California Arts Council

State of California

Open Call for Panelists: APPLICATION CLOSED 12/31/16

PLEASE NOTE: Panelist application currently closed. Click here to sign up for the California ArtBeat newsletter to stay abreast of future panelist opportunities.  

Apply to serve on a California Arts Council peer-review grant panel! This is a chance to lend your support to the arts and culture community throughout the state, participate in cultural policy in action, and share your voice in shaping a creative California.

The California Arts Council is looking for panelists to serve on peer review panels for our grant programs in the spring of 2017. We are seeking 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.

Blog: Serving the Field, Gaining Insight: Reflections from a Peer Review Panelist, 6/16/2016

Blog: A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Panelists, 6/10/2016

  • 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 75 applications before they come to Sacramento.
  • Panel meetings may last from 1-3 days in Sacramento, and require panelists to work together in conversation.
  • Applications and artists’ work samples (photos, videos and documents) are viewed online before the panel meeting. Ability and willingness to access the applications and samples online are crucial to preparing for the panel meeting.



Staff Contact

Jaren Bonillo


Each spring, applications to our grant programs are reviewed by a panel of 3 to 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 to 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.

Panels take place almost every week between February and mid-June at the CA Arts Council office in Sacramento. Individuals are first selected to be on the general panel pool and will be included in the pool for two years. The panel poll will be approved by the CA Arts Council in January 2017. From the approved panel pool, individuals will be contacted, and may be selected to serve on specific grant panels.


Approved panelists will remain on the Council’s approved panelist list for 2 years. Approved panelists may be asked to serve on one of our FY2017-2019 grants panels. Former panelists, please consider sending us your updated information. If you are currently on the 2015-16 approved panelist list, your approval extends through the Spring 2017 grant panel season.

2017 Panels include the following grant programs: Artists Activating Communities, Artists in Schools, Arts and Public Media, Cultural Pathways, Creative California Communities, Local Impact, JUMP StArts, State-Local Partnership, Statewide and Regional Networks, and Veterans Initiative in the Arts.