California Arts Council

State of California

Arts-in-Corrections – Coordinating Organizations RFP 2015-16
Informational FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Subject and answers provided by the California Arts Council

Q. What is Arts-in-Corrections?
Q. Why does this look different than other arts council grant applications?
Q. A contract for services? Why isn't this a grant program?
Q. Are there differences with the contract for services that might affect my organization if we're used to receiving grant funds?
Q. What are the requirements concerning basic liability insurance for those providing arts-in-corrections services within the institutions?
Q. Aren't there some arts programs in state prisons now?
Q. I'd like to apply to provide services in a particular prison. Are all of them eligible?
Q. What facilities will the program involve?
Q. What are Designated Enhanced-Programming Yards?
Q. What are "High Need" facilities?
Q. Are proposers expected to provide Arts-in-Corrections services to all institutions listed in the RFP?
Q. Why do some regions have one institution and others many?
Q. Do we have to propose to provide services to all institutions within a region?
Q. Can we propose to provide services in more than one region?
Q. Will there be multiple contracts awarded?
Q. Will there be multiple contracts awarded within a region?
Q. It appears that there's a point preference for the Central Valley, Central Coast, Southeastern Desert and High Desert regions. Why?
Q. Can individuals apply to the rfp?
Q. I'm an individual, but I've got the appropriate experience and want to take part in this program. What are my options?
Q. My organization may want to put in a proposal, but I need to find local artists with this expertise. I can work through my local network, but is there any way for the arts council to help?
Q. Can my organization apply without providing information about those who will be doing the actual arts instruction? I'm sure we can find someone to fill the positions.
Q. There's a lot of paperwork that needs to be provided for the RFP. Do I have to submit all of this?
Q. Is there a specific way to submit my proposal?
Q. It says that proposals are due on April 11, 2016. Is this a postmark date?
Q. It says in key action dates that April 6, 2016, is the "Final date for submissions of questions on RFP." what does this mean?
Q. What is Cal eProcure?
Q. What hours would arts-in-corrections take place – only during the "normal working hours" listed in the RFP? Or would they be in the evenings? Weekends?
Q. If programming takes place during the listed normal working hours, would this interfere with other programming, especially if the inmates have jobs and work duties?
Q. How will the proposal be evaluated cost-wise? Won't proposals with fewer artists and institutions look very different in total costs than those providing a lot of services in many institutions?
Q. I have artists willing to do this work at less than $30/hr. Is that ok?
Q. I wasn't part of the Arts-in-Corrections program in previous years, so my artists would have to take all the required CDCR New Employee Orientation (NEO) training. Does this put me at a disadvantage with the cost component of the proposal evaluation?
Q. The RFP says FY 2015/16. What does that mean? Does all programming have to be complete in 2016?
Q. When would contractors be expected to provide services if this is for Fiscal Year 2015-16?
Q. Do current contractors have the option to renew last year's contract?
Q. If the state renews the contracts for the current AIC contractors, what regions will fill to capacity?
Q. I've heard that there's extra funding this year for special projects. Can I apply for one of these? Are they included in the RFP?
Q. If I have more questions, how can I get answers?

Q. What is Arts-in-Corrections?

As noted in the RFP: 
"Arts-in-Corrections" is a comprehensive term to describe the direct instruction and guidance in the creation of and participation in the visual, performing, literary or media arts to inmates in correctional settings. AIC programming is provided by professional artists – individuals who have actively participated in their particular arts discipline and who are recognized as experts by their peers in the arts field. Arts forms may include the following: music (vocal or instrumental), dance, theater and related forms (spoken-word poetry, acting workshops), creative writing, visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery), and media arts (i.e. photography, film/video).
"Contract applicants must always keep in mind the arts' medium and restrictions of the correctional setting, including objects allowed or not allowed within the facilities for safety reasons, restrictions on multi-media devices within institutions, potential facility restrictions or complications, etc. Proposals with unrealistic expectations of arts materials and/or activities will be appropriately downgraded during the evaluation process."

Q. Why does this look different than other arts council grant applications?

The RFP for Arts-in-Corrections Coordinating Organization is a contract for services, not a grant application. Awardees will be contractors with the state of California.

Q. A contract for services? Why isn't this a grant program?

Grant programs from government agencies are intended for organizations or individuals to carry out a public purpose in their local communities. This program, as a partnership between the Arts Council and CDCR, is to provide quality rehabilitative arts services in state prison. Its purpose is not to support ongoing activities in local communities through financial and technical support, which is more appropriate for a grant program.

