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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News

May 30, 2019

City Awards $80,000 in Arts Grants, Receives Grant to Support Cultural Equity Analysis as part of Oakland Cultural Plan Implementation

In May 2019, the Oakland City Council approved $80,000 in fiscal year 2018-2019 grants to eight Oakland-based nonprofit organizations through the City’s pilot Neighborhood Voices grant program. City Council also approved acceptance of a $75,000 grant award from the Surdna Foundation to support actions and recommendations found in the City’s Cultural Plan, including a cultural and racial equity impact analysis.

Apr 03, 2019

City Arts Grant Applications Now Available

The City of Oakland announced that applications are available for its 2019-2020 Cultural Funding Program grants supporting arts and cultural activities in four separate project categories. All applicants must be Oakland-based, and all arts activities must be presented in Oakland between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. Interested artists and nonprofit organizations may access the grant guidelines and application forms online at www.oaklandculturalarts.org. The application submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

Oct 02, 2018

Over $1 Million in Cultural Funding Grants Awarded

On September 17, 2018, the Oakland City Council approved $1,131,254 in fiscal year 2018-19 grants to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations and individual artists through the City’s Cultural Funding Program. The 79 arts grants range from $4,999 to $37,500 and have been awarded to 69 different recipients.

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About

CULTURAL FUNDING PROGRAM GRANT CATEGORIES

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.

Art in the Schools Program The Art in the Schools category exposes young people in the Oakland public schools to quality, hands-on arts experiences in the school setting to educate them about the process of creating and producing arts, and to support and enhance the classroom curriculum. Funds will support arts residencies on the school site before, during or after school hours wherein there is a long-term, in-depth interaction between professional artists and an ongoing group of students.

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.

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.

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

Map location for Cultural Funding Grant Program, located at 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, CA 94612
1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza
9th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone Numbers

Email Address

dpate@oaklandca.gov