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
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of the program?
Put simply, the Fund believes that BIPOC artists and cultural practitioners are essential to imagining and co-creating a racially just world.
What kinds of projects will the grant support?
What is the award amount?
In addition to the grant award, all awardees will receive up to an additional $3,600 to $6,000 per year (12% of the grant award) for “life sustaining” expenses (such as, student debt, healthcare, childcare, restorative activities/practices).
When will announcement of grant awards be made?
Up to eight two-year awards will be announced September 2021.
If I receive a grant, what are the reporting requirements?
Each project must include at least one activity that shares the project vision with a broader community by the end of the 2-year grant period.
A simple accounting of how the grant funds and special stipends were spent will also be requested.
Can I, as an artist/cultural practitioner, be included in multiple applications?
Are matching funds required?
Am I eligible to apply?
- Individual BIPOC artists
To be eligible to apply, an artist/cultural practitioner must identify as BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color), be based in Oakland, and have 501(c)(3) status to apply – either through having your own Oakland-based nonprofit organization or a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.
- BIPOC-led cultural groups and/or organizations
A group of artists/cultural practitioners must be BIPOC-led (though there may be non-BIPOC artists/cultural practitioners in the group), be principally-based in Oakland (though not all in the group need be based in Oakland), and have 501(c)(3) status to apply – either through having its own Oakland-based nonprofit organization or a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.
What if I am applying as an individual artist or collective and don’t have a fiscal sponsor?
At the LOI stage, you will not need to have identified a fiscal sponsor.
Applicants invited to submit a full proposal in the second stage, will need to provide information on their fiscal sponsor. To receive a grant award, a signed MOU with a fiscal sponsor must be submitted.
Does my fiscal sponsor need to be in Oakland?
What is a fiscal sponsor?
Can my organization apply to receive general operating funds?
How can the “special stipend” be used?
What is the eligibility quiz?
The eligibility quiz saves prospective applicants from going through the process of submitting a full application if they are not eligible to receive the grant. Eligible applicants will be given access to submit Letters of Inquiry and work samples after meeting basic eligibility requirements.
The guidelines mention a two-step application process. What does this mean?
The first step is to complete a brief online Letter of Inquiry (LOI) application.
- a brief (300 word) description of the project
- some basic information about your project
- some demographic information
- a work sample
LOIs will be reviewed and ranked by peer readers and the Fund’s leadership team. Up to 20 LOI applications will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal. The rest will receive notification that their application has been declined. For those declined, the process will end there.
In the last round, the Fund received over 100 applications for a small number of grants. The grantmaking process is very competitive and many worthy projects were not able to be funded.
The second step will be for those who have been invited to submit a full proposal.
Full proposals will need to include a project budget, short artist/cultural practitioner bios, and more project details. Proposals will be due within three weeks after receiving the invitation and will be reviewed by peer panelists. Those who submit a full proposal will receive an honorarium of $300 for the effort required to submit a full proposal.
Up to eight two-year grant awards will be announced September 2021.
What will help me write a competitive Letter of Inquiry (LOI)?
The Review Criteria:
- Quality of radical imagination and action for a just Oakland
- Depth of cultural/aesthetic practices
- Quality of relationship and engagement between the artists/cultural practitioners and the community(ies) centered in the project
Do I have to submit an artistic/cultural work sample?
Why do you need to collect demographic information?
Can I contact someone if I have questions or need technical support with my application?
For quick questions, you can email Michelle Mush Lee, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule 20-minute phone appointments with Mush Monday – Wednesday 10am – 5pm at: https://bookwholestory.as.me/jccf.
If you are having technical difficulties with the online application, please submit a SMA Help Desk ticket, they typically reply within an hour: https://eastbaycf.smapply.io/helpdesk/
The 2021 application deadline for A Just City Cultural Fund has past.
We are not accepting applications at this time.
Download 2021 Application-At-A-Glance (contains the text of the online application for reference)
For questions and assistance, contact email@example.com.