Q. Are there differences with the contract for services that might affect my organization if we're used to receiving grant funds?

There are differences that can apply – for accounting purposes a contract for services would be considered earned income and not contributed, for example. Also, while grant funds are typically awarded with a significant percentage at the beginning of the grant agreement, a contract-for-services involves payment after the services are rendered, with invoices issued by the contractor typically on a monthly basis and up to net 45 days for payment from the state. Organizations submitting proposals should keep cash flow issues in mind with their internal accounting, as well as other general issues for contractors like liability insurance, etc.

Q. What are the requirements concerning basic liability insurance for those providing arts-in-corrections services within the institutions?

Any subcontractor performing services for the California Arts Council must carry liability insurance for their employees pursuant to California Labor Code Section 3700.

Q. Aren't there some arts programs in state prisons now?

As noted in the RFP:
"While the Arts-in-Corrections programs received positive national attention and studies conducted indicated the programs had a positive impact – improved behavior, reduced inmate conflict, reduction in recidivism – the program dwindled in size starting in the early 2000s and no official Arts-in-Corrections program exists within CDCR currently. There are areas of arts activity within CDCR facilities that currently fall under the categories of education, rehabilitation, recreation, and community programs, but are not directly tracked as "Arts-in-Corrections" programs, and are not extensive by any means. Many that currently exist do so simply because of the dedication of CDCR staff members who recognize the benefits of Arts-in-Corrections, or because of equally dedicated volunteers and community organizations who work with CDCR staff to provide programming."

Q. I'd like to apply to provide services in a particular prison. Are all of them eligible?

This pilot program involves a select number of state institutions. Please see the list in the RFP.

Q. What facilities will the program involve?

The first year of the Arts-in-Corrections pilot program will involve select state correctional institutions, and this list is provided in the RFP in the "Facilities" section of the RFP.

Q. What are Designated Enhanced-Programming Yards?

As noted in the RFP:
"CDCR has identified particular institutions with Designated Enhanced-Programming Yards. According to The Future of California Corrections: A blueprint to save billions of dollars, end federal court oversight and improve the prison system, page 24:
" … the department (CDCR) will designate certain facilities as enhanced-programming units in order to support and create incentives for inmates who, based on their own behaviors and choices, are ready to take full advantage of programming opportunities. Program options in these institutions will be primarily academic and career technical education programs, volunteer, and self-help programs."
These institutions with Designated Enhanced-Programming Yards have been identified by CDCR as a priority for the Arts-in-Corrections pilot program. The proposals that include programming for institutions with Designated Enhanced Programming Yards will take priority over other facilities in final determinations of contracts. The point system for Proposal Evaluations will take this priority into account. See the Rating/Scoring Criteria of the RFP.

Q. What are "High Need" facilities?

As noted in the RFP,
"Also, some institutions have been designated as "high need" for programming and will take priority over other facilities, as reflected through the point system."
See the Rating/Scoring Criteria of the RFP.

Q. Are proposers expected to provide Arts-in-Corrections services to all institutions listed in the RFP?

Proposals are not expected to include the entire list of 20 correctional facilities. For the purpose of this RFP, there are nine different regions defined. Please see the listings and descriptions of the regions for details.

Q. Why do some regions have one institution and others many?

These regions were designated based on geography. CDCR facilities – while located in many different areas throughout California – are not necessarily equally distributed throughout the state, nor are those with Designated Enhanced Programming Yards or considered high-need equally distributed. As a result, some regions may only have one institution and others more than one.

Q. Do we have to propose to provide services to all institutions within a region?

Proposals do not need to include all institutions within a region. As noted in the RFP:
"Ideally a proposer will provide services to all facilities within a region. If proposer cannot fulfill services in all facilities within a region, please provide an explanation. RFP applicants are not required to propose programming in every institution within the prospective region; however, those proposals that include all institutions within a region will be looked upon more favorably than those with only a portion of the institutions within the region.
"While the proposal may slate only a portion of institutions within a region for the proposal, proposers should be flexible and willing to potentially provide comparable services at other facilities within the same region should space and/or programming time become unavailable at the proposed institutions."

Q. Can we propose to provide services in more than one region?

As noted in the RFP,
" Proposers may respond to this RFP with proposals to work within multiple regions and submit multiple proposals (one per region), but must demonstrate the realistic ability to fulfill contracts within the regions for which they are applying."

