Program Areas

Community Arts

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Through grantmaking and collaborating with funding partners to support individual artists and arts organizations, ZFF’s Community Arts program will employ strategies to ensure new work is created, new voices are celebrated, and artists and audiences representing the Bay Area’s diverse communities and cultures are given opportunities, furthering the vitality of the arts in the Bay Area.

The Community Arts program celebrates artistic risk, promotes organizational stability, encourages collaboration between organizations and facilitates necessary training for artists and arts administrators for a thriving Bay Area arts community.


  • Risk: supports the ability of artists and arts organizations to take risks, to challenge their capacity as artists and challenge the expectations of their audiences
  • Stability: supports efforts to create financially secure organizations and their ability to think strategically for long-term vitality
  • Collaboration: supports creative collaboration between and among artists and arts organizations to address common problems, share resources and provide stability at an institutional level
  • Training: supports continuing education, training and learning opportunities for artists and administrators to build organizational capacity and promote acquisition of skills to grow as practitioners

The following principles guide grantmaking in the Community Arts Program:

  • The arts enrich our society with challenging work and inspiring ideas.
  • The arts community is a vital part of the culture of innovation and opportunity that attracts so many people to the Bay Area.
  • The ensured longevity of the arts landscape relies on a thriving community of small and mid-size organizations representing the diverse communities and cultures of the Bay Area.
  • A variety of different kinds of support will provide arts organizations with the funding they need to create vital projects, maintain stable organizations, cooperate and collaborate with others, and receive valuable training to continue their work.

The Community Arts Project grants provide project-based support to individual artists and small to mid-sized arts organizations in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, working in the fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, literary arts and festivals.

Applicants interested in Community Arts grants outside of Project-based funding may apply for Stability, Collaboration and Training grants. Stability grants are made to support organizational stability (not to provide support for a specific project). Collaboration grants are made to support artistic or administrative collaboration projects between two or more organizations/artists. Training grants are made to support training opportunities for artists and organizations in the arts and culture field in the Bay Area.

Learn about applying to the Community Arts Program.

For more information, please contact:

Margot Melcon
Program Executive