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

Throughout history, the arts have played a unique role in inspiring and unifying communities. As EBCF embarks on our journey to advance an inclusive, fair and just East Bay, we continue to uplift the power of art and culture to drive social change and build stronger communities and neighborhoods.

–James W. Head, President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation



Applications will be assessed based on the following characteristics:

Quality of radical imagination of a just Oakland

  • For example, depth and resonance of the issues to be reflected on, the imaginings of a just Oakland and their effect on the community/ies of color impacted by systemic racism; strength of the vision of social transformation

Depth of cultural/aesthetic practice

  • For example, depth and resonance of the cultural/aesthetic practice involved with the project; depth of creativity, inquiry, and meaning-making; strength of interconnection between creativity, aesthetics, and values

Depth of relationship with community/ies impacted by systemic racism

  • For example, participants’ knowledge and experience of, relationships in, and sense of belonging in the community/ies of color centered in the project

In addition to these criteria, factors such as geographic, cultural, and issue diversity may also be considered in selecting the final slate of awards.



The Fund leadership team will convene an application review panel of cultural leaders and activists who understand the historical grounding and cultures of a wide range of communities of color in Oakland. The review panel will include members of communities most impacted by racial injustice. In assembling the panel, the Fund will create a thoughtful mix of racial, ethnic, age, and gender considerations that is inclusive of LGBTQ+ people of color.

The review panel will make recommendations to the Fund’s leadership team, who will finalize a slate of awardees that respects panel recommendations and reflects the equity-centered values of the Fund. Proposed awardees will be reviewed and approved by the East Bay Community Foundation. Representative(s) from the Surdna Foundation may be present at the panel review meeting.


Application Portal Opens Monday, June 15, 2020
Application Webinars Please view this application webinar if you plan to apply – [Webinar Recording] BELONGING IN OAKLAND: A JUST CITY CULTURAL FUND  – June 24, 2020
Application Deadline – late applications will be not be accepted Monday,  July 13, 2020, 11:59pm

Applications must be submitted online through EBCF’s application portal

Award Notification Early September, 2020
Funding Period Begins September 2020
Awardee Convening September/October 2020
End of Project Period September 15, 2020
Reflection Piece/Work Due September 15, 2020


Download the Guidelines [PDF]

Download the Application Text [PDF] (Note: This document is for reference only. Applications must be submitted online HERE)




For questions and assistance, contact Katherin Canton at 510-999-4137 or