Community Vision Capital & Consulting announces the availability of space acquisition grants for all business structures that practice and perform artistic and cultural forms of creative activity, expression, preservation, and healing, reflective of the communities they serve. The grant program, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will fund up to 40% of the purchase price for properties located in any of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano or Sonoma.
Grant funds will support real estate acquisition for organizations that meaningfully engage in the artistic and cultural vibrancy of communities throughout the Bay Area but operate on the fringes of existing arts infrastructure and face a high degree of constraints that limit the ability to generate capital. Priority will go to projects led by organizations that are driving change and amplifying visions for their own communities.
“Artists and cultural practitioners have long stabilized communities who have faced generations of racism, displacement, and financial exclusion,” said Catherine Howard, President of Community Vision. “Investing in the arts is critical to equitable community development, and this program provides an exciting opportunity for us to demonstrate just how powerful arts investments can be. When we invest in our community arts leaders, we invest in the long-term health of our communities.”
The program has a two-phase application process. Organizations that have recently purchased or that plan to purchase a property soon are invited to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) no more than two pages long by 12pm PST on Friday, July 2nd. Organizations will be notified the week of August 9th if they are invited to submit a full application. Submission information is available at communityvisionca.org/artsacquisitionfund.
The following general eligibility criteria will be used:
Applicants will be reviewed by a panel of local experts who are experienced arts, culture, and community development leaders. Panelists bring unique geographic and industry perspectives, and are deeply-rooted members of their communities. Panelist bios can be found at communityvisionca.org/artsacquisitionfund/face. This group will assess applicants via the following criteria: mission fit, track record and organizational impact, degree of ongoing financial constraints, project readiness and viability, and the project’s short- and long-term community impacts.
“Displacement was already a huge challenge for Bay Area artists, communities, and arts and culture organizations before the pandemic,” said Emiko Ono, Performing Arts Program Director at the Hewlett Foundation. “The last year has only added to the crisis, and shown how important it is to invest in community-owned assets, including spaces for arts and culture.”
Two webinars for groups interested in applying for a grant will be hosted on Thursday, June 3rd and Wednesday, June 23rd.
Community Vision Capital & Consulting is a CDFI working throughout California with offices in San Francisco, Oakland, and Fresno. Since its inception, Community Vision has supported 2.5M Californians, deployed more than $483M in capital, and provided more than 1,000 real estate and financial management consults.