Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact

CALI Catalyst provides unrestricted grants of up to $5,000 to California changemakers whose bold actions are shifting the arts and culture sector in ways that give underrepresented populations—Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities—more power and influence.

Individuals who take bold actions do so with risks to their jobs, social standing, and reputations. But this is precisely the moment when the arts and culture sector can embrace and support people who are shifting the field in ways that work better for marginalized people—BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and those with disabilities. The sector is better for it when strong voices and actions, for example, expose discriminatory hiring and employment practices that plague the arts and culture nonprofit and commercial industries; disrupt philanthropic practices that harm communities; and dismantle barriers to entry for artists and arts workers to be supported. The CALI Catalyst grant program is meant to give such leaders financial support, understanding that the fear of financial risk is, itself, a silencer and discourages changes to the status quo. 



CALI Catalyst applicants can be individuals or teams of individuals*. To be eligible for CALI Catalyst consideration, applicants must:  

  • Be an artist or arts worker (e.g., arts administrator, cultural producer, culture bearer, creative, cultural practitioner, teaching artist, or specialized technician); and
  • Be a full-time resident of California. 

*Only one application will be accepted per team (i.e., individual team members cannot submit separate applications that describe the same “bold” action). Teams will therefore need to select a single team member to apply, and if funding is approved, this individual will be responsible for fulfilling the grant requirements. For more details, review the Frequently Asked Questions in the APPLICATION LINKS section below.  

The following are ineligible for funding consideration: 

  • Organizations; 
  • Individuals or teams of individuals who are requesting funding to support an organization; and 
  • Individuals or teams of individuals who have a conflict of interest (family or financial relationship) with the board, staff, or directors of the Center for Cultural Innovation.



Applications are due by 5 p.m. PT on the 15th of every other month, with a one-month response turnaround. For the 2021 award cycle, the remaining application deadlines (and notification dates) are: 

  • July 15 (notification by August 15)
  • September 15 (notification by October 15)
  • November 15 (notification by December 15)

Applications will be accepted online ONLY through CCI’s Submittable platform and applicants MUST create an account in Submittable before they will be able to access the grant application. Learn more about using Submittable in the APPLICATION LINKS section below.

An informational webinar was hosted by CCI on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM PT. The webinar provided an overview of the application, helpful tips, and a live Q & A. A recording of the webinar is available in the APPLICATION LINKS section below.



Apply Now--Check back on September 21 for link!

images/pdf_icon.jpgGuidelines (To be updated by September 21, 2021--Stay tuned!)

images/pdf_icon.jpgFrequently Asked Questions (To be updated by September 21, 2021--Stay tuned!)

logos/Word Doc ImageApplication Preview (To be updated by September 21, 2021--Stay tuned!)

images/pdf_icon.jpgSubmittable Quick Tips

images/pdf_icon.jpgPress Release Announcing Round 1 Grantees and Program Updates (August 24, 2021)

YouTube Icon 2021 Webinar



CCI staff are here to help! Please email us at cali@cciarts.org or call 415.288.0530 for assistance.



The CALI Catalyst grant program is made possible with support from: