California Arts Council Makes Largest Investment in Arts and Culture in Nearly Two Decades

Pictured: With support from the California Arts Council, Viver Brasil will provide 12 performances for students. Celebrating Samba is a 45-minute narrated performance that includes the royal orixá dances, capoeira, samba and Bahian carnival with live music.

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today the California Arts Council announced 1,243 grant awards totaling $20,823,541 in project and operational support for nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state of California. Two additional grant programs, providing support for local, regional and statewide arts partnerships, are slated for approval by the Council at its meeting on June 25, increasing the total award amount for the 2018-19 fiscal year to a projected $24,508,541 across more than 1,300 grants.

Awarded project designs span the whole of the arts and cultural fields, with funding offered in 14 unique grant program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and aligning with the California Arts Council’s vision of a state strengthened by a spectrum of art and artists.

New artwork, events, classes, workshops, and other opportunities for creative expression funded through these projects will directly benefit our state’s communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California’s historically marginalized communities key among them. This year’s projected total award amount marks an increase of more than $8.1 million over last year’s investment, the second highest investment in statewide arts programming, surpassed only by the 2000-01 fiscal year.

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues—dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures. Our Council is humbled to support the vital work of these organizations and their passionate efforts to make a better California for us all.”

Lindo continued, “CAC grants are hard-won through a competitive process, and we applaud all those who applied this year. We encourage organizations who were not among the awardees to continue their efforts for a potential award next year, and we welcome the growth of our programs to bring new applicants into the fold.”

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 January 30, March 26, and May 22 in San Bernardino, Sacramento and San Pedro, respectively. The final vote for the remaining two grant programs for FY18-19 will take place on June 25 in San Andreas.

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. Applications for most grants programs are expected to open in fall or winter of 2019.
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 2018-19 Grant Programs and Awards

Artists in Communities: Artists in Communities (AC) centralizes artists and their artistic processes as vehicles for community vitality. AC grants support sustained artistic residencies in community settings. Artists must work closely with organizational partners and community members to produce creative projects that are relevant and responsive to their community.

Number of Grants Awarded: 96
Total Investment: $1,425,907
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Artists in Schools: Artists in Schools (AIS) supports projects that integrate community arts partners into sequential, hands-on, standards-based arts learning for students in preschool through Grade 12 during the school day. Projects focus on participant learning that takes place over a sustained period of time with an identified group of students and should address the unique circumstances of the school environment.

(Note: The Artists in Schools program is administered on an alternative grant schedule in accordance with the school calendar year. 2019 Artists in Schools grants were awarded on June 7, 2018.)

Number of Grants Awarded: 157
Total Investment: $2,018,393
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Arts Education: Professional Development: Arts Education: Professional Development supports nonprofit arts organizations and teaching artists to plan and deliver professional development in arts integration strategies to educators and administrators. Professional Development projects should be designed to cultivate student learning in, through and/or about the arts. The Professional Development Project can stand alone or can be in conjunction with an Artists in Schools project at the school.

(Note: The Arts Education: Professional Development program, renamed Arts Integration Training for FY19-20, is administered on an alternative grant schedule in accordance with the school calendar year. 2018 Artists in Schools grants were awarded on June 7, 2018.)

Number of Grants Awarded: 22
Total Investment: $55,000
2018-2019 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Arts Education Exposure: Arts Education Exposure (EXP) supports attendance at high-quality performances and exhibits for students with limited access to 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: 124
Total Investment: $1,782,510
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Arts and Public Media: Arts and Public Media (APM) 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.

Number of Grants Awarded: 17
Total Investment: $247,974
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Creative California Communities: Creative California Communities (CCC) supports meaningful, collaborative, creative placemaking projects that animate, activate, and celebrate communities. Projects support community goals and encourage increased engagement in arts and cultural activities with community members.

Number of Grants Awarded: 40
Total Investment: $4,416,014
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

JUMP StArts: JUMP StArts supports high-quality arts education and artists-in-residence programs for youth engaged in the juvenile justice system. These may be students who have been arrested, are on probation, or are incarcerated at a juvenile justice facility. Projects must be designed and developed in partnership between an arts organization and a juvenile justice facility or social service organization.

Number of Grants Awarded: 51
Total Investment: $1,804,963
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Local Impact: Local Impact (LI) 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: 190
Total Investment: $2,881,345
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Organizational Development: Organizational Development (OD) provides funding for consulting services to build arts organizations’ capacity for sustainability and success.

Number of Grants Awarded: 163
Total Investment: $788,792
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Professional Development: Professional Development (PD) 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 or workshops; registration fees for in-state conferences or conventions; and in-state travel expenses to attend conferences, seminars, or workshops.

Number of Grants Awarded: 59
Total Investment: $52,401
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Reentry through the Arts: Reentry Through the Arts (RTA) supports arts and culture programs for adults who have served time in correctional institutions. Projects utilize arts and culture as part of a holistic approach to support adults who have been incarcerated to re-integrate into and contribute to their communities.

Number of Grants Awarded: 24
Total Investment: $868,487
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Research in the Arts: Research in the Arts (RIA) fosters original California-based research to contribute to a growing body of international scholarship about the profound impact that the arts have in many aspects of human experience. Research can lead to the development of crucial tools for the field, and for the information of our legislators and other key decision makers.

Number of Grants Awarded: 10
Total Investment: $400,750
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (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
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Youth Arts Action: Youth Arts Action (YAA) supports projects for youth from infancy through age 24 that operate outside of school time, in artistic venues and community settings as well as on school sites. This program encourages relevant, dynamic, and innovative community building and learning through youth-focused arts and culture projects.

Number of Grants Awarded: 244
Total Investment: $3,478,800
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

Cultural Pathways, offering operational support for arts programs in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, or tribal groups, runs on a two-year cycle and was initially funded during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
2018-19 Grant Recipients/Project Descriptions (PDF)

In addition to the programs listed above, the California Arts Council’s values are upheld through other grant initiatives. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Arts Council invested $70,000 in its California Cultural Districts program, a pilot program aimed at leveraging the state’s artistic and cultural assets; $150,000 in its Arts and Accessibility program, administered in partnership with the National Arts and Disability Center; and $270,000 to support California Poetry Out Loud, a statewide initiative through the National Endowment for the Arts that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Funds totaling $350,000 were also allocated toward the agency’s new administering organization grant for the Emerging Arts Leaders of Color Fellowship program, funded in partnership with the James Irvine Foundation.

The California Arts Council also administers the state’s Arts in Corrections program through an interagency partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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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, 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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