Eligibility

What type of organizations are eligible eligible for Foundation funding through the Open Spaces Program?

Lead applicants must be Bay Area nonprofit organizations who are proposing projects in collaboration with a specific artist(s). Participating artists may be based outside of the Bay Area, provided that a local organization plays a lead role and the project will take place in Oakland or San Francisco. Organizations with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor are also eligible, however must contact Arts Program Staff in advance of submitting an application.

Must the applicant nonprofit organization specifically identify as an arts nonprofit?

No. It is not required that the applicant nonprofit be an arts or cultural organization. However, the organization must demonstrate that they have the capacity to fulfill the roles and responsibilities outlined in the guidelines. The organization should also be able to speak to their experience in supporting artists and artistic projects of the nature and scale that the Open Spaces Program seeks to support.

What type of projects or organizations are not included in the Foundation's grantmaking?

The Foundation does not fund:

  • Direct assistance to individuals or individual sponsorships
  • Non-profit entities not located and operating primarily in the United States (except for medical research)
  • Start-up organizations
  • Sports, athletic events or league sponsorships
  • Advertising or promotional sponsorships
  • Deficits or retroactive funding
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Organizations that discriminate based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender

I am an individual artist. Can I submit an LOI?

No. Only Bay Area nonprofit organizations who are proposing projects in collaboration with a specific artist(s) may apply.

I am a fiscally sponsored artist. May I submit an LOI as the applicant nonprofit organization?

As a fiscally sponsored organization, you are eligible to submit an LOI. However, we ask that fiscally sponsored organizations contact Arts Program Staff in advance of submitting. Please note that the fiscally sponsored project and the lead artist(s) may not be the same entity. The applicant organization must demonstrate that it has the capacity to fulfill the roles and responsibilities outlined in the guidelines. The organization should also be able to speak to its experience in supporting artists and artistic projects of the nature and scale that the Open Spaces Program seeks to support.

I am applying on behalf of my organization but have not identified an artist lead. Can we submit an LOI?

No. Only Bay Area nonprofit organizations who are proposing projects in collaboration with a specific artist(s) may apply.

I am currently receiving support from the Rainin Foundation as an Impact, NEW or RENEW Program grantee. Am I eligible to apply for the Open Spaces Program?

Yes. Current Impact, NEW or RENEW grantees are eligible to apply to Open Spaces; however, we ask that you contact Arts Program Staff in advance of submitting an LOI.

My organization submitted an LOI for Open Spaces last year. Are we still eligible to apply for the same project?

Yes, your organization may apply for the same project; however, you must contact Arts Program Staff in advance of submitting an LOI.

I am an Open Spaces grantee. Am I eligible to apply?

The Rainin Foundation will not consider projects from Open Space grantees that have not yet completed their projects and/or final reports for previously awarded Open Space grants.

Is there a minimum amount of time a project must be in the public to be considered for funding?

Projects must significantly engage the project site and have a sustained presence for at least one month or longer to allow for deep engagement with place and community.

Is there a specific time frame by which projects will need to be completed?

The grant period for the opportunity is 18 months and it is expected that projects will be completed within this time frame. Once projects are completed and open to the public they will need to engage the project site and have a sustained presence of one month or longer. The Foundation understands that due to the nature of the artistic process, projects may shift over the course of the grant period and some changes may occur. If there are significant changes in the course of your project and/or you need to extend your Project End Date, we ask that you contact Arts Program Staff.

Discipline

Do projects need to take a certain form (i.e. sculpture) in order to be considered for funding?

No. The Rainin Foundation defines public art broadly and will consider projects that may embody many multidisciplinary approaches such as those listed below. However, projects must significantly engage the project site:

  • Arts and technology projects
  • Visual, media and performing arts
  • Light based artworks
  • Video and film projections
  • Sound sculpture
  • Functional
  • Socially engaged art practice
  • Conceptual works
  • Performance-based visual arts projects

Application Process

I am applying as part of an artist group or collective. How should we determine who the lead artist is on our LOI?

While the Rainin Foundation understands that artists may be working collectively on the project proposed, we ask that groups identify a lead artist who will serve as a point of contact (along with a representative from the partnering organization).

I am applying as part of an artist group or collective. Where in the LOI can I expand on the work of the artistic group versus just that of the lead artist?

Artist groups or collectives have several opportunities throughout the LOI to elaborate on their work as a group such as in the Resume, Project Leadership, and Work Samples sections. We ask groups to identify a lead artist who will serve as a point of contact to facilitate the application process.

I am applying for a project where I will have one or more organizational partners. Which organization should be the lead applicant?

If your project involves the partnership between two or more organizations, the lead nonprofit applicant should be the organization best suited to serve as the main administrative point of contact throughout the application and lifecycle of the project. The lead organization should be the one best suited to fulfill the roles and responsibilities outlined in the guidelines. If you have further questions about which organization should submit the LOI, please contact Arts Program Staff.

I am an organization interested in submitting more than one LOI for distinct projects. Can I submit more than one LOI to the Open Spaces Program simultaneously?

No. Organizations may only submit one LOI per grant cycle. If your organization is considering more than one project and has questions about which one might be most competitive for the program, we encourage you to contact Arts Program Staff to discuss further.

I am an artist interested in being the Lead Artist for more than one LOI from different applicant organizations. Can I be the Lead Artist for more than one LOI to the Open Spaces Program simultaneously?

No. An artist or artist collective may be identified as the Lead Artist for only one LOI being submitted by an applicant organization. If you have further questions about this, please contact Arts Program Staff.

My project is performance based. Should I apply to the New & Experimental Works (NEW) Program or Open Spaces?

We recommend reviewing our NEW Program guidelines prior to submitting an LOI for the Open Spaces Program, in the case that your project is primarily performance-based. You may contact Program Staff with any questions about which program may be the best fit for your project.

Can I submit an LOI to the Open Spaces Program in addition to the Foundation’s New & Experimental Works (NEW) Program or Impact Program?

Yes. You may submit an LOI to the Open Spaces and either the NEW or Impact Program. However, please note that you may not submit simultaneous applications to both the NEW and Impact Programs.

Should fiscally sponsored organizations create their own profiles in the online grant system?

Yes, fiscally sponsored organizations need to create their own profile and should not apply using their fiscal sponsor’s profile. Fiscally sponsored organizations will need to upload their fiscal sponsor’s 501(c)(3) determination letter to create their profile. Again, organizations with a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor are eligible, but must contact Program Staff in advance of submitting an application.

When submitting a full application, should fiscally sponsored organizations list their own board of directors or that of their fiscal sponsor?

Yes, fiscally sponsored organizations should list their own board of directors. If a fiscally sponsored organization does not have a board of directors, advisory board or a similar governing body, then they may provide the board of directors of their fiscal sponsor.

Does the Foundation accept application materials by regular mail or email?

As part of our commitment to the environment, the Foundation does not accept printed materials by regular mail. While a PDF version of the LOI and full application are available on the website, all applicants must apply through our online grant system. You may access our online application through our website on the opening date of the Letter of Inquiry period.

Site Selection

Do I need to have a site secured in order to apply for the LOI?

No. Applicants do not need to have a site secured in order to submit an LOI. However, please note that projects that make it to the full proposal stage must take place in San Francisco or Oakland in order to be considered.

Does the Foundation have a preference for projects taking place in San Francisco or Oakland?

No. The Foundation seeks to support projects taking place in both San Francisco and Oakland through the Open Spaces Program. Preference is not given to one city over the other.

 

Please direct questions to Arts Program Staff.