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

  • 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 awards grants twice per year. Both the Legacy Grants and New Works grant cycles have concluded for 2021. The grantmaking calendar for 2022 will be posted early in 2022. 


Submission dates will be posted early in 2022 and will likely take place in the spring.



The LOI submission dates will be posted early in 2022 and will likely take place in the summer.

Grant Period
New Works Grants will have a grant period of 12 months. Projects must be produced within 12 months from the date of receiving funding.