• Organizations applying must not have been an EBFA awardee during the 2017 calendar year
  • Organizations must have a budget under $2,000,000
  • You must be an organization located in Alameda or Contra Costa County
  • Commission must be for new works
  • Funding must be allocated to lead artists’ fees only.
  • Commissioned artist(s) must be a Bay Area resident
  • We require an East Bay presentation of your work.
  • Attend an EBFA presentation or view a webinar, if a new EBFA applicant
  • Organizations must be a 501c3 or have a fiscal sponsor
  • Exhibition spaces, performance presenters, media and arts organizations may apply

If you have any questions about eligibility, send an email to: ebfa@eastbaycf.org


Application Checklist

Please email ebfa@eastbaycf.org if you can not complete this online

  • Narrative (2 pages)
  • Project Budget Page (EBFA funds may only cover lead artists’ fees)
  • Project Timeline
  • Artist(s) Resume
  • Statement from Artist(s) (1 page)
  • Organization Budget for Current and Previous Year
  • Artist Work Sample with Written Description (Please provide us with a .mp4 or .mov format via email, dropbox, yousendit/hightail, or mailed CD)


Application Information

Please combine your application and attachments and send as one PDF to ebfa@eastbaycf.org.

Please refer to the application checklist on your cover sheet; incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed by the panel.

I. Application Cover Sheet


II. Narrative responding to the questions below (2 pages)
Please respond to the following questions in your narrative pages:

a. What are you proposing to commission?
b. Who is the artist(s)? What is the concept?
c. How will this work fit or depart from the regular work of your organization?
d. Why did you choose this artist(s)?
e. What supports do you have for the artist(s) through the commissioning process beyond their commissioning fee?
f. Tell us who your audience will be for this piece and how you will reach out to them.
g. How do you plan to make your match?
h. If this is a piece of visual art, who will own it?
i. We require that there is a premiere of the work in the East Bay. Please share how you will meet this requirement.


III. Project Budget

a. What do you estimate is the full cost for the commissioning? (Give us a basic budget.)
b. Include expenses and projected/committed income.

c. EBFA funds may be allocated to artists’ fees only. Matching funds may be used for any component of the project.

Sample budget


IV. Please attach a detailed timeline of project activities.


V. Please attach a resume of the main artists(s) being commissioned.


VI. Statement from Artist(s) (1 page each)

a. Provide a one-page statement written by the artist(s) explaining the work being commissioned.Tell us about the new work you plan to create. What is the concept?
How will this work fit or depart from your (and any supporting artist(s’)) regular work?
If applicable, how did you choose your supporting artist(s)?


VIII. Artists’ Work Sample

a. Please submit 1-2 appropriate samples accompanied with a description of the artist(s)’ work, along with 1-2 relevant work samples from any supporting artist(s).
b. Music and video must each be queued to no more than 3 minutes. Samples may be submitted in .mp4, .mp3 or .mov format via email, dropbox, yousendit/hightail, or mailed CD. URL links are not accepted.
c. Please send photos via PowerPoint with one photo per slide.


Grant Size

Grants from EBFA range from $500-$8,000 (all grants must be matched with new individual donor contributions on a 1-to-1 basis). One of the goals of this program is to help you deepen and expand your donor base. We encourage you to reach out to new donors and encouraging existing donors to give beyond their historical gifts. We would prefer to see greater numbers of donors at small levels, rather than a single donor supporting the project. If you have questions about your matching process, please contact us. We are happy to discuss your plan in greater detail than is required for your application.


About the Match

You may have multiple donors for the piece, but we will not match “in-kind” government, corporate* or foundation funding. Upon completion of your match, you will need to 1) submit a spreadsheet listing your matching donors, 2) confirm the premiere date, and 3) complete an online survey. Once we receive these three items, we will process your grant check and send an acknowledgment letter to all of your donors notifying them of the match. Please allow 2-4 weeks to process.
We are looking to support commissioning at every level of the art eco-system, so feel free to share this with culturally specific groups that may not have a formal structure.
* Local/neighborhood small business support may be acceptable; please ask us.

As an added resource for the match process, we encourage applicants to review the research report “Its Not About You…It’s About Them,” a study commissioned by the East Bay Community Foundation and The San Francisco Foundation. See the full report here.


How To Apply

Please email proposal and attachments as one PDF document to ebfa@eastbaycf.org.
Work samples may be submitted via email, dropbox, yousendit/hightail, or via mail if postmarked by the deadline:

East Bay Community Foundation
Attn: East Bay Fund for Artists
200 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612


EBFA Review Process for Organizations

  • Deadline: Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PST
  • Panel Decision: April 2018
  • Match: Organizations will have 90 days from the notification date to secure match funding