Sustainable Arts Foundation 2023 Residency Grant Application

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

We’re impressed by organizations committing 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 general operating costs as part of your proposal is not recommended. Please see our FAQ for more details.

We are particularly interested in what residencies are doing to make their programs more diverse and accessible, from their staff to their review boards, and of course the residents themselves.

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.

If you have questions about any portion of this process, please feel free to contact us before the deadline.

Please review these instructions and guidelines carefully before submitting 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

We do not accept brochures or other marketing materials (nor their electronic equivalents). We do carefully evaluate each organization’s website, particularly through the lens of a potential parent resident.

Grant Funds

Organizations may apply for up to $6,000. Efficient use of funds directly benefiting parent residents is of the utmost importance. We admire organizations that bring some financial or operational commitment of their own for this proposal. We will not consider proposals requesting general operating funds.

Ideas That Have Proven Successful

We understand 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 accessible to them. That said, there are a handful of ideas that have proven particularly attractive to and successful with parents.

  • Shorter (one or two week) residency periods, which make it much more likely that a parent could attend.
    • Residents report that one-week residencies WITH kids, however, may be too short, since parents have less studio time with kids in attendance.
  • 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.
  • Proposals that demonstrate a well-considered approach to equity and outreach.
  • Pairing new residents with prior resident mentors who can answer questions before and during the residency.
  • Connecting new residents with their own cohort prior to the residency, so that they can coordinate about kid gear, rental cars, childcare, etc.
  • Creating a resource guide for residents with information on babysitting/childcare, parks, museums, activities, restaurants, pharmacy, doctor/hospital/ER, rental car, etc., as relevant. Offering a video walkthrough of the residency’s living quarters is also especially helpful for parents attending with their children.
  • Flexibility!

Ideas That Are Less Successful

  • Proposals that look to recoup ongoing or general operating costs.
  • Proposals that fund a spot for an applicant who happens to be a parent without creating a new program for parents.
  • Proposals that do not consider how to publicize the opportunity to parents.
  • Proposals that don’t include any explicit promotion to reach a diverse group of parent artists (we do not consider a mailing list and social media sufficient).
  • Proposals that don’t fully engage with our questions about equity.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, please check our list of frequently asked questions.


Please send a scanned copy via e-mail.

Or mail a hardcopy to:

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