Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI) | Grant Guidelines

Arts and Culture Grants to Support the Black Community

FOR PROJECTS TAKING PLACE January 1, 2024 — JUNE 30, 2025

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Extended Monday, August 21, 2023 at 12 p.m. 

REVISED: IMPORTANT DATES ON PAGE 1 AND RESTRICTIONS ON PAGE 11 (8/9/23) 

For any questions about the Dream Keeper Initiative, please contact Program Officer Coco Duhon-Kelley at: coco.duhon-kelley@sfgov.org or 415-471-4707.

Translation

A translation of this grant application is available upon request; however, only applications in English will be accepted.

Para obtener información en español, comuníquese al 311.

此拨款申请书的翻译版本将应请求而提供;然而,只有英文版本的申请书才会被接纳。联系电话:311

Ang pagsasalin sa Tagalog ng aplikasyon para sa pagkalooban na ito ay makukuha kung hihingilin. Ngunit ang aplikasyon sa Ingles lamang ang aming tatanggapin. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si Sandra Panopio, 415-252-2255 o sandra.panopio@sfgov.org.

 DKI GUIDELINES (PDF)

DKI Artist APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (PDF)

DKI Organization APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (PDF)

 

Jump to:
Important Dates
Information about Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI) 
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Information About Dream Keeper Initiative (DKI)

Important Dates

Grantseeker Information Session  July 21, 2023 (Virtual), 12pm - 1pm
One-on-One Consultations  July 21, 2023 -  August 18, 2023 (Virtual)
Application Deadline  August 21, 2023 at 12pm
Grant Panel Review  September 2023 (Virtual)
Funding Recommendations  October 2023 (Hybrid)
Commission Approval  November 2023 (Hybrid)
Notification of Funding   December 2023
Grant Period  January 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025


*Dates are subject to change.

ABOUT the Dream Keeper Initiative

The Dream Keeper Initiative is a new, citywide effort to reinvest $60 million annually from law enforcement into San Francisco's Black and African-American communities. This initiative is part of Mayor London N. Breed's roadmap for reforming public safety and addressing structural inequities in San Francisco.

Inspired by Langston Hughes' line, the Dream Keeper Initiative seeks to address and remedy racially disparate policies so that the dreams of young African-Americans and their families are no longer deferred, and they have the needed resources and support to thrive in San Francisco. The Dream Keeper Initiative aims to break the cycle of poverty and involvement in the criminal justice system for the families in the City programs and ensure that new investments, including in youth development, economic opportunity, community-led change, arts and culture, workforce, and home ownership, are accesible to San Francisco's families who are most in need.

Since 2021, the Arts Commission has invested $5.3 million in arts and culture organizations to anchor support for the cultural assets and economic vitality in historically Black and African-American communities facing rapid change and we seek to invest an additional $3.1 million in fiscal year 2023-2024.

For more information about the Dream Keeper Initiative, visit: https://www.dreamkeepersf.org/  

Applicants may only apply for funding specific to the priorities and communities outlined within these guidelines.

Land Acknowledgement

The San Francisco Arts Commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone. We affirm the sovereign rights of their community as First Peoples and are committed to supporting the traditional and contemporary evolution of the American Indian community and uplifting contemporary indigenous voices and culture. https://www.sfartscommission.org/content/land-acknowledgement

racial equity statement

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is committed to creating a city where all artists and cultural workers have the freedom, resources and platform to share their stories, art and culture, and where race does not predetermine one’s success in life. We also acknowledge that we occupy traditional and unceded Ohlone land. Fueled by these beliefs, we commit to addressing the systemic inequities within our agency, the City and County of San Francisco and the broader arts and culture sector. This work requires that we focus on race as we confront inequities of the past, reveal inequities of the present and develop effective strategies to move all of us towards an equitable future.

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. (SF ADMIN. CODE CHAPTER 68: CULTURAL EQUITY ENDOWMENT FUND. Sec. 68.6. PROJECT GRANTS.)

