Mayor London Breed and City Administrator Naomi Kelly Announce $12.9 Million in Grants for Arts Organizations

New funding priorities reflect Proposition E’s increased investment in the arts and Mayor Breed’s commitment to equitable distribution of public funding

Mayor London N. Breed today joined City Administrator Naomi M. Kelly to announce $12.9 million in general operating support grants to fund 220 arts organizations that enhance the City’s cultural vibrancy. The new funding comes after Mayor Breed asked for a thorough review of the City’s grantmaking to better support small- and medium-sized arts organizations.

Grants for the Arts (GFTA) provides a stable and dependable source for general operating costs for many of the City’s arts and cultural organizations. This economic investment enhances our City’s attractiveness to visitors, and provides employment and enrichment to residents. A range of diverse groups have been awarded funds this year, including the American Indian Film Institute, Cesar Chavez Holiday Parade and Festival, Museum of the African Diaspora, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the Tenderloin Museum. GFTA’s total general operating support grant amount for Fiscal Year 2020 is $12.9 million, which is an 18% increase from last year. The grants will fund 16 new organizations and increase funding for small- and medium-sized organizations by 28% over last year.

“These grants are a key step in implementing Proposition E’s promise of providing more funding to community-based arts organizations,” said Mayor Breed. “As the former Executive Director of the African American Art & Culture Complex, I saw the need for this type of funding firsthand. I am excited that we’re able to support these organizations that bring so much culture and vibrancy to our community.”

As president of the Board of Supervisors, Mayor Breed helped spearhead Proposition E to increase arts funding. During the mayoral transition, an arts working group recommended reforms to Grants for the Arts to ensure more community-based funding.

“Under the leadership of Matthew Goudeau, Grants for the Arts is making significant investments in arts groups that have the greatest needs and serve our City’s diverse communities,” said City Administrator Kelly, who oversees the Grants for the Arts program. “Together with the San Francisco Arts Commission and the broader arts community, we are taking a new look at the City’s funding priorities to ensure equity.”

“I am grateful to the many organizations that took the time to apply and that are providing cultural resources in San Francisco,” said Grants for the Arts Director Matthew Goudeau. “We’re here to make sure they succeed.”

“We are thankful to Mayor Breed for her leadership in modernizing arts funding and responding to the needs of the community,” said artist Debra Walker, who served as Chair of Mayor Breed’s arts transition working group. “These funds are critically important to the cultural fabric of our City.”

In November 2018, San Francisco voters approved Proposition E, a 1.5% reallocation of the existing 8% hotel tax for arts and culture services that include arts grants, cultural equity endowment, cultural centers, cultural districts, and needs in the arts community. Established in 1961 through a combination of City and State legislation, Grants for the Arts has distributed nearly $390 million to hundreds of nonprofit cultural organizations to promote San Francisco by supporting the arts. GFTA has evolved into a national model of arts funding.

A complete list of the 220 organizations that received GFTA general operating support funding for Fiscal Year 2020 can be found here.