Announcing: Community Arts Applicant Workshops!

The Zellerbach Family Foundation is now hosting workshops to share information about the
Community Arts Program and to answer questions from potential applicants regarding the online application.

The link to RSVP as well as the dates for upcoming workshops can be found at the bottom of this page. Applicants are not required to attend this workshop.

If you have questions please contact Linda Howe at 415-421-2629 ext. # 11.



The Community Arts Program supports local artists who are creating new and innovative work that is representative of the diverse cultures and communities of the Bay Area. Grants range from $1,000 to $7,500. Grant applications are evaluated by a rotating panel of local artists who are professionals in their fields.


Only nonprofit arts-serving organizations and fiscal sponsors doing their work in
San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties (west of the Caldecott Tunnels) are eligible to apply. Individual artists must work under a fiscal sponsor in order to be funded. 
The foundation funds primarily performance-oriented, contemporary projects. Traditional work such as the performance of Mozart's music, a production of a Broadway play/musical, or the performed reading of the works of a traditional poet like Carl Sandburg would not be eligible.

The Foundation supports projects in the following areas:

  • Dance
  • Theater
  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Festivals
  • Poetry
  • Literature
  • Publications
  • The Foundation does not fund:

  • Films and videos
  • Youth-performed or youth-oriented programs
  • Deficit reduction or retroactive funding
  • Activities that take place outside of the funding area
  • Craft, painting, photography
  • Activities not available to the general public
  • Fundraisers, benefits
  • Start-up money for projects that have not been established

    We recommend that you review the Community Arts section of our annual reports, available on our website, to see what types of projects we have funded in the past.

    If you have any questions regarding eligibility or the application process, please contact Linda Howe at 415-421-2629 ext. 11.


    To qualify for funding, all applicants or their fiscal sponsors must have current 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status through the Internal Revenue Service. The organization name and address listed on the 501(c)(3) must match the name and address you submit on your online grant application form. If the 501(c)(3) is not current, call the IRS at (877) 829-5500 to request an updated copy. Plan ahead, this process typically takes 14 business days. The updated 501(c)(3) letter must be submitted with your application. It cannot be submitted at a later date.


    Your online grant application form must be submitted electronically (this includes those who are mailing application support materials). Organizations may receive only one grant per calendar year (this does not apply to organizations acting as fiscal sponsors).

    All Community Arts Grant applications must contain the following three components:

    1. Online grant application form

    2. Grant application support materials (see a complete list below)

    3. Work sample: either a web address (URL) for online viewing -OR-
        physical media including 7 copies of the CD/DVD/literature as your sample


    We currently accept the following three options for submitting a Community Arts Grant application. All three options require that the application form be completed and submitted online. Work samples and support materials may be sent online or via U.S. Mail as instructed below.

    Option 1*
    Complete online submission (preferred)
    Fill out and submit the online grant application form that includes a web address (URL) to your work sample and all required support materials uploaded in PDF format.

    Option 2*
    Online submission with mailed work sample
    If your work sample is not yet available online (no URL), you must fill out and submit the online grant application form including all required support materials uploaded in PDF format, then mail us your work sample via U.S. MAIL. Seven (7) identical copies of the CD/DVD/literature work sample are required, and include a printed copy of the online grant application form.

    Option 3*
    Online submission with mailed work sample and support materials
    Support materials may also be sent via U.S. mail along with the work sample. Fill out and submit the online grant application form then mail your work sample and all required support materials. Seven (7) identical copies of your CD/DVD/literature work samples are required along with all support materials. A printed copy of the online grant application form must also be included.

    *Application notes:

  • With options 1 and 2, be sure to double check that all required support materials are uploaded as
        we will not accept missing documents after the application is submitted.
  • With options 2 and 3, your mailed items must be postmarked by the deadline date corresponding
        to your application date. Refer to the Application Deadlines section below.


    The following items must be submitted as part of your grant application:

  • A copy of your current 501(c)(3) letter or that of your fiscal sponsor
  • A copy of the MOU between your group and your fiscal sponsor - required
        if a fiscal sponsor is used
  • A detailed project description
  • A brief history and mission statement of your group or organization
  • A list and a brief description of the artists and people undertaking the project
  • Projected income and expense statement for the project for which you are requesting a grant
  •        - Identify the most essential item in your budget
           - Indicate funds already received, committed, pending, or in-kind
  • An income and expense statement for the last project performed by your group or company
  • An income and expense statement for your company for the previous year, or season of
  • The most recent balance sheet for your group or company
  • A list of your own Board of Directors, if established

  • Additional support materials may include:

  • One letter of support from a professional in the same field. This letter must be submitted
        with your application
  • One press clipping about your previous work, if available. Please, no fliers or promotional

    All support materials submitted via U.S. mail including press clippings, must be single sided on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.

    Do not use staples in any of your application materials.


    The online grant application form provides space for you to submit the web address (URL) to your online work sample. This is the preferred option. Work samples for dance, theatre, and music grant submissions should provide the panel with a reasonable representation of your work. As such, samples should consist of one continuous three-minute excerpt. If you do not have a web-based work sample, you may mail your CD/DVD/literature work sample.Please make sure the online grant application form indicates audio CD or video DVD as well as the three-minute segment we are to review.

    Works samples submitted via U.S. mail should include seven (7) identical copies of the sample as well as a copy of the completed online grant application form.


    If you would like your work sample returned, please include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope in your submission.


    Current grantees of the Community Arts Program are eligible for the Zellerbach Performing Arts Assistance Program, facilitated by Theatre Bay Area.  The program offers guidance on performance as well as board development, fundraising and administration.


    Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date.  Any mailed items must be postmarked by the deadline date corresponding to your application date. Support from foundation staff is available until 4:00 p.m. on the deadline day to answer any technical questions. 

    Items must be sent by U. S. mail only. We do not accept requests sent via UPS, Fed Ex, messenger, or hand deliveries.

    Mail to:

    Attn: Linda Howe
    Zellerbach Family Foundation

    575 Market Street, Suite 2950
    San Francisco, CA 94105

    2015 workshops and application deadline dates

    Please choose a deadline with a decision date that corresponds most closely to the date of your performance needs:


    February 17, 2015
    February 19, 2015
    May 19, 2015
    August 30, 2015

    Application Deadlines
    January 5, 2015
    March 30, 2015
    July 13, 2015
    September 28, 2015

    Decision notices
    sent by date

    March 20, 2015
    June 15, 2015
    September 22, 2015
    December 10, 2015

    To register for one of our workshops please use the following link.

    Workshop RSVP form

    To complete your online application please use the following link.

    Online Grant Application form