Event Funding

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The City of San Luis Obispo recognizes that cultural, social and recreational events make significant contributions to the overall quality of life and visitor attraction to San Luis Obispo. Accordingly, the City maintains event funding opportunities through the Events Promotion and Cultural Grants in Aid programs to support these offerings.

Cultural Grants-In-Aid Updates as of 3/23/20:

***Application Deadline has been extended to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020 for non-profit organizations to be considered for a grant in the 2020-21 fiscal year. 

Due to the temporary public closure of City Hall in response to COVID-19, applying organizations are encouraged to mail in their application packet. All mailed packets must be postmarked by Friday, March 27, 2020. Please use the mailing address below:

City of San Luis Obispo - Promotional Coordinating Committee

Attn: Molly Cano

City of San Luis Obispo

990 Palm Street

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

If your organization is not able to mail in your application packet, then please make arrangements for it to be delivered on Friday (only) to City Hall. Hand delivered packets may only be submitted on Friday March 27 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. They should be delivered in a sealed envelope with the organization’s name and placed in the box labeled “2020-21 Cultural Grants-In-Aid Applications” downstairs at City Hall outside the Finance & Information Technology door.  

The Promotional Coordinating Committee (PCC) administers the City’s annual Cultural Grants-In-Aid (GIA) program. Approximately $100,000 in grant funds is awarded each year exclusively to local non-profit organizations for the promotion of cultural activities and events. GIA proposals are accepted during the month of March for the fiscal year beginning in July. Grants are awarded to non-profit organizations under the following criteria:

  • Of tourism promotion advantage to the City of San Luis Obispo (determined by the increases to the City’s revenues, especially transient occupancy tax revenues); or
  • Of local cultural benefit to the residents of the City of San Luis Obispo (determined by the event’s popularity, its accessibility to residents, its affordability and its uniqueness in the community).
  • Final reports are due by August 31

The 2020-21 application period is open from February 1, 2020 – March 13, 2020.  No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

Applying organizations are required to attend a mandatory grant application meeting on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall. Directly following the mandatory information meeting, the PCC will hold a resource fair for grant applicants to learn more about the various ways to leverage grant offerings and requirements for hosting an event in the City of San Luis Obispo


For more information, contact Molly Cano, Tourism Manager, at (805) 781-7165 or


SLO Happenings Event Promotion Sponsorship 

The City of San Luis Obispo’s Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) provides funding opportunities to professional events by establishing a competitive application and funding process.  The SLO Happenings Event Promotion Sponsorship's objective is to achieve overnight stays, impact the seasonality of overnight stays, market to new out-of-area visitors, and achieve positive economic outcomes within the City of San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo TBID lodging properties. Funding can be applied to events for the arts, music, sporting, food & beverage, cultural and recreational purpose.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and are considered by the SLO TBID Marketing Committee on a quarterly basis.There are two available applications for the SLO Happenings Events Promotion Sponsorship. Completed applications must be turned in by 5:00 p.m. on February 15, 2020 to be considered at the 2019-20 third quarter funding review.



An informational meeting was held in City Hall's Council Hearing Room at 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. to discuss the process and address any applicant questions on the new SLO Happenings Event Promotion Sponsorship program. The meeting was recorded and can be reviewed here


For more information, contact Chantal Burns, Tourism Coordinator at (805) 781-7152 or


SLO Happenings Event Promotion Sponsorship 

The 2018-19 TBID and PCC Events Promotion program has closed.

 *Final reports for funded events must be submitted within 60 days of the conclusion of the event.