant and partner demonstrate a thorough understanding of communities served and intentionality for serving those communities.

- Mission statement

- Who do you engage and why?


The applicant and partner have sound strategies for meeting the needs of the communities they serve.

- How do you meet the needs of your communities?


Confidence in an authentic partnership that will benefit the targeted community.

- Why is this partnership appropriate and timely?

- Partnership Letter

Quality of Proposed Project

(60 points)


Applicant has strong understanding of the issue being addressed and how it impacts the target community. Project has clear and measurable goals and effective outreach plan.

- Describe the target community and your outreach strategy to ensure participation.

- Describe the issue being addressed and how it impacts your target community. How will this project move the needle on the issue? State your measurable goals.


Strong use of an arts-based process. Targeted community is fully engaged with the art making. Confidence in the arts-based process to address the issue.

- Describe the art-based approach you will use to address the issue. Detail what a workshop or meeting session will look like. How will the project engage and involve community members in the creative/arts process?

- Work Sample

  10 Confidence in the team to work with the targeted community and meet the goals. - Provide bios for the project team and their relevant experience and qualifications working with the target community.
  10 Evaluation plan is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

- How will you evaluate the impact of the project?

- Grant plan with activities and outputs

Ability to Complete the Project

(10 points)


Viability of project budget and overall fiscal health of applicant.

- Budget/budget notes

- DataArts SFAC Funder’s Report and Notes or 2 year financial report which includes the past two years’ Profit and Loss statements and balance sheets

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.


FAQs for ACIP-Social Justice


No, but the communities that you are serving must be in SF.


No, the applicant can be either the artist, arts organization or a community-based organization.


The partnership letter should come from the partner organization and should be signed by someone from the organization’s leadership team.


The instructions state: How does this project fit with or further your mission, purpose, programming and/or services? Which part(s) of this project excites you? Why? If appropriate, letter may address how this project shifts the way the identified social issue has been addressed historically in the organization and neighborhood/community? Since an individual doesn’t have a mission statement they can talk about their artistic vision.


The binding contract is held with the applicant organization and includes an approved budget which should include any payments that would go to the partner.


The application requires either a DataArts report (if the applicant is an arts organization) or two years of financial statements (profit and loss and balance sheet) if the organization is a community-based organization.


Evaluation methods really depend on what the project is proposing to shift. Some suggestions include conducting pre/post surveys, holding focus groups, or interviewing participants.


Scores for both of these questions are combined to create a total possible score of 20 points.  Your application will be scored the same whether you speak about demographic data and community engagement strategies in your response to the first question or the second question. “Who do you engage?” has more than twice the character count, so that may be the best place to elaborate.

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