2017: The Highlights

It’s been such an eventful year here at the California Arts Council, full of advancements toward fulfilling our vision—a California where arts and culture thrive on our streets, at our schools, and in the hearts of every resident.

Looking back, we couldn’t possibly list all the wonderful achievements of our grantees, Council, and staff without penning a novel. To save you from scroll fatigue, we hope you’ll settle for this abridged list of some of our biggest accomplishments of 2017.

MORE THAN 1,000 GRANTS AWARDED

More than $15 million in state funding was invested in California nonprofit organizations and units of government for their work spanning the Arts Council’s 15 unique program categories, benefiting students, veterans, arts educators, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, underserved populations, and communities at large. The 1,076 grants awarded are the largest investment in grants for the Arts Council since the 2002-03 fiscal year.

$6.8 MILLION PERMANENT BUDGET INCREASE

June’s announcement of the 2017-18 state budget turned a one-time $6.8 million increase from this fiscal year into a permanent one, extending the reach of the California Arts Council’s grant programs to more sustainably meet the needs and demand for arts and cultural experiences benefiting diverse communities across the state.

IMPACT OF CALIFORNIA’S CREATIVE ECONOMY GROWS

Now in its fourth year, the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California continues to emphasize the value of our state’s creative industry, drawing a direct relationship between California’s place as the sixth largest global economy and its artistic residents. This year’s report cited a $406.5 billion creative economic output, responsible for 10.9 percent of the state’s GDP.  As an addendum to the report, the Arts Council commissioned a white paper targeting the housing crisis in California to identify ways to fight the displacement of California’s artist population.

ARTS IN CORRECTIONS REACHES ALL STATE ADULT INSTITUTIONS

California’s Arts in Corrections program has become internationally renowned for its high-impact, innovative approach to addressing the state’s critical public safety needs and rehabilitative priorities through the arts. Made possible by an interagency partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, arts programming now reaches all 35 state adult correctional institutions – a significant increase from the 20 institutions served by the program in the previous fiscal year.

THREE NEW GRANT PROGRAMS LAUNCHED

Building on the success of the Arts in Corrections program, the California Arts Council introduced Reentry Through the Arts, a grant program rooted in the belief in the arts as an agent of change for the formerly incarcerated. We initiated Research in the Arts, the first program of its kind supporting original research on the value and impact of the arts. And we revamped and reinstituted our Arts and Public Media program to better engage our communities in arts and culture storytelling.

CALIFORNIA CULTURAL DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED

The California Arts Council launched its California Cultural District program in 2017, designating 14 districts to comprise the program’s first cohort. Aligning with the mission and values of the California Arts Council, the districts will celebrate some of the thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities of California while unifying under an umbrella of shared values, helping to grow and sustain authentic grassroots arts and cultural opportunities, increasing the visibility of local artists and community participation in local arts and culture, and promoting socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. Additional new districts will be eligible to apply for state designation in 2019 through a finalized certification process.

Whew! That’s quite a bit, and really, we’ve just scratched the surface of the meaningful work that’s taken place here this year. As we plan for next year and the years to come, we’ll continue to strive for quality service, bettering our communities, improving lives, and celebrating California’s vibrancy through increased access to the arts.

Happy holidays, from all of us! See you in 2018!

Creative Forces San Diego: Where arts and military meet

The California Arts Council was in San Diego last week to participate in a pivotal regional event. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is now one of 11 clinical sites nationwide to join the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, aimed at leveraging creative arts therapies to improve the lives of military personnel, veterans, and their families in local communities.

More than half a million members of the armed services are currently living with traumatic brain injury or PTSD. Arts therapy integration and community arts programming can play an important role in their recovery, accomplishing goals outside the boundaries of traditional medical treatment. Recognizing California serving as home to nearly 2 million veterans and 200,000 active military members—more than any other state—identifying ways to better connect the two fields becomes an imperative.

The daylong Creative Forces Summit on December 7 rallied together military personnel with professionals in the fields of art and health for a day of presentations, panels, and performances designed to encourage collaboration and ideation in support of military and veteran families. Many locally based CAC grantees from our Veterans in the Arts program were on hand as well, to impart knowledge and offer perspective on developing arts programming specifically for veterans, and to showcase the creative work of veterans involved with their projects.

