Alternative Exposure Round 18

How to Apply

The Application Portal for Round 18 Opens June 10, 2024

Questions? Please visit our guidelines and FAQ page or contact us at [email protected].

2024 Guidelines

Alternative Exposure grants directly fund visual arts projects that provide frameworks of support for artists to create and continue their work. Grants support projects that present the work of more than one artist and can support the creation and/or presentation of work. Both individuals and groups are eligible to apply on behalf of a project; 501c3 non-profit entities are not eligible to apply. If applying as a group, the artistic group or venue can be either long-standing or formed specifically for this opportunity. 

Key Dates:

  • Application Deadline: Monday, August 12, 2024, 11:59 PM

  • Grantee Notification: End of September

  • Projects start after: November 1, 2024

  • Projects finish before: June 30, 2026

Your application must be completed online through the Submittable portal only. Applications are available in English and Spanish


    • The lead organizer must have an address in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, or Sonoma County. For collectives or groups, additional collaborators may live outside of these counties but the majority of collaborators in the group must live in an eligible county.
    • Resulting project activities must be accessible and presented to the public within at least one of the above areas.
    • Funded projects must be completed before June 30, 2026 and after November 1, 2024. For projects or programs that are a part of an ongoing project, the work supported by Alternative Exposure should be completed within this timeframe.
    • Applicants may be a lead organizer on more than one application, however, in these cases only one of their projects can be selected for funding.
    • Applicants that have received Alternative Exposure grants from Rounds 1-15 (2007-2021) are eligible to apply again as lead organizers if the first project was successfully completed and the final report was submitted to Southern Exposure. Recipients of Alternative Exposure Emergency Grants in 2020 are eligible to apply for this round of project-based funding.
    • Grantees from Rounds 16 (2022) or 17 (2023) are NOT eligible to apply again as lead organizers in Round 18. However, former grantees (both lead organizers and additional collaborators) from all previous rounds may participate in 2024 applications for new, unrelated projects as collaborators.
    • Projects that are fiscally sponsored are eligible, but this is not required.
    • Board members, staff, or curatorial council members of Southern Exposure are not eligible to apply as lead organizers of projects.


    • Projects presented by established art spaces or 501c3 nonprofit organizations are NOT eligible to apply. 
    • LLC's, collectives, or art spaces with an annual operating budget of over $100,000 are not eligible.
    • Work that is not based in the visual arts is not eligible. Traditional theatrical or dance performances, film productions, or purely sound/music performances without a visual component are not eligible.
    • An individual artist seeking support to make their own work is not eligible.
    • Individual artists whose work includes groups of people in its creation, but whose finished work is solely considered that of the individual artist’s, not the collaborative group as a whole are not eligible.
    • Work that is presented at Southern Exposure is not eligible.


    Southern Exposure’s review process will take 6-8 weeks. Proposals will be reviewed by an impartial panel of three local and/or national jurors who are artists and arts professionals. Reviews will be based on the following criteria:

    • The artistic strength and creative vision of the proposed project.
    • How the proposed project will support Bay Area artists.
    • The demonstrated capacity of the applicant(s) to realize the proposed project.
    • The completed project's accessibility to the public and its commitment to serving a local constituency.
    • The project's support for a diverse artistic community beyond those historically privileged by arts institutions, with priority given to projects led by Black, Indigenous, POC, queer, trans, GNC, disabled, and low-income artists

    Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of three local and/or national jurors made up of artists and arts professionals currently working in the field of visual arts.


    Outline your project in the form of a brief summary along with a full description and address the following:

    • Describe your project in detail.
    • Where will your project take place? (Proposed projects may not take place at Southern Exposure.) No worries if you don’t have a location yet, please share how you plan to secure one. If your project does not require a physical venue, how will it be publicly accessed?
    • Describe how your project supports or provides opportunities for local artists.
    • Tell us about your approximate project timeline and include milestone dates relevant to your project.
    • If you haven't yet selected artists whose work will be presented, describe how you will choose the artists.
    • If you haven't produced a project like this before, please describe your relevant experience completing a similar project.


    3. BUDGET

    (Find samples of previous grantee budgets here.)

    Click HERE to access the required budget form in google sheets, y en español aquí. click File>Make a copy, fill out your copy, and share a link to your budget form, or download a budget form as a fillable pdf HERE. y en español aquí. You may make a copy to fill out the form in google sheets or download the form to fill it out in Adobe Acrobat or Preview or print and fill it out by hand.

    You will be prompted to upload up to 10 digital files and URLs when you are completing the online application.


    Tell us how we can get in touch with the lead organizer, and up to six additional collaborators.



    • You will need to create a free Submittable account or sign in with Google or Facebook credentials to submit to these forms.
    • You can save a draft of your work if you would like to finish filling out the form at a later date.
    • If anything changes with the information you submitted, please request to edit the submission / If you need to make changes to your form, please withdraw your submission and resubmit.
    • Submittable works best on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported. Please make sure you are using a supported browser.


    A list of guidelines and frequently asked questions can be found here in English or here in Spanish


    Your application must be completed online through the Submittable portal only. Applications are available in English and Spanish