California Arts Council Awards Record $30 Million to California’s Creative and Cultural Organizations

With support from the California Arts Council, Blue Line Arts in Placer County will provide arts programming for veterans and their families with a focus on arts therapy.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council has announced today a record-setting $29,951,200 in support for arts and culture in California. A total of 1,534 grants have been awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state for their work in support of the agency’s mission to strengthen arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The investment marks a more than $5 million increase over the previous fiscal year, and the largest in California Arts Council history.

Organizations were awarded grants across 15 different program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and directly benefiting our state’s communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California’s historically marginalized communities key among them. Successful projects aligned closely with the agency’s vision of a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Arts Council recognizes that some grantees may need to postpone, modify, or cancel their planned activities supported by CAC funds, due to state and local public health guidelines. The state arts agency is prioritizing flexibility in addressing these changes and supporting appropriate solutions for grantees.

“Creativity sits at the very heart of our identity as Californians and as a people. In this unprecedented moment, the need to understand, endure, and transcend our lived experiences through arts and culture is all the more relevant for each of us,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “The California Arts Council is proud to be able to offer more support through our grant programs than ever before, at a time when our communities’ need is perhaps greater than ever before. These grants will support immediate and lasting community impact by investing in arts businesses and cultural workers across the state.”

The California Arts Council’s grant programs are administered through a multistep, public process. Following an open call for applications, submissions are adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts and cultural fields and representative of California’s diverse geography; racial, ethnic, and gender identities; perspectives and knowledge. Based on panel recommendations and availability of funds, the Council voted on grant awards at public meetings on February 5 and April 1. Grant activities may begin July 1, 2020.

Interested members of the public, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to visit the California Arts Council website to learn about future grant opportunities as details become available. Notification of grant program guidelines, applications, and technical assistance opportunities will be also published in the California Arts Council’s weekly e-newsletter, ArtBeat. Subscribe at

Fiscal Year 2019-20 Grant Programs and Awards

Awards are listed below by individual program.

  • Click here to view a complete list of grantees sorted by county.
  • Click here for a complete list of grantees sorted by organization.

Artists in Communities: Artists in Communities centralizes artists and their artistic processes as vehicles for community vitality. AC grants support sustained artistic residencies in community settings. Applicant organizations, partners, and community members must support the vision of the artist(s) to produce creative projects that are relevant and responsive to their community.

Number of Grants Awarded: 141
Total Investment: $2,360,499
2019-20 Artists in Communities Grantees (PDF)

Artists in Schools: Artists in Schools supports projects that integrate community arts partners into culturally and linguistically responsive, sequential, standards-based arts learning for students in preschool through Grade 12 as part of the regular school day, and that addresses the unique circumstances of the school environment. Projects focus on hands-on participant learning that takes place over a sustained period of time with an identified group of students.

Number of Grants Awarded: 206
Total Investment: $3,456,621
2020-21 Artists in Schools Grantees (PDF)

Arts Integration Training: Arts Integration Training supports nonprofit arts organizations and teaching artists to plan and deliver professional development training in arts integration strategies to classroom teachers, as well as site, district, and county-level administrators. Projects are designed to pave a pathway for increased, equitable student learning in, through, and/or about the arts. Projects can stand alone or be executed in conjunction with an Artists in Schools project.

Number of Grants Awarded: 30
Total Investment: $141,750
2020-2021 Arts Integration Training Grantees (PDF)

Arts Education Exposure:Arts Education Exposure supports attendance at high-quality performances and exhibits for students who would particularly benefit from these experiences. Experiences will offer deep cultural resonance with the student communities served and will be complemented by pre- and post-attendance activities, such as artist talkbacks, teaching artist workshops, and facility tours.

Number of Grants Awarded: 140
Total Investment: $2,393,820
2019-20 Arts Education Exposure Grantees (PDF)

Arts and Public Media: Arts and Public Media supports multiplatform media projects by nonprofit media organizations that build public awareness and support for the arts. Supported projects engage Californians with authentic local stories and experiences centered on the value of arts, culture, and creative expression within California.

Number of Grants Awarded: 26
Total Investment: $551,056
2019-20 Arts and Public Media Grantees (PDF)

Cultural Pathways: Cultural Pathways provides two years of operating support and a host of technical assistance and professional development tools, resources, and training to small, new and emerging organizations rooted in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, and tribal or indigenous groups.

