Jonathan Freeman with Coyote’s Paw sinew-backed bow workshop, Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa peoples. Photo: 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台, 2010.

Living Cultures Grant

Sustaining and Strengthening Cultural Communities



Betty Marín (Los Angeles), Associate Program Director,, ‭213-346-3257
Visite esta página en español aquí.

The Living Cultures Grant seeks to sustain and strengthen traditional arts in the state of California with $5,000 grants to individual artists/culture bearers and $12,500 grants to California-based nonprofits and Tribal Nations, as well as other organizations and community groups who work with fiscal sponsors.

Through this grant program, 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 supports nurturing cultural continuity, sustaining cultural practices, and engaging our own communities and others through public programs. Projects involving any genre of traditional arts—including but not limited to dance, music, foodways, material arts, and oral traditions—are welcome.

Applications Now Closed

Watch the replay of our online Info Session here.

Please be sure to sign up for our Newsletter for the latest information.

Applications DUE: July 3, 2023 11:59pm

To speak one-on-one with an 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 staff member, sign-up for a 20-minute Zoom session here.

Full Program Guidelines beloW

Program Guidelines


Application Opens: May 5, 2023
Application Closes: July 3, 2023

Information Sessions:

  • See registration and recording links in the section above!

Notification to all applicants: early fall 2023

Grant period: Funds should be used between September 1, 2023- August 31, 2024

Who can apply? 

The grants are open to individuals, organizations, community groups, and Tribal Nations who practice traditional arts. 

Traditional arts are those art forms that are transmitted and engaged as part of the cultural life of a group of people whose members share a common heritage, language, religion, occupation, or region. These expressions are deeply rooted in and reflective of a community’s shared standards of beauty, values, or life experiences. Traditional arts are often passed on from one generation to the next, or from one community member to another, and express a collective wisdom, rather than only a unique personal aesthetic.

For more information, visit the Frequently Asked Questions section. 

INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS can apply for grants of $5,000 to support their practice.
Applicants must be:

  • Based in California
  • Be artists /culture bearers rooted in a tradition who have been practicing at least 5 years. 
  • 18 years old or older
  • Able to receive California taxable income (Individual artists do not apply with a fiscal sponsor.)

ORGANIZATIONS/COMMUNITY GROUPS/TRIBAL NATIONS can apply for funds of $12,500 to support activities.
Eligible organizations must have:

  • An annual budget under $500,000 
  • Non-profit 501c3 status based in California
  • Community groups without non-profit status may apply with a California-based 501c3 fiscal sponsor 
  • Tribal Nations cultural programs/departments based in California with federal status (Note: budget requirement applies to department, and not nation as a whole). 
  • Tribal Nations cultural programs/departments based in California without federal status may apply with a California-based 501c3 fiscal sponsor (Note: budget requirement applies to department, and not nation as a whole). 

For more information on fiscal sponsors, see the Frequently Asked Questions Section. 

Further eligibility:

  • You may apply to the Living Cultures program both as an individual and with your organization for different projects. (Example: Kathak dance artist wishes to explore repertoire with a visiting artist and is asking for funds to attend a series of workshops in order to deepen her training and teaching skills. Her non-profit organization is also applying for funds to produce an annual festival which is attended primarily by a multi-generational South Asian community.
  • If you receive grants from the California Arts Council (CAC), William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and/or the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, you may apply to the Living Cultures program for an entirely different project than the one already funded. 
Pathways to nurture, sustain, and engage participation in the traditional arts.

We invite proposals that will:

  • nurture cultural continuity through the learning and practice of traditional arts; and/or
  • sustain cultural practices with needed purchases and services; and/or
  • engage your communities and others through public programs

We recognize that cultural work can be impactful no matter the number of  participants served, whether they are a small or large group of people. This will  depend on your communities and your cultural practices. 

Below are some examples to consider as you think about your application request.  

