This week in arts funding

It’s been a busy and exciting week in the world of arts funding!

On Tuesday morning, the California Arts Council made what is arguably our biggest announcement of the year: more than $15 million dollars to be distributed among 1,076 grantees! We increased maximum grant request amounts within many of our programs and expanded our arts education grant programs to reach students outside the classroom. We also funded grantees through three new pilot programs this year: Reentry through the Arts, Research in the Arts, and Arts and Public Media.

Award totals were nearly double that of last year, and mark the largest investment in grants for the Arts Council since 2003. No small achievement!

We will admit, it’s our favorite time of year. It’s the culmination of all of our efforts here at the CAC. To be able to share the news, congratulate all of our grantees, then sit back and put the spotlight on the great work they’ll do locally with the state’s support—fostering art and creativity, shaping our communities, inspiring and informing.

Right away, our social media started lighting up with giddy grantees and appreciative art supporters. We love it, and we love our grantees!

We were still floating high on that cloud when, the very next morning, another big reveal: this time from the National Endowment for the Arts. The federal agency announced its second round of funding for the 2017 fiscal year, including $5.3 million for 162 grantees in the state of California. More than $1.1 million will provide support directly to the California Arts Council.

NEA funding has a massive impact on California communities, not just through direct contributions to arts organizations in the form of grants, but through its intrinsic value. The power of an NEA grant can attract matching funds and spur economic interest through other means.

And the NEA as a leader and partner is, of course, invaluable to us at the Arts Council. The annual grant we receive supports the fulfillment of our strategic plan, provides additional funds to our grantees, and helps California’s overall creative economy thrive.

A huge thank you to the NEA, and a whopping congratulations to state and federal grantees!

(Pictured: The Regional Organization of Oaxaca in Los Angeles will receive a California Arts Council grant to produce a series of workshops celebrating the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The organization also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.)

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