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Grants to California Arts Nonprofits to Improve
or Develop Cultural and Arts Facilities

Creative Space Grant (CRSP)

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/27/21 12:00 PM PST


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Grants to California nonprofit arts organizations in eligible areas to improve or develop cultural and arts facilities. Preference is given to organizations whose work is reflective of historically marginalized communities. Funding may be used for pre-planning and planning for the acquisition or development of facilities, or for capital improvements to arts facilities to address emergency and safety situations including compliance with COVID-19 related health orders, and/or improve or enhance the creative space. Applicant organizations must be based in San Francisco.

Funding Categories:

  • Planning Grants: Grants to arts organizations for the planning or pre-planning of the development and/or acquisition of arts facilities. Funds may be used for overall plan development or specific components, such as feasibility studies, design and engineering consultations, financial and management analysis, market analysis, site analysis, needs assessment, or capital campaign preparation. 
  • Facility Improvement Grants: Grants to tax-exempt arts organizations with programming space for capital improvements. The affected spaces must be integral to the organization’s arts activities. Projects must meet at least one of the following priorities:
    1. 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; or complying with COVID-19 related health orders.
    2. Improve or enhance the creative space by significantly upgrading an organization's artistic presentation, such as improved stage floor, lighting systems, or new sound equipment.
    3. Positive effects on audience accessibility, comfort, and enjoyment of the creative space such as soundproofing, seating areas, or heating/cooling equipment.

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.

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#: 139056

Estimated Size of Grant:

Planning Grants: Up to $50,000. The applicant organization’s average annual operating revenue over the last two completed fiscal years determines the eligible grant request amount. Organizations can request up to 50 percent of their average annual operating revenue.

Facilities Improvement Grants Level 1: Up to $50,000.

Facilities Improvement Grants Level 2: Up to $100,000.

Term of Contract:

The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 (for Planning and Level 1) or June 30, 2024 (Level 2).

A grant funded pursuant to these guidelines will have a grant term of one or 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). Only fiscal sponsors may be used for the Planning Grant category.
- 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, and/or presentation of arts activities and/or youth arts activities in San Francisco.
- Organizations must either hold title or be in possession of a qualifying lease (Level 2) or have a letter of intent from the property owner to enter into a qualifying lease or sale.
- The applicant cannot be part of another City agency or department.
- The organization’s annual operating revenue must not exceed $3,000,000.
Fiscal sponsors: Organizations that exceed the $3,000,000 income cap due to regranting or non-arts related emergency COVID response funds must verify their operational budget without pass-through funds at the time of application. Applicants must upload audited financials from the most recently completed fiscal year demonstrating the dollar amount of pass-through funds.
- 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.

For information about fiscal sponsors, see the guidelines:

Planning Project and Facilities Project Requirements:

Please note: Current grantees are required sit out one year after a completed grant period.

Programs of another City agency or department are not eligible to apply, which includes the City-owned Cultural Centers.

Ineligible Expenses:

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.
- Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
- One-on-One Consultations: October 4 – November 2, 2021
- 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, 2023 or June 30, 2024

Only one application may be submitted to this grant category.

Facility Improvement Grants: Multiple projects may be included in the request.

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

Please note: You will only be required to register as a City supplier if your application is 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 CRSP, contact Senior Program Officer Jaren Bonillo at or 415-252-2227.

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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