Regional Report

San Francisco Bay Area

Carolyn Evans

Arts Loan Fund: The Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund (ALF) is conducting a survey of Bay Area arts organizations to determine the reasons for a marked reduction in applications to the Fund. Through the survey, ALF would like to learn: How often have organizations used the program in the past and why have they not applied for loans in the past twelve months? What is the current financial environment for arts nonprofits in the region? How do organizations see themselves evolving during the next several years? Do they encounter obstacles in applying for an ALF loan? And how can ALF better serve its clients?

The ALF is available to nonprofit arts organizations that are experiencing cash flow problems. Arts organizations must have 501(c)(3) status and be located in the Bay Area. The ALF operates three short-term loan programs: 1) secured loans up to $20,000 that must be secured against grants, government contracts, or other guaranteed income; 2) benefit/performance loans up to $10,000 that are secured against box office returns or fundraising events; and 3) venture capital loans up to $20,000 for income-producing business ventures that are secured against grants, government contracts, or other guaranteed income.

ALF Loan Committee members are program staff of the foundations that contribute to the Fund.

GIA Regional Meeting: Bay Area GIA members will hold the first GIA regional meeting in the spring 1998. To give the meeting a local base, GIA is teaming up with Northern California Grantmakers (NCG). To begin the Bay Area's regional communication, local members of the NCG Arts Loan Fund convened in September to discuss Bay Area arts and arts funding. Results of last year's GIA member survey provided the impetus for the regional meeting.

Arts Education Funders Collaborative: The Arts Education Funders' Collaborative (AEFC) is an alliance of grantmakers who work closely with the San Francisco Unified School District, the San Francisco Art Commission, and nonprofit arts organizations to strengthen arts education in San Francisco public elementary schools and child development centers. The AEFC provides support for professional development, classroom activity, and the dissemination of information about arts education. The project works directly with schools to reinforce cooperative alliance among administrators, educators, and artists. (See the article by Frances Phillips, “Arts Education, Partnerships for Change,” Grantmakers in the Arts Newsletter, autumn 1996, Vol. 7, No. 2, page 24.)

After serving all but one of San Francisco's elementary schools at the close of Phase I of the program, AEFC will embark on Phase II this fall. Project activities for the next four-year period include publication of an updated edition of Inside/Out, an arts education directory; and provision of elementary school professional development services that include professional development days, art education grants, technical assistance, and mini-institutes. Services will also be provided to child development centers. An evaluation component has been added and case study reports on best practices in the program will be disseminated.

As this newsletter went to press, members of the collaborative learned that the Superintendent of the San Francisco Public Schools is now studying options for integrating the program into elementary schools on a district-wide basis.