California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

June 27, 2017Caitlin Fitzwater

State Budget Includes $6.8 Million Permanent Increase in California Arts Council Funding

Governor Brown and State Legislature acknowledge significant contributions of the arts and creative sectors with increased investment in state arts agency

With support from the California Arts Council, EastSide Arts Alliance will implement cultural strategies and programming that are a central part of the development of a Black Cultural Zone in East Oakland.

SACRAMENTO - Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a state budget that includes a $6.8 million permanent increased funding allocation for the California Arts Council.

The budget also includes an additional $750,000 ongoing allocation to directly support increased arts programming for youth engaged in California's juvenile justice system, as well as an additional $2 million increased allocation for California's Arts in Corrections program.

The $6.8 million permanent funding increase will extend the reach of the California Arts Council's competitive grant programs to more sustainably meet the needs and demand for arts and cultural experiences benefiting diverse communities across the state. These programs serve California communities by funding local nonprofit arts activities with a focus on arts learning and engagement; equity and access; cultural and community development; and technical support and resources for the arts field.

The overall California Arts Council budget also includes approximately $1.1 million in annual federal support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and approximately $2.5 million in annual funds from sales and renewals of California's Arts License Plate and voluntary state tax return contributions to the Keep Arts in Schools Fund. With all sources combined, the Arts Council's total 2017-18 budget will be approximately $19.48 million, plus an additional, separate $8 million state allocation for Arts in Corrections.

 "We are grateful to Governor Brown and our state legislators for their belief in the power of the arts to enrich our lives and foster safe, healthy, and vibrant California communities," said Donn K. Harris, California Arts Council Chair. "The state's increased investment in culture and creative expression has helped to grow arts programs benefitting Californians at all levels of society, and demonstrates clearly who we are and what we value as a state."

Timeline: Recent California Arts Council State Funding Allocations

California's investment in the arts has been steadily increasing since fiscal year 2013-14, as outlined in the chart below. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, California ranked 40th out of 50 states in per capita state arts funding for 2016-17.

Fiscal Year(s)

State Funding Allocation

2003-04 to

$1 million annual general fund allocation


$1 million general fund allocation +
$2 million one-time funding from State Assembly Operating Budget


$1 million general fund allocation + $5 million one-time general fund allocation


$8.3 million permanent general fund allocation


$8.3 million permanent general fund allocation +
$6.8 one-time general fund allocation


$15.1 million permanent general fund allocation +
$750,000 ongoing general fund allocation to increase juvenile justice arts programming

About California Arts Council Grant Programs

As announced earlier this month, the Arts Council nearly doubled its financial impact for the 2016-17 fiscal year as a result of a one-time $6.8 million state allocation. Investments in core grant programs and recent pilot programs increased by an average of 20 percent. Arts education grants were expanded to support field trips and after school and summer projects. The added funds were also used to develop three new pilot grant programs, aimed at serving formerly incarcerated individuals and supporting arts-focused public media and arts research.

In 2016-17, a total of 1,076 grantees received state grant funding for their work spanning the Arts Council's 15 unique program categories, benefiting California's students, artists, veterans, arts educators, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, underserved populations, and communities at large. Arts Council grant programs are administered through a multistep, public process. Following an open call for applications, all submissions are adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts field.

About the California Arts Council's Arts in Corrections Program

The state budget supports the growth of California's Arts in Corrections program, as a part of the state's multi-tiered investment in public safety, with an increased investment from $6 million in 2016-17 to $8 million in 2017-18. The California Arts Council's Arts in Corrections program provides critical rehabilitative arts services to California's incarcerated population and is made possible by an interagency partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Currently in its fourth year, the program now reaches every CDCR adult institution in California and has become internationally renowned for its high-impact, innovative approach to addressing the state's critical public safety needs and priorities through the arts.

An official press release on the state budget from the Office of Governor Brown can be found at this link:

For more information on the California Arts Council, visit

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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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