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The Creative Work Fund invites artists and nonprofit organizations to submit letters of inquiry for grant support of collaborative projects featuring media or performing artists. Up to $600,000 will be available for grants that may range in size from $10,000 to $40,000. To assist individuals and organizations interested in applying, CWF is hosting a series of seminars and webinars in September and October. Four of these events also feature speakers from other grantmaking programs that support commissions and new art works.

Launched in 1994, the Creative Work Fund is a program of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by a generous grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Since its inception, CWF has contributed $12.1 million to advance art-making by Northern California artists in a variety of disciplines. Grants are awarded to genuine, creative partnerships between artists and nonprofit organizations.

“The rising cost of housing, studio space, transportation, and materials are challenging the vitality of this region’s robust and important arts community. The CWF intends to ease some of this stress by providing artists with opportunities to make new work, meaningful support, and connections to nonprofits and their constituents,” said CWF Program Director Frances Phillips.

Each year, CWF focuses on projects from two artistic disciplines; the 2017 grants will fund collaborative projects that feature media or performing artists. Letters of inquiry may describe projects that take many different forms, but for the December 2017 deadline they must feature a lead artist with a strong track record as a media artist or a performing artist and must involve a collaboration between that artist and a nonprofit organization.

The CWF emphasizes the creation of new work – not distribution or productions of work already developed. To be eligible to apply, the principal collaborating artists and organizations must live or be located in, for at least two years, the Northern California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma.

Read the full program guidelines here.

Schedule at a Glance

  • Artists and organizations should plan projects and prepare letters of inquiry together by 5 p.m. on December 1, 2017.
  • By February 9, 2018, the CWF will invite approximately 50 detailed proposals from among those who have submitted letters.
  • Completed applications (from those who are invited) are due April 6, 2018.
  • Grant awards will be announced by August 3, 2018.