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Southern Exposure recognizes that artists are facing unforeseen and potentially catastrophic challenges right now due to canceled and postponed exhibitions, performances, and other gigs and day jobs due to COVID-19.

Southern Exposure, with the support of San Francisco Grants for the Arts, is allocating a total of $19,000 through our Alternative Exposure (Alt Ex) regranting program to support San Francisco-based working artists in need right now. Priority will be given to artists who are Black, Indigenous, POC, elder, LGBTQ+, disabled, immunocompromised, and immigrants. Nineteen grants of $1,000 each will be made available to visual and multidisciplinary artists. Funds may be used to cover any needed expenses that are related to lost income due to COVID-19. 

San Francisco-based visual and multidisciplinary artists are eligible. Applicants can be individual artists or an individual representing an artist collective, ensemble, or group. Artists who have received Alternative Exposure grants in the past are eligible, aside from the recipients of the most recent Alt Ex Emergency Grants in June 2020 (Alt Ex round 14). 

The City of San Francisco, which is funding this round of grants, defines "San Francisco-based" artist as someone who:

  • currently resides in San Francisco; and/or
  • has a studio space with a San Francisco address; and/or
  • is fiscally sponsored by an organization which is based in San Francisco (Southern Exposure is not able to offer this. Please note that other potential fiscal sponsoring organizations often have a long application lead time.); and/or
  • is a university student at a San Francisco institution.

Please note that proof of one of the above criteria will be required as part of being awarded a grant.

Artists should be prepared to make current or recent work publicly viewable to residents of San Francisco via Southern Exposure’s website.

There are many who are in need right now. Please use your own good judgement and make space for others if you are not facing a current emergency. 


  • October 16 - November 9, 2020: Applications accepted
  • November 20, 2020: Grantees determined & notified
  • December, 2020: Funds distributed

 Application requirements:

  • Short description of your artistic practice
  • Description of how funds will be allocated
  • Link to website, sample of past work, or CV

How will the grantees be determined? 

  • Applicants will be reviewed for eligibility and prioritization will be given to Black, Indigenous, POC, elder, LGBTQ+, disabled, immunocompromised, and immigrant artists. 

Am I eligible to apply if I have received an Alternative Exposure grant in the past? 

  • Yes, unless you received funding in June 2020 from Alternative Exposure Round 14. All other years are eligible.

Am I eligible to apply if I applied for but did not receive an Alternative Exposure grant in the past?

  • Yes, prior application will not have any bearing on this round of funding. All other above criteria will need to be met for consideration.

If I receive funding, will I be taxed on this grant?

  • Southern Exposure is unable to provide tax advice. IRS Publication 525 states: "You can exclude from income any amount you receive that is a qualified disaster relief payment. A qualified disaster relief payment is an amount paid to you: To reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses that result from a qualified disaster ... You can exclude this amount only to the extent any expense it pays for isn't paid for by insurance or otherwise."

 How quickly will the funds be sent out?

  • Grants will be distributed in December 2020.

 What can I use the funds for?

  • You may use the grant to pay for reasonable and necessary personal, family, or living expenses that are related to lost income due to COVID-19.

Southern Exposure (SoEx) is a vital Bay Area institution where visual artists have opportunities to conceive and present innovative contemporary art to new audiences. SoEx is dedicated to giving artists space, infrastructure, and resources they need to realize ideas and projects in an open, supportive environment.

A Brief History
The program was launched in 2007 in partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Since then, The Andy Warhol Foundation has invested in the creation of a growing national network of sixteen regional regranting programs.

With support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts and the Warhol Foundation, Southern Exposure continues to expand support for the vital creative work that would otherwise fly under the radar of traditional funders. Alternative Exposure reinforces the creative landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area arts community and plays a significant role in its growth, supporting the independent, self-organized work of artists and small groups that play a critical and significant role within the San Francisco Bay Area arts community.

To learn more about the many projects funded by Alternative Exposure, visit soex.org/alternative-exposure

Applicants will be notified of their status no later than Friday, November 20, 2020.
If you have questions regarding eligible projects or the application process, please attend one of the information sessions. If you are unable to attend any of the sessions or if you have any additional questions, please email us at alternativeexposure@soex.org.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.