California Arts Council Seeks New Organizations to Offer Arts Services Inside State Correctional Facilities

Pictured: Vocal/choir practice at California Correctional Center, led by instructor Liudmila Mullin, provided by the William James Association. Photo by Peter Merts.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council announced today the release of a new Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at its continued goal of diversifying the range and number of arts workshop offerings as part of California’s Arts in Corrections program. Organizations interested in providing rehabilitative arts services for incarcerated individuals at state correctional facilities are encouraged to apply for funding.

Administered by the California Arts Council and made possible via an interagency agreement with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California’s Arts in Corrections program is designed to prepare incarcerated individuals for success upon release, enhance rehabilitative goals, and improve the safety and environment of state prisons. The program is internationally recognized for its high-impact, innovative approach to addressing the state’s public safety needs and rehabilitative priorities through arts and culture.

Services provided span the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in visual, performing, literary, traditional and cultural arts. Now in its sixth year, arts programming has grown to reach all 35 state adult correctional institutions.

In a conscious effort to simplify the submission process and increase access, equity, and inclusion among interested arts organizations, the new RFP includes plain-language templated forms, instructions, and a video tutorial that walks the proposer through the various elements of their submission. An optional feedback survey is also included to gain insight on how to further streamline the process for future RFPs.

“Any California organization that wants to change lives inside our state prisons should have the opportunity to make a proposal,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, California Arts Council Executive Director. “The new tools available to interested organizations help increase access for smaller organizations, volunteer-based organizations, and to arts organizations as potential providers of Arts in Corrections programming. Like California as a whole, the program stands only to benefit from greater diversity in its programming and providers.”

The latest round of Arts in Corrections contracts was awarded in December 2018, expanding the offerings of six existing coordinating organizations and welcoming new coordinating organization, We Heart Art, into the fold. For more information about the program, visit the California Arts in Corrections website.

Read the Request for Proposals, watch the video tutorial and download the available forms and attachments here.

Interested organizations are encouraged to register for and attend an upcoming webinar hosted by the California Arts Council on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. Arts in Corrections staff will offer additional guidance on the RFP submission process. Registration is available here. An archived version of the webinar will be published to the California Arts Council website following its completion.

All questions regarding the RFP must be submitted by Feb. 27 at noon PST. All questions and responses from the webinar and throughout the RFP process will be made available to the public no later than March 1 at 3 p.m. PDT.

The final deadline for submitting proposals is April 8 at noon PDT.

For California Arts Council press inquiries, contact Kimberly Brown, Public Affairs Specialist. For CDCR press inquiries, contact Terri Hardy, Public Information Officer II. For program-related inquiries from interested organizations, contact Mariana Moscoso, Interim Arts in Corrections Program Manager.

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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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