Sustainable Arts Foundation 2018 Residency Grants

Thank you for your interest in a Sustainable Arts Foundation Residency Grant.

Please note: Our 2018 Residency Grant program has closed.

The goal of this grant program is to make residency programs more accessible and welcoming to parent writers and artists.

Please review these instructions and guidelines carefully before submitting your proposal.

Our application is straightforward; we need your contact information, a few details about the size and scope of your organization, and most of all, we need to know how your organization will support artists and writers with children.

We’re most impressed by organizations that are committing some of their own funds, resources, and energy to match requested funds. We’re looking for organizations willing to stretch a little to make themselves welcoming to parent residents. Including prorated salaries or other general administration costs as part of your proposal is not recommended.

Due to the number of proposals we receive, this process is unfortunately not a dialogue. Please be sure to include all the information requested for us to evaluate your proposal.


Your organization must be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) offering residencies to artists and/or writers. If your organization does not have tax-exempt status, but does have fiscal sponsorship, please contact us before applying.

The program(s) funded by this award must support artists and writers with at least one dependent child under the age of 18.

Supporting Materials

While in the past we have accepted brochures and other marketing materials, we no longer require these printed materials (nor their electronic equivalents). We do carefully evaluate the websites of organizations that apply, particularly through the lens of a potential parent resident.

Grant Funds

Organizations may apply for up to $10,000. Efficient use of funds directly benefitting parent residents is of the utmost importance. We are very interested in organizations that are bringing some financial or operational commitment of their own for this proposal. We are not interested in proposals asking for general operating funds.

Ideas That Have Proven Successful

The premise of our grant program is that every residency program is unique, and we don’t have a single set of expectations about how each one should address the needs of parents. We want to know how you’re thinking about parents and how you plan to make your unique program more possible for them to experience. That said, there are a handful of ideas that have proven to be particularly attractive and successful with parents.

  • Shorter residency periods, which make it much more likely that a parent could attend.
  • A residency “season” in which all the residents are parents; this offers built-in empathy from the entire group as well as the possibility of shared childcare.
  • Summer residencies with nearby camp or other opportunities for children.
  • Childcare as an acceptable request for financial aid.
  • Flexibility!

Ideas That Are Less Successful

  • Proposals that look to recoup ongoing or general administrative costs.
  • Proposals that have very few specifics about a new program for parents, but are simply proposing to fund a spot for an applicant who happens to be a parent.
  • Proposals that do not consider how to publicize the opportunity to parents.

Please mail your completed proposal to:

Sustainable Arts Foundation
Attn: Residency Grants
1032 Irving Street #609
San Francisco, CA 94122-2200

Or send a scanned copy to: residencygrants (at) sustainableartsfoundation (dot) org


Proposals must be postmarked or e-mailed by February 2, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Our residency program can’t accommodate children on site. May we still apply?
A: Yes! Many of the programs we’ve funded don’t allow the children to be in residence, but they offer other solutions that still make it easier for a parent to attend.

Q: Can our organization apply for funds to support artists already in residence? Or artists who have been selected/accepted but have not yet arrived?
A: No. Our program is designed to create new opportunities for parent artists and writers and to encourage organizations to promote themselves and their program to parents. We understand that our grant cycle may not align well with your organization’s residency cycle and applaud organizations that take the initiative in welcoming parent residents without the guarantee of our funding.

Q: Can our organization apply for general operating funds?
A: No. This program is designed to encourage new opportunities specifically for parent artists and writers.

Q: Can our organization include administrative costs in our proposal?
A: Yes, but these should be at most a small portion of your proposed budget. We’d much prefer that organizations “match” our funds with their own commitment of funds and resources to support their proposed program.

Q: Can our organization include travel costs for the resident in our proposal?
A: Offering a travel stipend is often helpful to a parent resident and can be a way to extend an organization’s reach; that said, we’re less inclined to fund proposals with a significant travel budget. Also, organizations requesting travel funds should have a plan for what to do with any money that isn’t used due to a local artist attending (we are happy to accept a return).

Q: Our organization has previously received funding from SAF; are we eligible to apply again?
A: Yes! Please be sure that you send us a follow-up report in advance of or along with your proposal. If you don’t have a copy of the report, please contact SAF.

Q: Our proposal is only available to alumni or previous residents; are we eligible to apply?
A: Yes, but know that we are looking for ways to broaden the reach of residency programs and so limiting these opportunities to alumni and previous residents restricts that goal.

Further Questions
If you have any questions as you prepare your proposal, please don’t hesitate to contact us via e-mail: residencygrants [at] sustainableartsfoundation [dot] org.

Download Application