If you are a part of a community not listed that you feel should be included, we encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence regarding the historical and current inequities experienced by your community.

Eligible Request Amount

Dream Keeper Initiative maximum grant amounts are up to $50,000 for Artists and $100,000 for Arts Organizations that are not current SFAC Dream Keeper Initiative Grantees; and $250,000 for Arts Organizations that are current SFAC Dream Keeper Initiative Grantees over 18 months.  
 
The anticipated maximum amount for a Dream Keeper Initiative grant is $250,000 based on current budget availability. Should additional City funding become available, award amounts could increase by up to $1,000,000 for one additional year. The San Francisco Arts Commission reserves the right to reissue these guidelines and request for applications.  

Grant Term

A grant funded pursuant to these guidelines will have a grant term of 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.

This application is issued pursuant to San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 21G: Grants. The San Francisco Arts Commission reserves the right to: reissue these guidelines and request for applications; reject or cancel any or all applications; prior to application deadline, modify all or any portion of the selection procedures, including deadlines for accepting responses, the specifications or requirements for any services to be provided under this Solicitation, or the requirements for content or format of the applications.

Project Requirements  

  • Arts organizations and Fiscal Sponsor organizations: Organizations that exceed the $3,000,000 annual operating revenue limit due to re-granting and/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. 

How to Apply


APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: https://sfartscommission.us-1.smartsimple.com/

Applications must be submitted online. Emailed are not accepted. In fairness to others, we cannot accept late or incomplete applications. If the applicant does not provide the complete set of information in the appropriate format by the deadline, the application may be deemed incomplete and ineligible. No deadline extensions will be granted.

NEW: If you need special accommodations, you must contact Program Officer Coco Duhon-Kelley at coco.duhon-kelley@sfgov.org or 415-471-4707 at least two weeks before the application deadline in order for us to appropriately accommodate. 

Purpose and Funding Categories

  • To increase the number of cultural spaces designed and curated by Black people. 

  • To Increase the number of Black artists and producers contributing to the art culture in San Francisco. 

  • To invest in the stabilization and growth of Black artists, producers, creatives, and organizations serving the Black communities in San Francisco. 

  1. Arts Organizations: Support up to $100,000 for San Francisco-based arts organizations dedicated to advancing stories with a focus on the Black experience. Activities may include workshops and classes, performances, special events and general community engagement.  

  2.  Artists: Support up to $50,000 for San Francisco-based artists deeply connected to and rooted in San Francisco’s Black communities whose work focuses on the Black experience. Activities may include any genre or discipline and must have a public benefit component. Projects funded in this category must have a demonstrated public benefit, something that is open and accessible to the general San Francisco-based public. This can be through a virtual or in person public event, or through other means as imagined and realized by the artist, which benefit the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities.   

  3. Current San Francisco Arts Commission Dream Keeper Initiative Grantee Organizations: Support up to $250,000 for the next phase of your current Dream Keeper Initiative project. Explain your vision for the next iteration of the project and how this additional funding will take your project or organization to the next level. Or, you may propose a new project. Please refer to the above Funding Category #1 above for details.  

    Applicants will be asked to address the following in the grant application: 

Artists

  • Strong examples of working with and strengthening culturally-based practices that focus on celebrating the Black Experience.
  • ​​A clear vision with aspirational goals and desired outcomes for the funds;
  • An assessment plan that collects and shares participant feedback, and includes anticipated number of events, number of attendees and partners. 

Organizations 

  • Strong examples of working with and strengthening culturally-based practices that focus on celebrating the Black experience; 
  • A clear vision with aspirational goals and desired outcomes for the funds; 
  • A strong plan to identify community participants and/or partners; 
  • Include staff/collaborators who demonstrate experience and have strong relationships with a focus on Black communities; 
  • An assessment plan that collects and shares participant feedback, and includes anticipated number of events, number of attendees and partners.  

