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Creative Space (CRSP) Planning and Facilities Grant

Grants to San Francisco, California Arts
Nonprofits to Improve or Develop Facilities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

11/21/19 12:00 PM PST - Noon


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Grants to San Francisco, California nonprofit arts organizations to improve or develop cultural and arts facilities. Funding may be used for pre-planning and planning for the acquisition or development of facilities, or for capital improvements to arts facilities.

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 for up to $100,000 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.
    2. Increase the capacity of the creative space by significantly improving 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 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; Latinx; Asian and Asian American; Arab; Native American; Pacific Islander; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer; Transgender and Gender Variant People; People with Disabilities; and Women.

SCAF recognizes that some marginalized communities may not be listed above and encourages 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.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139056

Estimated Size of Grant:

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

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

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

Term of Contract:

Grant Period: July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 or July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2022 (Level 2)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The applicant organization or fiscal sponsor must be tax-exempt 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 two years of programmatic activity with at least four programmatic San Francisco activities since November 2017.
- The applicant organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, presentation, and/or support of arts activities in San Francisco.
- The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
- The applicant organization must have a fundamental and substantial history of working with and/or presenting ongoing activities to members of the historically marginalized community(ies) identified in its proposal.
- The organization’s two-year average annual operating revenue must not exceed $2 million in income. For details about fiscal sponsors and arts service organizations, see the URL for Full Text link below.
- Applicants must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) San Francisco Arts Commission, (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) Community Vision Capital and Consulting; (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; 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, through either shared City resources or other pooled philanthropic funds.
- Organizations must either hold title or be in possession of a qualifying lease, or, have a letter of intent from the property owner to enter into a qualifying lease or sale.
- The organization must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco.

Native American groups may apply. For details, see the URL for Full Text link below.

Planning Project Requirements: applicants may use a fiscal sponsor. New developments aimed at providing shared arts programming space for multiple arts organizations may be considered if they can demonstrate stable, San Francisco-based arts community leadership and confirmed partners. Strong collaborations and community partnerships are integral to the intent of this grant.

Facilities Project Requirements:
- Level 1: Applicant organization has at least three years remaining on their lease at the start of the grant term, or has a year-to-year lease and has leased the space for a minimum of ten years prior to the start of the grant term.
- Level 2: Applicant organization holds the title to its space, or has a lease with at least five years remaining at the start of the grant term.

Grant funds may not pay for:
1. Activities and spaces outside of San Francisco;
2. Deficit reduction;
3. Start-up money for new organizations;
4. Routine and ongoing maintenance;
5. Down payments or lease deposits;
6. Projects that do not result in reasonable access for individuals with disabilities under the ADA.

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

Pre-proposal Conference:

- Community Investments Grant Webinar: September 18, 2019 at 4p.m.
- CRSP Technical Assistance Workshop: October 10, 2019 at 3 p.m. View the schedule of all upcoming dates here:

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates:
- Applications Due: November 21, 2019 at 12 PM Noon PST
- Panel Review: March 2020
- Funding Recommendation: April 2020
- Commission Approva l:May 2020

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

A proposed project cannot receive simultaneous funds from multiple SFAC funding sources.

Applicants cannot receive funding for two consecutive grant cycles in the Creative Space category.

Contact Information:

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

For any questions about CRSP, contact Senior Program Officer Jaren Bonillo at or 415-252-2227.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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USA: California: San Francisco

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