California Arts Council Seeks Training Organizations for Current Prison Arts Providers

Contracts up to $25,000 awarded to strengthen Arts in Corrections programming through trainings on healing-centered best practices, race and equity, restorative and transformative justice, and strategic partnerships

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Arts Council has opened a new Request for Proposals for Arts in Corrections, intended to bolster the values upheld by the state prison arts program through virtual training opportunities for current Coordinating Organizations in the following areas:

  • Healing-Centered Best Practices for Arts Facilitators trainings should include pedagogies, philosophies, and arts education practices that support the Coordinating Organizations’ efforts and uplift their abilities to communicate lessons and elevate their content to reflect a meaningful healing-centered approach.
  • Race and Equity trainings should include skills and approaches to activate narrative and culture shifts in Coordinating Organizations to center equity and justice. Trainings may include practical skills on how to make changes to organizational policies, program activities, and hiring practices that reflect the diverse communities represented in the prison population.
  • Restorative and Transformative Justice trainings should include pedagogies, philosophies, and arts education practices that provide Coordinating Organizations’ administrative staff and Arts Providers tools to incorporate Restorative Justice and Transformative Justice into their organizational policies, AIC workshops, and arts curriculum.
  • Strategic Partnership trainings should illustrate and provide the resources necessary for Coordinating Organizations to partner with other community members/organizations to diversify income, grow capacity, creatively align values, and/or branch into new sectors.

Organizations of all sizes interested in providing training services are encouraged to submit proposals for up to $25,000 per training area.

“Now more than ever, in this time of social distancing, our Arts in Corrections participants deserve teaching artists that are equipped with the right tools and knowledge necessary to provide human-centered programming,” said Mariana Moscoso, Arts in Corrections Program Manager. “Training opportunities from organizations in the field reimagining justice in our society will inform the workshop curriculum and delivered by our arts providers, as part of our commitment to creating a more humane and just California.”

As part of the California Arts Council’s effort to simplify the submission process and increase access, equity, and inclusion among interested organizations, the RFP includes plain-language templated forms, instructions, and an informational webinar for submission guidance. Optional anonymous feedback and demographic surveys are also included to help assess the program’s equitable practices, clarity, and accessibility.

About Arts in Corrections
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 have a positive impact on the social and emotional well-being of people experiencing incarceration. Arts education can increase critical thinking skills, build positive relationships and promote meaningful interactions between participants and their peers, facility staff, loved ones, and other individuals and community groups both inside and outside of the boundaries of their institutions.

The Arts in Corrections program upholds the following values:

  • People experiencing incarceration are deserving of dignity and respect.
  • Policies should dismantle the root causes of incarceration.
  • Community-based interventions reduce harm and make communities safer by replacing state-sanctioned systems of retribution and punishment.
  • Individual and collective accountability for harm, and the healing of trauma, can create a more safe and just society for all.

Services provided span the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in visual; literary; media; performing; and cultural, folk and traditional arts. Since the program’s re-launch in the 2013-14 fiscal year, arts programming has grown to reach all 35 state adult correctional institutions.

In the latest round of Arts in Corrections contract awards, Cornerstone Theater Company, Studio 4 Students, and Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural joined on as the state’s newest prison arts providers, offering instruction in theater, music production and creative writing. Six existing organizations were awarded additional contracts to extend the reach of their course offerings within their current facilities and/or into additional institutions.

For more information about the program, including a list of all current Coordinating Organizations, visit the California Arts in Corrections website.

About the RFP
Read the Training Request for Proposals and download available attachments here.

Register for the informational RFP webinar on September 23 at 3 p.m. here.

Questions regarding the RFP may be submitted through a two-round public inquiry process, due by 4 p.m. PDT on September 23 and October 14. Responses will be posted online at 4 p.m. PDT on September 25 and October 16, respectively.

The final deadline for submitting project proposals is October 30 at 4 p.m. PDT.

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The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, Alex Israel, Consuelo Montoya, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit

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