Cultural Funding Program

The City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program distributes over $1 million through a competitive grant-funding process to Oakland-based art and cultural activities that reflect the diversity of the city.

Open Grant Opportunities


Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund

The Arts Loan Fund (ALF), managed by Northern California Grantmakers, has loaned over $19 million in the past thirty years as a way to boost the sustainability and growth of non-profit art and cultural organizations.

ALF Loan Helps with:

  • Bridge payment of funds from school districts, government or foundations grants.
  • Upfront capital for a fundraising event.
  • Upfront costs to producing a performance, including paying artists and paying facility costs.
  • Aid in renovating a facility.
  • Debt consolidation.

For more information about ALF and how to apply, please visit

Local Funder Opportunities

Alameda County Arts Commission:

California Arts Council:

Akonadi Foundation:

East Bay Community Foundation - East Bay Fund for Artists:

Hewlett Foundation:

Kenneth Rainin Foundation:

Funding Advisory Committee

The Funding Advisory Committee (FAC) of the City of Oakland's Cultural Funding Program is a volunteer advisory body to staff and City Council in matters relating to the program's annual recommended grant awards; policies and procedures for review or applications and award of grants to Oakland-based artists, cultural organizations, and schools; and development of additional revenue streams to support Oakland-based arts activities.

See our Funding Advisory Committee page for additional information about the committee and to download agendas and minutes.


Prior to 1985 no formal procedure or criteria existed for evaluating and making funding awards to Oakland-based nonprofit organizations providing arts and cultural programs. However, a few arts organizations aware of the City’s annual budgeting process and procedures successfully lobbied City Council and received funding. The arts community galvanized and asked City Council to establish a process that would provide equal access to City funds for all organizations. The arts community also requested that the City establish an office to manage City funding of the arts and provide support for the growth of, and access to, the arts within Oakland. In response, City Council charged the former Oakland Arts Council with developing a fair and equitable way to distribute public funds for community promotions (the City’s General Fund) and public funds from the Oakland Redevelopment Agency (ORA).

In 1985 the first funding policies and procedures were adopted, establishing the Cultural Funding Program as the City’s and ORA’s funding mechanism to support Oakland-based nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. As such, policies and review procedures were created and a panel system of evaluating applications established to ensure transparency and public trust in the distribution of public funds.

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