FASNF: Round Two

The creative & cultural arts sector is one of the top five industries that has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic crisis: The California Arts Council estimates that 85% of individual artists and cultural workers have had work cancelled and have lost $23,857 in personal income on average.

Event cancellations are not just disruptive, they are devastating for our arts community—and the Fresno Arts Council is stepping up for Fresno County artists facing immediate and imminent financial emergencies.

Grant Application Deadline:

Monday, October 5, 2020, by 11:59 PM PDT



What is the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund?

The Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund (FASNF) is an emergency initiative organized by the Fresno Arts Council (FAC) to distribute one-time grants distributed in increments of $1,000 up to $5,000 to art organizations headquartered in Fresno County. These unrestricted cash awards are intended to help art organizations facing financial emergencies directly related to COVID-19. Funds were raised by the FAC, the Central Valley Community Foundation (CVCF), and by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the California Arts Council, a state agency. Everyone is encouraged to apply. A portion of the funds are committed to support arts & cultural organizations staffed by and serving communities of color in Fresno County who have been identified as most significantly impacted by this pandemic.
Applicants who are selected to receive relief funding may not re-apply for additional grants from this fund. Grants are limited to available funds, and a submitted application does not guarantee that your organization will be selected to receive a FASNF grant.


Will the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund be available again?

No, this is a temporary initiative in response to the recent impact of COVID-19 public health measures resulting in loss of income for art & cultural organizations headquartered in Fresno County. We are currently also seeking voluntary donations from the public to sustain this relief fund. You do not have to donate to apply for a FASNF grant.

Grants will be distributed until funds run out. Due to the magnitude of this crisis, we anticipate that the need for relief funding will exceed the funds raised for this effort, therefore applications demonstrating immediate or imminent need will be prioritized for selection. If you are able to help us sustain this relief funding effort, please donate today.


Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be verified representatives of art & cultural organizations headquartered in Fresno County. Limit one application per individual arts & cultural organization.


Who may not apply for the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund?

This round of relief grants is reserved for organizations whose mission is to perform, present or showcase art & cultural programs, and is headquartered in and primarily serving Fresno County only. Individual artists and religious organizations will not be considered for funding.


How do you define “art & cultural organization”?

An arts & cultural organization must be active in the arts industry with a primary mission to provide arts programming and services to the local community. Both 501(c)(3) and non-501(c)(3) organizations and collectives, with a demonstrated track record in presenting or producing art and currently operating in Fresno County are eligible.


What constitutes a “financial emergency”?

Although grant funds will be unrestricted, meaning that funds may be spent at the discretion of the recipient, the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund will prioritize applicants addressing general operating costs instead of new programs. Applicants must provide clear and thorough descriptions regarding their current situation as part of their application process: Funding review panelists will not be following up for incomplete or partially-filled answers.


Can my organization receive more than one FASNF grant?



Our organization has already, or is in the process of, receiving grants and gifts from other sources—Can we still apply for the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund?



Can our organization apply if it serves the Central Valley but is not headquartered in Fresno County?

No, these funds are limited geographically to Fresno County residents only. You can search for other local, state, and federal funding opportunities on the California Arts Council website here:


Am I guaranteed to receive a grant if I apply early?

No, funds are limited and applicants demonstrating financial need for general operating costs will be prioritized during the review and selection process. We anticipate that the need for funding will outnumber funds available, so we will be unable to provide relief funding for every applicant.


How can I apply?

If you are an eligible organization, apply online here. E-mailed application forms, whether sent in the body of an email or as a separate attachment, will not be opened. Please do not mail your application form to the Fresno Arts Council. Mailed applications may not be received or reviewed during the application period.


Can I apply on the behalf of an organization where I am a volunteer?

Yes, applications must be completed by a verifiable representative of the organization, whether as a staff member, volunteer board member, or executive director/CEO.


Is the form available in Spanish or another language?

No, at this time the application form is available in writing only in English. Please email the Fresno Arts Council at for additional language assistance and resources.


How will applications be reviewed for selection?

Applications submitted within the open reading period will be reviewed by the grants team for at least four weeks, or after October 5, 2020. After review, the grants team will deliberate for 1-2 weeks. It may take up to six weeks to complete the grants review process for this round of funding.

Only art & cultural organizations  selected to receive relief funding grants will be contacted. Please do not call or email the Fresno Arts Council inquiring about the status of your application or whether you will be receiving a grant: Fresno Arts Council staff will not have that information available, and may still be sheltering in place and working remotely.


When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline is Monday, October 5, 2020, by 11:59 PM PDT.  Apply online here.


Can I apply more than once?

Please limit to one application per individual art & cultural organization, except for applications filed through a fiscal agent. All relief funds are one-time grants, and limited to one per applicant organization.


Can I save my application then finish it later?

Unfortunately, no. The application form must be completed within the same session: if you close the window before submitting, your answers will not be saved.

You may choose to write your answers down in a separate document using any word processing program, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, then copy and paste your answers into the online application form when you are ready. This will prevent you from having to start-over, in case you lose your internet connection or if you experience any kind of technical issue while filling out the application form.


Will my information be kept confidential?

Yes, your answers will not be shared outside the FASNF team and your information will not be used for marketing or promotional purposes. Little Green Light, the application platform, operates with above-industry-standard security certificates to securely store and protect all data collected. Your information will not be copied, shared, or viewed by anyone not directly involved in the FASNF initiative.


Will you be publicly announcing those selected to receive a grant?

No. We will not be revealing the names or identities of applicants receiving funding from the FASNF initiative without prior permission in writing. If your organization receives a grant and would like to share the news publicly, please do that at your own discretion.


How long until I know whether or not our organization was selected to receive a grant?

Please expect up to six weeks after the deadline. Our grants team will be reviewing all applications during this time, and making recommendations for grant recipients. Only applicants selected to receive a grant will be contacted. If you have not heard back from a representative from either the FASNF or the Fresno Arts Council within six weeks, you may assume that your application was not selected. Please do not email or call Fresno Arts Council staff as to the status of your application: staff will not have that information available.


If I receive a grant, do I have to report anything in return?

Not to the FAC, but you may have to report this as taxable income.


If I receive a grant, will I need to do anything in return?

In furtherance of the Fresno Arts Council’s nonprofit mission to encourage participation and appreciation of the arts, FASNF grant recipients will be asked to collaborate with the Fresno Arts Council to interface with the public. We ask that you identify the Fresno Arts Council on all promotional and printed materials for one year from the date of the award.


Who is administering the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund?

The Fresno Arts Council will be managing the entire initiative from application to grant distribution. This program was funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the California Arts Council, a state agency, in addition to private donations from individuals in the community.


In light of the undetermined length of the debilitating economic condition caused by this pandemic, you can demonstrate your support for local artists and cultural practitioners.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes, all donations are fully tax-deductible to the full extent of the law: The Fresno Arts Council is administering this fund.


Where will my donation go?

Your donation will go directly into the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund, a stand-alone fund reserved only for grantmaking; the fund will be administered by the Fresno Arts Council.


How much of my donation is going to artists?

Other than a small credit card processing fee, 100% of all online donations will go directly into the Fresno Arts Safety Net Fund. No donations will be used for administrative salaries, advertising, promotion, or any other normal business operations activity at the Fresno Arts Council.


Where can I find more financial resources for artists impacted by COVID-19?

Please visit the California Arts Council’s COVID-19 Information Page for a full list of local, state, and federal resources. The list will continue growing as new resources are added near daily:


Do we know how artists and arts organizations in California have been impacted already by COVID-19?

Yes, the California Arts Council recently released an infographic detailing the results of their preliminary impact survey here.