California Arts Council Seeks Panelists to Evaluate Grant Applications

SACRAMENTO – The open call to serve as part of a California Arts Council peer-review panel for the 2018-19 grant season has commenced, the agency announced today. And for the first time this year, recently adopted legislation will allow panelists to receive an honorarium for their service—$100 for each meeting day in Sacramento.

Peer-review panels lie at the core of the California Arts Council’s work, drawing from the wide spectrum of California’s arts and cultural fields to anchor the state’s diverse geography; wealth of organizations; racial, ethnic, and gender identities; perspectives and knowledge to the decision-making process.

The new honorarium comes as a result of feedback from the field and more focused alignment with agency values. Taking into account Council priorities, and listening to the needs of the arts and culture community, the added compensation allows for greater integrity of equity and diversity within the panel selection process. Travel, accommodations, and a per diem are also provided, in addition to the honorarium.

“When we invite panelists to come aid us in the grantmaking process, it’s a big ask, to a field already struggling to be recognized for its value,” said California Arts Council Executive Director Anne Bown-Crawford. “The ability to honor and compensate our panelists’ work makes all the difference. We are grateful to Assemblymember Bloom for helping us to open this door of opportunity that much wider.”

For the 2018-19 grant cycle, panels are scheduled in the spring of 2019. Chosen candidates are called upon to independently review up to 60 grant applications, followed by a one- to three-day in-person panel convening in Sacramento to collectively rank applications. Rankings are then brought before the Council to inform funding decisions.

Candidates must be California residents with in-depth experience in various art practices and disciplines, including arts learning for youth, creative placemaking and cultural development, juvenile and social justice, nonprofit management, working with veteran populations and people with disabilities, and related fields.

Young professionals and experienced cultural workers, artists, and arts policy makers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Council members will review and approve panel pools at their December and January meetings; the corresponding application deadlines are November 15, 2018, and January 15, 2019, respectively.

Complete details are available on the Panelist page of the California Arts Council website. Panelists from the approved panel pool will be confirmed by staff to serve on specific grant panels for up to two years.

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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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