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The goal of the Arts program is to promote engagement in the arts for all Californians — the kind that embraces and advances the diverse ways that we experience the arts, and that strengthens our ability to thrive together in a dynamic and complex social environment.

The following animation describes our Arts grantmaking strategy.

A Changing Environment for the Arts

Changing demographics and new technologies have dramatically altered the arts landscape and how people experience art. These changes create opportunities for the arts field to re-envision how we engage Californians in the arts, in part by redrawing traditional boundaries between artist and audience, art spaces and community. The more relevant and responsive we are to this new and evolving landscape, the more invaluable the arts will be in people’s lives, and the better arts organizations will be at attracting new participants and supporters. Arts nonprofits that skillfully adapt and innovate new ways to engage Californians will not only weather, but lead, the next wave of change.

Our Strategy

We believe the arts provide a distinct and powerful contribution to the development of a vibrant, inclusive and compassionate society. The arts foster community connectedness by providing Californians the opportunity to see and understand our differences – and commonalities -- in new ways.

The goal of our Arts program is to promote engagement in the arts for all Californians. By engagement we mean:

  • Who engages: Expanding opportunities for a greater diversity of Californians to experience the arts in their lives
  • How they engage: Expanding and deepening the ways Californians experience the arts from “one-way,” as passive spectator, to “two-way,” as active participants in shaping the creative life of their communities
  • Where engagement happens: Providing arts experiences outside the walls of traditional arts spaces so the arts live where communities live

Our grantee-partners are expanding engagement to inform and drive ongoing organizational change that will sustain their future and ensure the relevance and vitality of the arts in California. To this end, our strategy is driven by three priorities:

STRENGTHENING: Help arts organizations adapt to change by moving engagement to the core of who they are and what they do.

PILOTING: Provide risk capital to test new ways of engaging audiences and encourage innovation across the field.

FIELD BUILDING: Develop a field of leaders and organizations working together to expand engagement so the arts – and arts organizations – are indispensable in people’s lives.