Beloved Community Fund

About The Beloved Community Fund

The Beloved Community Fund supports nonprofit organizations and those with fiscal sponsors in creating free arts and cultural events geared towards communities of color and that advance social justice in Oakland. Akonadi Foundation awards project-specific grants ranging from $2,000 – $15,000. In 2016, the average grant size was $7,300 with a total of $565,000 awarded to 77 projects.

Akonadi Foundation’s Beloved Community Fund supports free public arts and cultural events that celebrate, and are rooted in, communities of color in Oakland, and that advance racial justice.  Akonadi Foundation believes that art and cultural expression can strengthen unity and solidarity in communities by providing people with the opportunity to imagine the political and social transformation of their world.

In alignment with its mission and values, Akonadi Foundation launched the Beloved Community Fund in order to:

  • invest in efforts that use arts and culture as a method to build voice, power, and self determination in communities of color.
  • support projects and events that reclaim public space in Oakland, that affirm and celebrate the collective memory, shared histories, social identities, and cultures of communities of color living in the city. These spaces also provide a platform to discuss pressing issues and struggles.
  • affirm the relationship between public space and culture and thereby nurture a sense of healing, belonging, and community that can be a beacon for the rest of Oakland.
  • support people of color gathering and reclaiming public space through the process of cultural exchange in light of the negative forces of gentrification and displacement.

Grant awards are limited to $15,000 or less.

Cultural/Art Projects and Events Priority Areas

Racial trauma and healing
Representations of youth of color that combat stereotypes
Short- and long-term structural effects of police brutality and racial inequity on Black communities in particular and people of color generally.

Funding is not limited to these areas. We invite projects/events that meet the eligibility requirements and the purpose of the Beloved Community Fund but fall outside of these specific areas to submit proposals, as well.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Project must have strong artistic and cultural component(s).
  • Event must take place within Oakland city limits.
  • Event must be open and free to the public (although a limit on number of attendees related to venue is acceptable).
  • Project must demonstrate a commitment to celebrating communities of color in Oakland.
  • Projects must be completed within one year of the grant award date.
  • Date of event(s) must be after the award notification date (see award dates below).
  • Funds awarded must be spent on the projects specified in the grant application only.
  • An organization can only be awarded one Beloved Community Fund Grant in a calendar year.

*By artistic and cultural component we mean the event involves art, artists and /or cultural workers as an integral part of the event, and/or the event centers indigenous or traditional cultural knowledge and expression rooted in communities of color.

The Foundation makes grants to organizations that are exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a). Organizations can also submit applications through a sponsoring organization if the sponsor has 501(c)(3) status, is not a private foundation under 509(a), and provides written authorization confirming its willingness to act as the fiscal sponsor.

If a project was not awarded funds, an organization cannot reapply for the same project but may submit an application for funding for a completely new and separate project.

Events eligible for funding include but are not limited to:

Community Celebrations/Gatherings
Cross-Racial/Multi-Racial/ Cultural Exchanges
Festivals
Exhibits
Readings
Healing Clinics
Performances
Symposia
Historic Commemorations
Media projects that include a public cultural event
Series of arts/cultural workshops that include a public cultural event
Public art projects that include a public cultural event

Akonadi Beloved Community Fund grants do not support the following:
  • Akonadi will not grant funds for political advocacy efforts for or against a political candidate, ballot measure, or bill
  • Events that are conducted solely or primarily as fund-raisers will not be eligible for funding
  • General operating support
  • Religious, labor, fraternal, athletic, or political organizations
  • Projects based in public or private educational institutions (K-12, private schools, and universities)
  • More than one proposal per organization (except for fiscal receivers applying on behalf of more than one organization)
  • Multiple proposals for components of the same festival, event, or project
To Apply

To apply to the Beloved Community Fund, please complete the Eligibility Quiz below to see if you qualify. If you successfully complete the eligibility quiz, you will receive a link to our online application. Applications are ONLY accepted through Akonadi Foundation’s online grants system.

The BCF application process is highly competitive, as we manage finite funds with growing demand. Click BCF FAQ below to see a list of frequently asked questions, and the BCF App Guide to learn about our review criteria to support you in submitting a strong and competitive application.

Eligibility Quiz                        BCF FAQ                             BCF APP GUIDE

2017 Deadlines and Award Notification

Akonadi Foundation is committed to supporting arts and culture in communities of color as a strategy to advance racial justice.  As we bring on a Beloved Community Fund Program Officer, the Foundation also is undertaking an extensive review of BCF with the goal of achieving strategic alignment between all of its programs to achieve our vision of eliminating structural racism in Oakland and beyond. As such, in the interim, the Foundation will accept applications for 2017 grants under a revised schedule in order to support the onboarding of the new BCF  Program Officer:

PROPOSAL DUE DATE 

Due by 11:59pm

AWARD NOTIFICATION DATE
FRI 1/20/17 FRI 2/3/17
FRI 2/17/17 MON 3/6/17
FRI 3/17/17 MON 4/3/17
FRI 4/21/17 MON 5/8/17
FRI 6/23/17 MON 7/24/17
FRI 8/18/17 MON 9/18/17
FRI 10/20/17 MON 11/20/17

If you have questions about any of our programs, please contact Iris Garcia, Akonadi’s Learning and Impact Program Officer: Iris [at] akonadi.org