Arts in Corrections Request for Proposals Now Open

Pictured: African drumming lessons at Avenal State Prison, led by instructor Abdullatif Bell Touncara, provided by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Photo by Peter Merts.

SACRAMENTO – The California Arts Council is currently accepting proposals from organizations interested in providing arts services at state correctional facilities as part of California’s Arts in Corrections program. Organizations awarded contracts will join existing coordinating organizations in addressing the state’s critical public safety needs and rehabilitative priorities through the arts.

The Request for Proposals (RFP), issued earlier this week, seeks to continue the state’s goal of diversifying art disciplines and increasing the number of Arts in Corrections offerings, based on specific institutional needs. Prospective coordinating organizations can review the art discipline priorities of each location and correctional facility within the RFP guidelines and develop proposals accordingly.

Administered by the California Arts Council and made possible via an interagency agreement with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California’s Arts in Corrections program is designed to prepare incarcerated individuals for success upon release, enhance rehabilitative goals, and improve the safety and environment of state prisons. Services provided span the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in theater, guitar, dance, creative writing, and Native American beadwork, among many others. Now in its fifth year, arts programming has grown to reach all 35 state adult correctional institutions.

To read the Request for Proposals, click the following link, select “View Event Package,” and download the available attachments:

Interested organizations are encouraged to attend a webinar hosted by the California Arts Council on Thursday, October 18 at 11 a.m. Arts in Corrections staff will offer guidance on the RFP submission process. Registration is available here. An archived version of the webinar will be published to the Arts in Corrections website following its completion.
All questions regarding the RFP must be submitted by October 22 at 5 p.m. PDT. All questions and responses from the webinar and throughout the RFP process will be made available to the public no later than October 26 at 5 p.m. PDT.

The final deadline for submitting proposals is November 16 at 5 p.m. PDT.

For California Arts Council press inquiries, contact Kimberly Brown, Public Affairs Specialist. For CDCR press inquiries, contact Terri Hardy, Public Information Officer II.

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

Kimberly Brown

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