Headlands Center for the Arts

Community Rapid Response Fund

Headlands Center for the Arts launched the Community Rapid Response fund in 2020 to support in-progress, community-based projects led by artists. Our aim with the Community Rapid Response Fund is to support work focused on health, safety, and risk management for workers and neighbors; the reopening and recovery of local businesses; the preservation of legacy or historic community resources; and social or civic justice movements; and developed in partnership between artists and Bay Area businesses, organizations, or others.


Community Rapid Response Fund Details

Goals: The purpose of Headlands’ support is to provide rapid funding to help such work, as outlined above, to continue.

Funding: Headlands will support up to five projects with $1000 each, with the total number of projects funded dependent on the number of eligible projects submitted. Funding is to be disbursed in late February, 2021.

How to Apply: Apply by February 8, 2021. Representatives of eligible projects should email a letter of interest to programmanager@headlands.org with subject line: Community Rapid Response Fund Letters should include the following:

  • Name/Description of project
  • Names of community partners
  • Stage of project
  • Bios of project leads
  • Up to three images, if applicable to the project


  • Projects must be Bay Area-based (defined as within Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties).
  • Projects must be in-progress.
  • Projects must be at least in part artist-led.
  • Projects must focus on one or more of the subject areas described above.

(note: award recipients and/or their fiscal sponsors will need to fill out a form W-9 to receive funds.) Evaluation Criteria: Preference given to projects:

  • Led by Black, Indigenous, and/or Artists of Color.
  • Working within vulnerable communities, such as, but not limited to, communities of: compromised immunity, color, trans/queer identities.
  • That will be significantly impacted by the funding received.


Community Rapid Response Fund Recipients


Baile Colectivo; San Francisco, CA
To support dance and storytelling workshops for a worker-run collective of Latinx immigrant domestic workers.

Baile Colectivo aims to increase the health, self-confidence, agency, and visibility of all participants, counter anti-immigrant rhetoric, and to raise awareness around the dignity of labor. Baile Colectivo’s lead artist Andreina Maldonado works with community partners Dance Brigade and La Colectiva de Mujeres, a women’s worker-run collective, to offer free, twice-weekly Spanish-English bilingual dance and movement classes to low-income Latin American immigrant women that are primarily domestic workers. Culminating projects include a free public performance event and a short film based on participants’ stories entitled “Mujer, Trabajo, Salud,” made in partnership with videographers Mara Hernandez and Enrique Pedroza and The California Domestic Workers Coalition.

CTRL+SHFT; Oakland, CA
In support of QTPOCalypse, a series of virtual, artist-led engagements about building hope and resilience during the pandemic.

CTRL+SHFT is a Queer, Trans, and People of Color (QTPOC) majority collective providing affordable studio space to local artists in West Oakland. CTRL+SHIFT is hosting a short series of QTPOC artist-led engagements sharing art practices and collective strategies to build resilience and hope during this pandemic. CRRF funding will go towards artist honorariums to lead the engagements, creating much needed paid opportunities when so many have been cancelled and postponed due to COVID-19.

Kultivate Labs; San Francisco, CA
To create Kapwa Gardens, an urban garden and programming space for housing insecure and precarious residents of San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood.

Kultivate Labs, along with design partners CAMO studios, are building a healing space called Kapwa Gardens for their community to recover from the devastating mental, physical, and economic effects of COVID-19. Kapwa Gardens is a rehabilitation project at an abandoned parking lot located in the newly minted SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Cultural District, an area where many minority residents live in cramped SRO conditions with very little access to green-space to gather safely. The new space features calamansi trees, space for impacted industries including food trucks and vending stalls, and a socially distanced staging area for community events such as fitness classes and live performances.

Moments Co-op; Oakland, CA
To support Moments Co-op’s Project Residency program, providing resources for Oakland-based artists or organizers who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color in developing mutual aid programs in downtown Oakland.

