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SOMA Cultural Anchor Fund -- FAQs
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SOMA Cultural Anchor Fund

Frequently Asked Questions
Application Period Closed

How much money is available, and will there be other funding rounds?

There is $540,000 available, and this is a one-time fund. If the pool of funds is not fully deployed in the first funding round, there will be subsequent rounds.

What is the source of these funds?

These funds originated from the 5M development in SOMA, were distributed to the San Francisco Arts Commission, and then awarded to Community Vision to deploy.

How can my organization apply?

Submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) online by Friday, July 23, 2021 at 12pm PST. The online application system will close automatically after the deadline, and no late submissions will be accepted. Please review the LOI Guiding Prompts to help guide how you address the scoring criteria.

Can I send two letters of interest for two different sites?

Yes, organizations may send multiple letters of interest for different sites. Please note that it is unlikely that multiple sites from the same organization would get funded so the sites would be in competition with each other in the applicant pool.

How are Letters of Interest scored?

Letters of Interest are scored out of 100 based on the below criteria. While the point system will guide the FACE panel discussion, Community Vision and FACE will make final invitation decisions. Visit the Program Guidelines for more information.

What is the Facilities, Arts and Communities Experts (FACE) panel?

The Facilities, Arts and Communities Experts (FACE) is the panel of experts that will assist Community Vision with making funding recommendations.

Who chooses FACE members?

Community Vision is responsible for inviting FACE panelists based on our own research and recommendations put forward by various community stakeholders. If you have a panelist suggestion, please email

Will FACE members receive a stipend?

Yes, FACE panelists will receive a stipend of $1,000.

What happens after the Letters of Interest are reviewed?

Letters of Interest will be reviewed the week of August 30th. Organizations most highly aligned with the program criteria will be invited by Community Vision to submit a full application by Friday, October 29, 2021 at 12 pm PST.

Is this fund open to organizations other than nonprofits?

No. Organizations must be tax-exempt 501(c)3 entities or be fiscally-sponsored to apply.

How do you define arts and culture?

Applicant organization missions must be focused on the practice, exhibition, and performance of creative activity, artistic expression, cultural preservation, community healing, and be reflective of the communities they serve.

Does my organization have to be located in SOMA to be eligible?

The focus of this fund is to support organizations located and deeply-rooted in SOMA, however if your organization was previously displaced from SOMA and would like to use these funds to return, we would still like to hear from you.

How are you defining the SOMA neighborhood’s boundaries?

We are keeping the definition of SOMA flexible. If you believe your organization is located and deeply-rooted in SOMA, we would like to hear from you.

What kinds of costs are eligible uses for this fund?

Grants from this fund can support one-time operating expenses related to the organization’s facility project, predevelopment activities including fundraising, construction services, and acquisition. Up to 50% of the requested grant amount can be allocated to operating and predevelopment expenses, and up to 100% of the requested grant amount can be allocated to construction and acquisition costs.

How does the acquisition process work?

This fund will support up to 10% of a building’s purchase price. Community Vision will place a Deed of Trust (DOT) on the property to ensure its use as nonprofit, community-based arts space for a compliance period to be determined by Community Vision.

Does my organization need site control of a property to apply?

No, however first priority will go to organizations with a fully-executed lease or Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA), second priority will go to organizations with Letters of Intent to lease or purchase, and last priority will go to organizations without any form of site control.

What do documents demonstrating site control need to include?

Documents demonstrating site control need to include the following:

What information will I be required to provide if I am invited to apply?

Organizations invited to submit a full application to the SOMA Cultural Anchor Fund will be asked to provide additional information including the following:

You may access this checklist here.

Is this grant disbursed on a reimbursement basis?

No, however Community Vision reserves the right to hold back a small portion of funds until a final report is completed. The grantee will need to meet all pre-disbursement requirements as determined during the application review process before accessing funds. Acquisition grants will be wired directly into escrow.

What will the final report entail?

The final report will consist of a recording video meeting with Community Vision to discuss the impact of the funds, and we welcome the inclusion of your artistic and or cultural practice in the meeting!

Do the funds spent on professional services need to comply with San Francisco city procurement guidelines?

Yes, all funds spent on professional services will need to comply with Community Vision’s Procurement Guidelines for San Francisco Capital Grants.

Is there a disbursement deadline?

Yes, all funds must be disbursed and final reports completed by June 30, 2023.

What are the pre-disbursement requirements for the program?

If my organization is having technical difficulties with the online application, how can we get help?

Email if you need help with the online application.

Will you hold any application information sessions? If we can’t attend the info session, will it be recorded and posted later for review?

We are hosting two application information sessions:

If you are unable to attend, we will post a recording at

Is this information available in languages other than English?

No, not at this time.

Where can I learn more about Community Vision’s services?

Visit our website at or email for more information.