Niloufar Talebi, photo by Devlin Shand 


PLEASE NOTE: Applications are not currently being accepted. If you have questions, please contact Jessi Misslin, Senior Program Officer, at 

Drawing inspiration from the vision of Phyllis Wattis and her legacy of support for the arts in the Bay Area, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation remains committed to funding the creation of both the fine and performing arts through its New Works grants program, as well as organizations providing direct support to individual artists through its Legacy Grants program. The foundation prioritizes support for smaller, independent arts organizations presenting challenging and cutting-edge works. 

The general requirements for eligibility are:

  • Organizations and artists that work in Alameda, Marin, and/or San Francisco counties

  • Public charities operating under an IRS 501(c)(3) status or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization

Grants are made in support of the following practices:

  • Visual Arts, including the exhibition of painting and sculpture

  • Performance, including opera and theater works

  • Music

  • Dance

  • Other, including festivals 


Organizational support is provided for arts organizations and intermediary programs providing support for individual artists, this can include access to financial support, professional development, networking and career advancement opportunities.​

The foundation will not fund: organizations whose overall budget is greater than $2.5 million dollars, capital expansion, endowment funds, seed grants, scholarships, direct individual awards, or research and planning.  


The foundation typically awards grants twice per year. In light of the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our communities, the foundation has shifted all grantmaking in 2020 to direct unrestricted support Bay Area arts organizations, including increasing the number of Legacy grants awarded, supporting regional artist relief funds, and placing the New Works grant cycle on hold.


The foundation is currently preparing grantmaking guidelines for 2021. Please check back in March 2021 for further details about future funding opportunities. 


Legacy Grant decisions will be issued in late Spring 2021. Please check back in March 2021 for further information on deadlines.


New Works decisions will be issued  in late Fall 2021. Please check back in March 2021 for further information on deadlines.

© The Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation | Branding & website by Hope Meng Design