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Creative California Communities

Grants to California Arts Nonprofits and Agencies for
Arts Projects that Enhance Local Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Arts Council

Deadline Date:

01/09/19 11:59 PM


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Grants to California nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and units of government with at least two years of arts programming for creative placemaking projects. Funding is intended to support collaborative projects that use cultural resources and local artists to energize and celebrate communities.

Creative placemaking projects use artists, cultural resources, and/or the creative sector as central components in strategically shaping the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region. Partnerships between public, private, not-for-profit, and community sectors are essential to this program. Projects support community goals and encourage increased engagement in arts and cultural activities with community members..

Projects should address the following Creative California Communities program goals:
- Develop a creative placemaking project that represents the distinct character of a defined community.
- Develop arts-based approaches to address specific needs, circumstances, and/or priorities of a community.
- Present a vision for enhancing the social, economic, or environmental livability of a community through the arts that honors the residents, history, and culture of that community.
- Build partnerships between the applicant organization and at least one partnering public-sector or municipal agency, non-arts nonprofit, or local business.
- Engage community members in project design and implementation.
- Engage California artists and their work in the project design and implementation, including appropriate compensation for their services.
- Generate meaningful impact within a defined community.

The peer review panel will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:
- Project Design and Implementation: Project design indicates realistic timeline, appropriate budget, clear artistic and community-based objectives, and achievable goals. Design includes methods to evaluate and measure success, collect and analyze data, and document activities. Design demonstrates depth of participant involvement and clear plans for community outreach and marketing.
- Artistic Merit: California artists are involved at every stage of the project design and execution and demonstrate skills, expertise, and experiences that are central to the goals of the project and program. Creative process in project design and implementation reflects community standards.
- Community Impact: Project demonstrates reach and/or depth of engagement in a defined community. Project is responsive to the community to be served. Project execution and evaluation involve significant community participation in accordance with the identified program goals and project requirements.
- Management and Leadership: Ability of applicant organization to implement proposed project is clearly demonstrated. Overall fiscal and managerial health of applicant and partnering organizations is evident.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168559

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Applicant organizations can request up to $150,000.
- The total of the two-year request for funding cannot exceed 100% of an organization’s total operating revenue from the last completed fiscal year, as it appears in the DataArts Funder Report.

Term of Contract:

Grant Activity Period: June 1, 2019 - May 31, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- The applicant must be a California-based nonprofit arts organization or arts-based unit of government.
- All applicant organizations must be consistently engaged in arts programs and/or services for two years prior to the application deadline.
- All applicant organizations must have a principal place of business in California.
- The applicant 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, or must be a unit of government, including California Native or Indigenous tribal governments.
- An applicant without nonprofit status may use a California-based Fiscal Sponsor with a federal 501(c)(3) designation to conduct work on a not-for-profit project. The Fiscal Sponsor will provide the fiscal and administrative services needed to complete the grant. If a grant is awarded, the Fiscal Sponsor becomes the legal contractor. The Fiscal Sponsor must also demonstrate consistent arts services or programming in California for a minimum of two years prior to the application deadline. Applicants using Fiscal Sponsors must submit all required materials for the Fiscal Sponsor at the time of application.

What the CAC Does Not Fund
- Individuals (as applicants)
- Hospitality or food costs
- State agencies (as applicants)
- Federal agencies (as applicants)
- Non-arts organizations not involved in arts activities (as applicants)
- For-profit organizations (as applicants)
- Former grantee organizations not in compliance with CAC grant requirements (as stipulated in grant agreement)
- Fundraising activities or services such as annual campaigns, fundraising events, or grant writing
- Programs or services intended for private use, or for use by restricted membership
- Projects with religious purposes
- Operational, administrative or indirect costs of schools, colleges, or universities, or any activities that are part of the curricular base of these institutions
- Trusts, endowment funds or investments
- Capital outlay, including construction projects or purchase of land and buildings
- Equipment
- Debt repayment
- Out-of-state travel
- Expenses incurred before the start date or after the ending date of the grant activity period
- Lobbying activities that are intended to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials or specific legislation

Neither the award nor the match may be used to supplant state-funded expenses.

Pre-Application Information:

CAC staff is available to offer guidance and clarification in preparing your proposal. Please contact staff well in advance of the deadline to ensure you can be accommodated.

Application available: October 9, 2018
Application deadline: January 9, 2019, 11:59 PM
Funding decisions: May 2019
Funding notifications: May 2019
Grant Activity Period: June 1, 2019 - May 31, 2021
Interim Report deadline: June 30, 2020
Final Report deadline: June 30, 2021

The total of all application requests for one year of funding in FY18-19 cannot exceed 50% of an organization’s total operating revenue from the last completed fiscal year. For two-year grant programs, half of the total grant request will apply to this cap. If applying for one or more CAC grants in a grant cycle, the total amount requested cannot exceed 50% of what is reflected in the organization’s Total Operating Revenue line in the DataArts Funder Report.

All grant recipients must provide a dollar-for-dollar (1:1) match for the CCC grant. A cash match may be from corporate or private contributions, local or federal government, or earned income. State funds cannot be used as a match. If applying for multiple CAC grants in a single fiscal year, distinct funds must be identified to meet the matching requirement for each grant
application. The applicant must indicate whether matching funds are projected, pending or committed. Matching funds can be contributed by the applicant organization and/or primary partner organization.

Use of in-kind contributions as a portion of the match is intended to support organizations that may not have the financial capability to provide a 1:1 cash match, but demonstrate the capacity to carry out the activities in the grant application with other sources of support. In-kind contributions are non-cash donations provided by third parties for which monetary value can be determined. In-kind contributions may be used for up to 50% of the required (1:1) match.
- In-kind contributions may be in the form of space; pro bono consultancy, training or services; supplies; and other expendable property that are given free of charge to the organizations.
- In-kind contributions may only be provided by third parties.
- In-kind contributions by state entities are ineligible.
- In-kind contributions must be reflected as an expense in the grant application budget.

Applicant organizations must accurately document and report in-kind contributions in their DataArts Funder Report.

Creative Placemaking:


Program overview recording:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Staff Contact:
Hilary Amnah
Arts Program Specialist
(916) 322-6502

Click here to schedule a phone consultation with Hilary Amnah:

Shelly Gilbride, Programs Officer
(916) 324-0075

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California