California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

May 10, 2016Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Invests more than $1.5 million in Communities Across the State

More than 100 grants awarded for programs reaching communities across California


Armory Center
With support from the California Arts Council, the Armory Center for the Arts will deliver vital arts participation opportunities for incarcerated teens at Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster.

SACRAMENTO - The California Arts Council has announced $1,654,023 in grants to California nonprofit organizations under three unique competitive grant programs. 102 grants will be awarded for programs supporting arts and at-risk youth; community activation through sustained artist engagement; and statewide and regional arts and cultural networks.

"This year, with our permanent funding increase, the California Arts Council will nearly triple the number of grants we are able to provide annually," said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the California Arts Council. "The grants awarded this spring support powerful programs that are vital to the success and growth of our communities, whether through deep arts engagement with our state's most vulnerable youth or through statewide cultural service networks preserving unique heritages for all Californians."

The California Arts Council's competitive grant programs are administered through an open call for applications with all submissions adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts and academic fields. Investments were made based on the peer panels' recommendations and available funds. The Council voted on grant awards at a public meeting in Los Angeles on April 22, 2016. The Council will vote on grant awards for its six remaining programs at a public meeting in Richmond on June 16, 2016.

Grant Programs and Awards

Artists Activating Communities: A new pilot grant program, Artists Activating Communities (AAC) supports sustained artistic residencies in community settings, demonstrating that the arts are a central component of civic life, and that artists are vital in shaping society. AAC projects are artist-driven, engage community members as active participants, and activate participants to develop and express their own creativity.

Number of Grants Awarded: 47
Total Investment: $559,968
List of Grant Recipients (PDF):

JUMP StArts: JUMP StArts supports arts education and artists-in-residence programs for at-risk youth within the juvenile justice system. Activities may take place in classroom, after-school, social services or incarceration settings throughout the many diverse communities in California. Projects are designed and developed in partnership between an arts organization and a juvenile justice/social services entity, reflecting a collaborative relationship between the partnering organizations that maximizes positive impact for youth participants.

Number of Grants Awarded: 27
Total Investment: $603,071
List of Grant Recipients (PDF):

Statewide & Regional Networks: The Statewide and Regional Networks (SRN) program is rooted in the California Arts Council's vision to nurture collaborative service organizations and networks that advance the arts and artists in the state. An arts service organization provides specialized, practical services to working artists, constituent organizations and the cultural community. Collectively, these networks help to activate California Arts Council constituents, the arts community, stakeholders, and the public.

Number of Grants Awarded: 28
Total Investment: $490,984
List of Grant Recipients (PDF):

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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