We want to hear about your virtual or in-person convening

YBCA is currently accepting proposals for the Artist Power Convenings, a new community investment strategy to build the capacity of artists and artist-led organizations in service of their communities.

With the Artist Power Convenings, YBCA aims to fuel the grassroots creative power that emanates across our region and support artists envisioning a new world. As the first initiative of its kind at YBCA, the program will continue to evolve in order to better serve the wide community of artists and artist-led organizations who make up the Bay Area. Here’s what you need to know to apply:

How It Works

Artist Power Convenings were made possible by $400,000 in funding from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Anyone who self-identifies as an artist who lives in either Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma counties should submit a proposal when the application cycle for their county opens. An artist-led organization must be based in the county where we are currently accepting applications.

We welcome artists of all disciplines to submit proposals including the performing arts, visual arts, literary and media arts, as well as craft artists and other types of creatives who may also be working outside of mainstream artistic or craft practices and within cultural traditions. They may be of any age and career stage, reflecting younger, emerging artists and established and later career artists coming from rural, suburban, and urban regions in the Bay Area.

No, YBCA does not require 501c3 status for your organization to qualify as an “artist-led organization.”

Up to $2,500 for each recipient.

The investment can be used for anything if it’s a cost related to planning, producing, or executing your convening. Here are some examples:

  • Administrative costs (staff salaries, office supplies, rent, or utilities)
  • Artist, panelist, or ASL or Foreign language interpreter fees
  • Licensing fees
  • Purchasing a Zoom license, art materials and supplies, streaming equipment
  • Travel and accommodation expenses

If you are unsure, email us at APC@ybca.org and we can help clarify this for you.

The vital conditions of community well-being are a framework of determinants that show how artists can directly impact the health and well-being of their communities. At YBCA, we have consolidated the typical seven determinants down to four: Social Cohesion and Belonging; Community Safety; Civic Engagement; and Community Identity/Community Narrative.

Social Cohesion and Belonging: Having positive social relationships, experiencing the sense of interdependence among individuals in a community- the bond that ties people together

Community Safety: Collectively addressing broad issues that create risk and vulnerability, so that community members feel safe where they live, work, or spend their leisure time.

Civic Engagement: Making a positive difference in  the quality of life in a community through both political and non political processes, recognizing yourself as a member of a larger social fabric

Community Identity/Community Narrative: Understanding the shared culture, belief systems, social norms and practices of a community, ensuring the community is in charge of it’s own narrative, and protecting against harmful mainstream narratives that dehumanize and harm individuals and communities.

To “build capacity”, or capacity-building, is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that artists, organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive.

Proposal Submission & Selection Process

When will my county be open for submissions?

The dates of investment rounds for submissions are subject to change as the initiative is improved upon over the course of its lifecycle. As of this posting, they will open two counties at a time over the following dates:

Artist Power Convenings Eligibility DatesQualifying County
Round 1: August 2, 2021 – September 14, 2021Contra Costa and Santa Clara
Round 2: October 11, 2021 – November 7, 2021Napa and San Francisco
Round 3: February 15, 2022 – March 16, 2022Alameda and San Mateo
Round 4: May 2, 2022 – May 31, 2022Marin and Santa Cruz
Round 5: July 15, 2022 – August 13, 2022Solano and Sonoma
You can sign up at this link to receive updates about this opportunity as well as notifications for which counties will be open in each round of investments.

Apply for the Artist Power Convenings

No, a convening does not have to be held within the county you are submitting an application from. So long as the artist or artist-led organization is based in the county where we are currently accepting submissions from, where they ultimately hold the convening is up to them.

Artists can submit a proposal as an individual, and may also be a member of a proposal submitted by a group or collective. Ex: Simone is an individual artist who has submitted a proposal. Her friends Mark, Jenna, and Roxie want to submit a proposal as a group and invite Simone to collaborate with them.

No, but if your proposal is selected and you are 17-years-old or younger, or your artist-led organization is composed of individuals who are 17-years-old or younger, you must have a trusted adult, 18 years or older, sign your Recipient Agreement on your behalf.

Yes. We are prioritizing communities that have been historically underfunded and will focus investments on American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian and Asian American, Black and African American, Disabled, Indigenous and Indigena, Latinx, LGBTQIA2S+, MENASA, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander artists and artist led-organizations across Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties.

This list was honed through consultation with social practice artists from multiple communities and backgrounds and is meant to call folks into participation with us. However, we know that language has power and words and labels can cause harm, and can easily exclude many people. We also understand that language, when careful, can lift and empower all of us. Most of all, we embrace that language is accountable and necessarily dynamic. At YBCA, we are committed to doing the best we can to find and use the words to ensure that people are seen and acknowledged and that we are accountable to our commitment to social, racial, and economic equity and justice. We will keep on listening, responding and adjusting the words we use and the actions we take.