Nurturing cultural continuity through connection, practice, and learning 

  • Workshops and gatherings (for example, events that bring together artists, cultural specialists or community leaders to share skills and information or to engage in discussion and problem solving.)
  • Intergenerational classes or other educational programs within a community (after-school youth programs, dance ensemble classes or practices, summer programs, etc.)
  • Other kinds of instruction with culture bearers, honoraria, travel costs within California, etc. (Please note that intensive, one-on-one artistic mentorships should apply to 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台’s Apprenticeship Program instead.)
  • Endangered language conservation and revitalization projects when carried out within the context of traditional art forms (i.e. language classes as a part of basketmaking or a foodways project).
  • Other types of activities and projects that lead to the continued practice of the traditional arts 

Sustaining cultural practices with needed purchases, services, or acquiring new skills

  • Equipment and materials purchases (instruments, media equipment, performance clothing or regalia, etc.)
  • Documentation of traditional arts, skills, beliefs, or performances
  • Conservation, creation, or acquisition of important traditional arts items
  • An investment to result in the organization’s stability and visibility (fee for services for marketing consultation, website development, financial planning, etc.)
  • Learning new skills with advisors or cultural specialists (consultation with a museum curator, archivist, textile restoration consultant, etc.)
  • Other types of activities and projects that lead to long-term sustainability of traditional arts practices

Engaging participation with our communities and others through public programs

  • Public presentations, such as community-based concerts, festivals, and exhibitions that foster engagement
  • Other types of activities and projects that lead to engagement in traditional arts practices within and between cultural communities

Please note: All funded programs, services, information, and facilities where funded activities take place, including online spaces, must be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, have difficulty speaking, have a physical disability, visual disability, developmental disability, learning disability, mental illness, or chronic illness.

  • General operating support (expenses not directly related to application proposal)
  • Projects that are a part of regular instruction at educational institutions (K-12 public or private non-profit/charter schools and universities) receiving public education funding, such as arts-in-education projects, university seminars and programs, or curriculum development (after-school or summer programs are eligible).
  • Compensation/credit for activities directly related to being a full-time student in a degree program
  • Out-of-state travel.
  • Projects whose main purpose is fundraising. 
  • Projects based on the interpretation of a cultural tradition, instead of the actual tradition or cultural art form itself.
  • Separate applications for the same project (e.g. Multiple groups or organizations cannot apply for projects culminating in one festival.)

The review panel of cultural specialists and practitioners will make recommendations on funding based upon the review criteria. Those recommendations will be reviewed and approved by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Board of Directors. 

Review Criteria: 
  • Traditionality and relationship to community. What is the tradition? What is the lineage of the participating artists and how is the art form practiced in the community?
    • Application Question: What are your cultural traditions + who are your teachers and their lineage? What is the cultural significance to the community? 
  • Artistry demonstrated by the featured artists and other key individuals. Artistry is reflected in culture bearers’ creative expression, skills, methods and materials and its relevance to the communities the project aims to serve.
    • Application question: Work samples. 
  • Viability of the proposed activities as evident in a clear request and timeline, and appropriate budget.
    • Application Questions: 
      • What is your request? Please briefly describe how you plan to use the grant funds. 
      • Budget Form. List expenses related to your project budget. 
      • Timeline. List the steps and month and year you are taking to implement this work. 
  • Urgency related to endangered or marginalized art forms, endangered languages, age of culture bearers, timeliness related to social or political context, or other reasons. 
    • Application question: Please describe any urgency to sustaining or practicing this tradition within your local community?
  • Impact and assessment of successes and challenges related to your project.
    •  Application Question: By your own terms and standards, what is your intended impact for this proposal and how will you assess successes and challenges?
  1. What is your request? Please briefly describe your plan/proposal. (Max 250 words)
  2. What are your cultural traditions + who are the specific teachers or lineage? What is the cultural significance to the community?  (Max 450 words)
  3. By your own terms and standards, what is your intended impact for this proposal and how will you assess successes and challenges? (Max 250 words)
  4. Please describe any urgency to sustaining or practicing this tradition within California, or your local community? (Max 150 words)
  5. Work Samples 
  6. Budget Form
  7. Timeline

Artistic work samples play a vital role in understanding your practice and communities served. Carefully select samples that will demonstrate with clarity key features of your practice and proposal.  

You may submit media by direct upload or by providing a link. If your links are password protected, please include this information! 

Requirements based on art practice:

  • Craft/Material Arts/Ritual arts, foodways, and other traditional knowledge systems must submit 5-10 images an an optional video.
  • Dance, Music, Storytelling, and other performing arts must submit 1-2 videos (preferred) or audio samples.


