Thank you for your interest in applying for a grant from Arts for Oakland Kids. Applications for our Project Mini-Grants are open from December 7, 2020 – February 22, 2021. Grant recipients for the 2021-2022 school year will be notified in mid-April, 2021.

The following information is being provided to help you apply for funding.  If you have questions about the application process, please email us at applications@artsforoaklandkids.org.

Arts for Oakland Kids (AOK), is a 501(c)(3) fund with a mission to advance arts justice by ensuring that all students in financially oppressed Oakland public schools receive a comprehensive arts education in order to improve learning and promote achievement. We envision a world in which the power of arts education is fully recognized, and every public school student – regardless of race, background, or wealth – is given equitable access to the advantages of a comprehensive arts education, enabling them to reach their intellectual, social, and emotional potential. “

In the 1990s, Oakland removed all arts education funding from its public schools. The result has been that the students with access to generational wealth are receiving in-school arts education 3 or more times per week funded by their PTA—those students are predominantly White—while the other 80% of Oakland students are receiving little or no arts education; those students are almost entirely youth of color.

Arts for Oakland Kids (AOK) has been working to rectify this inequity for nearly 25 years by funding grants to teaching artists, arts organizations, and classroom teachers to provide arts education in Oakland’s most under-resourced public schools. Since 1996, we have reached 26,000 kids in 92 public schools and awarded $815,000+ to artists and organizations providing 192 arts programs.

Arts for Oakland Kids (AOK) awards Project Mini-Grants of up to $5,000 for hands-on arts education programs that take place in under-resourced Oakland public schools. While programs in public charter schools may be considered, first consideration will be given to programs that serve OUSD-run public schools that have no or low arts funding from their PTA.

AOK funds independent teaching artists, arts organizations, and classroom teachers. AOK does not require our applicants to be 501(c)3 nonprofits or to have a fiscal sponsor.

December 7, 2020: Application submissions open for AOK Project Mini-Grants

February 22, 2021: All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm PST.

April 2021: Grantees notified in mid-April, 2021

September 2021-January 2021: Grant funds are sent to grantees 30 days before the start of their funded programs.

IMPORTANT:

  • AOK’s application form will NOT allow you to save your work and come back. Please create your application information offline and paste into the form when you are ready.
  • The online application form— with all required supporting documents attached— must be received no later than 11:59 pm PST, February 22, 2021
  • Due to the intensive nature of our review process, late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 
  • If you have questions about whether your program qualifies for grant funding, please review our FAQ. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at applications@artsforoaklandkids.org.

We look forward to learning about your great work!

To be considered, programs must:

  • Provide hands-on arts education programs in which students directly participate in an Art form.
  • Be supported by the school principal with active participation of a school liaison (for example, a classroom teacher, after-school director, administrator, etc.) to ensure the program’s success. Grantees are required to submit letters from their principals and that takes time, so please plan ahead for this step.
  • Be conducted at a school (or schools) or at an off-site location in conjunction with a school(s).
  • Serve students that attend under-resourced OUSD-run public schools. A full list of OUSD-run schools can be found here.

Arts for Oakland Kids does NOT require that grant funds be paid through a 501(c)3 non-profit or fiscal sponsor.

What we fund:

  • AOK only funds programs in which each child actively participates in an Art form. All forms of Art are eligible. (Example: performing arts, industrial arts, multimedia, visual arts, music, dance, writing, etc.).
  • Programs must serve students enrolled in under-resourced OUSD-run public schools.
  • AOK does fund programs located at a site other than a public school (such as a community center) provided that the program primarily serves the target population of K-12 students enrolled in under-served Oakland public schools, and the applicant can demonstrate that AOK funds will be utilized solely to serve OUSD students from qualifying schools.
  • AOK funds program expenses that directly benefit the students involved in the arts education program, including: art supplies, teaching artist’s salary, costume materials, supplementary educational materials, etc.

What we do not fund: 

  • OUSD teacher or administrator pay
  • Transportation costs
  • Field trips
  • Food
  • Non-program-related supplies

Program Restrictions:

  • Programs are only eligible for funding once per school year.
  • AOK may fund the same program at the same school for three consecutive years, at the end of which a one-school-year break may be imposed before the program can  re-apply for funding.
  • Once funding has been awarded, applicants will be sent a Grant Agreement and Media Opt-Out form. Grantees must return both forms. Funding will not be released without receipt of both of these forms.

Arts for Oakland Kids does NOT require that grant funds be paid through a 501(c)(3) organization or fiscal sponsor. You may use a 501(c)(3) organization as a fiscal agent, so long as that organization does not keep any AOK grant funds as fees, commissions, percentages, administrative costs, or overhead expense.

If your organization or fiscal sponsor is a qualified IRS 501(c)(3) entity, please submit the 501(c)3 tax exempt letter and, if applicable, your fiscal sponsorship agreement, as attachments to your grant application.

Application Form

Fill out the Application Form to apply for funding for programs taking place during the 2020/2021 academic year.

All supporting documents will attach to this online Application Form. You will be unable to submit your application unless all documents are attached and the Application Form is complete. You will be able to upload your supporting document attachments at the end of the Application Form.

AOK’s application form will NOT allow you to save your work and come back. Please create your application information offline and paste into the form when you are ready. A copy of the application form for reference can be found here.

Please read all guidelines and FAQ on our website before you begin, then fill out the form completely before you submit it. You cannot go back and change your application once it has been submitted.

The online application form will be found here. If you would like to view it offline while you are working, you will be able to download the PDF here.

