The California Arts Council (CAC) recently announced that it has awarded a total of $2.185 million in support of 182 recipients who applied for an inaugural 2021 Individual Artist Fellowships. Approximately 39% of those who received the Fellowships reside in Los Angeles County. I reached out to the CAC to learn how many of these Fellowships were rewarded to dance artists, but never heard back. In the past, the CAC gave out grants to individual artists but due to drastic state budget cuts in 2003, this is the first time since 2002 that the CAC has had the opportunity to resume this type of funding as part of its regular grant season cycle. This is, however, a new grant that recognizes and encourages California artists, marking a historic return of direct support for artists and their creative practices. The area of expertise for each artist was not listed.

“The Individual Artist Fellowships support artists from a broad spectrum of artistic practices, backgrounds, geographies, and communities, whose work addresses themes such as race, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, consistent with the goals of the Council,” said Council Chair Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez of Fresno.

The announcement stated that the fellowship program was developed in accordance with the Council’s “priority to offer direct support to California’s individual artists and cultural practitioners. The 2021 grant opportunities were also informed by public input and data in alignment with the Arts Council’s Strategic Framework Decision Support Tool.”

“The California Arts Council is eager to celebrate, along with our fellows, this much anticipated return to directly supporting our state’s artists,” said Executive Director Anne Bown-Crawford. “These fellowships signify the beginning of a new era of understanding and valuing the role of the artist in the social fabric of our state’s communities.”

California Arts Council logo - Courtesy of the CAC

Photo Courtesy of the CAC

Artists who received the Fellowship Grant were 18 years of age and older. This funding will allow them to continue creating their art and contributing to their field, community and to California as a whole. The grant identifies three career tiers at which artists may benefit from this support:

  • CAC Emerging Artist Fellows – $5,000 per award (95 artists supported) – Artists with between two and four years of artistic practice.
  • CAC Established Artist Fellows – $10,000 per award (66 artists supported) – Artists with between four and 10 years of artistic practice.
  • CAC Legacy Artist Fellows – $50,000 per award (21 artists supported) – Well-established artists with 10 or more years of artistic practice.

Individuals may submit an application in one career tier only. Learn more HERE.

Notification of grant program guidelines, applications, and technical assistance resources will also be published in the California Arts Council’s weekly e-newsletter, ArtBeat. Subscribe HERE.

By Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle

Featured image: Money growth concept, coins in the soil – Photo from Stockvault