State Budget Includes $8.8 Million One-Time Increase in California Arts Council Funding

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a state budget that includes a $8.8 million one-time increased funding allocation for the California Arts Council, California’s state arts agency.

This fiscal year 2018-19 one-time $8.8 million funding increase will extend the reach of the California Arts Council’s competitive grant programs to meet the needs and demand for arts and cultural experiences benefiting diverse communities across the state. These programs serve California communities by funding local nonprofit arts activities with a focus on fostering safe and healthy communities, arts learning, and equitable access to the arts.

“We must preserve the place of culture at the center of our communities. As stewards of state funding, it is our responsibility to use the arts to foster real solutions that are deeply needed in society today,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “This funding boost will provide essential support to ensure that more Californians, from all walks of life, can grow and thrive through culture and creative expression.”

“When Governor Brown founded the California Arts Council in 1976, he did so on the basis that arts are central to the lives of Californians,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, California Arts Council Director. “We are grateful that more than 40 years later he demonstrates a continued conviction in the power of the arts to build community in a way that is authentic and accessible to all.”

The overall California Arts Council budget for fiscal year 2018-19 also includes approximately $1.1 million in annual federal support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and approximately $2.5 million in annual funds from sales and renewals of California’s Arts License Plate and voluntary state tax return contributions to the Keep Arts in Schools Fund. With all sources combined, the Arts Council’s total 2018-19 budget will be approximately $27.53 million. The budget also includes an additional, separate $8 million state allocation for California’s Arts in Corrections program, administered by the California Arts Council.
Timeline: Recent California Arts Council State General Fund Allocations
California’s investment in the arts has been steadily increasing since fiscal year 2013-14, as outlined in the chart below. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, California ranked 38th out of 50 states in per capita state arts funding for 2017-18.

Fiscal Year(s)

State Funding Allocation

2003-04 to

$1 million annual general fund allocation


$1 million general fund allocation +
$2 million one-time funding from State Assembly Operating Budget


$1 million general fund allocation + $5 million one-time general fund allocation


$8.3 million permanent general fund allocation


$8.3 million permanent general fund allocation +
$6.8 one-time general fund allocation


$15.1 million permanent general fund allocation +
$750,000 ongoing general fund allocation to increase juvenile justice arts programming


$15.1 million permanent general fund allocation +
$8.8 million one-time general fund allocation

About California Arts Council Grant Programs
As announced earlier this month, the Arts Council invested $16.3 million in arts programming statewide for the 2017-18 fiscal year. In 2017-18, a total of 1,080 grants were awarded for projects spanning the Arts Council’s 14 unique program categories, benefiting California’s students, artists, veterans, system-engaged youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, historically marginalized populations, and communities at large. Arts Council grant programs are administered through a multi-step, public process. Following an open call for applications, all submissions are adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts field.
Interested members of the public, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to subscribe to the California Arts Council’s newsletter to learn about future grant opportunities as details become available.
About the California Arts Council’s Arts in Corrections Program
The state budget supports California’s Arts in Corrections program, as a part of the state’s multi-tiered investment in public safety, with an $8 million investment for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The California Arts Council’s Arts in Corrections program provides critical rehabilitative arts services to California’s incarcerated population and is made possible by an interagency partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Currently in its fifth year, the program now reaches every CDCR adult institution in California and addresses the state’s critical public safety needs and priorities through the arts.

An official press release on the state budget from the Office of Governor Brown can be found here.
For more information on the California Arts Council, visit

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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

Featured Photo: California State Capitol, west entrance.
Photo by Marcin Wichary, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Kimberly Brown

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