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Frequently Asked Questions

Important Dates

April 17, 2024: Informational Webinar. View recording here!

April 24 – May 29: Virtual Community Office Hours every Wednesday from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Register here!
Additional office hours – register here!
  • Monday May 6th at 10 a.m.
  • Friday May 17th at 2 p.m.
  • Monday May 20th at 10 a.m.
Parks California is available to answer questions, support proposal development, and offer technical application support to all interested parties. These office hours are open to everyone, allowing you to join at your convenience once registered.

May 2nd and June 6th, 2024: One-on-One office hours. Register here!

Parks California is available to meet with organizations for one-on-one, 15-minute calls on these two days. If we receive more demand than slots available on these dates, we will offer up additional times.

June 14, 2024: Proposals due to Parks California at 5:00pm PT

June – August, 2024: Application review period

September 2024: Grant awards announced

October 2024: Grant funds disbursed, and grant period begins

Eligible applicants include 501(c)3 organizations, California Native American Tribes (inclusive of federal and non-federally recognized tribes), Native 7871 Organizations, Land Trusts, Fiscally Sponsored Community Organizations, Foundations, and/or Local Government Agencies (City, County, Regional).

We encourage individuals and artists to sign up to our Artist Directory and reach out to eligible applicants (see question above) to get involved.

  • Planning and Development Grants (8-month grant cycle; October 2024 – May 2025) support the early stages of project development with a focus on building partnerships, artist selection and developing project plans.
  • Implementation Grants (12-month grant cycle; October 2024 – September 2025) support the execution of a community engagement, art and culture programs with a well-defined partnership.
We anticipate launching future cycles of the Arts in California Parks Local Grants Program in April 2025, and 2026.
  • For the Planning and Development Grants, projects should take place within the 8-month grant period. Grant awards will be announced in September 2024, with projects to begin as early as October 2024 and should be completed by May 2025.
  • For the Implementation Grants, projects should take place within the 12-month grant period. Grant awards will be announced in September 2024, with projects to begin as early as October 2024 and should be completed by September 2025.
  • For Planning and Development Grants we require that organizations engage with the relevant stakeholders to discuss their proposed activities before applying. Applicants must provide the name, title, and email address of the partnered entity. If available, supporting documentation of the proposed collaboration, such as emails or letters, is encouraged.
    • For organizations, please specify your knowledge and awareness of government processes and procedures related to your grant proposal.
    • For local parks, please specify if you have engaged with artists, nonprofits, or other community organizations.
  • Implementation Grant applicants are required to provide evidence of confirmation that their organization has received approval with relevant stakeholders for the proposed activities before applying. Supporting documentation, such as emails or letters, confirming the established partnership will be due with your submission.
Yes, this grant program specifically will only fund projects that take place in local public parks.

The Arts in California Parks Local Parks Grant Program defines local parks as land that is owned or managed by a local city, county, park or community service district, land trusts, regional park or open space district, non-profit organization or foundation, or any other entity other than federal and state agencies. Both indoor and outdoor spaces can be considered.

An “open space” refers to a natural area accessible to the public, which may include natural conservancies, archaeological sites, and lands managed by nonprofit organizations. These spaces are characterized by their availability and accessibility, often not enclosed by fencing, and may have designated hours for public access.
In communities with limited parks and park amenities, museums, visitor centers, recreation centers, and theaters with indoors and outdoors spaces can emerge as alternatives. These facilities should be instrumental in providing access to communal gathering, educational opportunities, and activities that enhance health and well-being, particularly where suitable outdoor environments are absent.

We encourage all, including those in rural and traditionally underrepresented regions, to
apply for this grant opportunity.

Preferred regions include but are not limited to the Central Valley, Inland Empire, Far North
and Far South California, and Tribal lands.

Through the Arts in California Parks program, California State Parks and its partners, aim to support Tribal Nations, artists, and communities in creating artwork that offers perspective on our past and present and helps us imagine our potential.

Yes, the proposal scoring sheet for Planning and Development and Implementation proposals are both available as a guiding tool for all applicants.

  • We encourage applicants to view the informational webinar posted in the 2024 Arts in California Parks Grant Program Resource Hub. Parks California is also available to answer questions, support proposal development, and offer technical assistance to all interested parties.
  • For the 2024/2025 grant cycle, Parks California staff will host community office hours:
    • Every Wednesday from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. from April 24 through May 29, 2024.
    • To register for Community Office Hours, click here. These office hours are open to everyone and you to join at your convenience.
  • Staff will also be available to meet with organizations for one-on-one, 15-minute calls on May 2 and June 6, 2024.
    • To schedule a 15-minute meeting during one-on-one office hours, click here.
  • After reviewing all of the materials, if you have additional questions, contact Sarah Scheideman at grants@parkscalifornia.org. If we receive more demand for community hours and one-on-ones than currently available, we will offer additional times.

Grant applications are due on June 14, 2024.

Only one application per organization will be considered for funding. However, fiscal sponsor organizations may support multiple projects led by different organizations.

No, completing a Planning and Development Grant is not a requirement for Implementation Grant applicants.
We highly encourage recipients of Planning and Development Grant apply for the Implementation Grant. However, we understand that Planning and Development Grants might uncover unexpected findings, necessitating additional planning efforts by organizations and partners to pursue such endeavors.

The grant application and other resources can be found in the Resource Hub at Local Parks Grant Resources – Arts in California Parks.

A downloadable PDF version of the grant application can be accessed in the grant portal, Foundant. Once in the portal, navigate to the grant listing and click on “Preview” at the bottom right. Then, in the top right corner, you will find the “Question List” for the PDF version.

