Arts Education Innovation Grants

NOTE:  For 2020-2021 funding, this grant program has been consolidated with the Summer Arts Youth Program Grants into one grant program with one application. See the Youth Impact Grants for 2020-2021 funding information (deadline to apply is May 29, 2020). 



In partnership with Community Foundation Sonoma County, the Arts Education Innovation Grants Program supports new and innovative ideas that engage underserved Sonoma County students, ages 2-18, through providing access to high-quality arts education.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to learn about the projects of current and past grantees.



Ideas for projects could include but are not limited to:

  • Developing unique partnerships that increase access to arts education to new participants.
  • Piloting untested, innovative arts education programs that extend opportunities to underserved participants.
  • Arts education programs that are culturally relevant to students and build on established community connections.



This grant program has been archived. See the Youth Impact Grants for current information. 



Applicants can include a diverse range of organizations from small, grassroots groups to well-established arts education organizations. Those who have a creative, innovative, equitable approach to expanding access to arts education are encouraged to apply. Projects can occur in or out of school settings. Applicants must demonstrate 501(c)(3) status or apply with a fiscal sponsor. Grantees of this program may not apply for funding from the Summer Arts Youth Program Grants for the same or similar project. Please contact Creative Sonoma if applicants are uncertain about eligibility. 

In the application, applicants must demonstrate:

  • How students participate in the creation of visual, performing, literary or media arts.
  • How the program or project increases students’ knowledge of a particular art form.
  • How the program or project increases students’ knowledge in other related areas, i.e., cross-discipline learning about arts and healing, arts and the environment, etc.
  • How the program or project reaches a student demographic that typically does not have access to arts education.
  • For programs or projects that will develop unique partnerships, evidence that all entities engaging in the partnership are fully committed to success.



  • Creativity and innovation of the project
  • Impact on participants
  • Capacity to administer and implement the project
  • Targeted audience development
  • Completeness and clarity of application



This grant has been renamed and combined with the Summer Arts Youth Program Grants, and are now known as the Youth Impact Grants


2019 GRANTEES (pdf version HERE)

6th Street Playhouse: The “Heritage Project” sends teachers into schools with underserved populations and brings students back to the theatre to find their own creative voices in creating their own original theatrical work.

Art Escape: Teen Art Intensive is a program for underserved Sonoma Valley youth, ages 15-18, to provide a deep dive into printmaking and metalworking, each culminating in day trips to arts centers and studios. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County: Ballet Folklorico will work with club members to teach traditional Latino dance, group performance, and its history. 

California Poets in the Schools: This project brings seven Teaching Artists into eight underserved schools throughout Sonoma County to deliver poetry-writing residencies to a largely bilingual, bicultural population.

Cazadero Performing Arts Camp: The camp will offer a three-day sleep-away music camp retreat for students from Sonoma County schools. 

Children’s Museum of Sonoma County: ArtJam! is a 10-month visiting artist series in Ella’s Art Studio where families are invited to create art with a different visiting artist each month. 

Fire Circle Theater: Fire Circle Theater workshops at Roseland University Prep use art to help students critically and creatively refine and express their own personal narratives through performing and literary arts. 

Imagine Bus Project: Youth Studio provides weekly visual arts workshops for incarcerated youth at Los Guilicos Juvenile Justice Center

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts: Dancers Unite is a dance integration residency for Grades TK-3 to learn skills to manage emotions, build relationships, and make decisions as teaching artists guide them a variety of dance experiences.

Play It Forward Music Foundation: The Music Program collaborates with New Horizon School to utilize music arts education to empower students with learning disabilities to develop new skills, opportunities and access to academic success.

Play Marimba: This project will purchase marimba keys for 30 instruments and work with music students to build the frames, teaching them basic woodworking skills. These instruments will then be used by students to practice with at home.

Raizes Collective: A visiting anthropologist from the National Museum in Mexico City presents her research; students then expand by doing their own arts and culture exploration project. 

Sonoma Community Center: The Innovative Youth Clay Institute will provide hands-on, cross-disciplinary art workshops in three fields across the 2019-2020 academic year: Collaborative 3D Printing Projects, Wild Clay Workshops, and the Pedal-Powered Pottery Wheel Project

Sonoma Valley Education Foundation: Valley Vibes Youth Orchestra provides students with the opportunity to participate in an El Sistema based youth-development orchestral music program.


  2018 AEIG Grantees
  2017 AEIG Grantees