Grant opportunity for art-focused activities that support community safety and healing

News Article
The Community Safety Program of the Office of Community & Civic Life is teaming up with the City’s Creative Laureate and the City Arts Program to launch a pilot grant program for activities that support community grieving and healing, with a focus on safety.
Civic Life logo

This past year has been tough. Collectively we have experienced a global pandemic, economic hardships, a rise in gun violence, and a movement demanding racial justice. Many communities are still grieving and need time, resources, and space to heal.

One way to heal is through community, but it is challenging for some community members to gather safely because of how they are seen and treated in public spaces. This barrier ultimately prevents the much-needed grief and healing rituals from occurring, which can extend trauma and suffering.

This grant opportunity provides funds for art-inspired projects that allow neighbors to address grief and/or healing so that Portlanders can feel connected and safe.

Grant Amounts

$2,000 - $5,000 (applicant self-identifies need)

Total Funds Available 



  • Applicants can be individual artists, artist collectives, LLCs and nonprofit entities who have existing relationships and/or prior experience working with the neighborhood and/or community they identify in their applications. Non-arts based organizations are welcome to apply as long as your proposal is arts centered. 
  • Residents of the City of Portland, or organizations based in the City of Portland. 
  • The proposed activation or event should be free and accessible to the public, and take place between Aug.1 - Nov. 31, 2021.

Deadline for Application Submission

5 p.m. Friday, July 2, 2021

Decisions Will be Announced

Friday, July 23, 2021

Funds Disbursement and Required Reporting 

Funds will be disbursed as one single disbursement. Before funds are disbursed, the following will need to be completed:

  1. W9 of party receiving the funds.
  2. Simple contract that outlines partnership and support details, including project promotion.  
  3. A demographics survey that indicates the communities served through the grant project.

Centering Principles of this Project

We would like to amplify and celebrate the following three principles from the City of Portland’s Core Values through this pilot project: 

  1. Intentional Partnership: Actively emphasize racial and social justice, inclusion, human rights, institutional and systemic change. Identify the needs of underrepresented communities, and work in allyship to find solutions. 
  2. Cultural Humility: Work to understand diverse cultural values and celebrate differences. 
  3. Leading Change: Participate in dialogue focused on positive change. When moving through challenging times, consider how we are responsive, timely, and transparent. 

Elements to Consider when Applying for this Grant Opportunity

  1. Artistic practices: We welcome all disciplines.
  2. Community engagement: Has your plan been informed by the community and/or neighborhood? Do you have support and partnership?
  3. Grief and/or healing as a central theme: Portlanders have endured the COVID-19 pandemic, political discord around the necessary racial reckoning work, extreme climate disasters like wildfires and an ice storm, and drastic changes to daily life. How is your application addressing these historic times of heightened emotional exhaustion and grief?
  4. Identifying safety concerns and/or opportunities in your community and/or neighborhood: What kind of community awareness around safety will your project bring to light? 

(Optional) What resources would help you in making your plans safe? For resources on this section please visit the following pages: 

  1. Neighbors Together:
  2. Community Safety Training Videos:
  3. Trauma-informed Resources:                                                                                                                                                                              

How to Apply

Please send an email to Sandra.Lefrancois@portlandorego… with the answers to the following questions and provide the attachments requested in the same email. Your subject line should read “APPLICATION for Community Safety and Healing through Art Grant.” 

Answer these questions. You can attach a document or answer in the body of the email. Please limit your answers to two pages maximum (less than 1000 words). 

  • Title of project
  • Name of lead applicant
  • Are you applying as an organization or as an individual?
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Website (if applicable)
  • Location of proposed activity
  • Proposed dates 
  • Describe your plans. Focus on your existing partnerships between artists and the community this proposal seeks to serve.
  • How do you see your proposal addressing the community safety needs of your neighborhood and/or community partners identified? Use the section above titled “What are the four elements you will need to consider to apply for this grant opportunity” to guide you in this question. 
  • How will you use the grant funds? Specifically tell us what the dollar amount will be allocated to. NOTE: The most compelling applications will address artist- and community-centered spending rather than supplies and/or permits. For events taking place at parks managed by Portland Parks & Recreation, there may be additional, limited funding available to help subsidize park fees through this grant program.

Provide these attachments:

  • A simple budget of your proposed activity.
  • IRS letter if you are applying as a 501(c)3 organization.
  • Biographies of lead applicant and collaborators.

Decision-Making Process

A panel of three community members will gather with the City’s Creative Laureate, Subashini Ganesan, on July 16 to deliberate and select a pool of successful applicants. This pool of successful applicants will be sent to the City Arts Program for final approval. Public announcements will be made on July 23 via email. 

Assistance Available

For assistance with applications contact to set up a 25-minute one-on-one Zoom conversation. Subject line of email should read “Help with Safety and Healing Grant Application.” In the body please briefly describe your project and your need (for example, I am confused about how to present a budget attachment, or I am still unsure about location of the event.). Indicate as many half-hour options you have available as possible based on the schedule below:

  • Tuesday, June 15 between 9 and 11:30 a.m. 
  • Thursday, June 17 between 9 and 11:30 a.m. 
  • Friday, June 18 between 9 and 11:30 a.m. 

Please also note if you will need ASL interpretation and/or translation services.  

About the Community Healing through Art initiative

Community Healing through Art” is a six-month arts-focused, multi-pronged, community-informed collective grieving and healing initiative. This initiative was launched in April 2021, and is led by our Creative Laureate (Subashini Ganesan) and the City Arts Program, with support from Mayor Wheeler's Office and Commissioner Rubio's office. Our initiative seeks to:

  • Respectfully amplify the diverse ways by which we grieve, mourn and heal as a community.
  • Honor and highlight artistic and communal resiliency.
  • Recognize that our survival depends on intertwined communities of cultural organizers, artists and activists creating and sharing space, resources and mutual aid.

About the Community Safety Program of the Office of Civic Life

The goal of the Community Safety Program of the Office of Civic Life is to make all Portlanders feel safe, connected, and welcomed. The program brings community members together to work toward the common good by building proactive relationships and creating equitable outcomes for all.

There are many factors that go into keeping our communities safe. Civic Life's Community Safety program works to address three of the six main determinants of safety: personal safety, community education, and social and mental health.

Illustration: social determinants for safety


Contact or