The online application with all supporting documents must be received no later than 11:59 pm February 22, 2021. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed. Recipients will be notified in mid April, 2021.

Attachments to the Application Form– all attachments must be PDFs

  • Program Narrative
    • Two to three page narrative (in 12-pt font) that includes a program description, goals, and learning objectives
    • Must be attached to the Application Form as a PDF
    • You may use the Narrative Template as a guide
    • Name the document as follows:
      • Organizations: [name of your organization]Narrative2021.pdf
      • If you are an independent teaching artist or unaffiliated with an organization, please use [name of your program]Narrative2021.pdf
  • Resume of Lead Artist(s)/Instructor(s) for the program
    • Must be attached as a PDF to the Application Form
    • Name the document as follows:
      • Organizations: [name of your organization]Resume2021.pdf
      • If you are an independent teaching artist or unaffiliated with an organization, please use [name of your program]Resume2021.pdf
  • Letter of Support from the school principal(s):
    • Must be on the school’s letterhead
    • Must include a signature
    • Must include this information: Our school [does/does not] have an active PTA. During the last full school year, our PTA raised [$#] and directed [$#] to arts programs.
    • You may use the Letter of Support Template as a guide
    • Must be attached as a PDF to the Application Form
    • Name the document as follows:
      • Organizations: [name of your organization]SchoolName2021.pdf
      • If you are an independent teaching artist or unaffiliated with an organization, please use [name of your program]SchoolName2021.pdf
    • Must include a Letter of Support from every school where you will teach as part of this funding.
  • Project Budget
    • All applicants, regardless of 501(c)3 status, must submit a completed project budget
    • Must be attached as a PDF to the Application Form
    • Name the document as follows:
      • Organizations: [name of your organization]ProjectBudget2021.pdf
      • If you are an independent teaching artist or unaffiliated with an organization, please use [name of your program]ProjectBudget2021.pdf
    • Here are sample project budgets you may use as templates, depending on the size of your program.
  • Organizational Budget, if applicable
    • If your program is part of a larger organization, please provide your most recent annual budget and prior year’s actuals in a side-by-side format on one document
    • Must be attached as a PDF to the Application Form
    • Name the document as follows: [name of your organization]OrgBudget2021.pdf
  • Tax Exempt letter, if applicable
    • If your program is part of a 501(c)3 nonprofit, please submit a copy of your IRS tax exemption letter
    • Must be attached as a PDF to the Application Form
    • Name the document as follows: [name of your organization]C3Letter2021.pdf
  • Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement

AOK does NOT require our applicants to have 501(c)3 status. However, if you use a 501(c)3 organization as a fiscal sponsor for this grant, that organization cannot keep any AOK grant funds as fees, commissions, percentages, administrative costs, or overhead expense. If you are applying under a fiscal sponsor, please submit:

    • A copy of the fiscal sponsor’s IRS tax exemption letter
    • A copy of your fiscal sponsorship agreement
    • Must be attached as PDFs to the Application Form
    • Name the documents as follows:
      • [name of your program]SponsorC3Letter2020.pdf
      • [name of your program]SponsorAgreement2020.pdf

After you complete the online application, you will receive a confirmation email that includes a copy of your entire application for your records.

You will be able to view a PDF of the application form here. Once you are ready, you will need to enter all information into the online Application Form. Applications submitted as hard copies or via email will not be accepted.

The Application Form has several sections. AOK’s application form will NOT allow you to save your work and come back. Please create your application information offline and paste it into the form when you are ready. Once you’ve submitted the application, you also won’t be able to go back and change it or add to it, so please check your work carefully.

The final section of the application is a list of additional documents you are required to submit. Emailed and mailed submissions are no longer being accepted. If this poses a hurdle to your application, please contact us at applications@artsforoaklandkids.org.

Details on all documents and links to samples and templates can be found in the “Required Documents” section of this How To Apply webpage.

Once your Application form is complete and all required attachments are uploaded, you will be able to submit the completed application. You will not be able to submit an incomplete form, nor can you return to the form and change or add to it, so please give yourself plenty of time to gather all needed documents and information prior to the deadline.

After you complete the online application, you will receive a confirmation email including a copy of your entire application.

Once your application and supporting documents are submitted, we may contact you to discuss the proposed program.

If funding is awarded, applicants will be sent a Grant Agreement and Media Opt-Out form. Funding will not be released until both of these forms have been completed and returned to AOK.

AOK will notify all applicants in mid-April of 2021. If you have been selected for funding, additional instructions will be sent at that time. Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you!

AOK requires grantees to submit their completed Final Report Form within 30 days of the conclusion of the program period. Download a PDF of the form here.

Final Reports should include a detailed summary of the program and 3-5 images, recordings, or other media that show participants involved in the program.

The final report and all accompanying images, recordings, or other materials should be submitted electronically. The Grantee and its agents grant non-exclusive copyright ownership to Arts for Oakland Kids and its partners to reproduce such report photographs and other program materials for marketing purposes as agreed to in the Funding Agreement.

If you have questions, please contact us at applications@artsforoaklandkids.org

  • I’m new to grant writing, and I’ve never created a budget before. How do I do that?

Creating a budget is a fundamental part of asking for money to support your project. Here is a helpful document on how to create a budget. You can also look at these sample budgets that we created for potential programs of various sizes.

  • What is AOK looking for in a program?
Here is more information on the types of programs AOK is looking for.

Thank you for your interest in Arts for Oakland Kids!  

If you have questions about the grant process, please email us at applications@artsforoaklandkids.org.