I have applied to 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台’s Living Cultures program before, how is this different?
Individual artists and culture bearers are also eligible to apply directly for the first time. For organizations, the grant amounts are larger than in the past. We have a larger funding pool this year totaling $850,000.  

What are the folk and traditional arts?
Traditional arts are those art forms that are transmitted and engaged as part of the cultural life of a group of people whose members share a common heritage, language, religion, occupation, or region. These expressions are deeply rooted in and reflective of a community’s shared standards of beauty, values, or life experiences. Traditional arts are often passed on from one generation to the next, or from one community member to another, and express a collective wisdom, rather than only a unique personal aesthetic. 

Some traditional arts have been brought to California from other countries or regions and have taken root here to become interwoven with the state’s cultural landscape and identity, while others have prospered on the more than 130 tribal reservations and rancherias in this state. Japanese bonsai; Cowboy poetry; Hmong reverse appliqué embroidery; Mexican corridos (ballads) and mariachi music; African American quilts; Native American basketry, ceremonial regalia construction and ritual music/dance; South Indian Bharata Natyam dance; Western saddle making; Chinese qin instrumental music; Portuguese fado singing; Native Hawaiian kahiko hula chant and dance; and Pilipino rondalla music ensembles are but a few of the many hundreds of distinctive forms found in this tremendously diverse and culturally rich state.

Who is a culture bearer or traditional artist?
Culture bearers or traditional artists are people who carry and transmit cultural values, traits and practices between and within communities, often serving as leaders in promoting their community’s identity, cultural practice and wellbeing. Culture bearers and traditional artists may identify by other cultural terms used in the community – such as basketmaker, jaranero, kumu hula, etc.

How many grants will be made?
We anticipate making between 75-100 grants with a total grants pool of $850,000.

Can I apply for less than the maximum grant amount?
No. We are offering a single grant amount, $5,000 for individuals and $12,500 for organizations. If you have questions about your budget or project, please schedule a 20-minute Zoom with an 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 staff member here

What is a fiscal sponsor?  How do I find one?
A fiscal sponsor is a non-profit organization that agrees to accept the monies on your behalf for an administrative fee. The sponsor will be responsible to report these earnings to the Internal Revenue Service. It is a way to support people and organizations in creating new projects without the need to create new non-profits.The fiscal sponsor will receive and manage the funds to advance a project. There are different types of fiscal sponsorship models indicating varying degrees of control and management and we encourage applicants to determine which model best suits the group implementing the project.

It is good to do some research and to check your local non-profit organizations to learn if there is a non-profit whose mission and values are aligned with your proposed project. The links below are offered as a way to learn more about fiscal sponsorship and is not intended to be a comprehensive or preferred list of non-profits you can work with. 

Note: Your fiscal sponsor’s organizational budget can exceed $500,000. Budget restrictions still apply for applicant organizations. 

Learn more about fiscal sponsors: 

If I apply as an individual, do I have to report this as income on my tax forms?
Yes. 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 is required to report all grant awards as “other income” to the IRS via a 1099 form; you will also receive a copy of said 1099 form to use when filing your taxes. Grant recipients will be required to complete a W-9 form prior to receipt of funds. Resources for more information can be found below:

How are proposals evaluated?  Who decides who gets a grant?
Each proposal will be evaluated by a panel of traditional arts and culture specialists and artist-practitioners. Please refer to the section “Review Criteria and Decisions” above for more information.

How long is the grant period?
The grant period is 12 months between September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024. 

What should the quarter term report include?
The quarter term report is a written summary of your progress toward your previously described goals, any challenges you have encountered, and what you are learning in the process. If support is needed, please contact 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 staff. 

Can I apply as an individual artist and also with my organization?
Yes, you may apply to Living Cultures as both an individual and also with your organization, however these applications must support different activities. (Example: Mexica culture bearer/artist is requesting funding for materials to create regalia, and their organization Xipe Totec is requesting funding to organize their annual New Year event for community members.  While these are complementary activities, if the culture bearer was instead asking for funds to pay themselves to organize the festival, that would not be eligible since it duplicates the proposed activities of the organization.) To submit two applications, you have two options. 1) Complete and submit the first application and then submit the second one with the same Submittable account. 2) Create a separate Submittable account with a different email address. This would allow you to work on both simultaneously from different internet browsers. 