Who Can Apply

Eligibility

ARTISTS 

  • The applicant must be a continuous resident of San Francisco since August 2021. Documentation demonstrating San Francisco residency must be submitted with the application. For a complete list of acceptable forms of proof of residency, please see the San Francisco Artist Grant application instructions.  
     
    • Verifiable proof of San Francisco corporate address: This may be in the form of a utilities bill (water/sewage, power gas/electricity or internet), telephone/cell phone bill, bank or credit card statement, signed lease agreement or mortgage statement.  
       
    • Documents should be no more than three (3) months old and must include the applicants name.  
       
  • NEW: If approved for funding applicants must live in San Francisco during their entire grant term. 
     
  • The applicant must be at least 18 years old.  
     
  • The applicant must have a practice that provided a public benefit and was publicly accessible virtually or in person, to the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities within the last two years. Please see the instructions document for further information on the San Francisco Art Activities requirement.  
     
  • The applicant may be in any phase of their artistic career.  
     
  • The applicant cannot be enrolled as a full-time student at the time of the application or during the grant period.  
     
  • The applicant cannot be a City & County of San Francisco Employee, this includes teachers with the SFUSD.  
     
  • Projects working with vulnerable populations: THE APPLICANT MUST APPLY WITH A FISCAL SPONSOR IF THE PROPOSED PROJECT INVOLVES WORKING WITH VULNERABLE POPULATIONS WHO ARE DEFINED AS: MINORS UNDER THE AGE OF 18, SENIORS OVER THE AGE OF 65 OR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED POPULATIONS. If funded, the fiscal sponsor must provide sexual misconduct insurance.  

  • 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, and 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.   

  • The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between January 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025.  

  • It is anticipated that successful proposals will be for a term of eighteen months beginning in fiscal year 2023-2024 with a possible extension for up to one additional year based on extenuating circumstances as determined by the Arts Commission in consultation with the grantee. Any extension is subject to Arts Commission approval and funding appropriation. The Arts Commission reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not exercise an extension option. 

  • The individual must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco. In order to receive a grant payment from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the individual must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance requirements.   

    For more information about supplier requirements, visit: https://sfcitypartner.sfgov.org/pages/become-a-supplier.aspx   
    Please note: You will only be required to register as a City Supplier and provide insurance if you are approved for funding.  

ORGANIZATIONS 

  • The applicant organization must be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and in good standing with the IRS under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). To check or update your status visit: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ 
     
  • The applicant organization must be in good standing with the California Franchise Tax Board. To check or update your status visit: https://webapp.ftb.ca.gov/eletter/?Submit=Check+Status 
     
  • The applicant organization must be in good standing with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. To check or update your status visit: https://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y 
    • To receive a grant under this Solicitation, any nonprofit applicant must be in good standing with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts by the time of grant execution and must remain in good standing during the term of the agreement.   
       
    • Upon request, the applicant must provide documentation to the City demonstrating its good standing with applicable legal requirements.   
       
    • If applicant will use any nonprofit subcontractors/subgrantees/subrecipients to perform the agreement, proposer will be responsible for ensuring they are also in compliance with all requirements of the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts at the time of grant execution and for the duration of the agreement.
       
  • The applicant organization must be in good standing with the California Secretary of State. To check or update your status visit: https://bizfileonline.sos.ca.gov/search/business 
     
  • The applicant organization must be San Francisco-based
    • The organization must demonstrate a San Francisco corporate address. Documentation demonstrating a San Francisco corporate address must be submitted with the application 
    • Verifiable proof of San Francisco corporate address: This may be in the form of a utilities bill (water/sewage, power gas/electricity or internet), telephone/cell phone bill, bank or credit card statement, signed lease agreement or mortgage statement.  
    • Documents should be no more than three (3) months old and must include the applicant organization’s name.  
    • If using a fiscal sponsor, the Applicant Organization’s address must be different from their fiscal sponsor.  
       
