Welcome! The California Arts Council supports organizations and individuals that provide arts engagement for all Californians:
for those who will be our future,
who have unique experiences,
their own life stories,
who have different needs and priorities,
and walk their own paths.
Grantee image courtesy of CubaCaribe. Photo by Andy Mogg.
Q&A for new applicants:
Grant programs currently accepting applications are highlighted and listed at the top of our grant programs webpage.
Our policy-setting Council, appointed by state elected officials, determines the grant programs and allocations of the California Arts Council. The Council holds public meetings throughout the year where policies are discussed and reviews research and public input to inform their decisions.
All our grant programs have specialized eligibility requirements. Generally, California-based arts organizations with nonprofit status or a fiscal sponsor may apply to our grant programs. New this year, our Council is also offering funding to individuals through specific grant opportunities. Each grant program has its own set of guidelines, which contain details on applicant eligibility.
All applications are submitted through our online grants management system, www.calartscouncil.smartsimple.com. An account must be created to access the system. Applications generally include narrative questions to be completed by an applicant and required attachments.
Read the guidelines in full before beginning an application.
Contact our staff for technical assistance, we are here to help!
Create a profile in our online grants management system early in your process.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and submit an application.
Be specific and be clear. Successful proposals address the grant program requirements and goals.
Be authentic. Celebrate what makes your proposal unique. Avoid jargon in your narrative.
Prepare your narrative in a word processing application (MS Word or Google Docs) before inputting your narrative into the online grants management system.
Our staff reviews applications for completeness and basic eligibility at the time of submission. A panel of field representatives will adjudicate complete and eligible applications based on the review criteria outlined in the program guidelines. Our panelists are cultural practitioners from across the state who are committed to equity in the application review process. The final authority for grant awards is the appointed Council. After receiving and reviewing recommendations from Council committees, and based on the panel’s rankings, the Council will vote on final funding awards at a public meeting. Awards may differ from requested amounts based on panel rank and available funding.
You will receive a notification via our online grants management system if your application is approved for funding. Upon notification of grant award, you will be asked to complete all required contract documents in order to receive 100% grant payment near the start of the activity period. Our staff will also contact you about participating in an announcement of your grant award.
You will receive a notification via our online grants management system if your application is not approved for funding. Notes from the panel review will be provided to you to aid in your understanding of the rank assigned to your application and to assess how you may improve your application for future funding opportunities. We truly want applicants to be successful in receiving a grant and our staff is available to provide technical assistance and support as needed.