Creating Queer Community is an annual grants program to commission LGBTQ+ artists and arts organizations to build their knowledge base around their artistic practice. We do this by providing small grants, free educational opportunities, and mentorship.

Creating Queer Community is comprised of three distinct programmatic levels, to provide a pathway for new artists to increase their skillsets to empower them to show their work in a professional setting.

Emerging Artists (EA)
Artists who have never produced a solo show, performance, or exhibition. This group is around 4 – 8 artists who are given opportunities to participate in a group or solo show and attend free workshops such as Writing an Artist Bio, Publicity & Marketing, Taxes for Artists, and Stage Lighting.

Creating Queer Community 1 (CQC1)
Open to artists who have gone through our EA program and want to continue developing their work and skills.

Creating Queer Community 2 (CQC2)
Open to more established artists who have experience putting on solo shows, or led the production of a group show with multiple artists. Also open to graduates of our EA or CQC1 programs. CQC2 artists receive funding to produce works for the National Queer Arts Festival.


Visit some of the past works our grantees have produced for the National Queer Arts Festival. These shows represent our Emerging Artist, CQC1 and CQC2 programs.

Creating Queer Community Grantees (2018)

This year’s theme—#Resist—for the National Queer Arts Festival seems a natural progression. With the systematic cruelty, hate speech and “fake facts” that are besieging all of our communities, it was time to both withstand and take action: the very definitions of Resist.

Creating Queer Community Grantees (2017)

Artistic Director, Pamela Peniston, wrote "I asked our artists: How and who do we see and how do we want to be seen? What are our new alliances made of and how will they be constructed? Looking back to our beginnings, what old ideas can be re-examined and what completely new allies, methods, and issues will we explore?"

Creating Queer Community Grantees (2016)

Twenty-two Creating Queer Community commissioned works made their debut during the 19th annual National Queer Arts festival in 2016 that spanned multiple venues in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Creating Queer Community Grantees (2015)

Our grantees for this year produced work around the theme of Connections. As LGBTQ+ people, we make connections across many so-called borders of ethnicity, gender, ability, and economic status as well as physical borders across cities, states and countries to assemble a family, to create art, to provoke commentary, to weave social justice issues into our practices, to explore spirituality and to have a hella good time.


The Crooked Room
Mother The Verb
Precarious Lives