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Grants to California Nonprofit Arts Organizations in
Marginalized Communities for Capacity Building Initiatives

Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI) Grant

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

11/03/21 12:00 PM PST


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Grants to California mid-sized and small nonprofit arts organizations in eligible locations serving and led by marginalized communities for capacity-building projects. Funding is intended to support the artistic and cultural sustainability and vitality of local arts organizations that demonstrate substantial service to historically marginalized populations. Proposed initiatives must impact communities in San Francisco.

Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI) is a cornerstone of the Arts Commission’s grants program. CEI honors and amplifies the legacy of the Cultural Equity Endowment by supporting San Francisco-based arts organizations that are deeply embedded in their communities through multi-year, core support grants. Core support grants provide organizations with the funds they need to sustain day-to-day operations and provide maximum flexibility.
The CEI grant program supports small and mid-sized arts organizations deeply rooted in San Francisco communities with core support grants over two years.
  • Funds may be used for general operating expenses including but not limited to administrative/staff salaries, utilities, rent, office supplies, technology maintenance, as well as for project costs, professional development, artistic planning and programming.
  • Prioritizes organizations deeply rooted and connected to BIPOC, LGBTQ, People with Disabilities, women and other communities that are identified in the Cultural Equity Endowment legislation.
  • Fosters artistic expression and arts leadership reflective of San Francisco’s rich cultural heritage and legacy.
  • Provides flexibility and addresses bandwidth challenges in critical sustainability areas including operations and staff development.

Priority funding goes to artists that are deeply rooted in and reflective of communities listed in the Arts Commission’s 1993 Cultural Equity Endowment Legislation and informed by current best practices in racial equity. These communities include: African and African American; Latinx; Asian and Asian American; Arab; Native American; Pacific Islander; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer; Transgender and Gender Variant People; People with Disabilities; and Women.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 130621

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum grant request amount for a Cultural Equity Initiatives grant is $100,000 based on current budget availability and organization’s budget size. The applicant organization’s average annual operating revenue from the two most recently completed fiscal years determines the eligible request amount.

Term of Contract:

The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between July 2022 – June 2024.

A grant funded pursuant to these guidelines will have a grant term of two years. The City at its sole, absolute discretion shall have the option to extend the term for additional years as determined by the Arts Commission.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt and in good standing under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
- The applicant organization (and its fiscal sponsor, if applicable) must be San Francisco-based, and must demonstrate a history of consistent programmatic history and public benefit to the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities over the last two years.
- The applicant organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, presentation and/or support of arts activities and/or youth arts activities in San Francisco.
- The applicant cannot be part of another City agency or department.
- The organization’s annual operating revenue must not exceed $1,500,000.
- Applicants must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) SFAC; (2) other City departments (including but not limited to the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Grants for the Arts); (3) Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund; (4) Community Vision Capital and Consulting; (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; and/or (6) the Center for Cultural Innovation. This default clause was expanded due to the fact that SFAC has fiduciary relationships with these particular organizations.
- The organization must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco.

For information about fiscal sponsors, see the guidelines:


Grant funds may not pay for:
1. Activities outside of San Francisco;
2. Deficit reduction;
3. Start-up money for new organizations;
4. Planning and development of space (see Creative Space grants for funding opportunities).

Pre-proposal Conference:

Several optional information sessions will be held online.

- Grantseeker Information Session: October 1, 2021 at 1 p.m.
Password: FY22Grant

- San Francisco Arts Organizations Information Session: October 6, 2021 at 12 p.m.
Password: FY22SFOrgs

- Fiscally Sponsored Artists, Organizations & Fiscal Sponsors Information Session: October 8, 2021 at 12 p.m.
Password: FY22Sponsors

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates:
- Grantseeker Information Session: October 1, 2021 at 1 p.m.
- San Francisco Arts Organizations Information Session: October 6, 2021 at 12 p.m.
- Fiscally Sponsored Artists, Organizations & Fiscal Sponsors Information Session: October 8, 2021 at 12 p.m.
- One-on-One Consultations: October 4 – November 2, 2021
- Application Deadline: November 3, 2021 at 12 p.m.
- Grant Panel Review: February – March 2022
- Funding Recommendations: April 2022
- Commission Approval: May 2022
- Notification of Funding: May 2022
- Grant Period: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024

Only one application may be submitted to this grant category.

In order to receive a grant payment from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the organization must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit:

Please note: you will only be required to register as a City Supplier if you are approved for funding.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For any questions about CEI, contact Program OfficerDebbie Ng at 415-252-2216.

Please contact Craig Corpora at for questions about murals, sculpture or any other type of public art.

401 Van Ness Ave., Suite 325
San Francisco, CA 94102

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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USA: California: San Francisco

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