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Niloufar Talebi, photo by Devlin Shand 


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

  • Theater, including opera

  • Music

  • Dance


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.​ Support for arts festivals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact foundation staff to discuss your request for festival support.

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, research and planning, or literary arts programs.  


The foundation awards grants twice per year. The application timeline is below:


2023 Legacy Grants will be reviewed on an invite-only basis, focused on continued support for existing grantees.


Organizations that have not received prior Legacy Grant support will not be considered in 2023.


Eligible organizations will be contacted by foundation staff during the spring 2023, with grant decisions scheduled to be issued in early summer 2023. 

Please email Jessi Misslin, Senior Program Officer for questions.


Specific dates relating to the New Works grant cycle will be announced in the spring of 2023.

Please find an overview of the application for your review and planning purposes.

Interested in applying?

If you have not received previous New Works support and would like to learn more about the foundation's funding priorities, please email Jessi Misslin, Senior Program Officer.

Open Application Period

Summer 2023, TBD

Applications will be accepted via the grants portal during this time.

Proposals Due


Grant Decisions

The board will meet in late fall and grants will be awarded before year-end.

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