Apply For A Theater Or Dance Grant Using The New Common App  - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Apply For A Theater Or Dance Grant Using The New Common App 

Two dancers stand connected on a patch of dirt. Both wear black leather pants and mesh tops. Their black boots kick up dust as they move on the ground. “Emergent Landscapes” featured artists of color performing within Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in Oakland. Photo credit: Rich Lomibao

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation invites small and mid-size arts organizations to apply to our New & Experimental Works (NEW) Program from September 4–18, 2023 using the new Common App for the Arts. Grants of $5,000–$30,000 provide unrestricted and artist fee support. These awards enable Bay Area artists to produce visionary works relevant to the communities they serve, which advance their artistic practice and push the boundaries of dance and theater. See previous NEW Program grantees.

A Simplified Application Process

This year’s application cycle has been designed to reduce the burden on grant seekers. We are once again streamlining the application process to one stage to shorten the turnaround time for funding decisions. We are using the new Common App for the Arts, a shared tool created by three Bay Area arts funders to simplify the application process for grantees. (Read more about The Common App’s goals and beginnings here.) Finally, we have timed the NEW Program grant cycle to be concurrent with Zellerbach Family Foundation’s Community Arts grants program, so applicants who meet each funder’s respective priorities can save time using The Common App.

The priorities for the Rainin Foundation’s NEW Program differ from Zellerbach Family Foundation’s Community Arts program. Review the NEW Program’s priorities for alignment before submitting your application.

NEW Program Updates

  • The Common App for the Arts: The application in our grant application portal has been revised to match The Common App for the Arts, all information requested is identical. Preview a PDF of The Common App here. In adopting The Common App, grant seekers will no longer have the option to re-use applications submitted to other funders for the same project, unless that funder used The Common App.  
  • 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.

Our Arts Program is continuing to explore how the NEW Program can best serve artists and advance equitable grantmaking practices. We are engaging community members and peer funders to learn more and will provide another update on those efforts in early 2024.  

Important Dates

  • Application Period: September 4–18, 2023 at 5 PM (PST)
  • Award Announcements: December 5, 2023
  • Grant Period: January 1, 2024–December 31, 2026
    Please note that performances must have production dates after January 1, 2024.


We encourage you to read through NEW Program priorities and eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions. Use our contact form to reach out to our Arts Program Staff with any questions.