California Arts Council

State of California

At the arts council

Be a part of our grantmaking process!

Published: 11-20-2015

Are you a potential panelist? The California Arts Council is looking for panelists to serve on the 2016 peer review panels for our grant programs. Panelists are an integral part of the process that supports the creative voices of California. We are looking for individuals who have in-depth professional experiences in the arts, arts education, arts administration, arts in juvenile justice, and/or related fields, to come to Sacramento to review and rank grant applications. In addition to well-established members of the arts and culture world, young professionals are encouraged to apply. Great effort is made to create diverse panels representing various geographic areas, organization size, ethnicity, gender, and areas of expertise.

If interested, please submit the following brief application with a resume by January 4th, 2016.

Regardless of whether you have applied or served as a panelist before, please submit this form, as we have a new online system. 

How it Works:

Each spring, applications to our grant programs are reviewed by a panel, 3-5 arts and culture experts. Panelists independently read and review up between 20-75 applications through the Arts Council's online grant portal, Panelists are given specific instructions to rank applications according to grant guidelines and review criteria. Then the panel meets in Sacramento with Arts Council staff for 1-3 days to collectively rank the applications. The rankings are then brought to the California Arts Council to inform funding decisions. One panel spokesperson may be selected to join staff to present the peer review panel rankings and findings to the Council.


The peer review panel process is at the heart of California Arts Council grant program efforts, ensuring that our application review process is democratic and fair, and representative of the incredible cultural expertise in California. Serving on a California Arts Council panel is a great service to the creativity and vitality of our state. For many people, serving on a peer review panel is a powerful learning experience, giving them valuable insight about the grantmaking process.

Panelist Requirements:

- Panelists must be California residents.
Per our enabling legislation, panelists serve without pay.  However, travel to Sacramento is reimbursed according to state guidelines and a Per Diem is distributed.
- Depending on the program, panelists may be asked to read as many as 120 applications before they come to Sacramento.
Panel meetings may last from 1-3 days in Sacramento, and require panelists to work together in conversation.
- For most programs, applications and artists' work samples (photos, videos and documents) are viewed online at home before the panel meeting. Ability and willingness to access the applications and samples online are crucial to preparing for the panel meeting.

2016 Panels include: Artists in Schools, State-Local Partnership, Statewide and Regional Networks, Local Impact, Creative California Communities, JUMP StArts, Artists Activating Communities, Cultural Pathways, and Veterans Initiative in the Arts.

Find information on current programs.

By January 4, 2016, please submit the following form with a current resume.

Thank you!


2015-16 Grant Panel Dates



Tentative Dates in 2016

State and Regional Networks

March 7-8

Artists Activating Communities

March 14-16, Panel 1

March 29-31, Panel 2


April 4-5

Cultural Pathways

April 7-8

Artists in Schools

April 11-13, Panel 1

April 18-20, Panel 2

Veterans Initiative in the Arts

April 25-26

Local Impact

May 9-11, Panel 1

May 16-18, Panel 2

Creative California Communities

May 23-25, Panel 1

June 1-3, Panel 2

State and Local Partnership

July 18-20