California Arts Council Doubles Number of 2021 Grant Awards Through Allocation Revisions

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council announced today a revision to its previous grant award announcement for 2021, awarding more than $11.4 million across an additional 484 grants in project and operational support for nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California. The update more than doubles the original number of grants awarded, from 441 to 925, and nearly doubles its original award allocation for its first five programs for the 2020-21 fiscal year to $24,490,261.

A sixth and final program for this year’s grant cycle, providing support for individual artist fellowships, is slated for approval by the Council at its meeting on September 22, increasing the total award amount for the 2021 grant season to a projected $26,613,761 across approximately 1,200 grants.

The decision, approved by the Council at its meeting on August 25, was made in direct response to the arts and cultural field’s ongoing need for support amid the continuing economic threat spawned by the COVID-19 global health crisis. The revised allocations accomplish a number of critical goals for the Council: funding hundreds of organizations with strong applications that originally went unfunded; significantly prioritizing funding for small, economically vulnerable organizations; increasing support for BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving organizations; and protecting the diversity of the arts ecosystem across the state.

“In June, when Governor Newsom announced that level 4 facilities could reopen, we all breathed a sigh of relief. We could see the possibility of theater openings, performing artists getting back to work in front of live audiences, and gallery receptions and fundraising events, so important to the arts funding equation, all leading to a gradual but constant economic recovery for our sector,” said California Arts Council Chair Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez. “The well-vetted and agreed-upon funding plans to align our funding cycle with the state’s fiscal year so that we might better project future grant funding and plans for a dual cycle funding formula for 2022 all continued to make sense.

“Then the COVID variant hit, and our plans no longer seemed to meet the needs of the arts community,” she continued. “We have heard from the arts field and considered various ways to again provide support to our constituents at this critical time of need. It is incumbent upon us as the Arts Council to ensure that the field is heard and, when possible, that we adjust our thinking to respond in a way that best serves the public. Our immediate action became necessary.”

“The Council and agency leadership owe a debt of gratitude to the CAC staff that were able to deftly respond to this reassessment of need based on the feedback of the arts field,” added California Arts Council Director Anne Bown-Crawford. “It is their hard work, agility, and heartfelt dedication to the cause that has allowed us to rapidly answer the call for increased support to California’s creative community.” 

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

Revised Fiscal Year 2020-21 Grant Programs and Awards

Awards are listed below by individual program.

Administering Organization – Relief for Individual Artists and Cultural Practitioners: Support to a single partner organization to administer unrestricted rapid relief funding on behalf of the Arts Council.

Number of Grants Awarded: 1
Total Investment: $1,361,875

2020-21 Administering Organization – Relief for Individual Artists and Cultural Practitioners (PDF)

Arts & Cultural Organizations General Operating Relief: Supporting arts and cultural organizations who have experienced economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Number of Grants Awarded: 549
Total Investment: $13,948,819

2020-21 Arts & Cultural Organizations General Operating Relief Awards (PDF)

Impact Projects: Supporting collaborative projects that center artists and artistic practice in responding to issues currently faced by California’s communities.

Number of Grants Awarded: 248
Total Investment: $4,156,516

2020-21 Impact Projects Awards (PDF)

JUMP StArts: Supporting arts education projects for youth impacted by the justice system.

Number of Grants Awarded: 45
Total Investment: $1,706,086

2020-21 JUMP StArts Awards (PDF)

Statewide and Regional Networks: Supporting arts service organizations and networks.

Number of Grants Awarded: 82
Total Investment: $2,494,350 

2020-21 Statewide and Regional Networks Awards (PDF)

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: Chair Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, Vice Chair Kathleen Gallegos, Vicki Estrada, Jodie Evans, 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

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