  • The applicant organization must articulate a consistent programmatic history and public benefit to the City of San Francisco, its neighborhoods and communities over the last two years (since August 2021). Please see the instructions document for further information on the San Francisco Art Activities requirement. 
     
  • The applicant organization’s mission statement must be clearly focused on the development, production, presentation and/or support of arts activities and/or youth arts activities in San Francisco, with a focus on Black and African-American communities. 
     
  • The applicant cannot be part of another City agency or department. 
     
  • The organization’s annual operating revenue must not exceed $3,000,000. 
     
  • 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. 
     
  • The proposed project must take place in San Francisco between January 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025.  
     
  • It is anticipated that successful proposals will be for a term of eighteen months beginning in fiscal year 2023-2024 with a possible extension for up to one additional year based on extenuating circumstances as determined by the Arts Commission in consultation with the grantee. Any extension is subject to Arts Commission approval and funding appropriation. The Arts Commission reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not exercise an extension option. 
     
  • Financials: The applicant organization’s Profit and Loss Statements and Balance Sheets for the two most recently completed fiscal years are required to upload with the application. 
     
  • The organization must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco. In order to receive a grant payment from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the organization must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit: https://sfcitypartner.sfgov.org/pages/become-a-supplier.aspx  

    Please note: you will only be required to register as a City Supplier if you are approved for funding.  

fiscal sponsors

  • The Fiscal Sponsor organization must be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and in good standing with the IRS under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). To check or update your status visit: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ 

  • The Fiscal Sponsor organization must be in good standing with the California Franchise Tax Board. To check or update your status visit: https://webapp.ftb.ca.gov/eletter/?Submit=Check+Status 

  • The Fiscal Sponsor organization must be in good standing with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. To check or update your status visit: https://rct.doj.ca.gov/Verification/Web/Search.aspx?facility=Y 

    • To receive a grant under this Solicitation, any nonprofit applicant must be in good standing with the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts by the time of grant execution and must remain in good standing during the term of the agreement.   

    • Upon request, the applicant must provide documentation to the City demonstrating its good standing with applicable legal requirements.   

    • If applicant will use any nonprofit subcontractors/subgrantees/subrecipients to perform the agreement, proposer will be responsible for ensuring they are also in compliance with all requirements of the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts at the time of grant execution and for the duration of the agreement.  

  • The Fiscal Sponsor organization must be in good standing with the California Secretary of State. To check or update your status visit: https://bizfileonline.sos.ca.gov/search/business 
     
  • The Fiscal Sponsor organization must be San Francisco-based. 
    • The Fiscal Sponsor organization must demonstrate a San Francisco corporate address. Documentation demonstrating a San Francisco corporate address must be submitted with the application 
    • Verifiable proof of San Francisco corporate address: This may be in the form of a utilities bill (water/sewage, power gas/electricity or internet), telephone/cell phone bill, bank or credit card statement, signed lease agreement or mortgage statement.  
    • Documents should be no more than three (3) months old and must include the applicant organization’s name.  
    • If using a fiscal sponsor, the Applicant Organization’s address must be different from their fiscal sponsor. 
       
  • The fiscally sponsored organization/project cannot be any type of for-profit entity, including sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. 
     
  • If the applicant/organization plans to work with a fiscal sponsor, a contractual arrangement between the applicant and the fiscal sponsor must be confirmed prior to the San Francisco Arts Commission’s grant application process. SFAC requires either a fiscal sponsor form; or proof of the fiscal sponsor agreement at the time of application. 
     
  • Applicants/organizations cannot retroactively work with or change fiscal sponsorship after a grant application is approved for funding. 
     
  • NEW: If the application is funded. A Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the fiscal sponsor and the fiscally sponsored applicant must be provided and include the following:  
    • 1) Description of the exact nature of the services to be provided by this fiscal sponsor;  
    • 2) The manner in which funds will be disbursed from the grant to the fiscally sponsored project/entity;  
    • 3) An outline of the reporting requirements for the fiscally sponsored project/entity;   
    • 4) The fiscal sponsorship fee; 
    • 5) Identification of the fiscal sponsor’s staff person who will serve as the primary liaison with the fiscally-sponsored project/entity. 
       
