Arts in Corrections Funding Opportunities Reopened

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council has reopened its three Request for Proposals (RFPs) for Arts in Corrections, revised to clarify organization eligibility, requirements, and review criteria. The contract opportunities are intended to bolster the values upheld by the state prison arts program through services in the following areas:  

1. Arts Programming: Organizations of all sizes interested in providing arts services promoting healing and well-being as part of California’s Arts in Corrections program are encouraged to submit programming proposals that broaden the art and cultural disciplines of institution workshops.

2. Program Development for Cultural Practices and Traditional Arts: Organizations, culture bearers, and teaching artists that center cultural practices and traditional arts are encouraged to submit proposals to develop and execute a program in at least one CDCR facility within the duration of the contract. Proposals may include professional development, mentorship, curriculum development; or innovative projects that seek to expand or challenge the status quo of arts programming in state prisons.

3. Training for Arts Providers: Organizations of all sizes interested in providing training services to current AIC Coordinating Organizations are encouraged to submit proposals for the following training areas:

  • New Coordinating Organizations Training with follow-up mentoring. Training will be conducted virtually and will support new and emerging Coordinating Organizations and Program Development Organizations develop and establish a new program with the guidance and expertise of an experienced Coordinating Organization. Training must include guidance on how to provide programming inside a CDCR institution when open or in modified programming, how to collect data, communicating with CDCR institutions, CDCR Title 15, and other related topics. Additional support in the form of mentorship must be provided via email, phone calls, meetings, and other proposed methods.
  • Healing-Centered Best Practices for Arts Facilitators trainings should include pedagogies, philosophies, and arts education practices that support the Coordinating Organizations’ efforts and uplift their abilities to communicate lessons and elevate their content to reflect a meaningful healing-centered approach.
  • Equity, Decarceration, and Transformative Justice Principles trainings should include skills and approaches to activate narrative and culture shifts in Coordinating Organizations to center equity and justice. Trainings may include practical skills on how to make changes to organizational policies, program activities, and hiring practices that reflect the diverse communities represented in the prison population.
  • Strategic Partnership trainings should illustrate and provide the resources necessary for Coordinating Organizations to partner with other community members/organizations to diversify income, grow capacity, creatively align values, and/or branch into new sectors.

About the RFPs
Read each of the Requests for Proposals and download all available attachments here.

As part of the California Arts Council’s effort to simplify the submission process and increase access, equity, and inclusion among interested organizations, each RFP includes plain-language templated forms, instructions, and an informational webinar for submission guidance. Optional anonymous feedback and demographic surveys are also included to help assess the program’s equitable practices, clarity, and accessibility.

Webinar and Q&A Resources

An optional webinar is for all available AIC RFPs on June 7, from noon to 1 p.m. CAC Arts in Correction staff will assist attendees to understand the RFP process and submit a complete proposal; provide technical knowledge on how to navigate the available RFP opportunities; and identify the purpose, review components, evaluation criteria of each RFP. Click here to register.

Questions regarding the RFPs may be submitted through a two-round public inquiry process, due by 5 p.m. PDT on June 7 and June 27. Responses will be posted online at 5 p.m. PDT on June 9 and June 29, respectively.

The final deadline for submitting proposals is July 11 at 10 a.m. PDT.

About Arts in Corrections

Arts in Corrections is a partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Arts Council designed to have a positive impact on the social and emotional well-being of people experiencing incarceration, promoting healing and interpersonal transformation both inside and outside of the boundaries of their institutions.

The program upholds the following values:

  • People experiencing incarceration are deserving of dignity and respect.  
  • Policies should dismantle the root causes of incarceration. 
  • Community-based interventions reduce harm and make communities safer by replacing state-sanctioned systems of retribution and punishment. 
  • Individual and collective accountability for harm, and the healing of trauma, can create a more safe and just society for all.

California’s Arts in Corrections program is made possible by funding from the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at CDCR. Services provided span the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in visual; literary; media; performing; and cultural, folk, and traditional arts.

Since the program’s re-launch in the 2013-14 fiscal year, CDCR’s investment has increased from $2.5 million in the first two years to an $8 million annual commitment. As of June 2017, arts programming is provided at all 35 state adult correctional facilities.

For more information about the program, including a list of all current Coordinating Organizations, visit the California Arts in Corrections website.


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

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit

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