We were honored to be asked by the NEA to lead the coordination of this event, and we’re proud of the collaborations and dialogue that emerged as a result. The summit inspired many productive conversations, before and during, and continues to provoke thought leaders in the field. It’s clear that California, and the greater San Diego area in particular, is home to many innovative and impassioned people and programs serving our veterans, active military, their families and their caregivers. We’re excited for a future that will take rehabilitative arts opportunities for our military to the next level.

We’re also looking forward to an exchange of ideas with fellow Creative Forces summits being held in other states, taking advantage of one another’s available resources, sharing brainstorms and best practices to allow each site to grow cooperatively while simultaneously customizing concepts to fit each region’s needs.

Thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for leading the charge on such a vital issue. We’re also grateful to Deputy Secretary Keith Boylan and our partners at CalVet, for their participation and their interest in how the arts can support their mission. And a most sincere thank you to the San Diego Region Creative Forces Planning Task Force, for a job well done:

Check out a few summit highlights below. For more clips from Creative Forces San Diego, visit the California Arts Council YouTube channel.

  • Keynote Address – Sgt. Benjamin Tourtelot, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) and Lisa Fagan (17:33)

 

  • Creative Forces: From Clinical to Community Panel Discussion / Q&A (1:19:12)

 

 



Photo by Rebecca Vaudreuil

The California Arts Council's Veterans in the Arts grant program provides project support for nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and veteran’s assistance agencies to reach veterans, active military, and their families across California. Applications are now open. Visit the Veterans in the Arts page for program details. 

Gearing up for grant season

(Updated January 23, 2018)

The CAC grant season is officially underway! Channel your excitement into a successful application by checking out the host of webinars we have coming up (or check out the video for any you’ve missed)! Plus, we’ve got tutorials and tips guaranteed to bring out your inner grant writing guru.

Webinars

We’re offering four webinars to guide you through our grant programs and process. Sign up now!

Tuesday, December 5, 1:00 p.m. – Archived video available now!
Informational Webinar: Apply for a California Arts Council Grant

This grants webinar will give an overview of the California Arts Council’s 2017-18 grant programs, highlighting some changes and new additions to our grant offerings. The programs staff will review the application process, provide some tips for grant writing success, and answer questions from the public.

Tuesday, December 12, 11:00 a.m. – Archived video available now: JUMP StArtsReentry Through the Arts
Grants for Arts and Justice – JUMP StArts and Reentry Through the Arts

Programs Officer Shelly Gilbride, Ph.D. will give an overview of the CAC JUMP StArts and Reentry Through the Arts grant programs that focus on arts programming for people who are currently or formerly incarcerated This webinar will highlight program similarities and differences, as well as changes to the guidelines from the previous grant cycles and new partnership opportunities. Organizations that are already engaged in the work, as well as those just beginning to cultivate partnerships, are encouraged to attend! 

Tuesday, December 19, 11:00 a.m. Archived video available now!
Arts Education Grant Opportunities at the California Arts Council

Arts Education Program Specialist Josy Miller, Ph.D. hosts a webinar dedicated to the four arts education grant strands at the CAC: Extension, Exposure, Artists in Schools, and Professional Development. In addition to becoming informed about the distinctions between each grant strand, and which proposals are the best fit for each program, participants will and have the opportunity to pose specific questions about eligibility, application content, budget requirements, and project structure.

Tuesday, January 16, 11:00 a.m. – Archived video available now!
California Arts Council Cultural Pathways Grant Program Informational Webinar

Arts Program Specialist Jason Jong hosts an informational webinar about the CAC’s Cultural Pathways grant program for small and emerging organizations rooted in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, or tribal and indigenous groups. Jason will give an overview of the program including details on the application process, budget requirements and support materials needed.

Grant Writing Tips

But wait, there’s more! If after all those workshops and webinars, you’re still craving counsel, we’ve got a list of helpful tips to help your organization succeed with an exemplary application: http://arts.ca.gov/programs/granttips.php.

SmartSimple Tutorial

The California Arts Council has made the switch to a new grant management system, SmartSimple. True to its name, SmartSimple is the complete package—integrating the entire grant cycle, from application to panel review to contracts, final reports and invoicing! We’ve created a webpage featuring a tutorial video and other useful resources for using the SmartSimple platform: http://arts.ca.gov/programs/smartsimple.php.