California Arts Council Grant Opportunities Open Now

Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Pictured: California Arts Council grantee Gamelan Sekar Jaya brings together diverse Bay Area communities to engage with Balinese performing arts.

SACRAMENTO – Arts grant season has begun in California, the California Arts Council announced today. Applications are now being accepted for 15 of the agency’s grant programs, with funding available to community arts projects, arts for youth, arts and justice projects, and operational and field support.

As state funding for the arts continues to grow, so too has the California Arts Council’s support for the field. This year’s permanent increased funding allocation provides the agency added opportunity to activate the arts, culture and creative expression for social change that uplifts all of California’s diverse residents.

An estimated $35 million will be awarded to this year’s grant recipients—a 30 percent increase over the prior fiscal year, and the largest projected investment of local assistance funds in the agency’s history. Maximum request amounts have also increased across the majority of programs by a margin of $2,000 or more.

The 2019-20 grant season marks the return of Cultural Pathways program, providing two years of operating support and a host of technical assistance and professional development activities to small, new, and emerging organizations rooted in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, and tribal or indigenous groups.

In direct response to the field, this year’s program launch also eliminates the DataArts Funder Report as an application requirement from most grant categories, replaced by a simplified Budget Snapshot as an indicator of an applicant organization’s overall fiscal health.

“As Californians, creativity sits at the heart of our identity,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, Executive Director of the California Arts Council. “We are grateful to open another grant season with even more to offer to California’s artists, innovators, and culture bearers-with a complete understanding of the return on the investment in the form of a vibrant, resilient, better California for all.”

Throughout September, the California Arts Council is hosting a series of free community grants workshops in 13 different locations across the state to guide organizations through the grant application process. A Grant Program Overview webinar will also be offered online for interested organizations. Dates, locations, and registration information are available here.

Nonprofit arts and community organizations, arts-based units of government or tribal government are encouraged to explore program opportunities and apply for relevant funding. Applicants without nonprofit status may use a California-based fiscal sponsor with a federal 501(c)(3) designation to conduct work on a not-for-profit project. Details for the 2019-20 grant opportunities now available are below. More information, including program-specific details, dates, guidelines, and staff contacts can be found at

Follow the California Arts Council on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and join the conversation around arts grant season using #ArtsCA.


Artists in Communities: Up to $20,000 in support for artistic residencies in community settings.

Arts and Public Media: Up to $25,000 in support for nonprofit media projects building public awareness for the arts.

Local Impact: Up to $20,000 in support for arts projects in California’s historically marginalized communities.

Reentry Through the Arts: Up to $50,000 in support for arts projects for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Veterans in the Arts: Up to $20,000 in support for art projects to enrich the lives of our veterans and their families.


Artists in Schools: Up to $20,000 in support for integrating community arts partners as part of the regular school day.

Arts Education Exposure: Up to $20,000 in support for student attendance at arts performances and exhibits.

Arts Integration Training: $5,000 for arts integration training for educators facilitated by teaching artists.

JUMP StArts: Up to $50,000 in support for arts education projects for youth impacted by or at risk of being engaged in the justice system.

Youth Arts Action: Up to $20,000 in support for arts projects for youth outside of traditional school hours.


Cultural Pathways: Up to $30,000 for two years of support for arts programs in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, or tribal groups.

Organizational Development: Up to $5,000 in support for consulting projects for arts organizations.

Professional Development: Up to $3,000 in support for professional development and training for arts organization staff.

State-Local Partners: Up to $90,000 for two years of support for county arts leadership.

Statewide and Regional Networks: Up to $35,000 in support for arts service organizations.

All but three of the California Arts Council’s grant programs are currently open. Arts and Accessibility, offering support for enhanced opportunities for arts participation by people with disabilities, will begin accepting applications in early 2020. Creative California Communities, supporting creative placemaking, and Research in the Arts, supporting original research on the arts, both run on a two-year cycle, reopening for applications in the fall of 2020.

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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, Juan Devis, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, and Louise McGuinness. 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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