California Arts Council

State of California

Arts education

Central California Art Association

The arts play a critical role in shaping students’ overall well-being and academic achievement. Promoting and supporting arts education is a cornerstone of the California Arts Council’s (CAC) mission. Since 1976, the CAC has supported in-school and after-school arts programs that engage local arts organizations, teaching artists and school communities through the Arts Education (formerly Artists in Schools) grant program.

In 2017-18, there are four Arts Education grant opportunities:

Arts Education - Extension: The Extension program supports arts education programs for PreK-12 students that operate after school and during the summer, on school sites, in artistic venues, and in community settings. The intention of this program is to offer young people sequential, hands-on training in artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

Arts Education - Exposure: The Exposure program supports attendance at performances and exhibitions for students who may have limited access to these experiences.

Arts Education - Artists in Schools: The Artists in Schools program supports projects that integrate community arts resources—local artists and non-profit arts organizations—into comprehensive, standards-based arts-learning for PreK-12 students during the school day. Applicants’ projects must take place during regular school hours at the school site, and should address the unique circumstances of the school environment.

Arts Education - Professional Development: Awards of $2,500 will support nonprofit arts organizations and teaching artists to plan and deliver Professional Development (PD) in arts integration to educators and administrators. Professional Development projects should be designed to cultivate student learning in, through and/or about the arts. The Professional Development project can stand alone, or can be in conjunction with an Engagement project at the school.

  • The applicant must be a California-based nonprofit arts organization, local arts agency, or arts-based unit of government with a history of arts programming for a minimum of two years prior to the time of application.
  • Projects must align with National Core Arts, California Visual and Performing Arts, Common Core, and/or Expanded Learning Standards, as well as Creative Youth Development frameworks.
  • Applicants can submit proposals and be funded in multiple Arts Education categories simultaneously, as long as funds support different projects and purposes.

Use of fiscal sponsors is allowed in this program.

Program Goals

Develop the artistic abilities and creativity of students, and promote life skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, and positive self-expression through the arts.

Develop long-term, in-depth partnerships between schools, local arts organizations and local teaching artists, and create mutually beneficial relationships between classroom teachers and teaching artists.


Application Available:
December 5, 2017
Application Deadline:
Extension: January 23, 2018, 5:00 PM
Exposure: February 22, 2018, 5:00 PM
Artists in Schools: March 22, 2018, 5:00 PM
Professional Development: March 22, 2018, 5:00 PM
Panel Review Dates:
Extension: February 26 - March 1, 2018 and
March 5 - 8, 2018
Exposure: April 2 - 5, 2018 and
April 9 - 12, 2018
Artists in Schools: April 30 - May 3, 2018 and
May 7 - 10, 2018
Professional Development:
April 30 - May 3, 2018 and
May 7 - 10, 2018
Grant Activity Period:
Extension: June 1, 2018 - May 31, 2019
Exposure: June 30, 2018 - June 29, 2019
Artists in Schools: June 30, 2018 - June 29, 2019
Professional Development: June 30, 2018 - June 29, 2019