January 31, 2016

ACTA is excited to share the news that the California Arts Council (CAC) has announced its upcoming call for grant applications.  We believe that several of their funding opportunities – specifically the Local Impact program and the newly launched Cultural Pathways and Artists Activating Communities programs – would be an especially good fit for many traditional artists and organizations.  We encourage you to explore the following opportunities, and please pass on this information to other folk and traditional artists and organizations in your networks.  (Please also review all of the other CAC grants programs that are open – there may be others that fit your work.)

A new pilot program, ARTISTS ACTIVATING COMMUNITIES supports sustained artistic residencies in community settings, demonstrating the arts to be a central component of civic life, and artists to be vital in shaping society.  Projects are artist-driven, engage community members as active participants, and activate participants to develop and express their own creativity.  Nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, or social service/community nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.  Applications must be submitted by a nonprofit organization, but the project must be developed in partnership with one or more artists, and the artists’ work must be the focus of the project. Fiscal sponsors are allowed for groups that do not have nonprofit status.
GRANT AMOUNTS: Up to $15,000; with matching contributions
CONTACT: Shelly Gilbride (916-324-0075 / shelly.gilbride@arts.ca.gov)

A new pilot program, CULTURAL PATHWAYS is rooted in the California Arts Council’s commitment to serving the needs of an increasingly demographically complex California, and the belief that a healthy arts ecosystem reflects contributions from all of California’s diverse populations. This program provides two years of operating support and a host of technical assistance and professional development activities to small and emerging organizations rooted in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, or tribal groups.  Grants will be made to nonprofit arts organizations with a budget of less than $150,000, unincorporated arts organizations applying with a fiscal sponsor, and non-arts organizations with an arts programming budget of less than $150,000.  Current CAC grant recipients or organizations who have received CAC grant funding within the past three years are ineligible to apply.
GRANT AMOUNTS: $5,000 operating support for each of two years. No match required in the first year.
CONTACT: Jason Jong (916-322-6338 / jason.jong@arts.ca.gov)

LOCAL IMPACT fosters equity, access, and opportunity by providing project and partnership support for small arts organizations reaching underserved communities.  All projects must extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations that have limited access to the arts.  Grants will be made to nonprofit arts organizations with a budget of $1M or less with a history of arts programming. Fiscal sponsors are allowed for groups that do not have nonprofit status.
GRANT AMOUNTS: Up to $12,000 with matching contributions
CONTACT: John Seto (916-322-6395 / john.seto@arts.ca.gov)

CAC program staff are prepared to offer Technical Assistance over the phone and are available to talk to any potential applicant about the fit of their proposal idea and discuss the application process.  We encourage you to contact them with your questions. Additionally, the California Arts Council will hold a Programs Webinar on Thursday, February 4, at 11:00 am.  This informational webinar will give a general overview of all of the 2016 grant programs, will describe eligibility and requirements for each program, and give tips and information about the application process.  Interested applicants are encouraged to attend and you may register online.

Language assistance is available in all programs for Spanish: Wendy Moran, (916-322-6572 / wendy.moran@arts.ca.gov); and for Cantonese and Mandarin: John Seto, (916-322-6395 / john.seto@arts.ca.gov).