California Arts Council Seeking Arts Organizations to Build Scope of Prison Arts Programs

Inmates find their rhythm during a drumming class at Salinas Valley State Prison, led by instructor Wilfred Mark. Photo by Peter Merts.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council begins accepting proposals today from arts organizations interested in providing arts programming to inmates at state adult correctional facilities. Organizations awarded contracts will provide California’s inmates with the opportunity to enhance their rehabilitative goals through arts engagement and prepare them for success upon release.

The latest Arts in Corrections Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the California Arts Council stems from the program’s objective to expand the availability of multiple art disciplines within individual California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) institutions. Prospective arts providers can review the art discipline needs and priorities of each location and correctional facility within the RFP Guidelines and submit their proposals accordingly.

Administered by the California Arts Council and made possible via an interagency agreement with CDCR, California’s Arts in Corrections program has become internationally renowned for its high-impact, innovative approach to addressing the state’s critical public safety needs and rehabilitative priorities through the arts. Now in its fourth year, arts programming has grown to reach all 35 state adult correctional institutions.

“The Arts in Corrections program is so deeply tied to our belief in the power of the arts to inspire change,” said California Arts Council Director Anne Bown-Crawford. “Expanding the arts disciplines available to California’s inmates enhances that power. With each new medium comes a new opportunity to tap an individual’s creativity, illustrate their potential, and strengthen resolve. We’re grateful to Governor Brown and our partners at CDCR for sharing our enthusiasm to continue developing the program and opening more avenues for transformation.”

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

All questions regarding the RFP must be submitted by February 27 at 5:00 p.m. PST. The final deadline for proposals is March 26 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

The California Arts Council will host a webinar for interested organizations to offer guidance on the RFP submission process this Friday, February 9 at 11:00 a.m. Registration is available here. An archived version of the webinar will be published to the California Arts Council website following its completion.

For California Arts Council press inquiries, contact Kimberly Brown, Public Affairs Specialist. For CDCR press inquiries, contact Krissi Khokhobashvili, 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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