Creative Youth Development

Please note: This grant opportunity is currently closed.

Background & Purpose

The Creative Youth Development program (formerly Youth Arts Action) is rooted in the CAC’s belief that arts learning is an essential tool for healthy human development and that it should be available to all young people throughout California. The CAC envisions that all of California’s young people are provided with meaningful, culturally responsive arts-learning experiences so that they can reach their full potential. 

Beneficiaries of Creative Youth Development projects include youth from infancy to 24 years of age. All projects occur outside of traditional school hours, taking place in arts venues, community centers, school sites, and other youth-oriented settings. 

  • Children ages 0-5 and school-age youth are a priority for this program, with successful projects demonstrating the ability to cultivate positive social and emotional development, as well as promote artistic expression and creativity. 
  • Support for transitional individuals, ages 18 to 24, are an additional priority, with successful projects demonstrating the capacity to engage with transitional youth in relevant, dynamic, and innovative ways. 

Examples of applicable projects include but are not limited to: arts projects in early learning, daycare, or foster-care environments; projects that support the transmission of traditional arts and cultural practices; youth leadership and mentorship opportunities in arts settings; and arts programming that supports workforce development and entrepreneurship. 

Eligible Request Amounts 

Applicant organizations can request up to $40,000 for the two-year grant period.

Funding Restrictions 

• For organizations with total operating revenue above $250,000, the sum of requests for CAC grants during the same year of funding cannot exceed 50% of the total operating revenue from the most recently completed fiscal year.

• Applicants to this program are not restricted from applying for and receiving additional CAC grants. If applying for other CAC project-based grants, proposals must use funds for different projects and purposes. To meet this criterion, applicants must demonstrate that projects:

Serve primarily different groups of people

Take place in different spaces, times, and/or contexts

– Achieve fundamentally distinct programmatic outcomes

• New applicant organizations and organizations that were declined to receive funding in the previous Creative Youth Development program cycle for 2022 are eligible to apply.

• Organizations that have been funded during the previous program cycle are not eligible to apply again for this round of funding.

Matching Funds

This grant does not require matching funds.

Informational Webinar

Click here to watch the video
Presentation slides (PDF)

Arts Program Specialist Natalie Peeples provides an overview of the California Arts Council’s Creative Youth Development grant, currently open for applications.

Application Links

Online Application Portal:

Current Grantees (2022 Cycle C)

Frequently Asked Questions

Grant Resources

Grant Review Panel Process

Program Timeline

Application OpensDecember 15, 2022
Application DeadlineJanuary 26, 2023
Panel ReviewApprox. January-February, 2023
Funding DecisionApprox. March 2023
Funding NotificationApprox. March 2023
Grant Activity PeriodApril 1, 2023 – March 31, 2025
Interim Report DeadlineApril 30, 2024
Final Report DeadlineApril 30, 2025
Estimated Arrival of FundsApprox. July 1, 2023-September 1, 2024

Staff Assistance

Before contacting staff, check FAQs to see if application questions can be answered. If staff assistance is still required for guidance or clarification, email is the best way to contact Program Specialists. We recommend that you contact staff well in advance of the deadline to ensure you can be accommodated. People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, or have difficulty speaking may dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS). Large print is available upon request.

Staff contact

Natalie Peeples
Arts Program Specialist

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