Neighborhood Voices for Festivals FY23-24

Applications Are Now Closed.

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FY23-24 Festival Grant Program Guidelines
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Posted: November 8th, 2021 9:03 AM

Last Updated: September 7th, 2023 12:35 PM

Please Review the Complete Grant Guidelines for this Grant Opportunity Linked Above.

For Festivals that will take place between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024

Application Portal Opens: Monday July 10, 2023 - 10AM PST

Application Deadline: Thursday August 31, 2023 - 5PM PST. Late applications will not be accepted.


Neighborhood Voices for Festivals builds belonging in City of Oakland neighborhoods through culturally-engaged festival culture. This grant opportunity amplifies the cultural expressions, stories, and heritage found within Oakland's neighborhoods and their community members who historically have not received equitable investments of resources or recognition.

Festivals supported by this grant opportunity must be in-person Oakland arts and cultural activities that are free and open to the public. This grant is festivals that are one- or multi-day events, that generally occur one time per year, and is not intended to fund ongoing programming. If you are conducting a single standing event, such as a performance or concert, this would not qualify as a festival.

Applications from the following are encouraged:

  • Festivals that lift-up the cultural identity of a people or the historical significance of a neighborhood;
  • Racial/ethnic-specific communities or other types of communities that are under-recognized or lack visibility in Oakland;
  • Festivals in neighborhoods with few formal cultural resources (such as, cultural centers, performance venues, art galleries, cultural education programs, etc.); and
  • Partners who are deeply grounded and engaged in the neighborhood where the festival is based.

Organizations that are not primarily arts and/or cultural providers are eligible only if this will be an arts and cultural festival. Individuals, Sporting events, Conferences, Symposiums and Summits are not eligible for this grant opportunity.

For all inquires related to this grant opportunity, please contact Raquel Iglesias at or call (510) 238-2212

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am conducting a special event. Can I apply for festival support?

If you are conducting a single standing event, such as a performance or concert, this would not qualify as a festival.

Some examples of festivals we have supported in the past include Dia De Los Muertos, Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival, and Oaklash. These festivals have multiple performances, community resources, vendors, and various activities the public can engage in. Festivals with these components are also frequently called Block parties or Parades.

2. I am conducting multiple festivals, can I apply to receive support for all of them?

No. This grant program will support one festival only. If you have a festival series, you will need to indicate in your application which festival of the series you are applying to receive support for.

3. If a festival goes longer than one day, will the grant cover all days?

Yes. This grant will cover all days if they are within a consecutive time period (for example: Friday through Sunday). This grant opportunity will not cover multiple festivals as noted above. or an organizations ongoing programming.

4. Our organization budget is also our entire festival budget. Is this OK?

Yes. If the main purpose of your organization is to conduct this festival, you can submit your organization's budget as part of the application.5.

5. If my festival is recommended to receive a grant, can I expedite the process to receive my grant check ASAP?

No. The City requires all steps in the approval and contracting process to be completed before a check can be issued. For information on grantee contractual requirements, please review the grant guidelines.

6. I need help with the City’s permitting process. Can Cultural Affairs help?

Please reach out to us with whatever questions you may have and we can try to point you in the right direction.