Dara Katrina Del Rosario
Communications & Partnerships Manager
[email protected]


SOMArts Cultural Center to Receive Grant

from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan

January 28, 2021, San Francisco, CA—SOMArts Cultural Center is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. SOMArts Cultural Center is recommended to receive $100,000 and may use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as SOMArts, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”

“In this time of ongoing uncertainty and hardship, it is essential that arts organizations receive much-needed support that will allow us to continue in our mission,” says SOMArts’ Creative and Executive Director, Maria Jenson. “Funding from the NEA will ensure that there continues to be space and opportunities for visionary Black and brown artists and curators in San Francisco.”

Each member of SOMArts’ small dedicated team of arts professionals juggles many hats at once. Primarily people of color, SOMArts’ staff demonstrates a deep commitment to the diverse communities we serve, and readiness to adapt to our communities’ strengths, hopes, and needs. This generous grant from the NEA will support our organization’s ability to increase staff capacity, salaries, benefits, and professional development opportunities commensurate with our staff’s knowledge, and the ever-increasing cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Iluminaciones: Dia de Los Muertos Drag Show, 2021. Photography courtesy of Graham Holoch

The Blueprint: If the Universe Can Be Imagined It Exists: The Black Woman is God, 2021–2022. Photography courtesy of Rich Lomibao

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit


SOMArts Cultural Center, founded in 1979, cultivates access to the arts within the Bay Area by collaborating with community-focused artists and organizations. Together, we engage the power of the arts to provoke just and fair inclusion, cultural respect and civic participation.

SOMArts plays a vital role in the arts ecosystem by helping activate the arts citywide. We do this by providing space and production support for non-profit events, as well as fairs and festivals throughout the Bay Area, and offering a robust program of art exhibitions, classes, events and performances that are affordable and accessible to all. SOMArts’ exhibition programs receive critical support from the San Francisco Arts Commission and The San Francisco Foundation, and are sponsored in part by a grant from Grants for the Arts.

SOMArts is located at 934 Brannan Street—between 8th and 9th—within 2 blocks of 101, I-80, Muni lines and bike paths. For public information call 415-863-1414 or visit Stay connected by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.