The Zellerbach Family Foundation (ZFF) recognizes the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the Bay Area arts community.  Shelter-in-place orders and mandated social distancing have resulted in the loss of audiences and venues that artists rely on to sustain their work, organizations, and livelihoods.  After close consultation with our grantees and peers, ZFF has developed a comprehensive response intended to help stabilize and sustain the Bay Area arts community throughout the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

Community Arts COVID Response grants (Response Grant) will provide general operating support to arts and culture organizations in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties suffering revenue loss due to the closure of venues and cancellation of events. Response grants will be for organizational stability/general operating support, and will be awarded for $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000. Applications will be evaluated by foundation staff in partnership with the ZFF Community Arts Panel.

Response grants will replace all other Community Arts grants including Project, Stability, Collaboration and Training grants.  We anticipate that Response Grants will be available through the remainder of the 2020 calendar year and will continue to monitor and evaluate the changing circumstances to determine the duration of this change.  

Please note that existing 501(c)(3) non-profit and fiscally sponsored organizations are eligible to receive Response Grants. ZFF iexploring how best to support individuals and new or emerging organizations during this time and will keep you posted on any changes.  

We are so pleased to offer the newly developed Community Arts COVID Response Grants and hope they provide some support during this uncertain time. Eligibility, Application Questions, and Evaluation Criteria are listed below, along with additional resources and opportunities available to artists and arts organizations. Please feel free to contact foundation staff with any questions.  


  • Response Grants will be made in the amount of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 
  • Response Grants will be for organizational Stability/general operating support  

Application Cycles: 

  • June 8-22, 2020, notification date September 8, 2020 
  • September 7-21, 2020, notification date December 1, 2020 

How to Apply: 

ZFF uses an online application for all Community Arts grants; we do not accept applications or inquiries via USPS or email. 

If you do not already have login information, please log onto Fluxx, the online grant system, at to register for a user ID and password; credentials will be sent via email within 2-3 business days.  Please note your login information, as you will need it every time you access the grantee portal. 

Once you receive credentials, log into Fluxx and select Community Arts COVID application. 

  • You may save your application and return to it at any time 
  • Be mindful of character counts 
  • Applications may not be edited once submitted 
  • Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the application due date 
  • Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered 
  • There is no limit to the number of applications accepted by the foundation each quarter 
  • Final approval for all Community Arts grants are determined by the ZFF Board of Directors 
  • Notifications are sent via email roughly 3 months after the application due date 

If the written word or the English language are not accessible forms of communication for you, please contact the Foundation staff about an alternative application format.  In some cases, it may be possible to present a video version of the application.  


  • Grants are made to nonprofit organizations/organizations applying with a 501c3 fiscal sponsor 
  • Individual artists are not eligible to receive Response Grants.
    (For more
    information about resources available to individual artists please visit CCI: SF Artists Relief Fund, East Bay/Oakland Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts and Bay Area Arts Worker Relief Funds
  • Organizations must primarily operate in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties 
  • Organizations must primarily work in dance, music, theater, visual arts, literary arts, festivals 
  • Organizations must have a history of at least two years of presenting or producing work 
  • Organizations (excluding fiscal sponsors representing multiple organizations) may apply for one grant per submission cycle 
  • Organizations with no established funding history with ZFF may still apply 
  • Current Community Arts grantees are eligible to apply; organizations may have multiple active grants at this time 

Application Questions: 

  1. What is the current state of your organization?  How has COVID-19 affected your organization?Include information on events, performances, and presentations, and what has been/will be postponed, modified, or cancelled completelyInclude how current budget projections differ from proposed 2020 budget
    • Briefly describe your organization’s plans for the rest of the year
  2. How will you use the funds?
    • Please identify organization priorities (staff, facilities, events, operations, tech, etc.)
  3. How would you describe the community you serve?
    • Please provide a brief description of staff, board, collaborating artists, and audience, and how you plan to engage them through the rest of the year 

Supporting Documents: 

  • 2020 annual organization budget (projected and/or modified to reflect changes to date) 
  • 2019 annual organization budget (actual) 

Evaluation Criteria: 

  • Organizations must articulate need outside of event production or presentation costs 
  • Organizations must show how they are responding and adapting to the COVID situation 
  • Organizations must articulate the need of the community served by their organization 


  • Final reports will be due six months from grant notification date, or as determined in conversation with grantee and foundation staff 

Interested in applying to Community Arts?Attend the application workshop webinar on May 28th 6pm.

Please contact foundation staff if you have any questions:

Margot Melcon, Program Executive
Community Arts Program