  • Organizations may not act as a fiscal sponsor for employees or artists contracted by that organization; a third-party fiscal sponsor is required. 
     
  • If an applicant is approved for funding, the fiscal sponsor is the legal grantee and receives the funds on behalf of the applicant who is the subgrantee.  
     
  • The fiscal sponsor/grantee is required to work with the subgrantee to complete and submit financial documentation of the disbursement of funds with the grant’s final report. 
     
  • ALL FUNDS MUST BE PAID TO THE SUBGRANTEE IN ADVANCE OF THE FINAL DISBURSEMENT OF THE GRANT. 
     
  • Copyright: If the applicant receives funding, the fiscal sponsor and the applicant must decide who will hold the copyright to any materials or work created during the grant period. This should be discussed in advance of signing the grant agreement, as it includes language regarding copyright. 
     
  • The Fiscal Sponsor must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco. In order to receive a grant payment from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the organization must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit: https://sfcitypartner.sfgov.org/pages/become-a-supplier.aspx  

    Please note: you will only be required to register as a City Supplier if you are approved for funding. 

RESTRICTIONS

One application as an organization and/or one application as an individual. If you are submitting two applications, one as an organization and one as an individual, then the two proposals must be for two different projects. 

  • A 501c3 Nonprofit Organization may apply as an Organization. 
  • A fiscally sponsored organization or project may apply as an organization. 
  • An Artist may apply as an Individual.  
  • If you are an Artist and also have an organization/work for an arts organization you may apply as BOTH an Individual and also on behalf of your organization. 
  • If you are submitting two applications (one as an organization and one as an individual) then the two applications must be for two different projects.  
  • Only one application may be submitted to this grant category.
  • Partners and collaborators cannot apply separately for the same project.
  • Grant funding does not imply that the San Francisco Arts Commission or any other city agency will produce, exhibit, promote, or present the art created. It is the responsibility of the artist to secure a venue, insurance and any permits for public presentations.

ineligible expenses

Grant funds may not pay for:

  1. Activities outside of San Francisco;
  2. Deficit reduction;
  3. Start-up money for new organizations;
  4. Planning and development of space.

insurance requirements

Please note: Insurance is NOT required to submit an application, you will only be required to provide insurance if you are approved for funding. Below are the insurance requirements for all grantees.  

General Liability or Special Event Insurance: Coverage with limits not less than $1,000,000 each occurrence and $2,000,000 general aggregate.

  • CERTIFICATE HOLDER must read “The City & County of San Francisco, 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.”

Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance: Coverage with limits not less than one million dollars $1,000,000 each occurrence for Combined Single Limit for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, including Owned, Non-Owned and Hired auto coverage, as applicable.

Sexual Misconduct Insurance: Working with vulnerable populations (minors under 18 years old, elderly over 65 years old, developmentally disabled populations) requires that sexual misconduct insurance be added to the general liability policy in amounts not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 general aggregate.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Coverage is required for all organizations that have salaried employees; in statutory amounts, with Employers’ Liability limits not less than $1,000,000 each accident, injury, or illness.

  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance is a California State law.

A Waiver of Subrogation must be added to the worker’s compensation insurance, if any work that the grant is funding happens on City-owned or -managed property.

City Permits and Permissions

If the proposal includes components that require City permits or approval such as publicly installed art, murals, street closures or sound amplification in public space, the organization will be solely responsible for securing the necessary permits, permissions and approvals. This planning should be reflected in the project timeline.