Number of Grants Awarded: 49
Total Investment: $1,199,004
2019-21 Cultural Pathways Grantees (PDF)

JUMP StArts: JUMP StArts supports high-quality arts education and artists-in-residence programs for youth who have been impacted by or are at elevated risk of being engaged in the justice system. These may be students who have been arrested, are on probation, or are incarcerated at a juvenile justice facility or at a court-appointed educational institution; these may also be youth who are living homeless, whose parent or guardian has been incarcerated, who are refugees, or who are pregnant or are parents themselves. Projects must be designed and developed in partnership between an arts organization and a juvenile justice facility or social service entity to create arts-learning opportunities that foster positive socio-emotional, behavioral, academic, and developmental outcomes for these priority youth.

Number of Grants Awarded: 57
Total Investment: $2,028,162
2019-20 JUMP Starts Grantees (PDF)

Local Impact: Local Impact supports community-driven arts projects for small and mid-sized arts organizations to foster equity, access, and opportunity in historically marginalized communities by centering the arts as a vehicle for building strong, healthy, vibrant, and resilient communities

Number of Grants Awarded: 240
Total Investment: $4,111,980
2019-20 Local Impact Grantees (PDF)

Organizational Development: Organizational Development provides funding for one-time consulting activities to build arts organizations’ capacity for sustainability and success. Consultant activities may include but are not limited to audits, earned income strategies, financial management and budgeting, strategic planning, board development, public relations, program evaluation, software implementation, and web design.

Number of Grants Awarded: 138
Total Investment: $673,878
2019-20 Organizational Development Grantees (PDF)

Professional Development: Professional Development supports professional development and learning activities for individuals in order to build arts and cultural organizations’ capacity for sustainability and success. Funding supports staff members, artists, arts administrators, arts educators, or board members of the applicant organization. Professional development activities may include but are not limited to: tuition for classes, seminars or workshops; registration fees for in-state conferences, festivals, trainings, or conventions; and in-state travel expenses to attend classes, conferences, festivals, trainings, seminars, workshops, or conventions.

Number of Grants Awarded: 65
Total Investment: $162,602
2019-20 Professional Development Grantees (PDF)

Reentry through the Arts: Reentry Through the Arts supports arts and culture programs for adults who have been incarcerated within correctional institutions and reinforces the direct impact that arts and culture have on the health, welfare, and economic well-being of all Californians. By focusing on the principles of restorative justice, transformative justice, and reconciliation, Reentry Through the Arts elevates projects that utilize arts and culture as part of a holistic approach to supporting the successful transition of formerly incarcerated individuals back into their communities.

Number of Grants Awarded: 29
Total Investment: $1,181,304
2019-20 Reentry Through the Arts Grantees (PDF)

State Local Partners: The State-Local Partnership program provides general operating support and technical assistance for county-designated local arts agencies. The purpose of the program is to foster cultural development on the local level through a partnership between the State and the counties of California. The nature of this partnership includes funding, information exchange, cooperative activities, and leadership. The partnership enables individuals, organizations, and communities to create, present, and preserve the arts of all cultures to enrich the quality of life for all Californians.

Number of Grants Awarded: 53
Total Investment: $4,990,486
2019-20 State Local Partners Grantees (PDF)

Statewide and Regional Networks: The Statewide and Regional Networks program is rooted in the California Arts Council’s commitment to providing practical services to working artists and consituent organizations by supporting arts service organizations and networks reflective of California’s diverse populations. The program provides general operating grants for arts service organizations’ networks with regional or statewide reach.

Number of Grants Awarded: 43
Total Investment: $1,331,906
2019-20 Statewide and Regional Networks Grantees (PDF)

Veterans in the Arts: Veterans in the Arts (VIA) addresses the needs and improves the lives of California’s veterans by increasing equity, access, and opportunities for veterans to participate in quality arts programming that is sensitive and responsive to their unique experiences. VIA provides project support for nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and veteran’s assistance agencies to reach veterans and their families.

Number of Grants Awarded: 46
Total Investment: $602,205
2019-20 Veterans in the Arts Grantees (PDF)

Youth Arts Action: Youth Arts Action supports projects for youth from infancy through age 24 that 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.

Number of Grants Awarded: 272
Total Investment: $4,641,080
2019-20 Youth Arts Action Grantees (PDF)

Creative California Communities and Research in the Arts, two of the California Arts Council’s grant program categories that run on two-year cycles, awarded funding during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

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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: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, Alex Israel, Consuelo Montoya, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at

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

Kimberly Brown

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