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Alternative Exposure Grant Program - Round 12

Grants to California Artists and Artist Groups for Community Arts Events
and Programs in San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Southern Exposure

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/12/18 5:00 PM - Receipt


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Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to California individual artists and artist groups for visual arts programs in San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties. Funding is intended to support artist-led projects and activities such as performances, artist residencies, exhibitions, public arts projects, and film screenings that are open to the general community.

Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure grant program supports the independent, self-organized work of artists and small groups that play a critical and significant role within the San Francisco Bay Area arts community.

Alternative Exposure fosters the development and presentation of artist-led projects and programs that are direct, accessible and open to the public. Alternative Exposure grants fund a wide range of projects and activities led by self-organized artists and small groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. Funded activities may include a new exhibition or exhibition series, the ongoing work of an arts venue or collective, a public art project, a one-time event or performance, publications directly related to the visual arts, an online project, an artist residency, a series of film screenings and more. In general, Alternative Exposure seeks to foster the development and presentation of artist-led projects that provide opportunities for San Francisco Bay Area artists and include programs that are accessible and open to the public.

Alternative Exposure grants directly fund visual arts projects that provide frameworks of support for artists to create and continue their work. Alternative Exposure supports projects that present the work of more than one artist.

Alternative Exposure supports visual arts and projects strongly related to the visual arts. The work of media and performing arts are eligible when the visual arts are a central and essential element of the finished work. Southern Exposure is committed to new, diverse, and risk-taking forms of visual art and helping to define new practices.

Alternative Exposure grants may fund general operating costs associated with the launch of new arts spaces and projects as well as provide general operating support for ongoing programs and arts venues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Examples include: rent, utilities, transportation costs, artist and designer fees, administrative fees, supplies, equipment, etc. (Though the purchase or rental of equipment may be included in the grant proposal budget as an expense related to a larger project, one may not apply for an Alternative Exposure grant with the sole purpose of purchasing equipment.)

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

- The artistic strength and creative vision of the proposed project.
- How the proposed project will create a framework of support for Bay Area artists to continue their work.
- The demonstrated capacity of the applicant(s) to realize the proposed project.
- The completed project's accessibility to the public and its commitment to serving a local constituency.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161200

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Alternative Exposure will support projects at levels ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Term of Contract:

Funded projects should not begin before December 7, 2018. For projects or programs that are a part of existing venues or larger projects, the work supported by Alternative Exposure should not begin before this date.

Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2020. For projects or programs that are a part of existing venues or larger projects, the work supported by Alternative Exposure should be completed by this date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Both individuals and groups are eligible to apply. If applying as a group, the artistic group or venue can be either long-standing or formed specifically for this opportunity.


- The lead organizer must live in San Francisco, Contra Costa or Alameda counties. For groups/collectives, additional collaborators may live outside of these counties but the majority of collaborators in the group must live in an eligible county.
- Resulting project activities must be accessible and presented to the public within the San Francisco Bay Area.
- 501c3 non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
- Projects may not be a part of the primary programming of an established 501c3 non-profit arts organization.
- Applicants that have received Alternative Exposure grants from Rounds 1-8 (2007-2014) are eligible to apply again as lead organizers if they are applying for a completely new, unrelated project, and the first project was successfully completed and the final report was submitted to Southern Exposure.
- Grantees from Rounds 9, 10, or 11 (2015-2017) are not eligible to apply again as lead organizers in Round 12. However, former grantees (both lead organizers and additional collaborators) from all previous rounds may participate in Round 12 applications for new, unrelated projects as collaborators.

Applicants may be listed as an additional collaborator on multiple project proposals for the same round of Alternative Exposure without affecting the eligibility of funding for the individual projects.

Alternative Exposure does not support:

- Work that is not based in, or strongly related to, the visual arts.
- An individual artist seeking support to make their own work.
- Individual artists whose work includes groups of people in its creation, but whose finished work is solely considered that of the individual artist’s, not the collaborative group as a whole.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants may attend one of four information sessions led by Southern Exposure staff in San Francisco, Oakland and Contra Costa County during the Round 12 Alternative Exposure grant cycle. The information sessions will provide details on the application process, questions of eligibility, appropriate uses of grant funds and more. Applicants who have questions as to the eligibility of their projects should attend one of these sessions.

Attending an information session is encouraged but not required to apply for an Alternative Exposure grant. Information sessions are free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary

The Information Sessions are scheduled as follows:

- Information Session #1 - San Francisco
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Southern Exposure, 3030 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

- Information Session #2 - East Bay Location
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
E.M. Wolfman Books, 410 13th Street, Oakland, CA 94612

- Information Session #3 - Contra Costa County
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
NIAD, 551 23rd Street, Richmond, CA 94804

- Information Session #4 - San Francisco
Saturday, September 29, 2018
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Southern Exposure, 3030 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Information Sessions:

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:

- Application Deadline: October 12, 2018
- Round 12 Grantee Announcement: December 7, 2018

Applications must be completed online. Paper applications are not accepted. Print materials that cannot be submitted digitally must be mailed or delivered in person to the Foundation by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 12, 2018 (receipt deadline, not a postmark deadline).

Applicants are requested to inform the Foundation of pertinent contact information for their lead organizer and up to six additional collaborators for their group.

For questions, applicants should email or phone the Foundation.

For projects with more than one organizer or for groups applying as a collective,applicants should choose one person to serve as the lead organizer. The lead organizer will be the primary contact for the project during the application and granting process. Up to six additional collaborators may be listsed on the application. The collaborators listed should be people who share organizing responsibilities on the project. Artists who are supported through the project, but do not have organizing responsibilities, do not need to be listed as collaborators in the application.

Applicants may be a lead organizer on more than one application; however, in these cases only one of their projects may be selected for funding.

For information:

Contact Information:

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

For the online application and information:

Mail printed materials included in the application to:

Attn: Alternative Exposure
Southern Exposure
3030 20th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

For questions, contact:

Patricia Maloney, Executive Director
415-863-2141 x105

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Alameda Counties