Q. Will there be multiple contracts awarded?

Multiple contracts are expected to be awarded through the RFP process for Coordinating Organizations for the Arts-in-Corrections pilot program.

Q. Will there be multiple contracts awarded within a region?

There may be multiple contracts awarded within a region, dependent upon the results of the evaluation, final point tally for all proposals, and capacity for the region(s).

Q. It appears that there's a point preference for the Central Valley, Central Coast, Southeastern Desert and High Desert regions. Why?

These regions have institutions with Designated Enhanced Programming Yards or are designated as High Need facilities, or both. These facilities are a priority for this pilot program. See the RFP for more information.

Q. Can individuals apply to the rfp?

This RFP is for organizations. From the RFP:
"The purpose of this RFP is to identify and contract with nonprofit arts organizations, arts-related units of government, or other organizations that can appropriately coordinate the appropriate personnel for the Arts and Corrections program ("Coordinating Organizations")."
Sole proprietorships are eligible organizations. Potential applicants considering applying as a sole proprietor should be familiar with the structure and regulations for these entities. Descriptions are available at the US Small Business Administration website at https://www.sba.gov/content/sole-proprietorship-0 and the IRS website athttp://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Sole-Proprietorships . Further, entities applying as sole proprietors must demonstrate the ability to fulfill the full requirements from the RFP, including the administrative and business requirements for state contractors.

Q. I'm an individual, but I've got the appropriate experience and want to take part in this program. What are my options?

Individuals with appropriate expertise to provide services may wish to approach organizations that could apply to this RFP. The California Arts Council has a variety of resources on its website to explore, including an Artists Call board, an Arts Job board, and a listing of local arts agencies that are part of the State-Local Partnership Program.
Artists Calls: http://www.cac.ca.gov/artistcall/
Arts Jobs: http://www.cac.ca.gov/jobs/
State-Local Partnership Program directory: http://www.cac.ca.gov/files/FY2014-15SLPP-DIRECTORY_102014.pdf

Q. My organization may want to put in a proposal, but I need to find local artists with this expertise. I can work through my local network, but is there any way for the arts council to help?

As noted above, the California Arts Council has a variety of resources on its website to explore, including an Artists Call board and an Arts Job board.
Artists Calls: http://www.cac.ca.gov/artistcall/  
Arts Jobs: http://www.cac.ca.gov/jobs/

Q. Can my organization apply without providing information about those who will be doing the actual arts instruction? I'm sure we can find someone to fill the positions.

Proposers are expected to provide a list of project personnel in the proposal. As noted in the RFP:
"Proposer shall provide a list of personnel for the proposed work plan and include their bios. Arts samples from the personnel who will be providing direct Arts-in-Corrections services ("Arts-in-Corrections Providers") are required. Additional information such as arts instruction experience and information on other similar programs is welcome, and should also be provided under the Minimum Qualifications information for demonstration of expertise."
Proposals that do not include appropriate information about the project personnel run the risk of not qualifying for this RFP.

Q. There's a lot of paperwork that needs to be provided for the RFP. Do I have to submit all of this?

Proposals that do not follow the requirements under "Proposal Requirements and Information" run the risk of being rejected.

Q. Is there a specific way to submit my proposal?

Follow all instructions in the RFP, and pay close attention to "Submission of Proposal."

Q. It says that proposals are due on April 11, 2016. Is this a postmark date?

April 11, 2016 is not a postmark date. All proposals must be received at the address noted in "Submission of Proposal" by April 11, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. All key action dates are noted in the RFP. Also note: April 11, 2016 is a Monday. Please plan accordingly.

Q. It says in key action dates that April 6, 2016, is the "Final date for submissions of questions on RFP." what does this mean?

The RFP contracting procedures for the State of California address issues of fairness and equability of information regarding the RFP, including questions and answers. Arts Council staff will post questions and answers as they come in as quickly as possible; some questions may take more time than others to answer. The date for the final submission of questions is noted as April 6, 2016, by 5 p.m.
All questions submitted in writing prior to this date will have answers posted on the Arts Council website and on Cal eProcure by 5 p.m. on April 6, 2016. Questions asked after April 6, 2016, will not be answered or posted on the Arts Council website and Cal eProcure per state contracting rules; however, previous questions and answers will continue to be made available to assist potential proposers.

Q. What is Cal eProcure?

The Procurement Division of the Department of General Services has contracted with an application service provider, Cal eProcure (formerly BidSync), to host its web-based procurement system. The system accommodates state, supplier, and local government users. Potential proposals for the Arts-in-Corrections do not need to utilize the Cal eProcure system unless they choose to do so. Duplicate information will be provided through Cal eProcure as well as the Arts Council website at www.arts.ca.gov. See https://caleprocure.ca.gov/pages/index.aspx for more information, if desired.

