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Emergency Loans Available for Bay Area Arts Organizations

San Francisco, CA—Arts organizations are facing unprecedented challenges as they’ve suspended public programming to help our communities adapt to life-saving shelter-in-place orders. The Arts Loan Fund, managed by Northern California Grantmakers, has announced a COVID-19 Emergency Loan to support arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in the eleven Bay Area counties. Organizations can apply for these low-interest loans to cover basic expenses such as staff salaries, artist payments, rent and other operating costs during this challenging time.

Earlier this week, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the Arts Relief Program, which included a $1 million grant to the Arts Loan Fund to support COVID-19 Emergency Loans for San Francisco-based organizations.

While this generous investment announced by the Mayor is focused on nonprofit organizations based in San Francisco, the COVID-19 Emergency Loan, in addition to existing loan products, will serve organizations in other Bay Area counties.

The Arts Loan Fund has provided quick-turnaround loans for over thirty years and will continue to be a resource to the arts and cultural ecosystem that makes the Bay Area so unique and special.

About the Emergency Loans

Nonprofit Organizations in the eleven Bay Area counties can apply for a COVID-19 Emergency Loan, of up to $50,000, at a 2.5% interest rate with a 12- to 24-month repayment period. The loan can cover any emergency need that will help the organization stay solvent until federal, state and county restrictions on social gatherings are lifted and events and programming can be resumed. It is expected that most loan proceeds will be used to pay staff salaries, artists, rent, and other operating costs. Read more about the application requirements below. 


How to Apply

Eligible nonprofit and fiscally sponsored organizations operating in the eleven Bay Area counties can apply. Confirm your organization’s eligibility hereBefore applying, contact Margaret Southerland at margaret at or 415-567-5494 to identify if this loan product fits the organization’s needs. You can view other low-interest loan products available here.

Loan Application Review Process

Loan applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed weekly by the Arts Loan Fund steering committee, which is composed of foundations and government agencies. Northern California Grantmakers and the volunteer steering committee are committed to acting quickly on loan requests. The Arts Loan Fund will continue to operate for as long as resources are available to sustain its operations. If you are interested in donating to the Arts Loan Fund to aid in responding to COVID-19, please click the button below. 


About the Arts Loan Fund

The Arts Loan Fund is a regional association of grantmakers, and is independently funded and governed by a Steering Committee composed of foundations and local government agencies. The Arts Loan Fund is managed by Northern California Grantmakers. It provides low interest loans to arts and culture nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations operating in the eleven Bay Area counties.

Steering Committee Members

 Arts Loan Fund Support

  • Krystle Chipman, Coordinator, Collaborative Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Margaret Southerland, Principal, Padma Consulting, Consultant to Arts Loan Fund

Media Contact

Kayla Ballard, Communications Manager, Northern California Grantmakers

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