Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact

News & Views Archives



CCI is honored to announce the 2023 CALI Catalyst Grantees! Thirteen California artists and cultural workers were awarded $7,500 each in unrestricted funds for their change-making work in the arts and culture sector. From pushing for the liberation of land for community use to creating models of non-hierarchical, cooperative 501(c)3 nonprofit structures, these individuals and collectives are affecting greater inclusion, access, diversity, and equity in the sector.



CCI's 2023 Annual Report celebrates the phenomenal artists, arts workers, grantees, investees, funders, researchers, and community partners whom we were honored to have in our orbit over the last year. We encourage you to check out the report and learn about our stellar allies!


Convening Summary: Reimagining Social Protections For All

We partnered with the Urban Institute to convene worker advocates and movement leaders to reimagine new systems of protection for nontraditional and excluded workers. Check out the Summary of the Virtual Convening on Reimagining Social Protections for Independent and Other Traditionally Excluded Workers.


NFTs, Smart Contracts, & DAOs: A Resource for Creatives

CCI's Sol Center for Liberated Work worked with Alex Glancy at Gundzik Gundzik Heeger LLP to create a report to help creatives capture the opportunities of blockcahin technologies, while protecting themselves from legal risk.


Transition Announcement

Althea Erickson is transitioning out of her role of Director, Sol Center to start her own independent consulting business. Althea has been pivotal in shaping the direction of our research and advocacy work, and preparing us for the next chapter of Sol Center’s evolution. We wish her the very best in this new endeavor! Stay in the loop on Sol Center’s next steps below.


Congratulations to CCI Board Member Sally Jo Fifer

After 22 years, CCI Founding Board Member Sally Jo Fifer has announced that she will be stepping away from her position as President and CEO of the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Our deepest gratitude for your work, Sally!


Sol Center for Liberated Work Launches Website

CCI's newest advocacy program, Sol Center for Liberated Work (formerly Rustle Lab), launched their new website. The website is home to resources, blogs, calls to action, and more!



Investing in Artists 2022 Recipients

Congratulations to this year’s eight grantees! Awards were made to artists who live in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, or San Mateo Counties, and are developing new work in the performing or media arts.



East Bay Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts

Applications accepted September 7 - September 28 at 12 pm (Noon) from artists, culture bearers, nonprofit arts workers, and teaching artists who live in Alameda or Contra Costa Counties.



Apply Now for Investing in Artists

Supports individual artists to create new work in the performing and media arts through grants of $8,250. Apply July 6 - August 17 at Noon.



Apply Now for CALI Catalyst

$5,000 unrestricted grants or individuals and teams of individuals whose bold actions are challenging—and upending—oppressive, unfair, or untenable circumstances in the arts and culture sector.



Announcing the AmbitioUS Thoughts Blog

AmbitioUS allies, staff, and thought partners reflect on building a network for enacting systems change.




Unrestricted grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 are available for Bay Area BIPOC-led music teams. The deadline to apply is June 22, 2022 at 12 PM (Noon) PT.




CCI is seeking a full-time Program Associate in our Bay Area office.



Announcing Rustle Lab

CCI's new research and advocacy lab is dedicated to labor, economic, and social policy gains for arts workers and all those who share their challenging conditions.




CCI welcomes new AmbitioUS Director

CCI is excited to welcome Cate Fox as the new director of its AmbitioUS initiative.



Zoo Labs Fund inaugural grantees announced 

CCI, in partnership with Zoo Labs, is honored to announce the 14 inaugural, music-based business/project grantees.



2021 Investing in Artists grantees announced 

We’re pleased to announce this year’s eight performing and media arts grantees from Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties. (Artists in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties are invited to apply in 2022.) 



CALI Catalyst Round 1 Grantees + Program Updates

CALI Catalyst supports 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. Learn about the program's inaugural roster of four grantees and future program updates. 



SCI Artist-Innovator Fund 2021 Grantees Announced

The SCI Artist-Innovator Fund is the first to offer artists, innovators, inventors, makers, and entrepreneurs with spinal cord injury financial capital for social-impact oriented creative entrepreneurship projects. The Fund provided $75,000 in grants of up to $7,500 each to ten individual artist-entrepreneurs with spinal cord injuries who are inspired to innovate by opportunity-based entrepreneurship.




CCI is incredibly proud to launch the CALI Catalyst grant program. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to California artists and arts workers whose changemaking actions are giving underrepresented populations more power and influence. 



CCI, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, commissioned a new Urban Institute report that describes the challenges, issues, and possible solutions that would help artists, many of whom are independent contractors, receive important benefits and protections.



President & CEO Angie Kim is in Stanford Social Innovation Review (article can be printed or downloaded from publisher) on the need for people of color to build new equity markets. 



