Following Mayor Ed Lee’s unveiling of a budget proposal on June 1 we requested information from the San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts about what impact the increases would have on the amount and number of organizations funded. A summary of their responses to our questions is below.
UPDATE FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO ARTS COMMISSION:
In consideration of the SFAC funding increase in the Mayor's 2015–16 budget:
The San Francisco Arts Commission is incredibly grateful to Mayor Lee for his proposed budget enhancements to the SFAC in FY16 & FY17. We’re particularly excited about the historic $1 million annual ongoing enhancement to the Cultural Equity Endowment Fund (a 50% increase) and the Mayor’s directive to the SFAC to develop a plan for affordable artist housing in partnership with the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure and the Mayor’s Office of Housing. It is important to remember that there are still additional steps in the City’s budget process so these proposed enhancements are not final until the Board of Supervisors votes to approve the Mayor’s budget in July.
... If the $1 million Cultural Equity Endowment enhancement passes the Board of Supervisors unamended, then the SFAC can confirm that the maximum award for Individual Artist Commissions (IAC) will increase from $10K to $15K. We cannot confirm the number of IAC awards that will be remitted annually as that will be determined by the number of applications received and the scoring recommendations of the grants panel.
... If the $1 million Cultural Equity Endowment enhancement passes the Board of Supervisors unamended, then the SFAC can confirm that the maximum award for Creative Space (CRSP) Facilities Improvement grants (Code & Safety, Tenant Improvements, etc.) will increase to $100K. Creative Space Planning grants will continue to have a maximum award of $50K.
... The SFAC is examining whether or not the proposed $1 million enhancement to the Cultural Equity Endowment would afford the opportunity for an increase in the size of awards for Organizational Project Grants. Also, as part of our grants strategy review we are exploring the possibility of making all Cultural Equity Initiative grants for Levels I and II for two-years (24 months).
Arts for Neighborhood Vitality funding continues to be a work order of funds from Grants for the Arts. It will be $30K in FY16 and FY17 as it was in FY15. The amount for Arts & Communities: Innovative Partnerships will range between $225-250k depending upon the number of qualifying applications that are recommended for funding.
... The SFAC has been working with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (successor agency to redevelopment) over the past several months to examine funding mechanisms and potential sites for an affordable artist housing development. Mayor Lee has directed our three departments to develop an affordable artist housing proposal for his review as soon as possible. Any funding for an affordable artists housing project will align with funding models for the City’s affordable housing pipeline (e.g. state bond, municipal bond, etc.)
UPDATE FROM GRANTS FOR THE ARTS:
Out of the $500k GFTA increase in the Mayor's 2015–16 budget:
What $ amount and % of total funding will be awarded as an increase in general operating funds to the currently-funded small and mid-sized organizations and those rooted in underserved communities?
100% of the $500,000 enhancement will be distributed to the small and mid-sized groups with budgets below $1M and which are currently being funded below our published funding goals1. Of the 118 groups in this cohort, 49 grantees (42%) might be categorized as coming from culturally specific or historically underserved communities.
Will any organizations be brought to goal as a result of the increase?
Yes, 59 of the 118 (50%) groups eligible for increases will be brought to goal.
What is the range of $ amounts increased?
Increases range up to a cap of $6750. This amount is the most that could be managed this year with the $500,000 enhancement (a 5% increase over the GFTA FY 15 grant budget). Increases for 59 grantees will bring them up to goal; the remaining 59 organizations in the cohort will see increases of $6,750. As ABBA is aware it would take nearly $3M to bring all organizations up to goal (not including the very large organizations). We hope to continue to make progress next year.
How many new organizations will be added to the docket this year?
11 new applicants are recommended for first time funding.
What is the total $ amount awarded to new organizations?
An entry level grant of $5,000 is being recommended for each of the 11 new grantees, totaling $55,000. 7 out of the 11 groups (64%) might be categorized as coming from culturally specific or historically underserved communities.
We will mail provisional grant award memos early this week. Along with this memo, grantees will receive the following explanatory information regarding how grant awards are determined.
Included in a memo distributed to current and new grantees:
... based on FY 15 grant awards, a 1.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) [will be] distributed to all current grantees, including those with budgets over $1M as well as grantees already at goal. (As a reminder: goal amounts are based on a three-year average of the three most recently completed fiscal years submitted in the application.)
1GFTA funding goals: 15% for groups with budgets under $350,000; 10% for budgets of more than $350,000 but less than $750,000; 8% for budgets of more than $750,000 but less than $1 million; 6% for budgets more than $1 million but less than $3 million; 5% for budgets more than $3million but less than $10 million; 2% for budgets more than $10 million but less than $25 million; meaningful sustaining funds at no set percentage for budgets of more than $25 million.