Belonging in Oakland: A Just City Cultural Fund

A Partnership of the City of Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Division, Akonadi Foundation, and East Bay Community Foundation

The democratic charge to support an ethically just, aesthetically diverse, dynamic, and rich city asks that we serve the civic narrative of belonging in all its beauty, temperaments, and complexities.

–Roberto Bedoya, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Oakland


The application deadline for 2020 is past. A new grant cycle will open in late spring, 2021. To receive information and updates on future grant opportunities click here.

Click here for a list of 2020 Awardees & Panelists



The purpose of the program is to support cultural practitioners of color to creatively reimagine Oakland as a truly racially just and culturally equitable city. The Fund acknowledges and values the complexity of intersectional experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, faith, class, and other identities and encourages projects that honor these complexities as assets for a just Oakland. 

Applicants must be:

  • a cultural practitioner of color who is based and rooted in Oakland
  • a group/collective of cultural practitioners led by people of color based and rooted in Oakland
  • an Oakland-based cultural organization led by people of color

AND must have

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, or
  • a mission-aligned 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.

Groups/collectives of cultural practitioners can include non-Oakland-based members, but must be led by Oaklanders.

Groups/collectives must be led by people of color, but can include others.

Fiscal Sponsor: A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is mission-aligned with the project it is sponsoring and is willing and able to assume the legal responsibility to receive and administer grant funds in compliance with requirements.

501(c)(3) fiscal sponsors are not required to be led by people of color nor do they have to be located in Oakland.

If awarded a grant, the fiscal sponsor of a project must be prepared to submit a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines the mutual obligations of the fiscal sponsor and the person or entity it is sponsoring.

Please click here for more information about responsibilities of fiscal sponsors, and/or how to create an MOU for a sponsored project.