Angie Kim shares key areas in which AmbitioUS is planning on taking action, as well as some trend forecasts for the immediate future.



SCI Artist-Innovator Fund offers artists, innovators, inventors, makers, and entrepreneurs living with spinal cord injury funds for social-impact, creative entrepreneurship projects.



CCI & AmbitioUS featured in Inside Philanthropy

Mike Scutari interviews Angie Kim about the work of CCI and new philanthropic funding models. 


It Shouldn't Take an Emergency to Fund Artists

Bay Area public media organization, KQED, asked CCI and others about the shortcomings of COVID relief funding and the necessity of long-term support for artists.


2020 Grant & Loan Fund program Recipients Announced

CCI announces the six 2020 recipients of the Grant & Loan Fund for Early-Stage Arts, Creative, and Cultural Cooperatives program.


2020 Investing in Artists Grantees Announced

With support from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, CCI announces the six 2020 grantees of the Investing in Artists program.


CCI's AmbitioUS program shout out in Nonprofit AF

Vu Le discusses how the philanthropy sector can better support and invest in BIPOC leaders. 


Angie Kim on Ownership as Collective Vision 

This essay is part of the Ford Foundation's CREATIVE FUTURES, a series of provocations by thinkers across the arts, documentary, and journalism on how to reimagine their sectors. 


Building a Solidarity Economy for the Arts

As part of the Art Funders Forum “REMAKE THE MODEL” virtual charrette series, Angie Kim participated in an interactive conversation on the ways that rising generations of art funders can encourage equity, equality, and solidarity in the arts sector. 


Grantmakers' Relief Funding of Individuals During a "Qualified Disaster"

Angie Kim shares CCI's learning and recommendations regarding relief funding during the COVID crisis.


CCI's AmbitioUS program shout out in Nonprofit AF

Vu Le discusses how the philanthropy sector can better support and invest in BIPOC leaders. 


Grantmaking Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

Angie Kim on how grantmakers can contribute to structural change and uplift those most at risk during economic crisis.


Reimagining the Economy with Innovative Support

Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D. (Threewalls), Angie Kim (CCI), and F. Javier Torres (Surdna Foundation) share how grantmakers can be forward-thinking about support for artist and arts organizations. Presented by Grantmakers in the Arts.


Grantmakers in the Arts Spotlights CCI and AmbitioUS for Month of April


Making San Francisco A Grassroots Arts Town Again 

San Francisco-based online publication, The Frisc, asked CCI and others about the future of arts and culture in SF. 


2019 Creative Industries Incentive Fund Grantees Announced

This year the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs’ Creative Industries Incentive Fund (CIIF) awarded nine grants to arts-based commercial businesses involved in the production or distribution of the arts.


One Year In, We’re as AmbitioUS as Ever.

As 2019 comes to a close, Angie Kim reflects on Year 1 of AmbitioUS. Read this story on Medium.


Watch CCI's Webinar on Technology and Art Business: From Blockchain to Smart Contracts

Watch a recording of the 12/5/19 webinar led by Sarah Conley Odenkirk of Art Converge. This 1 hour workshop provides an overview and discussion about emerging models including cryptocurrency, blockchain, fractionalized interests, and smart contracts in an art business context. 

Watch Video from the 2019 AmbitioUS Convening

Watch footage of sessions from the inaugural 2019 AmbitioUS convening that took place in Oakland, California on October 23. Video recordings are available on various topics, such as "The Role of Culture in Societal Transformation" and "Innovations in Capital Support." 



2019 Investing in Artists Grantees Announced 

With support from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) announces the six new grantees of the Investing in Artists program.


How Artists are leading Inclusive Economy efforts

Read "I Went Looking for Artists in the Inclusive Economy, and They Were Already There" by Angie Kim, President & CEO of CCI, in the second in a series of essays on what we're learning through the AmbitioUS initiative, now on Medium.


2019 SCI Artist-Innovator Grantees Announced

With support from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) announces the ten Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Artist-Innovator Fund grantees’ funded projects.


Angie Kim's first blog post about AmbitioUS & related work on Medium

Angie Kim, President & CEO of CCI, talks about AmbitioUS and shares her observations and reflections related to this cross-sector, experimental, systems level work: "Alternative Economic Work Is Thriving in the U.S. but Faces Unnatural, Unnecessary Hurdles."


Angie Kim contributes to “The Guide Project: How To Design  the Future”

Arizona State University's “The Guide Project: How To Design the Future," features an essay by CCI President & CEO Angie Kim on why designing the future requires a shift in framing. Read her contribution, "Work with the People You've Got; Aim at Those You'll Never Know," on ASU's "The Guide Project" website.