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, +

Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian

You will be able to submit your proposal Submittable through our simple online form. If you do not already have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to create one prior to accessing the proposal form. Once you have an account, you will be asked a short series of questions, including four short-answer descriptions telling us about yourself and your proposal. If you need an alternative option to submitting your proposal form, please reach out to us by email at APC@ybca.org.

All artists and artist-led organizations who submit a proposal will be asked to participate in a peer selection process to decide who receives investment in their county. This peer selection process is a new model being tested by YBCA in an effort to shift the power of investment-making into the hands of those who know and understand what their communities need.

Those who participate in peer selection will receive a $100 stipend and instructions on how to review proposals. Notifications will be sent to all artists and artist-led organizations when the peer selection window opens and closes. Stipend payments will be made at the close of the peer selection process.

Participants will be asked to consider the following questions when voting:

1. Does this proposal bring artists together for the purpose of building or strengthening their connections with their fellow artists and/or the communities they serve? (Required)

2. Does this proposal build the capacity of artists and artist-led organizations to better serve their communities?

3. Does this proposal build a culture of equity in your community?

4. Does this proposal advance any of the below vital conditions of community health and well-being:

a. Social Cohesion and Belonging

b. Community Safety

c. Civic Engagement

d. Community Identity/Community Narrative

A peer reviewer must be able to answer “yes” to question #1 and one additional question for the proposal to receive a vote.

You are not required to participate in the peer selection process. This will have no effect on the proposal you submitted.

Following the submission close date for each round, the peer selection process will be open for 14 days. After the peer selection process has been closed and votes tallied, those who were selected for investment will receive a message from the YBCA program team with instructions for next steps.

All artists and artist-led organizations whose proposals have been selected for investment will receive a message from the YBCA program team within three weeks of the peer selection process closing containing confirmation of their selection and information on next steps.

After the peer selection process has closed and votes tallied, you will receive a message from the YBCA program team regarding the status of your submission.

Yes. Even if your proposal is not selected, you will still receive a one-time stipend of $100 after participating in the peer selection process. Instructions on how to receive your stipend will be sent out from the YBCA program team following the closing date of the peer selection process closing.

If your proposal is selected, YBCA will reach out to hear more about your convenings through three separate surveys that ask about your experience with this process, how your planning is going, and what kind of impact your convening had on you and your community.

We would like for your convening to take place within 10 months of receiving your investment, and to be made aware when it is taking place by contacting us at APC@ybca.org.

If it is appropriate, YBCA may send a photographer or videographer to your convening to speak with attendees. We would then highlight the stories of the convenings on our website and Artist Power Center.

In January of 2022 YBCA will host a gathering, inviting all investment recipients at that time to share with each other the insights or resources you may have gained throughout this process. We will hold a second gathering at the conclusion of all funding rounds in late 2022 for all investment recipients.

No, you will not be required to include a credit line for YBCA, the Artist Power Convenings program, or the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

More Information on the Convenings

Stories of the Artist Power Convenings investment recipients and learnings from their gatherings will be shared on YBCA’s Artist Power Center as a platform for knowledge-sharing and networking across the Bay Area and beyond. Supported projects will also further inform YBCA on how the organization can develop capacity-building strategies for artistic enterprises. With the Artist Power Convenings, YBCA hopes to fuel the grassroots creative power that emanates across our region and support artists to envision a new world.

If English is your second language and you need support, you can:

Download a text-only version of our proposal form Individual Artist form here or our Artist-led organization form here, upload the document to Google Translate – Docs, and view the form in your preferred language

Email YBCA at APC@ybca.org with the subject line “Translation Support Request” and the language you need translation help with in the body of your email. From there, YBCA will work with you to find a trusted translator to assist you in going through the proposal forms on Submittable.

If you need assistance with accessibility, there are a number of ways YBCA can help.

In choosing Submittable as the platform for our proposal form, we encourage you to use the “Invite Collaborator” feature, which can be found in the top right corner of your web-browser after passing through our eligibility form. By clicking the “Invite Collaborator” button, you will be able to enter the email address of a trusted friend, family member, or partner to assist you in filling out your proposal form. If you do not have a partner, family member, or friend who can assist you, please reach out to us by email at APC@ybca.org or by phone at (415)-978-2700.

Yes, Submittable recommends using Firefox for a better user experience with screen readers.

We’re available for questions, to help you submit your proposal, or walk you through the peer selection process. You can reach out to us by email at APC@ybca.org, or by phone at (415)-978-2700.

Live support by phone is available Thursdays, 12pm–7pm and Friday through Saturday, 10am–5pm.

If you call outside of these days and hours, please leave your name, phone number, and a brief message regarding your question, and a member of our support team will get back to you within 1–2 business days.

Depending on availability, YBCA can offer both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces on our campus in San Francisco for limited gatherings.


Downloadable Artist Power Convenings Logo