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Special Arts Grant

Grants to California Arts Nonprofits in Eligible
Areas for Programs and Operating Support

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Fleishhacker Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $20,000 to California nonprofit arts organizations for projects related to arts programming and for general operating support. Potential applicants must contact the funding source well in advance of the application deadline. Applicants must serve the San Francisco Bay Area. Eligible disciplines include dance, theater, music, visual arts, interdisciplinary arts, and film.

The Foundation strives to make grants that advance a diverse array of artistic disciplines, aesthetic sensibilities, and forms of cultural expression. The Foundation prioritizes grant requests that best support working artists and place particular emphasis on funding organizations that represent and engage marginalized artists and communities.

The most important considerations in assessing Special Arts Grant requests are:

  • Does the organization have a significant history of artistic accomplishment in the Bay Area?
  • What are the organization’s contributions to the local arts community and the Bay Area at large?
  • Does the organization represent and engage marginalized artists and communities (people of color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, immigrants, and/or under-resourced populations) in a meaningful way?
  • How well has the organization responded to the impact of COVID-19, and how viable are its plans for the future?
  • Does the organization reasonably compensate artists?
  • What is the potential impact of the organization on the arts discipline or cultural practice involved?
  • What are the financial needs of the organization?
  • Is there strong evidence of board and community support for the organization; specifically, what percentage of board members made financial contributions and what other income has been raised or generated within the last year?
  • Does the organization use its resources efficiently and well, seeking to collaborate and share resources when appropriate?

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174733

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants are generally between $10,000 – $20,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be:
- Arts and culture organizations incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
- Engaged in the production and/or presentation of new work by Bay Area artists in the disciplines of dance, music, theater, visual arts, interdisciplinary arts, or film.
- Located and primarily offering programming in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo, or Santa Clara counties.
- Able to demonstrate a consistent artistic presence in the Bay Area for at least three years.
- Of an annual budget size between $750,000 and $2,500,000 during FY19, FY20, or FY21.
- An organization that evidences strong support from the community and its Board of Directors.

Applicants may also be film projects directed by Bay Area filmmakers, with budgets between $750,000 and $2,500,000, if applying with an eligible fiscal sponsor or nonprofit production company. Funds will be awarded for the post-production phase of film projects only.

Not eligible are:
- Organizations whose primary mission is youth training in the arts, youth ensembles and performances, exhibitions of youth artwork, and productions designed for youth.
- Organizations whose primary mission is to present historical works by artists no longer living.
- Organizations whose fundamental purpose or benefit falls within the social services, health, youth, or community development fields.
- Fiscally sponsored projects and individual artists (except filmmakers).

Pre-Application Information:

Letters of Inquiry for the spring 2021 review cycle must be received by November 20, 2020. Applicants will be informed by December 15, 2020 if a full proposal is invited. The deadline for grant proposals is January 15, 2021. Decisions will be communicated in early May 2021. Application guidelines and deadlines for the fall 2021 review cycle will be available in spring 2021.

Click on the link in the Supporting Documents section below to access the Grant Proposal Narrative.

Instructions for Filmmakers:

How to Apply:

Contact Information:

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

Potential applicants that meet the eligibility criteria listed below may send a Letter of Inquiry of no more than two pages to the Foundation’s Executive Director at, with the subject line “Special Arts LOI.”

Register and apply online:

David Blazevich, Executive Director

Fleishhacker Foundation
1016 Lincoln Blvd. #12
San Francisco, CA 94129

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: San Francisco Bay Area

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