Can I apply to the Living Cultures grant with projects that are already funded by other CAC programs?
If you or your organization is currently receiving CAC funds, you may still apply to the Living Cultures program for an entirely different project or proposed activity. (Example: If  you are receiving support from the Local Impact program, please apply to Living Cultures for a different project or activity.) 

I am a grantee of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation or Walter and Elise Haas Fund? Can I still apply?
Yes, you may apply for a different project if you or your organization are currently receiving funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation or the Walter and Elise Haas Fund for another project.  

Can I apply to 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 for other available funding?
Yes, please consult eligibility for each program on the 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 website. Please contact us with any questions. 

I do not have online access- is there another way to apply? Can I submit a paper application instead of an online application?
Yes. Please contact for a paper application and mail to: Living Cultures/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台,  744 P Street, Suite 307, Fresno, CA 93721. It needs to be postmarked by the deadline. 

I am not comfortable with English, is there other language support?
We can offer support in Spanish. Please contact us if you need support in other languages besides English and Spanish. 

I need help. What should I do?
Please sign-up for 20 minutes of one-on-one support in Spanish or English at this link. You can sign-up multiple times. 

In addition to your narrative responses and work samples, below are other items you will need to verify or upload. We recommend preparing materials in advance, including drafting narrative questions in a separate document and uploading once you have all materials complete. You can also edit directly in Submittable. 

Individual Artists  
  • A utility bill or lease, voter registration, or driver’s license to prove current California residency.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a five year demonstrated history of art practice within your art form as documented by work samples and narrative. See work sample section on Page 12.  
  • Able to receive taxable income with a taxpayer identification number, which can be a social security number, an individual taxpayer identification number, or an employer identification number. 
501(c)3 Organizations / Community Groups  
  • Non-profit organizations and fiscal sponsors: Provide proof of non-profit status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or section 23701d of the California Revenue and Taxation Code and Tax ID or EIN number.   
  • Tribal Nations based in California with federal status  will need to submit IRS documentation. 
  • Proof of your current principal California address, within the last 3 months, with utility bill, lease, or bank account. If using a fiscal sponsor, you will need this for your organization and fiscal sponsor.

More About the Program

The Living Cultures Grant Program was developed in 2004 to provide project grants to California’s diverse cultural communities. In 2023, we are able to offer individual grants for the first time through this program, along with expanded funding for cultural groups and non-profit organizations throughout the state to realize community-based projects aimed at strengthening a sense of place, fostering traditional creativity, and ensuring cultural continuity.

十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 makes it possible for us to live our dreams.” 
—Tsering Wangmo, Chaksam-pa Tibetan Dance & Opera Company, 2019 Living Cultures grantee

Through this grant program, 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 supports artistic development, community engagement, personal wellbeing, collective energy, and the conservation of culture and history throughout California.



Learn about the 2023 Grant Recipients

In 2023, 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 awarded a total of $850,000 with $12,500 grants to 48 organizations and $5000 grants to 50 individual artists to support folk and traditional arts throughout the state. Click to see details of the 2023 grantees.


In 2017 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台 funded the annual Lavagem festival organized by BrasArte, a nonprofit dedicated to the music and dance traditions of Brazil. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.

A 2008 Living Cultures grant supported the preparation, practice, and implementation of the Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians' traditional songs and dances by their then newly-formed dance group. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.

Tagalog language classes by the Sama Sama Cooperative, a 2016 Living Cultures grantee. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.

in 2009 the indigenous art cooperative Coyote's Paw applied Living Cultures funds to lead workshops in the construction of traditional sinew-backed bows. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.

The Ukrainian Art Center of Los Angeles received funding in 2019 to produce workshops in traditional regional arts including pysanky, or egg-decorating. Photo: Timo Saarelma.

2011 Living Culture grantee organization Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indigena conducted a series of workshops in traditional music and weaving for the Triqui community of Salinas. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.

The 2010 Japanese Cultural Fair in Santa Cruz, supported by Living Cultures funds. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.

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  • Browse previous organizations who have received funding from 十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台.
  • Read about recent Living Cultures grantees from 20222021, and 2020.


The Living Cultures Grant Program is a program of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (十大赌博靠谱信誉的平台) and is generously supported by the California Arts Council, a state agency, with additional support from William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.

Invest in California’s cultural wealth.

Every gift is a commitment to a culture bearer, and the people of California.