Please note that any art installed with these grant funds on property owned by the City and County of San Francisco or on private property, must be reviewed and approved by the San Francisco Arts Commission starting with the Visual Arts Committee. This applies to murals, public sculpture and similar projects. It will be the responsibility of the grantee to build this process into their grant plan, budget narrative and timeline. Please contact Craig Corpora at craig.corpora@sfgov.org for questions about murals, sculpture or any other type of public art.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Panelists are instructed to use the following scoring criteria which correspond to the application questions below. Close review of this grid may help you prepare your application responses. Please thoroughly review the application instructions for the complete overview of grant application questions, required uploads and guidance.

 

CATEGORY

POINTS

APPLICATION QUESTIONS

SCORING CRITERIA

Racial Equity

(30 points)

30


1.  Describe how the applicant has a of history engaging with the Black/African American Community in San Francisco and how this grant will enhance the organization’s mission or the artist’s work?  
 

(300 word limit) 

Applicant demonstrates a history and of engaging with the Black/African American community in and shares strong examples of working with and strengthening culturally based practices with a focus on the Black experience. 

Program Design
&
Implementation

(40 points)

20

Identify the project area. 
 
2. What is the short and long-term vision for this project area? Include aspirational goals and desired outcomes for the funds. 
 

(300 word limit) 

The applicant shares a clear vision with aspirational goals and desired outcomes for the funds.   
- the grant plan includes goals, outcomes and a timeline for the project. 

- project budget aligns with goals and outcomes.

10


3. Arts Organizations: How will the applicant identify who receives services and any partnering community-based organizations, schools, and/or housing developments involved? 
 

Artists: How will the applicant engage with the Black community in San Francisco? 

(300 word limit) 

The applicant describes who they want to reach and details a strong plan to identify community participants and/or partners.
10


4. Upload bios of key staff/collaborators administering the program and their roles. 
3 bios max 

Upload up to five work samples 

The applicant lists designated staff members/collaborators and their roles in the proposed program. Staff/collaborators and work samples demonstrate experience and strong relationships with a focus on Black and African American communities.

Community
 INfluence

(30 points)

30

 

5. How will the applicant collect and share community feedback?  
Enter anticipated number of events, attendees and partners. 

(300 word limit) 

The applicant details an assessment plan that collects and shares participant feedback, and includes anticipated number of events, number of attendees and partners.

Grant review Panelists

SFAC grant applications are evaluated in an open review process by a panel of peers. Grant review panelists reflect the diversity of San Francisco, have broad knowledge about racial equity, and have experience that aligns with the purpose of the grant. 

Application Review

Panelists evaluate and rank applications according to the stated scoring criteria.

Panel Review Attendance and influence

Grant review panels are publicly accessible. A schedule of the panel review will be posted on the SFAC website calendar and applicants will be notified in advance via email. Please be sure the email address in your application is current and regularly checked. Take steps to ensure that emails from the San Francisco Arts Commission’s sfac.grants@sfgov.org email address are not lost in your spam filter. Many applicants find it informative to listen to the discussion of applications and are welcome to observe the panel review. Applicants may not engage in discussion with any panelists or San Francisco Arts Commission staff during the panel.

If an applicant is found to have attempted to influence a panelist or Mayoral-appointed Commissioner in any way, including contacting them before or after the panel to discuss their application, their grant application will be automatically disqualified.

Panel Reviews and Panelist Scores​

Virtual panels will be recorded.

Links to the panel review recording and preliminary scores are emailed to applicants within 10 business days of the review.

Funding Recommendations

Based on an evaluation of the applications, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Grant amounts are either the full amount of the grant request or a substantial portion of the request.

Funding Approval

Panel recommendations are subject to the approval of the Arts Commission. Typically, recommendations are first reviewed by the Community Investments Committee and then must be approved by the full Commission.

Arts Commission meetings are open to the public. Agendas are available at https://sfgov.org/arts/ 72 hours in advance of a meeting.

Grant notifications

Grant notifications are emailed to the address listed on the application and include instructions about the contracting process and orientation dates.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

March 20
/
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
/
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

April 16
/
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Civic Design Review Committee Meeting

March 18
/
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online