City Festival Grant Applications Available December 1

Date Posted: November 18th, 2021 @ 1:55 PM
Last Updated: November 18th, 2021 @ 2:06 PM

Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland announced that applications will be available on Wednesday December 1, for its 2021-2022 Cultural Funding Program grants supporting festival activities. The program will distribute $234,500 in grants of up to $20,000 to help nurture festival culture. Applicants must be Oakland-based and all festival activities must be presented in Oakland between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022. Interested nonprofit organizations may access the grant guidelines and application at The application portal will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday December 1, 2021 and the submission deadline is Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 5 p.m.

“After more than 18 months of pandemic restrictions, Oaklanders are eager to safely gather at cultural celebrations and festivals,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “These grants will support event organizers whose programs lift up communities impacted by racial or economic disparities.”

To assist applicants, How-To-Apply webinars will be scheduled for Thursday, December 2, 2021 and Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Details on the webinars will be posted on All grant applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of the free webinars. Email to R.S.V.P.

The Neighborhood Voices for Festivals grant program aims to bring Oaklanders together to create and support a sense of belonging within a community, foster social connections that lift our spirts, feed our community well-being and offer visions for our collective future through festival culture. The program will award grants of up to $20,000 to Oakland-based non-profits organizing festivals in Oakland. Grantees must demonstrate a funding match of 1:1 for the City funding.

“This grant opportunity seeks to affirm the expression, recognition and understanding of the array of diverse communities that make Oakland unique and vibrant,” said Alexa Jeffress, Director of the Economic & Workforce Development Department.

Festivals are defined as in-person events that are free and open to the public, including small-scale and first-time events to large-scale and established festivals. Events to be supported may include, but are not limited to cultural heritage practices, performances in dance, music or theater, visual art and public arts exhibitions/events, and literary presentations that are rooted in a sense of place.

The Cultural Funding Program relies on a competitive panel to determine award recipients and funding allocations. Among the criteria reviewed by the panel is a racial equity category that seeks to direct these grants to Oakland events that leverage cultural opportunities for and support programming led by and including communities impacted by racial disparities.

Grant recommendations from the review panel must be approved by the Funding Advisory Committee and City Council before contracts are awarded.

The Cultural Funding Program is administered by the City’s Cultural Affairs Division. For more information, please visit or contact Raquel Iglesias at (510) 238-2212 or

About the Cultural Affairs Division

The Cultural Affairs Division is housed in the City’s Economic & Workforce Development Department. The division includes the City’s cultural funding program, which provides approximately $1.5 million in grants to support the arts in Oakland; the public art program, which has more than $1 million in funds currently dedicated for public art installations across Oakland and staff working on special events and film production permitting.

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