Administering Organizations Selected for New State Arts Program That Prioritizes Communities of Need

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council (CAC) has selected the following 14 organizations to administer funds for a new grant program designed to increase (1) public awareness related to water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, and emergency preparedness, relief, and recovery; (2) civic engagement, including election participation; (3) social justice and community engagement; and (4) public health awareness messages to stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • 18th Street Arts Center
  • ArtsLB
  • The Center for Cultural Power
  • The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture
  • Community Partners
  • Inland Empire Community Foundation
  • Kern Dance Alliance
  • Latino Community Foundation
  • Nevada County Arts Council
  • Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture
  • San Francisco Foundation
  • Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture
  • United Way of Merced County Inc.
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

The 2021 State Budget put forward by Gov. Gavin Newsom and approved by the Legislature included a $60 million one-time General Fund allocation for the California Arts Council to implement the California Creative Corps pilot program. Applications from organizations across all 58 counties were solicited by the CAC.

“These organizations from throughout the state will get state funds to artists and organizations in their region that are engaged in serving communities and can help us maximize our reach,” said Chair Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez of Fresno. She chairs the nine-member Council that met yesterday.

“We can’t thank the governor and Legislature enough for having the vision to fund this important program,” she added.

Applications were received in May and June from potential Administering Organizations, followed last month by panel reviews made up of artists, culture bearers, creative individuals, and arts administrators that represented the priority populations to be engaged, and who work in the intersectional focus areas of the Creative Corps program. The panels articulated their communities’ values, needs, and opportunities, and identified ways in which the Creative Corps program might address them. 

The Administering Organizations–referred to as AOs–had to demonstrate the capacity to administer regranting funds to arts and social service organizations and to individual artists and cultural workers throughout the state to develop media, outreach, and engagement campaigns that speak to the program’s goals.

The intention of California Creative Corps is to provide as broad a geographic reach as possible and serve all 58 counties, while prioritizing communities that demonstrate the highest levels of need as indicated by the California Healthy Places Index.

Neighborhood by neighborhood, the HPI maps data on social conditions that drive health—like education, job opportunities, and clean air and water. This data is used by community leaders, policymakers, academics, and other stakeholders to identify health inequities and quantify the factors that shape health and well-being. Funded Administering Organizations and sub-grantee organizations, artists and cultural practitioners must demonstrate strong, ongoing relationships with communities that fall within the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index and will support meaningful engagements with those communities through this grant.

“We are excited and eager for this monumental opportunity from Governor Newsom to better position and integrate arts and culture at the ground level of public works projects, and to do so in the most equitable way,” said Acting Director Ayanna L. Kiburi. “This substantial one-time funding provides a strong foundation for California to be a leader in dismantling, once and for all, the idea that arts and industry are mutually exclusive.”

Click here for a detailed list of the Administering Organization grantees and their service regions, award amounts, and program descriptions, sorted by organization.

Media Inquiries:
Kimberly Brown
Public Affairs Specialist

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The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, Chair; Consuelo Montoya, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke, Vicki Estrada, Jodie Evans, Ellen Gavin, Alex Israel, Phil Mercado, and Roxanne Messina Captor. Learn more at

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