Angie Kim at Hacking Arts 2018 panel talk

CCI's President & CEO Angie Kim participated in a panel discussion at Hacking Arts 2018 with the MIT Media Lab about the new challenges and opportunities in "Financing Your Artistic Venture." Watch the whole conversation on HowlRound Theatre Common's Youtube channel.


Application open for 2019 Investing in Artists grant

The Investing in Artists grants program was established in 2007 to strengthen the creative support system for California artists. Through the continued support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, CCI is pleased to announce the 2019 application round for Bay Area Performing Arts and Media Arts artists is now open! 


SCI Artist-Innovator Fund Webinar Now Available

CCI held a public webinar on May 15 providing an overview of this funding opportunity. The recorded webinar is a still-accessible and newly available resource responding to questions about or anxieties about applying. CCI encourages qualified artists, innovators, makers, and creative entrepreneurs to apply! Watch the webinar on our YouTube channel.


Application open for SCI Artist-Innovator Fund

The spinal cord injury (SCI) community is abundant with out-of-the-box thinkers, hackers, problem solvers, and individuals creatively tackling challenges. CCI launches the first ever SCI Artist-Innovator Fund offering artists, innovators, inventors, makers, and entrepreneurs living with spinal cord injury funds for social-impact, creative entrepreneurship projects.


2018 Investing in Tomorrow Recipients Announced

Five artists received up to $8,000 in funds for forward-looking projects that hold promise for re-imagining the Bay Area region’s arts field.


Call for Papers: Symposium on Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

The Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation (AEI) Lab is pleased to invite proposals for research papers for its Spring 2020 Symposium. Prospective authors from any discipline and country are encouraged to submit extended abstracts to improve our understanding of the interplay between the arts, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Submission deadline is February 28, 2019.




2018 Investing in Artists Recipients Announced

Six artists received up to $8,000 in funds for Artistic Innovation projects proposed by performing and media artists to create new work that pushes the envelope of their creative process.



2018 Creative Economic Development Fund Recipients Announced

Nine creative social enterprises were selected to receive up to $12,500 to launch or grow their business in Los Angeles



What We've Learned About Creative Economic Development

CCI's Artists Knowledge Manager Allison Wyper reports out about the first 3 years of the Creative Economic Development Fund supporting arts-based social enterprises in Los Angeles. Give her post a read, then download, share, and discuss!



CCI & IUPUI Designated an NEA Research Lab

Center for Cultural Innovation and Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis Designated an NEA Research Lab to Better Understand How Artists Fare across Non-Arts Sectors and in New Economies. 





Emergency Resources for Artists

As many in our community are working to recover from wildfires, hurricanes, and other disasters, CCI has compiled a list of financial resources available to artists and their families. 


2017 Investing in Artists Recipients Announced

Six artists received $7,500 in funds for Artistic Innovation projects by performing and media artists to create new work that pushes the envelope of their creative process.



2017 Investing in Tomorrow Recipients Announced

Fourteen enterprises received $7,500 in funds for projects by diverse and up-and-coming leaders at nonprofit or fiscally sponsored arts organizations that have the potential to re-shape the trajectory of California’s nonprofit arts sector in ways that advance intergenerational and multicultural leadership, inclusion and equity, and new sustainability models.



CCI Announces New Program Director, Bay Area

CCI is pleased to announce that Laura Poppiti will be the new Program Director, Bay Area starting September 22, 2017. She will manage CCI’s Bay Area regranting and training programs, including the statewide Creative Capacity Fund, San Jose creative entrepreneur grants, and arts leadership activities. We are excited to have her as part of our team, and we encourage you to say hello!



2017 CEDF Grants Announced

Eight Los Angeles enterprises received $12,500 in funds this year to help launch startup ventures; enable temporary, pop-up activities; and expand micro-sized creative enterprises with five or fewer employees. The Creative Economic Development Fund supports independent creative businesses, self-employed artists or cultural producers, artist collectives, or nonprofit arts organizations with earned income activities that use commercial strategies in pursuit of a social or community impact objective.


Angie Kim is interviewed at Create-a-thon

CCI President & CEO Angie Kim talks about the value of basic income and why it matters to artists. Interviewed and produced by Universal Income Project on April 16, 2017.

> Check out the YouTube video


Report Synthesizing Hoped-for Arts Futures Now Available

CCI's Future Arts Forward convening to envision the future of the arts has been captured in a compelling documentation report by Alexis Frasz. Future Arts Forward was one of the most diverse convenings of the nonprofit arts sector, and the document illuminated how they envision a promising future. If you want to see what emerging leaders and those who have been underrepresented in the arts want for and from the field, we encourage you to read, download, share, and discuss.