Grant Opportunity for Arts & Technology Project in SF

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Date: March 05, 2014 — April 03, 2014
Categories: Opportunities
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Program Description & Guidelines

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is seeking proposals for projects that will activate key blocks of Central Market with impactful arts programming and contribute to the area’s vibrancy and identity as an arts and technology district. Interested applicants and/or organizations should focus on the theme of Imagining Central Market, a new initiative designed to encourage interaction and dialogue around the concepts of identity and place. The organization or team selected will be awarded $100,000 to use toward the realization of their project.


Theodore Watson's Faces photo courtesy of San Francisco Arts Commission

Theodore Watson’s Faces
photo courtesy of San Francisco Arts Commission

Collaborative consortia, joint ventures or teams of organizations with complementary skills and experience are permitted and highly encouraged to respond to this RFP. Special attention will be given to those proposals which incorporate project team members from both the arts and technology sectors. Other priorities include:

  • Large-scale, high impact projects focused on engaging the public
  • Projects that contribute to a sense of place in the Central Market District
  • Widely accessible initiatives that promote meaningful engagement between the installation or performers and pedestrians
  • Destination works that encourage interaction across and among tourists and local residents
  • Projects that promote connection between businesses, residents and community organizations
  • Art of the highest caliber that can be sustained beyond six months

Qualified Projects

  • Interactive art installations, including light and/or video works
  • Architectural projections and/or mapping projects
  • High quality visual or media art

* Performance series are eligible but would be most competitive if presented as complementary to or in concert with a large-scale installation work of a more permanent or semi-permanent nature.

Potential Project Sites

  • Public squares and plazas (e.g. UN Plaza)
  • Facades of theaters, businesses, institutions
  • Local businesses or commercial properties, vacant or occupied
  • Local parks or other public spaces


  • The grant may be awarded to 1) a non-profit organization, 2) individual artist or project with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor*, or 3) a creative, socially minded for-profit organization.
  • Applicant organizations must demonstrate financial acuity and health.
  • Lead organizations must operate and reside in Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara or Marin counties; collaborating artists and/or organizations may be international.

* Note: All fiscal sponsorships require a written agreement. Collaborative consortia must select a lead organization.


Successful applicants will demonstrate the vision, past experience and professional qualifications required to create and manage a large-scale art project. Collaborative applications should demonstrate the qualifications of individual team members. Artists and/or organizations may be required to attend public and city agency meetings.

Note on Collaborations

Bird's Eye View of Central Market, San Francisco

Bird’s Eye View of Central Market, San Francisco

Team applicants must designate a lead agency that will serve as the fiscal agent for the partners. The lead agency or organization will be responsible and accountable for effectively and efficiently planning, managing and delivering the services and activities described in this RFP, while achieving the grant outcomes. The lead agency must also demonstrate the management and financial capability needed to effectively and efficiently deliver the proposed program and account for the grant funds.

Applicants invited to submit a full proposal must include memoranda of understanding among any collaborating team members. Confirmation of a memorandum of understanding or other formal agreement between the lead applicant organization and collaborator(s) may be requested by KRF.


Letters of Inquiry (LOIs)
February 10 – April 4, 2014
LOIs are due by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 4, 2014
Full Proposals (by invitation only)
May 9 – June 27, 2014
Full proposals are due by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on June 27, 2014
Awards Announcement
August 2014
Grant Period
August 1, 2014 – December 31, 2015

Application Process

  • A document outlining the RFP requirements is available for download at the bottom of this page. Please note, all applications must be submitted via the Foundation’s online system.
  • To begin a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) please click the appropriate button below, as a returning or new applicant.
  • Applicants selected from the pool of submitted LOIs will be invited to submit a Full Application on May 9, 2014. Up to 10 applicants will be awarded $1,000 to further develop their proposals.
  • This grant is project-based only. The grant amount is non-negotiable.
  • Please review our FAQ page before starting the application process.


Selection Process

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation will review all Letters of Inquiry received in response to this call and invite 5-10 projects to submit Full Applications. The finalists will be awarded $1,000 each to further develop their proposal. A cross-sector panel will review the finalists’ proposals and select one project to recommend to the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Board of Directors to receive the $100,000 award.


If you have any questions please contact the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Arts Program Staff.

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