Cultural Funding Grant Program

The City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program distributes about $1 million through a competitive grant-funding process to Oakland-based art and cultural activities that reflect the diversity of the city.

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Funding Updates

Nov 01, 2019

Over $1 Million in Cultural Funding Grants Awarded

On October 16, 2019, the Oakland City Council approved about $1,221,044 in fiscal year 2019-20 grants to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations and individual artists through the City’s Cultural Funding Program. The 91 arts grants range from $4,999 to $33,000 and have been awarded to 83 different recipients.

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Funding Advisory Committee

FUNDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Funding Advisory Committee (FAC) of the City of Oakland's Cultural Funding Program is a volunteer advisory body to staff and City Council in matters relating to the program's annual recommended grant awards; policies and procedures for review or applications and award of grants to Oakland-based artists, cultural organizations, and schools; and development of additional revenue streams to support Oakland-based arts activities.

See our Funding Advisory Committee page for additional information about the committee and to download agendas and minutes.

Types of Grants

Organization Project Support Program The Organization Project Support category supports Oakland-based nonprofit organizations producing art activities in Oakland that culminate in a local public outcome for the benefit of the community. Such activities may include but are not limited to, performances of dance, theater, music, exhibitions, classes, and workshops.

Individual Artist Project Support Program The Individual Artist Project Support category supports Oakland resident individual artists producing art activities in Oakland that culminate in a local public outcome for the benefit of the community. Such activities may include but are not limited to performances of dance, theater, and music, exhibitions, classes, and workshops.

Organizational Assistance Program (This grant category is on a two-year cycle)

The Organizational Assistance Program (OAP) supports Oakland-based 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organizations producing ongoing art and cultural activities that may include, but are not limited to, performances in dance, music or theater, classes and workshops, and exhibits, for the benefit of the community. The OAP is designed to promote the health and stabilization of Oakland’s nonprofit arts and culture providers. There are two levels to the Organizational Assistance Program: Level I– Strategic Development Support, and Level II – General Operating Support.

HISTORY OF THE CULTURAL FUNDING GRANT PROGRAM

Prior to 1985 no formal procedure or criteria existed for evaluating and making funding awards to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations providing arts and cultural programs. However, a few arts organizations aware of the City’s annual budgeting process and procedures successfully lobbied City Council and received funding. The arts community galvanized and asked City Council to establish a process that would provide equal access to City funds for all organizations. The arts community also requested that the City establish an office to manage City funding of the arts and provide support for the growth of, and access to, the arts within Oakland. In response, City Council charged the former Oakland Arts Council with developing a fair and equitable way to distribute public funds for community promotions (the City’s General Fund) and public funds from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency (ORA).

In 1985 the first funding policies and procedures were adopted, establishing the Cultural Funding Program as the City’s and ORA’s funding mechanism to support Oakland-based nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. As such, policies and review procedures were created and a panel system of evaluating applications established to ensure transparency and public trust in the distribution of public funds.

Contact Us

Phone Numbers

Email Address

dpate@oaklandca.gov