Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact

images/Zoo Labs Logo

The 2023 round of Zoo Labs: Fund will accept applications May 10 - June 28. Stay tuned!

Learn more about the 2022 grantees, here

Zoo Labs empowers Black, Indigenous, and people of color to own and amplify their music projects and businesses through entrepreneurial training, resource exchange, focused mentorship, and community building. In 2022, Zoo Labs: FUND made 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, which offers unrestricted grants paired with industry mentors to Bay Area BIPOC and BIPOC-led teams with a music business, in addition to Zoo Labs: LEARN, an online library of artist-tailored educational content for building a sustainable music business. 

Zoo Labs: FUND returned in 2022 for a second round of funding that was administered in partnership with Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI).

Zoo Labs: FUND welcomes additional support! If you would like to help with a tax-deductible contribution, click here to donate online, or contact Laura Poppiti, CCI Program Director, at laura@cciarts.org.


Zoo Labs: FUND criteria will be updated and published prior to the May 10, 2023 application launch date. In the meantime, 2022 criteria are listed below.

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; however, we recognize that the pandemic has resulted in the temporary and permanent displacement of individuals from their homes in the Bay Area. If all team members were living in an eligible Bay Area county as of March 1, 2020, but have been displaced as a result of the pandemic, the team is eligible to apply;
  • 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 will 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.

1Teams may consist of artists, content creators, producers, developers, engineers, managers, advisors, and other supporting roles.

2Music 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.

3Previous grantees must submit an approved final report and fulfill their mentorship requirements before reapplying.


Application Opens

May 10, 2023 at 9 AM PT

Application Webinar

May 17, 2023 12 - 1 pm PT (Registration coming soon!)

Application Deadline

June 28, 2023 at 12 PM (Noon) PT

Panel Review

Week of August 21, 2023

Funding Notification

August 30, 2023 by 5 PM PT

Grantee Orientation 

October 17, 2023 at 6 PM

Grantee Mentorship Coordination 



Zoo Labs: FUND ephemera will be updated and published prior to the May 10, 2023 application launch date. In the meantime, 2022 versions are available below.


logos/Word Doc ImageApplication Preview (.docx)

Application Preview (.pdf)

Business Matrix (.docx)

Business Matrix (fillable .pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions

Submittable Quick Tips


Visit Zoo Labs: LEARN for in-depth guidance on preparing your 2022 application components and watch this 3-minute video on Pitching to Zoo Labs for tips and techniques.

Zoo Labs: FUND 2022 Webinar Slide Deck

Zoo Labs: FUND 2022 Webinar Recording


You can also email us at grants@cciarts.org with the subject heading, “Zoo Labs: FUND,” or call 415.288.0530. For Deaf applicants and those with hearing loss, contact CCI using the California Relay Service—our staff are trained in making and receiving these calls.

If you are experiencing issues with the Submittable platform, contact Submittable directly at support@submittable.com


To browse profiles of past grantees, use the search form here