ArtSurround Artist Training & Grants

“Making Waves,” a mural by Joshua Lawyer installed during Downtown Santa Rosa’s 2020 Open & Out program.


ArtSurround is a new collaborative effort among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to enhance Sonoma County’s creative vitality by supporting artists and infusing the arts into our public realm. The program engages businesses and public agencies that endeavor to enhance community livability through the arts, and fosters public imagination by supporting artists who work at the intersection of inspiration and effective community arts engagement. This program engages two different cohorts:  an Artist Cohort (full description below, after Training) and an Advocate Cohort, who will work on parallel tracks to increase community arts engagement across Sonoma County.

The Advocate Cohort includes staff from cities, towns, arts organizations and businesses who will engage with artists to incorporate their work into public spaces. Art projects will be designed to engage the surrounding neighborhoods and communities in creative processes as the art works are developed. 

  • If interested in participating in the Advocate Cohort – or are the owner/operator of a potential public site – email Kristen Madsen at More details about the Advocates’ roles are in the Artist Cohort Application Packet, found below in the section “Application Packet and How to Apply.” (For general questions about the Artist Cohort and Application, email

At the end of ArtSurround’s first cycle, it is anticipated that a dozen or more public art projects will have been produced by Artist Cohort members in multiple communities throughout Sonoma County.  


Nationally-recognized creative placemaking and community arts engagement experts from Springboard for the Arts (Minnesota) will lead an in-person customized training that is required for the Artist Cohort (2.5 days) and the Advocate Cohort (which join the training for a half day) during June 18-20, 2022

In advance of Springboard coming to Sonoma County, artists interested in applying to the cohort are encouraged to participate in Springboard’s Art-Train, which is free for artists. Register for any of the upcoming dates HERE:

  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 11:00am-2:00PM Pacific Time
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2022,11:00am-2:00PM Pacific Time
  • Tuesday, June 7, 2022,11:00am-2:00PM Pacific Time


Artists must apply for this Cohort, which will be comprised of approximately twenty to thirty (20-30) individual artists and culture workers who are interested in building a practice in community engagement and public art. Cohort members participate in the customized training to enhance their skills to engage communities, transform public spaces and processes, and use the arts to address civic and business challenges.

  • Artist Cohort members will each receive a grant (ranging from $1,000 to $10,000) to fund a temporary art project that they develop as their “case study” during their participation in the program.
  • Artist Cohort members must commit to up to twenty (20) hours of training on two-and-a-half (2.5) days during June 18-20, 2022.


Before the Artist Cohort is selected, the ArtSurround team will have compiled a list of spaces that are available throughout Sonoma County for arts and culture projects. Additionally, artists that have specific projects in mind for installation or implementation in the City of Santa Rosa may submit their proposed ideas in the ArtSurround application.

  • Once the Artist Cohort is selected, artists will be matched with available sites either as solo artists or as an artist team, and/or will be invited to submit a full proposal for a City of Santa Rosa site. 


  • Application Opens:  April 5, 2022
  • Application Workshops:  April 13, 2022 at 7pm | April 14, 2022 at 12pm | Watch recording of April 14, 2022 workshop HERE
  • Application DEADLINE:  EXTENDED to Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 11:59pm PT 
  • Funding Notification:  May 13, 2022
  • Funding Period:  June – December, 2022
  • Training Session (required):  2.5 days during June 18-20, 2022
  • Grants to individuals for public projects will range from $1,000 – $10,000. 
  • Customized, in-person training with Springboard for the Arts is provided during June 18-20, 2022, on community arts engagement and creative placemaking skills. 
  • Full-time residents of Sonoma County, California, age 18 or older, with work authorization in the U.S.
  • For this program, artists are defined as socially engaged creative practitioners, teaching artists, and culture bearers working in all arts and culture disciplines: craft or artisanal trades, design and applied arts, literary arts, media arts, multidisciplinary arts, performing arts, traditional and folk arts, or visual arts.


See the guidelines in the Application Packet (attached under “How to Apply”) for more detailed definitions for each of the above items, as well as who is NOT eligible to participate. 

Applications to join the Artist Cohort will be reviewed by a diverse panel comprised of community and arts peers, funders, and representatives from program partners. Reviewers will assess applicants’ materials based on the following:

  • Previous achievements, technical competence, and future promise in their creative and cultural pursuits
  • Work that is driven by collaboration, equity, and reciprocity
  • The ability to tell stories that span issues and experiences through their artwork or creative process, and/or an interest in building community ecosystems through integration of arts and culture into the public realm

Read the guidelines and application questions contained in the Application Packet thoroughly. No handwritten or paper-based applications will be accepted. Applicants will need to have or create an account in Submittable, our online application portal. Once the application opens on April 5, 2022, it will appear on Submittable. Applicants may utilize either the English or Spanish application. 



Email or call 707-565-6121. 


2022-2023 ArtSurround Artists and Advocates:  For original projects proposed by each of the artists and accepted by the program, click HERE.

  • NOTE:  Due to varying circumstances, some artist and advocate pairings may change during the project development. Visit the ArtSurround Projects page for the finalized details for each project. 


These forms are for use only by Artists and Advocates who have been accepted into the 2022 program.

Items to be completed and uploaded to the Artist Project Proposal From, due via Submittable by Monday, August 22, 2022 11:59pm PT:

ArtSurround Artist and Advocate Project Proposal Workshop: Wednesday, August 3, 2022, 12:00-1:00pm – recording available HERE.

A PDF of the ArtSurround Artist Project Proposal Form (which is to be completed within Submittable) is attached HERE.