Alternative Exposure Round 17

How to Apply

The Application Portal for Round 17 is now closed!

Check back in Spring 2024 for Round 18 Guidelines.

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

2023 Guidelines

Alternative Exposure grants directly fund visual arts projects that provide frameworks of support for multiple artists to create and continue their work. Both individual organizers and groups are eligible to apply. If applying as a group, the artistic group or venue can be either long-standing or formed specifically for this opportunity.


  • Application Deadline: Monday, August 7, 11:59 PM 
  • Grantee Notification: End of September
  • Projects start after: November 1, 2023
  • Projects finish before: June 30, 2025

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


    • 501c3 nonprofit organizations are NOT eligible to apply. Fiscally sponsored projects are eligible to apply.
    • Projects may not be a part of the primary programming of an established arts organization.
    • 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.
    • Resulting project activities must be accessible and presented to the public within one of the above counties.
    • Funded projects must be started after November 1, 2023 and completed by June 30, 2025. For projects that are a part of an ongoing program, the work supported by Alternative Exposure should be completed by this date.
    • Applicants may be a lead organizer on more than one application, however, in these cases only one of their projects may be selected for funding.
    • Staff, board, and curators of Southern Exposure are not eligible to apply as a lead organizer for Alternative Exposure support.
    • Applicants that have received Alternative Exposure grants from Rounds 1-14 (2007-2020) are eligible to apply again as lead organizers if the first project was successfully completed and the final report was submitted to Southern Exposure. 
    • Grantees from Rounds 15 (2021) or 16 (2022) are NOT eligible to apply again as lead organizers in Round 16. However, former grantees (both lead organizers and additional collaborators) from all previous rounds may participate in 2023 applications for new, unrelated projects as collaborators.


    Southern Exposure’s review process will take 6-8 weeks. Applications will be evaluated 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.

    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.


    • Work that is not based in, or strongly related to the visual arts 
    • Programming of established arts organizations
    • An individual artist seeking support to make their own work
    • 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
    • Work that is presented at Southern Exposure


    Your submission should include visual support materials, a short description of your project, and a completed budget form. 

    Click HERE to access the required budget form in google sheets, 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 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