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        Zoo Labs - CCI Arts

        Funding Opportunity

        July 10, 2024 |

        Zoo Labs empowers Black, Indigenous, and people of color to own and amplify their music businesses through entrepreneurial training, resource exchange, focused mentorship, and community building. In 2024, Zoo Labs: FUND will make available $225,000 in unrestricted grants to Bay Area BIPOC and BIPOC-led artist teams with a music business.

        To address both the marked lack of capital for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) artists, as well as the lack of practical and affordable business education that cultural innovators need in order to begin and scale their creative businesses, Zoo Labs evolved its West Oakland-based, in-person programming to reach a broader audience in the Bay Area and beyond. In 2021, Zoo Labs introduced Zoo Labs: FUND, a competitive grant opportunity that supports BIPOC music businesses through unrestricted cash awards. FUND recipients also receive access to a suite of mentorship resources offered by Zoo Labs: LEARN, including on-demand artist-tailored entrepreneurial courses, virtual group learning and networking sessions, and curated pairings with business mentors.

        Zoo Labs: FUND returns in 2024 for a fourth grantmaking round that will be administered in partnership with Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), a trusted nonprofit intermediary focused on the financial well-being of artists, arts workers, culture bearers, and creative entrepreneurs.

        Zoo Labs: FUND welcomes additional support!
        If you would like to help with a tax-deductible contribution, click here to donate online,
        or contact Stephanie Barajas, Program Officer, at


        To be considered for funding, applicants:

        • Must be BIPOC or BIPOC-led teams of two or more people, with at least one artist member1. Additionally, we encourage teams who are of historically marginalized communities, including LGBTQIA+ and gender variant people, people with disabilities, and immigrants to apply;
        • Must be launching or have an already established music business2;
        • Must reside full-time in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, or Sonoma County. This criterion applies to ALL team members.
        • Can be any age, however, if a member of the team is 18 years old or younger, CCI staff must be contacted to discuss the team’s eligibility;
        • Can be a previous grantee3, however, first-time award recipients may be prioritized; and
        • Cannot have a conflict of interest (family or financial relationship) with the board, staff, or directors of Center for Cultural Innovation, Zoo Labs, or Intersection for the Arts.
        1. Teams may consist of artists, content creators, producers, developers, engineers, managers, advisors, and other supporting roles.
        2. Music as a product, program, service, or art form/cultural expression must be the key feature of the business. We are open to a range of music businesses such as groups/ensembles, recording studios, music festivals or events, vinyl record presses, record labels, music technology, music-based healing services, and music education nonprofits, to name a few examples.
        3. Previous grantees must submit an approved final report and fulfill their mentorship requirements in order to be eligible for funding consideration.

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