The San Francisco Arts Commission stewards over $6 million in annual grant investments through the Cultural Equity Endowment Fund, the neighborhood Cultural Centers funds and other City resources to foster the values and increase the impact of cultural equity and neighborhood arts. The Community Investments program supports San Francisco artists, arts organizations, and historically underserved communities through grants, technical assistance and capacity building, economic development, arts education initiatives and the community-based Cultural Centers.
The Arts Commission recognizes that these funding opportunities were created through decades of community activism, arts advocacy and neighborhood cultural engagement. We continue to strive toward providing equitable access to cultural resources and create more sustainable impact across the arts ecosystem.
Are you a current grantee, seeking information about how to submit documentation? Check out our information For Grantees.
The San Francisco Arts Commission is also committed to providing access to high-quality arts experiences for San Francisco youth. Grant programs that support this include the WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence (WCTAIR) and Artists and Communities in Partnership (ACIP). This is also supported by the Arts Education Directory, which educators and families can use to find programs, organizations, and teaching artists in San Francisco to support integrating arts into learning.
The Cultural Centers serve the community by housing nonprofit organizations and providing low-cost arts programs, performance and exhibition space. Centers include: African American Art & Culture Complex, also home to the Queer Cultural Center; Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theater; Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts; and SOMArts Cultural Center, also home to the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.
- Cultural Equity Endowment Fund (Chapter 68 of the San Francisco Administrative Code)
- Grant Extension/Modification Policies
- Offset Policy for Arts Commission Grant Agreements
- Current List of Grantees (2018)
Art Vendor Resources
- Program Handbook (2008)
- Notice to Artists
- Screening Criteria
- Example Signs and Labels
- An Evaluation of the Licensing Program: Report
- Feasibility Analysis of Program Evaluation Recommendations
- Artist Business Marketing Guide
- Market Manager Evaluation May 2019
- Market Manager Evaluation August 2019
- Art Vendor Program - Lottery Registration Guide
Helpful Resources to Boost Your Brand and Build Your Business!
SFMADE is a nonprofit focused on developing the local manufacturing sector and engaging the community with local manufacturers. They offer a “brand platform” to enable local manufacturers to better promote their wares and help consumers identify locally made products; certify that your products are made in San Francisco; provide opportunities to connect with customers through a directory and events.
The Mission Grafica program at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts offers workshops for printmaking and screen printing as well as studio equipment rentals, all at a low cost.
The Arts Commission only issues Art Vendor licenses for individuals selling their own handmade crafts.
For performances on the street, please contact the Entertainment Commission.
If you would like to be licensed for Fisherman's Wharf or another waterfront area, please contact the Port.
Schedule a 15-minute one-on-one phone call with a program officer to discuss a question you have about the grant category or application process before you submit. Program officers will not read grants, but can help guide you through your decision making about how to make your application more effective.
We found time limits to be very confusing for applicants so we have no time limits for work samples. You can submit a video of any length, but please direct panelists to where you want them to start and end. For instance, if you submit a 30-minute dance performance, please direct them to the most impactful part of the performance and/or the section that best demonstrates your ability to complete the proposed project.
If you are uploading work samples, there is a size limit of 30 MB per response.
Yes, IAC can support the first and/or any stage of a bigger project. That said, the grant only supports activities that take place during the grant window. Make sure the grant plan activities listed in your application take place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
Yes, artists who have been funded for a project in the past can apply for the next stage of development on the same project. Be sure to include specific information about the stage for which you are requesting funds. How is it different? What do you plan to accomplish during the grant window?
Yes, you will have to wait to reapply until your medium is being offered again (every other year) in order to continue work on the same project. Additionally, any grantee with an open grant is ineligible to apply for a new grant in the same category. That said, multi-disciplinary projects with multiple collaborators could possibly apply for funding with a different lead artist and a different art form. If you think your project might be eligible, review the guidelines and contact staff for a one-on-one appointment.
IAC grants fund an individual artist. Artists who do collaborative work or work in a group may apply, but the application should highlight the individual seeking the funding. It should include their work samples and describe the work they will be doing. The grant itself will be awarded to one individual, and not a group or collective. If the artist is using a fiscal sponsor, the fiscal sponsor will be the grantee, with one individual listed as the subgrantee.
Organization Project Grants (OPG) support small and mid-sized arts organizations in the production and presentation of artistic works, accessible to the general public in San Francisco. Funding requests may be up to $20,000 to support arts organizations in visual art, literary art, media, theater, music, and dance.