Q. What hours would arts-in-corrections take place – only during the "normal working hours" listed in the RFP? Or would they be in the evenings? Weekends?

Arts-in-Corrections programming is expected to be during normal working hours, but proposals should also account for the possibility for after-hours and/or weekend programming. After-hours and/or weekend programming may be more appropriate for some institutions based on space limitations. All Arts-in-Corrections programming locations and time must be approved by the warden of the individual institution and/or his designee. Proposals should account for the need for flexibility.

Q. If programming takes place during the listed normal working hours, would this interfere with other programming, especially if the inmates have jobs and work duties?

Inmates' first priorities will be to their job or rehabilitative programming.  Inmates will not be pulled out of these programs to participate in this program.

Q. How will the proposal be evaluated cost-wise? Won't proposals with fewer artists and institutions look very different in total costs than those providing a lot of services in many institutions?

The costs-per-instruction-hour does not mean the amount paid per hour to the professional teaching artists, which is set at a minimum of $30/hr, including preparation and training. It is a number based on the overall cost proposal (the sum of all costs, including administrative, oversight, management, travel, artists' fees, etc) divided by the number of hours of hands-on instruction and facilitation for the population.

Q. I have artists willing to do this work at less than $30/hr. Is that ok?

The RFP states:
"Contractor will establish an hourly rate for the staff providing direct programming at CDCR facilities at a minimum of $30/hr or more. Hourly rate for these staff includes the required training time and reasonable preparation time."
The California Arts Council guiding principles are to support California artists and arts organizations (including supporting reasonable pay for working artists. For the purposes of this RFP, the agency is abiding by this guiding principle in regards to pay for the AIC Providers. Rates for administration, overhead and other expenses needed to fulfill the contract are determined by the Contractor.

Q. I wasn't part of the Arts-in-Corrections program in previous years, so my artists would have to take all the required CDCR New Employee Orientation (NEO) training. Does this put me at a disadvantage with the cost component of the proposal evaluation?

The cost component of the proposal evaluation is the cost of the average instruction-hour. The CDCR required training – NEO or Annual Review – will not be included in this calculation, but the other preparation and training components will be.

Q. The RFP says FY 2015/16. What does that mean? Does all programming have to be complete in 2016?

A. "FY 2015-16" means "Fiscal Year 2015-16." The state operates on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 to June 30 (versus a calendar year of January 1 to December 31), and this contract is for fiscal year July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Q. When would contractors be expected to provide services if this is for Fiscal Year 2015-16?

A. Services provided from this these funds will be from the approval of the contract (expected in May or early June 2016) until Jun of 2017.

Q. Do current contractors have the option to renew last year's contract?

A. No. Current contracts have the option for the state to renew in the contract language, but the state has opted not to utilize this option. Current contractors will have to compete in this RFP if they wish to have a contract for FY 2015-16 (programming to June 2017).

Q. If the state renews the contracts for the current AIC contractors, what regions will fill to capacity?

A. The state will not be renewing current contracts.

Q. I've heard that there's extra funding this year for special projects. Can I apply for one of these? Are they included in the RFP?

A. Specialized AIC organizations will be providing unique AIC services examining specific rehabilitative aspects with FY 2015-16 funding. The Specialized AIC Organizations are entities that, because of unique knowledge and/or working relationships with other aspects of CDCR and its institutions, are uniquely qualified for the special projects. These special projects are sometimes called AIC Demonstration Projects and involve singularly unique Arts-in-Corrections programming in CDCR adult institutions.
AIC Demonstration Projects with Specialized AIC Organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. If your organization is applying to be an AIC contractor for the first time, your organization is not eligible for an AIC Demonstration project. Only current contractors and specialized organizations with ongoing relationships within CDCR will be requested to produce an AIC Demonstration project.

Q. If I have more questions, how can I get answers?

Questions should be submitted in writing to Mary Beth Barber at mary.beth.barber@arts.ca.gov. Questions received may be posted on this webpage and on the Cal eProcure website from the Department of General Services to provide information for all potential proposers. Questions may be posted verbatim, summarized from questions received via phone calls, and/or edited to protect privacy, or edited for clarity. As noted on page 1 of the RFP, "Please note that no verbal information given will be binding upon the State unless such information is issued in writing as an official addendum."