No, only one application submission per organization will be considered regardless of which track is applied for. To contact program staff for help in determining which grant track is more appropriate, please email grants@parkscalifornia.org.

Yes, the grant program can help develop new parks if the proposal outlines a project that meets the goals, objectives, criteria, and timeline for the Arts in California Parks, Local Grants Program.

Criteria for the grant programs can be found here.

The Arts in California Parks Local Park Program welcomes various art programs, including experiential, performance, temporary, and permanent installations, provided they incorporate a community engagement aspect to ensure relevance.
Community engagements includes, but is not limited to, workshops and interviews to gather local insights, public meetings for community input, community art projects to reflect local identity, and educational programs to enhance knowledge on relevant issues. These types of activities foster meaningful involvement and ensure project relevance to community needs.
We understand that each art program is unique and will have a varied schedule. While we don’t have a directive on hours, we ask you, the expert, to provide us with the best community engagement plan to inform your program.

All art experiences associated with this grant program should be free and accessible to members of the public.

Artist fees are an allowable expense and artists should be compensated for their time and talents. To inform your budget proposal, discuss the scope of your project with the artist (or art-based organization). For additional information, you can find resources in the Online Resources.

California State Parks invites artists that are interested in creating public art in California State and/or local parks to join the Arts in California Parks directory. The directory is a resource available to all State and local California Parks staff, as well as the general public, to be used to search for artists based on location, art medium, or other considerations, in order to explore opportunities for collaboration.

Yes, established events can be eligible under this program if there’s a proposal to enhance them with new elements like community engagement, expand to other local parks, and/or artistic components as well as meet the overarching goals of the Arts in California Parks program.

No, preference is not given to artists and/or organizations listed in the Artist Directory.

No this is not a reimbursement grant. Funds are disbursed once the grant agreement is signed.
  • Planning and Development Grants allowable program expenses could include but are not limited to costs associated for workshops, community engagement activities, staff time, planning, materials, and other forms of equitable artist selection practices.
  • Implementation Grant allowable program activities expenses could include but are not limited to costs associated with events, community engagements activities, artist fees, staff time, installations, exhibitions, rentals, permits, maintenance cost during the grant period and art program production. Additionally, grant funding may be used to offset admission fees. It’s essential to include these costs in the budget and budget narrative for transparency.
Fundraising, grant writing, lobbying, costs outside grant performance period and costs outside the approved grant scope. Costs outside the approved grant period including long-term maintenance fees on temporary and permanent art.

Indirect expenses will be considered as part of grant proposals and should be clearly outlined in the budget template and narrative. Colleges, Universities, and Government agencies: For maximum efficiency of limited resources, it is Parks California’s policy to fund indirect or overhead costs up to 15% of the approved project amount. For Non-profit organizations, Parks California does not employ a fixed minimum or maximum rate for indirect costs. We encourage you to submit an indirect cost request that is a fair and reasonable estimate of indirect costs related to the total project funds requested. Project budgets are evaluated within the totality of the application.

Fees will vary based on the scope of work. Please visit the Online Resources for additional information.

Grant funds from the Arts in California Parks, Local Park Program are designated for the creation and implementation of art programs and cannot be allocated towards the long-term maintenance of temporary to permanent art installations. Applicants who will need maintenance for their temporary or permanent installations should outline a clear strategy for maintaining their art installations, including a detailed maintenance schedule, identification of alternative funding sources, and staffing plans.

If vendors for program events are charged a fee, the fee should be accessible. If there’s any revenue gained from the vendor fees, applicant should note how/if the funds will be reinvested in the program (i.e. help offset other event costs) and document this appropriately within the grant application and project budget.

 There is no minimum organizational budget requirement. Organizations of all sizes are encouraged to apply.

 For the Local Parks Grant program, there’s $8 million available to distribute in grants over the next 3 grant cycles (2024, 2025, 2026)​.

This year, knowing that we have $8 million available over the next three years, we anticipate awarding $250,000 in grant awards for the Planning and Development track, and $2,500,000 in grant awards for Implementation Grant track.​

While we anticipate awarding these funds, we recommend minimum grant requests to not be less than $15,000. We also recommend applicants submit a proposal that meets their needs.

 No, matching funds are not a requirement to be eligible for either of the Arts in California Parks, Local Grants Program funding tracks. However, matching grant components are preferred for the Implementation Grant.

A mid-grant and final report will be required. Final reports are due within 30 days upon conclusion of the funded activity. Grantees shall use the report template provided by Parks California and all reports shall be submitted electronically through Parks California’s grant management system. In addition to the final report, for Planning and Development grantees, will also be asked to submit a Final Project Plan.

Parks California wants to illuminate the great work happening across the state. We will ask grantees to share information such as photos, quotes, interviews, etc. to highlight the collective impact on local parks. These stories will be used for internal and external communications, reporting, and marketing materials. Through this program, we also seek to capture case studies, exchange best practices, and identify statewide opportunities for accelerating and broadening access for a more diverse park workforce at all levels.
Parks California, in collaboration with California State Parks, will facilitate an ad-hoc committee to review grants and develop recommendations. Committee members include Parks California and California State Parks staff, in addition to external volunteers that bring subject matter, geographic and cultural expertise. In addition, this group will bring transparency to the process and diversity of perspective. In addition to reviewing the proposals, a financial review of each applicant will also be conducted. The final list of recommendations will be approved by California State Parks and Parks California.
Parks California will provide feedback to all interested parties and provide respective feedback related to their proposals.