Request for Proposal

Building Trust and Collaboration within Black-Led Arts Organizations

Project Overview

This Request for Proposal (RFP) seeks to identify qualified individuals or organizations to design and facilitate an integrated initiative to strengthen a cohort of black-led arts organizations, board members, key community members and occasionally, external municipal partners. This cohort of approximately 40 individuals will be based in San Francisco and the first phase of the work would be implemented during the 2018 calendar year. It is envisioned that this initiative would span approximately two years and would roll out in multiple phases. Upon the successful completion of each phase of the work, it may be determined to extend the consultant agreement and project period beyond two years and/or be replicated and implemented at additional sites.


The San Francisco Arts Commission has been committed to supporting artists and arts organizations that represent historically marginalized communities for decades. In addition to providing grants to artists and arts organization, the SFAC owns four cultural centers within the City that are leased to non-profits at the rate of $1 per year. Each of these non-profits are provided non-competitive general operating grants to help with basic building upkeep and programming to ensure that the space is activated and representative of the communities they are charged with serving.


 “Collective trauma can be alleviated through cohesive and collective efforts such as recognition, remembrance, solidarity, communal therapy and massive cooperation.”

-Franz Fanon

As the population of African Americans in San Francisco continues to decrease at alarming rates, it is imperative that deep, impactful work is undertaken and built upon to strengthen and sustain Black-led organizations in the City.

This initiative would focus on one cultural center, its primary non-profit tenant, sub-tenant arts organizations, key constituents and external stakeholders.  The primary non-profit has undergone significant transitions while the community is facing economic insecurity and continued threats of displacement.  The hypothesis behind an integrated approach that weaves together social service practices, non-profit management, and leadership development is that systems of oppression lead to historical trauma, organizational dysfunction and individual distrust: these systems must be addressed and acknowledged before communities can build strong, healthy, collaborative organizations and coalitions.

The chosen consultants should be knowledgeable in developing workshops and curriculum that 1) uncover and name the systems of oppression that are prevalent in developing and supporting historical and collective trauma; 2) incorporate social justice as a framework; and 3) understand assets-based approach to this work.  This would include: providing space to realize how systems of oppression impact individuals at all levels; help participants identify and recognized its signs and symptoms within their own behaviors and within external organizational systems; help participants identify their collective strengths, capacity, and talent; and cooperatively work to build policy and procedures and shared agreements that support a positive trajectory of the cultural center and broader community.  

Project Description


The goals of the initiative would be to identify both the assets and challenges that are present and relevant to the cohort and community, and work collaboratively and strategically to address those issues.

Indicators of success would be:

  1. The development of open, trusting, and transparent relationships amongst participants;
  2. Collective agreements that positively impact organizational frameworks, operational policies and procedures, and the future vision for the community; 
  3. The enhanced growth, sustainability, and sense of community among and between Black-led anchor cultural institutions affiliated with the center.

It is envisioned that this work would be divided into multiple phases and consist of the following components:

  1. Participant assessments to identify key issues;
  2. Framework development for the engagement process;
  3. Implementation of the engagement process;
  4. Opportunities to build trust and buy-in from stakeholders;
  5. Actions plans for capacity building, organizational transformation and community development;
  6. Assessment and measuring of outcomes;
  7. Summary reports for each phase of the initiative.


The maximum budget proposed for each phase should not exceed $10,000 and the total initiative budget cannot exceed $40,000 over the two year duration of the project. Each phase proposed should have a separate budget with detailed notes that reflect consultant(s) time developing, preparing, and implementing an initiative that provides a suitable dosage of hours to achieve the desired outcomes and deliverables.

Selection Process

All proposals wil be evaluated in an internal staff review using the following criteria:



Depth of experience and capabilities of the applicant and associated service delivery practitioners


Approach and methodology is reflective of and appropriate for the identified participants


Proposed costs are reasonable and in alignment with common business practices


In-Person interview, if invited


Total Possible Score


Project Timeline



RFP Released

November 17, 2017

All inquiries/questions submitted via email to:

December 1, 2017

All proposals submitted via email to:

December 15, 2017, 5:00pm

RFP Review

December 15, 2017-December 31, 2017

Interviews, by invitation only

January, 2018


End of January, 2018

Services begin

February, 2018


How To Apply

All applications must include:

  • A cover letter that includes contact information and the consultant(s) supplier number for the City and County of San Francisco. For more information:
  • A narrative response, (12 pt. font, Times New Roman, double spaced)  answering the following questions:
  1. Describe the consultant(s) experience providing services relevant to this RFP (1 page max)
  1. Describe how you would design, develop and implement a program to achieve the goals outlined in the RFP (2 pages max)
  1. Provide a detailed budget with budget notes outlining the costs to implement each phase of your program design
  • Biographies for all individuals that will be engaged in the initiative
  • Contact Information (phone number and email address) for 3 professional references, including past and present clients. Preferably, at least one of these references would be from a City and County of San Francisco client.
  • Up to two additional attachments that are relevant and supportive of the applicants experience and expertise


Qualified applicants must:

  • Demonstrate experience providing leadership development, non-profit trainings, and coaching through an integrated holistic approach that acknowledges systems of oppression and incorporates trauma-informed practices;
  • Have a track record of working specifically with Black-led organizations and communities, particularly in the Bay Area;
  • Be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco. For more information, go to:

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

February 06
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

February 06
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

February 06
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125
Public Meeting

Street Artists Screenings

February 06
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM

War Memorial Bldg | Rm 125