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2018-2019 Creative Catalyst Program

Grants to California Arts Organizations in San Diego
County to Collaborate with an Artist to Create New Work

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The San Diego Foundation (TSDF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/11/17 12:00 PM (Noon) PST


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Grant awards of up to $20,000 to San Diego County, California arts organizations to collaborate with and mentor a local, professional artist. Funding is intended to encourage artists to create work that increases civic engagement, advances their careers, and enriches the quality of life for local residents.

The Creative Catalyst Program enables local professional artists to create new work or advance existing work. Arts organizations provide fiscal administration of the grant funds, as well as project management support.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168694

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant awards will be up to $20,000 each.

Term of Contract:

The work must be completed during the twelve-month grant period, April 2018 through March 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Sponsor Organization Eligibility

- Must be a 501(c)(3) public charity
- Must be located in San Diego County
- Must be an arts organization
- Must not be an academic organization
- Must have been in operation for at least five years
- Must have prior experience working directly with individual artists
- Must have the ability to provide designated staff for artist’s mentorship
- Must have the ability to provide The Foundation with requested promotional materials on behalf of the artist’s project, i.e., biography, photos, project flyer and event schedule
- Must have the ability to assist in the development and execution of the artist’s project timeline and notify The Foundation in advance of variances
- Must not be in the midst of major transition
- Must not have been a sponsor for the two most recent consecutive Creative Catalyst grant cycles (2015 and 2016-2017)

The Foundation invites professional artists who meet all of the following criteria to partner with a qualifying sponsoring organization:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are working at any stage of career development - early, mid-career and established
- Have a history of artistic achievement and high-quality work
- Have a history of independently authoring original work
- Are current residents of San Diego County, residing in the area for the past two years and expect to retain residence through the completion of the 12-month grant cycle
- Work in one or more artistic disciplines of visual, performing, media, musical or literary arts

For the purposes of the Creative Catalyst Program, “professional” artist is defined as:
Anyone who can provide evidence of past public exhibition, performance or publication of works of art; been awarded government grants or prizes; had works of art for sale or public consumption; secured employment or consultancies on the basis of professional expertise; had works of art commissioned or acquired for public or private collections; or, is a member of a professional association on the basis of his/her status an artist.

Ineligible artists are those who:
- Perform or reproduce the original work of others
- Are working toward any degree program - arts or non-arts related - at the time of application or planning to work toward a degree during the course of the Fellowship, with the exception of Ph.D. candidates with all but dissertation (ABD) status
- Have been past Creative Catalyst Fellows
- Practice their art primarily as a hobby or avocation
- Are immediate family members of The San Diego Foundation staff or Board of Governors
- Are immediate family members or staff of the sponsoring arts organization

Pre-proposal Conference:

A Question & Answer webinar will be held Wednesday, October 11 at 10:00 am. Both artists and potential sponsoring organizations are welcome to attend. Please see the link in Contact Information below for webinar login information.

Answers to questions asked at the webinar will be posted on The Foundation’s website.

Pre-Application Information:

This year, to encourage more opportunities for artists and a broader set of applications, rather than having artists apply to pre-selected arts organizations, artists and arts organization will pair independently to submit a joint application. Sponsoring organizations submit one application on behalf of the collaborating team. Organizations do not need to submit a separate Letter of Inquiry (LOI).

Phase 1: Partnership Development
- September - December 11, 2017: Organizations and artists connect independently of The Foundation, make project partnering selections.

Phase 2: Application Process
- September 2017: Grant application opens.
- Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 10:00 a.m.: Q&A Webinar for interested applicants. The webinar is open to both artists and organizations interested in sponsorship.
- Monday, December 11, 2017, 12:00 p.m.: Grant application closes. Submissions are due.

Phase 3: Selection Process
- January and February 2018: Grant committee convenes to review applications
- February 2018: If you are selected as a finalist, please be prepared for an interview with the grant committee during this time.
- March 2018: Final grant recommendations are reviewed for approval by The San Diego Foundation Board of

Phase 4: Project Implementation
- April 2018: Grant agreements are signed and 2018 Creative Catalyst Fellows are announced. Grant checks are released to sponsor organizations. Twelve-month grant cycle begins.
- April 2018 - March 2019: Artists prepare projects, host social engagement activities, submit progress reports and exhibit work.
- April 2019: Final reports are due.

Contact Information:

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

Register for the webinar:

Apply online:

Kerri Favela
(619) 235-2300

The San Diego Foundation
2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92106

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: San Diego County