California Arts Council

State of California

Grant Detail

Catalyst Initiative
Center for Performance and Civic Practice

The Catalyst Initiative supports place-based project teams comprised of an individual artist and a civic (community, non-profit, or municipal) partner to conceive and execute a small-scale local arts-based project created in response to an expressed need by the partner.

CPCP offers the cohort of artists and civic partners conceptual and process support throughout planning, implementation and evaluation of their projects. CPCP makes site-visits, convenes the cohort and supports documentation.


We are interested in supporting the development of new projects, not existing ones. If you have a relationship with a community or municipal organization and are considering collaboration, but have not yet designed the project nor fully articulated goals, this may be a good match.

This cohort demands an interest and commitment from both the civic partner and the artist. Our support structure and all cohort dialogues will actively include both the artist and partner. The application must include a letter of interest from the potential civic partner.

We are especially interested in collaborations that expand collective thinking on community health. This is not limited to public health, health care or wellness, but rather acknowledges and supports the idea that a community's narrative of health depends on many intersecting factors, systems and issues.


  • Capacity-building in -
    • Solid partnership processes and cross-sector translation tools.
    • Co-design strategies that clearly demonstrate the value of cross-sector collaboration through the resulting community endeavors.
  • Stipend of $3500 for Artists; $1000 for Civic Partner Organization.
  • Project coaching by CPCP staff throughout the project timeline.
  • Web-based narrative case studies to aid in local and field-wide advocacy.
  • Opportunities to engage in a national cohort of peer artist/partner teams.


  • Artists must apply with a civic partner. The project developed through this initiative must be created in response to an expressed need by the civic partner.
  • The proposed project must be a new project with either an existing relationship / partner or a new partner. (Projects that are already in process are ineligible.)
  • Artist and a member of the partner organization must be available to attend a 2-day capacity-building workshop from December 11-12, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ (travel and lodging stipend plus honorarium will be provided).


Application and all supplemental materials must be received by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST.
Projects must take place between January 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018.
Awarded teams will be notified by mid-October 2017.


The online application requests the following:

  • A 500-word maximum description that expresses your current relationship as partners (new, existing, history of collaboration), why this partnership seems interesting to each of you, and what you could imagine exploring as you start considering project work together.
  • A letter of interest from the civic partner/organization.
  • Bio (artist) and organization mission statement (partner).
  • Work sample from artist and URL for the civic partner's website that demonstrates body of work, mission, or focus on community change.

Grant link:
Deadline: 09-15-2017

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