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Grants to California Arts Nonprofits and Tribal Entities for K-12 Arts Education

Artists in Schools (AIS)

California Arts Council (CAC)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #151841

Grant Description

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Grants of up to $60,000 to California nonprofit arts-based and Tribal organizations to provide arts programming to K-12 schools. Funding is intended to supplement the activities of teachers and school arts programs by bringing local artists into the school. Eligible projects focus on hands-on participant learning that takes place during school hours over a sustained period of time (typically a minimum of 10 class sessions) with an identified group of students. All aspects of the program must be free of charge to students.

The Artists in Schools program supports projects that integrate community arts partners into culturally and linguistically responsive, sequential, standards-based arts learning for students in preschool through Grade 12 as part of the regular school day, and that address the unique circumstances of the school environment. 

Projects should address the following Artists in Schools program goals:

  • Increase student access to and participation in school-based arts education as part of coordinated efforts with school site leaders, district staff, and County Offices of Education.
  • Develop the artistic abilities of students through sequential, hands-on arts learning.
  • Promote life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and positive self-expression through the arts.
  • Promote students’ positive social and emotional development through reflection and creative practice.
  • Promote culturally and linguistically responsive learning through the arts, using cultural knowledge to support the cultural assets of the local community and students’ positive self-identification and respect for diverse cultures.
  • Develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between arts and educational organizations, teaching artists, and the youth and families in the communities they serve.

For a list of project requirements, see:

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must comply with the requirements below. All applications must include the listed items at the time of submission in order to be considered for funding.
- California-based - Documentation of having a principal place of business in California.
- Arts programming - Applicants must have a minimum two-year history of consistent engagement in arts programming and/or services prior to the application deadline.
- 501(c)(3) organization as applicant or fiscal sponsor - Non-governmental (municipal, county, or tribal) applicant organizations must demonstrate proof of nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or section 23701d of the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
- Fiscal sponsors - An applicant organization without nonprofit status must use a California-based fiscal sponsor with a federal 501(c)(3) designation to apply for funding.
o The fiscal sponsor will provide the fiscal oversight and administrative services needed to complete the grant.
o A Letter of Agreement between the fiscal sponsor and the applicant organization must be signed by a representative from both parties and submitted with the application. A blank signature field will not be accepted. If a grant is awarded, the fiscal sponsor becomes the legal contract holder with the California Arts Council.
o A fiscal sponsor change is not permissible during the Grant Activity Period, with rare exceptions.
o Fiscal sponsors must have a minimum two-year history of consistent engagement in arts programming and/or services prior to the application deadline. (Acting as a fiscal sponsor to arts and cultural organizations is considered an arts service.) See additional information on the use of CAC fiscal sponsors.
- Certificate of good standing - Nonprofit organizations and fiscal sponsors (if applicable) must have “active status” with the California Secretary of State (SOS) showing evidence of “good standing” at the time of application. You can verify your organization’s status by conducting a search using the SOS online Business Search tool. An indication of “active” (versus “suspended,” “dissolved,” “cancelled,” etc.) confirms that your nonprofit corporation exists, is authorized to conduct business in the State of California, has met all licensing and corporation requirements, and has not received a suspension from the Franchise Tax Board.

Schools and school districts are not eligible to apply for CAC grants.

For information regarding what CAC does not fund, see:

Pre-Application Information:

- Guidelines Published: April 28, 2022 / *Revised* May 27, 2022
- Application Opens: April 28, 2022
- Application Deadline: June 23, 2022, 11:59 PM
- Panel Review: Approx. June – July 2022
- Funding Decision: Approx. July 2022
- Funding Notification: Approx. August 2022
- Grant Activity Period: January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024
- Interim Report: Deadline January 31, 2024
- Final Report: Deadline January 31, 2025

CAC staff is available to offer guidance and clarification in preparing proposals. It is recommended that applicants contact staff well in advance of the deadline to ensure that they can be accommodated.

Applicant Resources:


Additional Funding Information:

Number of Grants:

Estimated Total Number of Grant Awards: 187

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicant organizations can request up to $60,000 for the two-year grant period.

For organizations with total operating revenue above $250,000, the sum of requests for CAC grants during the same year of funding cannot exceed 50% of the total operating revenue from the most recently completed fiscal year.

Term of Contract:

Grant Activity Period: January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024

Contact Information:

Apply online:

People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, or have difficulty speaking may dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS). Large print is available upon request.

Amy Garrett
Arts Program Specialist
California Arts Council

California Arts Council
2750 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95833
(916) 322-6555
Toll Free (800) 201-6201

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