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San Francisco Arts Reopening Fund - Frequently Asked Questions
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San Francisco Arts Reopening Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Period Closed

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

There is $714,000 available, and this is a one-time fund. $447,000 is available for one-time physical reopening-related expenses. Examples include HVAC, design costs for revised space layouts, unboarding windows, facilities-related staff time, and deferred rent. $267,000 is available for one-time virtual reopening-related expenses. Organizations reopening virtually are those creating or expanding an online presence of the organization that displays or presents art online and furthers online interaction between artists and their audiences. Examples of expenses include technology upgrades, one-time investment into web-based subscriptions, and technology-related staff training. One hundred percent of the funds are intended to support the reopening efforts of arts and culture nonprofits in San Francisco.

What is the source of these funds?

San Francisco Arts Commission’s Arts Impact Endowment awarded Community Vision with funding to develop a re-granting program to provide capital grants to arts and culture nonprofits in San Francisco to support their reopening efforts following mass closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How much can my organization apply for?

Eligible organizations with physical spaces can apply to receive grants of up to $35,000, and eligible organizations with virtual spaces can apply to receive grants of up to $10,000. Eligible organizations with both physical and virtual spaces can apply for both grants for up to $45,000.

How can my organization apply?

Submit an application online by Friday, October 8, 2021 at 12 PM PST. The online application system will close automatically after the deadline, and no late submissions will be accepted. Please review the Program Guidelines to see the eligibility requirements.

Do I need to propose a program or project to be eligible for funding?

The fund is not program-based. As long as your one-time expenses are to support your reopening, and you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply. So while you can certainly use funds to support your organization’s programming, we don't require a program proposal to be eligible.

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.

What documents will I need to upload for the application?

As part of the application process, you will need to provide answers to the questions below and upload specific documents.

You will be required to input the following information:

You will be required to upload the following:

Do I need to submit two applications if I’m applying for both physical and virtual reopening-related expenses?

No, you only need to submit one application. Our team will determine which funding pool your request is for based on your anticipated expenses budget.

My organization is fiscally sponsored by one of the Consortium’s Cultural Centers. Can I apply for a grant?

Yes, your organization can apply for a grant if it is fiscally sponsored by one of the Consortium’s Cultural Centers. However, the Center serving as a fiscal sponsor cannot receive any direct financial benefit from a grant awarded to your organization. For instance, if your organization is housed at one of the Cultural Center’s physical spaces, funds cannot be used to funds cannot pay for reopening-related expenses such as HVAC.

Can my organization use my fiscal sponsor’s documents as proof that we provide public arts programming in San Francisco?

No, fiscal sponsor’s documents cannot be used to prove that your organization operates in San Francisco. Documents submitted to demonstrate that your organization is based in San Francisco must have your organization’s name on them

I already have an organizational budget prepared. Do I need to use the template you provide in the application portal?

No, you can submit your budget using the format your organization uses.

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.

How are funding decisions made?

Community Vision provides grant administration support to the San Francisco Cultural Centers, and will review applications for eligibility before presenting a final pool of applicants to the Cultural Centers for final funding decisions.

Is this grant disbursed on a reimbursement basis?

No, however, the Cultural Centers consortium 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.

When is the end of the grant period?

The grant period ends on March 31, 2022. Final reports will be due on the same date.

What will the final report entail?

All grantees will be required to share a short video or audio clip (five minutes or less), photographs, or a written reflection (300 words or less) on the following questions, as well as a list of final expenses.

Reports are due by March 31, 2022.

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 the San Francisco Arts Reopening Fund Procurement Guidelines.

Where can I find a service provider that meets the Procurement Guidelines requirements?

You can find service providers in San Francisco’s Local Business Enterprise (LBE) database, maintained and made public by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

I looked in the Local Business Enterprise database but could not find what I needed. What should I do?

If you cannot find what you need on the LBE database, you can request a waiver for the procurement requirement. To be eligible for a waiver, you must demonstrate that there were no other qualified providers on the database.

Email to request a waiver.

If you know a business that is not on the list but should be, please share the City and County of San Francisco’s LBE Certification page with them so they can register! Registering a business is free.

My organization’s site is not open yet but I’m required to pay full rent. Can I use my grant to pay back rent?

Yes, deferred rent is eligible.

What do you mean by deferred rent?

Deferred rent is rent incurred and owed but unpaid. Rent incurred after January 1, 2021, is eligible.

Is future rent an eligible expense?

No, future rent is not an eligible expense.

Can an organization with physical space that has been wanting to start virtual programming but hasn’t financially been able to, use the grant to get that started?

Yes, eligible organizations with physical spaces can use funding to start virtual programming as long as the costs are one-time reopening-related investments.

Can my organization use funds to pay back a portion of an SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan we received this summer?

Yes, your organization can use funds to pay back SBA COVID-19 EID Loans. However, you need to demonstrate how the loan funds being paid off were used for one-time reopening activities.

My organization has been presenting theater to the public at another organization’s gallery space for the past five years. Can we apply for a grant or does the application need to be submitted by the organization holding the lease to the space?

If applying for a physical reopening grant, the application would need to be submitted by the organization holding the lease to the space. The organization using the space can apply for a virtual reopening grant.

My organization has been making upgrades to our site to prepare to reopen since the fall of 2020. Are these eligible expenses?

No, only costs incurred from January 1, 2021 and forward are eligible.

Do I need to submit two separate applications if  I want to apply for both physical and virtual grants?

No, you only need to send one single application.

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.

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.