About The NEW Program
The NEW Program provides unrestricted and artist fee support grants of $5,000-$30,000 to small and mid-size dance, theater and multidisciplinary arts organizations that enable Bay Area artists to produce visionary projects relevant to the communities they serve. Since 2015, this program has awarded over $4 million to 149 arts organizations.
The NEW Program prioritizes:
- Small and mid-size arts organizations with annual budgets of $10,000-$2 million
- Projects that support artists to deepen or experiment within their individual practice and/or expand the boundaries of dance and theater
- Compelling projects relevant to the communities they serve
- Unique artistic collaborations
- Projects that compensate artists at a significant level. Projects are required to designate at least half of the grant funds to the artistic project team and their direct expenses for creating the work. The remaining half is unrestricted to the applicant organization
- Productions in outdoor, site-specific or alternative venues with activities in San Francisco and Oakland
How To Apply
We accept applications from applicants that meet the following criteria.
Tax status: Nonprofit organizations or 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsors (requires a written agreement).
Geography: Organizations must be based in and/or have a demonstrated history of operating in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Clara counties. The Foundation prioritizes support for projects that take place in San Francisco and Oakland. See frequently asked questions for more.
Artist residency: The majority of artists supported by the project must be based in and/or have a demonstrated history of producing and working in in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Clara counties. Artists supported through the grant are not required to currently reside in one of the eligible Bay Area counties.
Annual budget: Organizations must have at least a $10,000 annual budget for their last closed fiscal year.
- For applicants that don’t meet minimum budget requirement: If your last closed fiscal year budget does not meet this requirement, but you have had an annual budget of at least $10,000 within the last three years, please submit that prior year budget with your application. Instructions are included in the application preview available below under the “Application Process” section.
For current and previous Foundation grantees:
- Current NEW Program grantees must complete previously funded projects before applying for an additional grant. If your project is complete but you haven’t submitted your grant report, it must be submitted by the application deadline.
- If your previously funded NEW Program project was converted to general operating support, you are eligible to apply.
- Current Open Spaces Program grantees who are interested in applying should use our contact form to email Arts Program Staff.
- The Foundation is unlikely to fund an organization consecutively through the NEW Program.
Public presentation: Projects must have a public presentation of some kind but are not required to have a fully produced performance component. For example, grant funds may be used to support research and development, work-in-progress showings, readings, films of project activities, etc. Public presentations may be in-person (in accordance with public health guidelines) and/or virtual.
Grant and request amounts: Grants range from $5,000–$30,000. The grant amount requested may not exceed more than 50% of the organization’s last closed fiscal year budget.
- For applicants wanting to request more than 50% of last closed fiscal year budget: If your annual budget was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or fluctuates due to your presentation schedule and you would like to apply for more than 50% of your last closed annual budget, you can submit a budget from the last three years that is more representative of a production year and base your request off that budget. Instructions are included in the application preview available below under the “Application Process” section.
- A note about funding levels (for all applicants): The foundation aims to fund proposals at 70% of the requested grant amount.
Grant fund allocation: At least one-half of the grant funds must go to the artistic project team and their direct expenses for creating the work. The remaining one-half of the grant funds are unrestricted to the applicant organization. This is a baseline minimum, and projects may allocate more than one-half of the grant to artist fees. Projects that compensate artists at a significant level will be prioritized. See frequently asked questions for more.
Grant period: Project activities must take place within the 24-month grant period, January 1, 2024-December 31, 2026. Performances must have production dates after January 1, 2024. The developmental phase of projects may begin prior to the start of the grant period.
One-Stage Application Process
Before applying, read through our frequently asked questions and then contact Arts Program Staff with any questions. The Pre-Application Webinar, co-hosted by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, recording and presentation deck are also available.
Application Period: The application is currently closed.
All grant application materials must be submitted using GivingData, the Foundation’s online application system, during the application period window. Download or preview The Common Application, a shared tool created by three Bay Area arts funders to simplify the application process for grantees.
The application in our grant application portal has been revised to align with The Common App for the Arts. Download and preview a Word version of the application as it appears in our grant application portal. If you are planning to copy and paste your information from The Common App into our online system, note the word count limits, as the system will not allow additional text beyond the set restrictions.
DataArts requirement: The DataArts funder report will be optional for all applicants. However, grantees will be required to submit their DataArts funder report as part of their grant requirements. Applicants who currently have a DataArts profile are strongly encouraged to submit their funder report with their application. First-time, fiscally-sponsored applicants and applicants with annual budgets under $50,000 will not be required to submit a DataArts funder report as part of their grant requirements.
Financial Requirements: Project budgets will be required from all applicants. Applicants can elect to use The Common App project budget template. However, we will only request applicant financial statements (such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets) from applicants we are recommending for funding.
Work Samples: Work samples will be required from all applicants as part of the one-stage application.
Grant Review Panel: We will convene a panel of Bay Area dance and theater artists to review applications and make funding recommendations to our Board of Directors. The Foundation will provide anonymized panel feedback, upon request, to declined applicants.
Important Application Dates
- Application Period: September 4-18, 2023 at 11:59 PM (PDT)
- Award Announcements: December 5, 2023
- Grant Period: January 1, 2024-December 31, 2026. Performances must have production dates after January 1, 2024.