About the Art Awards Program
The San Francisco Foundation is proud to bestow a variety of awards in literature, visual arts, film/video, and playwriting each year that help foster innovation and individual artistic growth within our community.
Since 2005, The San Francisco Foundation has worked in partnership with the national arts funder, Artadia to support outstanding Bay Area artists. Artadia provides visual art awards in seven U.S. cities, including San Francisco. The San Francisco Foundation funds one of the four cash awards, the $15,000 James D. Phelan Award, given to one standout artist from among the ten finalists.
Community Leadership Award: In the spirit of Helen Crocker Russell
The Helen Crocker Russell Community Leadership Award acknowledges under-recognized artists for their significant contributions to the Bay Area.
The John Gutmann Photography Fellowship was established in 1998 by the internationally recognized photographer, John Gutmann. Once a year, $5,000 to $10,000 is awarded to up to two emerging artists in the field of creative photography who exhibit professional accomplishment and serious artistic commitment, along with financial need.
The distinguished Joseph Henry Jackson, James D. Phelan, and Mary Tanenbaum Literary Awards offer $2,000 to each qualifying literary artists for their outstanding work based on the submission of an un-published manuscript in-progress. Submissions may be in any one of the following literary forms: fiction (novel or short stories), nonfictional prose, poetry, and spoken word.
The Rella Lossy Playwright Award honors the memory of the late Rella Lossy, a lifelong lover and champion of the American theatre and playwriting. The award is given annually to one emerging playwright and their world premier play. One half of the $5,000 award covers production costs of the play and the second half is given to the playwright.
The Jack K. and Gertrude Murphy Fellowships, and Edwin Anthony and Adalaine Boudreaux Cadogan Scholarships help fuel the continued forward-thinking, visual arts movement that makes the Bay Area unique. Established in 1986, these awards are designed to further the development of Bay Area MFA students’ and to foster the exploration of their artistic potential in digital art, film/video, hybrid practice, installation, mixed media, painting, photography, and sculpture. The winner of the Murphy Award receives $40,000 and winners of the Cadogan Scholarships receive $6,500 in tuition assistance and have their work displayed in a professionally-curated exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center.