Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact

images/Zoo Labs Logo

The 2022 application cycle is closed. 

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 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, 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 returns in 2022 for a second grant cycle 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 Laura Poppiti, CCI Program Director, at laura@cciarts.org.


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 3, 2022 at 9 AM PT

Application Deadline

June 22, 2022 at 12 PM (Noon) PT

Panel Review

Week of August 8, 2022 Week of August 15, 2022 (updated as of July 26)

Funding Notification

August 17, 2022 August 24, 2022 by 5 PM PT (updated as of July 26)

Grantee Orientation 

September 13, 2022 at 6 PM

Grantee Mentorship Coordination 

September–November 2022



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 these application components and watch this 3-minute video on Pitching to Zoo Labs for tips and techniques.

Zoo Labs: FUND Webinar Slide Deck

Zoo Labs: FUND 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