The goal of the Arts program is to promote a vibrant and inclusive artistic and cultural environment in California.
For Californians, the benefits of a rich artistic environment are immeasurable. Whether it is attending a concert, seeing a play or discovering the work of a new artist, active engagement in the arts both awakens our sense of identity and expands our view of the world.
California has long been a wellspring of creativity. Its ability to innovate and pioneer new cultural trends has helped it become one of the world’s leading economies. Similarly, its future depends on cultivating the creativity of the state’s artists and residents. And as the state becomes increasingly diverse, the arts represent an important way to build community and improve cross-cultural understanding.
Yet the arts in California face significant challenges. Many nonprofit arts organizations are in a constant struggle to raise funds and attract audiences. Individual artists, who may require years of dedicated training, often lack the support and institutional affiliations they need to sustain their careers. And government funding and public policies supporting the arts are particularly vulnerable in times of economic crisis.
As one of the state’s largest private funders of the arts, Irvine has adopted a broad approach to supporting the sector. We promote the creation of new art, while also trying to increase access and engagement with the arts among diverse communities. We also seek to strengthen arts organizations, which play the leading role in creating, preserving and presenting cultural programs for the public.
We make grants in the following areas:
- Artistic Creativity — We support the creation of new work by California artists through grants to arts organizations and intermediary partners for new work development, professional development for individual artists, commissioning and fellowships.
- Arts Leadership — We seek to foster an environment in which arts and culture flourish in California through leading arts organizations.
- Arts Innovation Fund — We support the state’s premier cultural institutions as they advance their artistic vision and deliver innovative, aspirational programming.
- Arts Regional Initiative — We support leading arts organizations in select regions of the state as they seek to increase cultural participation and improve their financial sustainability, management and governance.
- Cultural Participation — We support the active engagement of Californians from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds with quality art from a variety of sources and cultures. We aim to broaden, deepen and diversify participation in arts and culture in California.
Open Application Program
- Creative Connections Fund — This fund provides open, competitive funding for small and midsize arts organizations. We offer grants up to $50,000 over two years for projects in the areas of Artistic Creativity or Cultural Participation.
In addition, we have the following special projects in the Arts program:
We accept unsolicited inquiries for arts funding only through our Creative Connections Fund.