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California Art Leaders Investments (CALI) Accelerator Grants

Grants to California Individual Artists
for Leadership Development Activities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Center For Cultural Innovation (CCI) and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Deadline Date:

01/15/21 - Applications are due on the 15th of each month.


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Grants of up to $1,000 to California individual artists for leadership advancement opportunities. Funding is intended to encourage professional opportunities for developing artists. Special focus will be given to efforts to adapt to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Priority is given to proposals from communities that have been underrepresented by the traditional arts sector.

CALI Accelerator grants support professional development opportunities for emerging arts professionals to identify, exercise, and hone their leadership vision and voice in ways that help applicants shape their discipline, organization, or the broader arts and culture sector. As examples, competitive activities may include organizing a conference panel, being the face of a project at the applicant’s employer-institution, co-authoring an article, or working with a consultant or coach to apply for an executive-leadership position.

CALI Accelerator grants may be used for a wide range of activities aimed at strengthening the individual’s leadership vision and voice, including:

  • Tuition or registration fees for workshops, conferences, and trainings;
  • Travel and hotel expenses;
  • Fees to work directly with consultants or career coaches; and
  • Directly associated costs, which may include web hosting fees, publication costs, or stipends for collaborators.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Provide a professional development opportunity, and
  • Enable the applicant to identify, exercise, and hone their leadership vision and voice.

New Temporary Guidelines:

In light of the impacts of COVID-19 on the arts and culture sector statewide, the CALI Accelerator grant program will temporarily expand its guidelines to reflect the ever-changing needs of emerging arts leaders across the state. In addition to the usual opportunities that qualified under the CALI Accelerator guidelines prior to April 16, 2020, applications with proposed activities that will enable emerging arts leaders to shape or pivot to an unprecedented new reality for their organizations post-COVID-19 will now be accepted. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161859

Number of Grants:

Grants of up to $1,000

Term of Contract:

-The start date for your proposed activity or activities must occur at least 60 days after the application deadline.
-For example, for an application received by September 15, the requested activity must take place after November 15. It is important to plan ahead.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must:
-Be a current California resident.
-Have worked for fewer than 10 consecutive years in the arts field. Please note that by consecutive years, the Foundation means fewer than 10 years back-to-back.
-Currently work with a nonprofit arts organization in California as an administrator, artist, board member, or key volunteer. Working refers to an official committed relationship with a nonprofit arts organization, as confirmed by the organization and the applicant’s resume.
-Be registered online as a member of the CALI Accelerator cohort. You are registered in the cohort if you completed the online CALI Accelerator survey.
-Previous grantees who have not received an award within the past 12 months of this application.

Priority will be given to individuals who are:
-Not well represented by the conventional arts and culture field;
-In entry-level or middle-management positions within their organization, or who have recently transitioned into executive leadership or board member positions;
-At organizations outside of the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in order to encourage participation throughout the state; and
-Not previously supported through the NextGen Arts or CALI program

Ineligible expenses include:
-Funding to offset applicant’s regular salary or wages;
-Funding to offset general operating costs of the applicant’s sponsoring arts organization;
-Activities beginning less than 60 days after the nearest application deadline.
(Applications are due on the 15th of each month.); and
-College tuition or funding for college credit activities.

Pre-Application Information:

-Applications are processed on a monthly basis. Applications are due on the 15th of every month with a one-month turn around. For example, if you submit an application by the September 15 deadline, you will receive notification of your award status by October 15.

Required Cali Survey:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Administrative Office
Los Angeles
244 S. San Pedro Street
Suite 401
Los Angeles, CA 90012
P: 213.687.8577

Bay Area
1446 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
P: 415.288.0530

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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