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Performing Arts Acquisition Fund - FAQs
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Performing Arts Acquisition Fund

Frequently Asked Questions
Application Period Closed

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

There is $3,000,000 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.

How many awards will be made?

We anticipate making up to six awards.

Where does my organization have to be located to be eligible?

Organizations located in the Hewlett Foundation Performing Arts Program’s 10-county service area are eligible: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma.

Is this fund open to organizations other than nonprofits?

Yes, all business structures are eligible including sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations (including nonprofit corporations), and all applicants will need to demonstrate a strong track record of meaningful community engagement regardless of business type.

What is the source of these funds?

This program is funded by the Hewlett Foundation.

How can my organization apply?

Submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) online by Friday, July 2, 2021 at 12 pm PST. The online application system will close automatically after the deadline, and no late submissions will be accepted.

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

Facilities, Arts and Communities Experts (FACE) is the group of local experts who are experienced arts, culture, and community development leaders that will assist Community Vision with making funding recommendations. Panelists bring unique geographic and industry perspectives, and are deeply-rooted members of their communities. Read panelist bios here.

Who chooses FACE members?

Community Vision is responsible for inviting FACE panelists based on our own research, relationships, and recommendations put forward by the broader 10-county arts and cultural communities.

Will FACE members receive a stipend?

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

How are Letters of Interest scored and who scores them?

Letters of Interest are scored out of 100 based on the below criteria. While the point system will guide the FACE (Facilities, Arts and Communities Experts) group discussion, Community Vision and FACE will make final decisions in both phases of the application process. Visit the program guidelines at this link for more information.

What happens after the Letters of Interest are reviewed?

Letters of Interest will be reviewed the week of August 9th. Organizations most highly aligned with the program criteria will be invited by Community Vision to submit a full application by Friday, October 1, 2021 at 12 pm PST.

How do you define performing arts?

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

How do you define mission-fit?

Applicants must be aligned with the missions of Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program and Community Vision. Visit the program guidelines for more information.

Is my organization eligible if our mission includes both arts and cultural programming and other services like education, workforce development, senior services, childcare, or housing?

Yes. Make sure your Letter of Interest demonstrates how your project aligns with the fund's focus on the practice and performance of artistic and cultural forms of creative activity, artistic expression, cultural preservation, community healing.

What kinds of costs are eligible uses for this fund?

Grants from this fund can support up to 40% of the purchase price of a building. All funds must be used for the acquisition of the property; predevelopment and construction costs are not eligible uses.

Is my organization eligible for the Performing Arts Acquisition Fund if it has received funding from the Hewlett Foundation in the past?

Yes, as long as the Hewlett Foundation is not making a separate grant to fund the acquisition project being considered for funding from this program.

How does the acquisition process work?

Grant funds will be disbursed directly into escrow at the close of the acquisition. Community Vision will place a deed of trust on the property to ensure its use as a community-based arts space for a compliance period to be determined by Community Vision.

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

Organizations invited to submit a full application to the Performing Arts Acquisition Fund will be asked to provide additional information including the following:

You may access this checklist here.

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

Yes, organizations invited to submit a full application by Friday, October 1, 2021at 12 pm PST will need to demonstrate site control at that time. Site control is defined by a fully-executed Letter of Intent, Purchase and Sale Agreement, or Grant Deed. “Fully-executed” means that both the buyer and seller have signed the document. Site control is not necessary to submit a Letter of Interest by Friday, July 2, 2021 at 12 pm PST.

What do documents demonstrating site control need to include?

Documents demonstrating site control need to include the following:

Does my organization need to have a three-year track record to be eligible to apply?

Newer organizations are welcomed to submit a letter of interest. Please note that the Performing Arts Acquisition Fund prioritizes organizations and leaders that have a track record serving their community and have demonstrated their impact over time.

Is my organization eligible to apply on behalf of a property that has already been acquired?

Yes, organizations that have already acquired their property are eligible, as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements of the program.

Are there land use restrictions in this program?

No, all land use will be required, however given the fund’s focus on the practice and performance of artistic and cultural forms of creative activity, artistic expression, cultural preservation, community healing, projects with proposed housing elements will need to make a strong argument about how they further the goals of the fund.

Is my organization eligible to apply for a grant with a long-term lease?

Yes, organizations undergoing “effective” acquisitions -- in other words, signing a long-term lease -- are eligible to submit a Letter of Interest. LOIs should address how the purchase price will be calculated, and how the owner will use the upfront payment. Applicants will still need to address the long-term impact of the project on the organization and the broader community, and how the investment will strengthen the organization’s ability to meaningfully engage its constituents. Longer leases will make stronger cases. If the upfront payment will be used to purchase tenant improvements, applicants should still demonstrate an ability to complete the purchase by July 31, 2022.

What does “successful due diligence” mean?

Successful due diligence means that once your organization has secured site control of the property you are seeking to acquire, you have completed all property inspections and the results are satisfactory to continue moving forward with the purchase. Common property inspections include environmental assessments, property needs assessments, and appraisals.

What is included in the annual reporting requirements during the compliance period?

Annual reporting requirements will be established by Community Vision during the closing process. Common requirements include proof of property and general liability insurance policies and certificates confirming that no adverse financial events have occurred that would put ownership and operation of the property at risk.

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 or have questions about the program.

Will there be an application information session? And, If I’m unable to attend will the recordings be shared?

We are hosting two informational webinars:

We will post webinar recordings at  

Is this information available in languages other than English?

No, not at this time.

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

Visit our website at or email for more information.