Moments is a cooperatively-run bookstore and community space in downtown Oakland with a mission to uplift queer, trans, and BIPOC voices and visions in order to build the conditions for our communities to thrive here and now. The CRRF award will sustain Moments’ Project Residency program, which focuses on creating and sustaining long-term mutual aid and community care projects devised and led by artists. The first artists to receive the Project Residency are Danielle Hirokane and Viola LeBeau.


Praba Pilar The Techno Tamaladas Emeryville, CA

The Techno-Tamaladas draw on thousands of years of practice & knowledge cultivating corn/maize across the Americas to sustain life. Recognizing the Indigenous technology of nixtamalization—the Nahuatl word for steeping and cooking maize in water with ash or slaked lime—and how it increases nutritional value and reduces mycotoxins, provides a springboard to reimagine technological futurity. This BIPOC-led project is an open invitation to tinkerers, artists, activists, scientists, eco folks, immigrants, refugees, students, homeless folks, tamale makers, tech workers, city council members, tamale lovers, and all community to sit together, make and share tamales, and dialogue on the sustainable technologies of communities of color. Funds will be used for the planting and tending of community milpas (mixed cropping fields) in Emeryville and Fruitvale, in partnership with ProArts Gallery of Oakland, African American video artist Ben Simmons, and Mexican scholar Charlotte Sáenz.  

Ratskin Records Mixed Reality Festival Oakland, CA

Ratskin Records is a collective record label and archival imprint championing decolonial experimental music based in the Bay Area. We focus on LGBTQ+, Black, Native, POC, and disabled artists who create work that sonically and politically pushes boundaries toward liberation. We work together to create an alternative to an industry that has historically exploited and devalued artist labor and work towards solutions for better artistic sustainability, as these mediums of expression are wholly important to the cultural empowerment of all marginalized people. We see the work of decolonial artists as world-building activism that centers empathy and basic human needs. The crux of our work is centered in engaging the healing power of sound for communities in struggle.

Funds will be used for the upcoming Mixed Reality Festival, an immersive VR event for de-colonial artists that untethers itself from the daily oppression of our lives.

Irrelevant Press Free Protest and Justice Printing (for Bay Area BIPOC Folks) Oakland, CA

Irrelevant Press is a zine collective and small press based in Oakland, CA. Funds will be used for free printing resources for Black artists and authors at no cost, requested via the Printing Justice League, an online alliance of printers worldwide formed after the George Floyd protests. These zines/prints/pamphlets have also raised significant funds for local housing, mutual aid, and racial justice organizations and continue to do so every day.

Vessels of Vallejo Billboards for Justice Vallejo, CA

Vessels of Vallejo is a community organization working to bring an end to the oppressive system that relies on the policing and the criminalization of disadvantaged people, specifically those of the Black and Brown community. Vessels of Vallejo has secured a six-month outdoor advertising contract for a Billboards for Justice campaign. The billboards will demand justice for victims of the Vallejo Police Department and promote accountability and transparency within policing and city government. Funds will be used for the commissioning of artwork from Vallejo-based BIPOC artists and art students for billboards in downtown and central Vallejo.

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Black Exodus Zine San Francisco, CA

Black Exodus is the first chapter of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project’s (Dis)location project: a multi-platform publication and workshop series centered on the issue of local housing justice, with Black Exodus focusing on the historically Black neighborhoods of the Bayview/Hunters Point and the Fillmore/Western Addition in San Francisco, and centering Black residents in the mapping of these neighborhoods’ pasts, presents, and imagined futures. Funds will be used for the print and online zine project: (Dis)location: Black Exodus, which, while having reached the key milestone of an initial print run and website launch, is in need of immediate funding for the costs of printing a second run of zines, distributing them to key stakeholders, and updating the website with post-COVID content related to the key issue of housing justice and Black displacement in San Francisco at a moment when the voices, message and resources included in the project are urgently needed to be heard and made widely available.


Headlands’ programs for artists and the public are possible thanks to generous support from Headlands Board of Directors, donors, underwriters, foundations, and other institutional partners.

 photo by Andria Lo; wall drawing by Tucker Nichols (AIR ’10, AFF ’11–’14).