City of Chico Arts Grant Program

The purpose of the City of Chico Arts Grant Program is to support Chico Arts Organizations and Artists so that they may make quality arts and cultural work, performances, and exhibitions available and accessible to members of the Chico community.

Funding Source

The funding source for the City of Chico Arts Grant Program is 1% percent of the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).

Funding Limits

The minimum award that may be requested is $2,000 and the maximum award is $5,000. Matching funds are required to receive all awards.

Projects Should

  • Deliver or provide support for the delivery of opportunities for the community to engage in arts and cultural experiences.
  • Demonstrate artistic rigor and thoughtful planning to engage community and audiences.
  • Demonstrate strong support from the community.
  • Demonstrate inclusive service to broad, diverse, and underserved populations.
    • Diversity: The fact or quality of difference in terms of ability, age, belief, culture, ethnicity, gender, language, race and sexual orientation.
    • Underserved Population: People who genuinely lack access to arts programs, services, or resources for geographic, economic, cultural, social, physical, or other demonstrable reasons


  • Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations
  • Operating within the city of Chico
  • With a two-year history of producing or presenting


An arts or cultural organization is defined as a nonprofit organization which is organized and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing artistic or cultural exhibitions, presentations, or performances or cultural or art education programs.

Arts or cultural organizations may include arts service organizations, community and cultural centers, arts councils, agencies and foundations, dance companies, theaters, music groups, education and training programs, galleries and museums, historic and cultural preservation organizations, horticultural and zoological societies, libraries and archives, literary groups and publications, media arts and multi-disciplinary arts centers.

A nonprofit organization’s income is used to support its operation and does not provide monetary gain to stockholders, board of directors, and others with an interest in the company. Such organizations are defined under the 501(c) section of the federal tax code.

Project Scope

Funds may be used for projects, events, exhibitions, and performances or for capital improvement and equipment projects that support the organization’s ability to provide arts and cultural services. Funds should be considered “seed” monies for projects and not ongoing support.

Funds may not be used for

  • non-arts and cultural activities
  • general operations
  • staff salary or benefits
  • debt service
  • fundraising activities
  • programs intended for private use or use by a restricted membership
  • projects with religious purposes
  • trust, endowments, or investment purposes


Grant Application Deadline – 4 p.m. Monday, October 15, 2018

Funding Decisions and Notifications – October 2018

Funding Activity Period – January 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019

Completion of Projects – June 30, 2019

Completion Report due upon completion of project or no later than July 15, 2019.


All grant applications must offer a dollar–for-dollar (1:1) match. A cash match may be from corporate or private contributions, state or federal government funds, or earned income. City of Chico funds cannot be used as a match. Applicant must indicate whether matching funds are projected, pending, or committed.

Review Criteria

The review panel will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

  • Project Design and Implementation
    Project design indicates realistic timeline, appropriate budget, clear artistic and community-based objectives and achievable outcomes. Design articulates methods to evaluate and measure success, collect and analyze data, and document activities. Design demonstrates depth of involvement and clear plans for community outreach and marketing.
  • Artistic Merit
    Artists and organizations involved in the project demonstrate skills, expertise, and experiences that are central to the outcomes of the project design. Community Impact:
    Project demonstrates reach and/or depth of engagement in an identified community. Project is responsive to the community to be served. Project execution and evaluation involve significant community participation in accordance with the identified project outcomes.
  • Management and Leadership
    Ability of applicant organization to implement proposed project is clearly demonstrated by qualifications of project’s team, viability of project budget, and overall fiscal and managerial health of applicant and partnering organizations.


Questions should be directed to the City of Chico Arts Commission by email and check the Arts Commission Facebook page for frequently asked questions, or email the City Clerk at

Applicants who have questions are encouraged to attend a special Community Arts Grant information session on Thursday, October 4, at 4 pm at Conference Room 1 in the Council Chamber Building located at 421 Main Street.

Application Submission

Electronic grant application should be submitted to the North Valley Community Foundation, including budget upload, before  4 pm on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Review Panel

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of five from the City of Chico Arts Commission, Chico Arts and Culture Foundation, and the Chico Chamber of Commerce.


The North Valley Community Foundation will facilitate notification and distribution of awards.


Upon completion of the project and no later than July 15, 2019, a grant project completion report is due to the City of Chico Arts Commission. Report will include:

  • Narrative of realized project (180 words)
  • Realized outcomes (180 words)
    To include
    • community served
    • population and persons served
    • arts and cultural goals realized
  • Budget to Actual report
  • Timeline of project completion
  • Archival support of project (video, photos, audio, advertising, program, interviews, etc.)