Arts Response Grants for Organizations

The Creative Sonoma Arts Response Grants for Organizations are a one-time funding opportunity for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in Sonoma County to produce creative projects in response to the 2017 Wildfires. Eligible projects can be in any arts discipline, and engaging community members in the project – planning, development, execution or otherwise – is encouraged.


Eligible projects can be in any arts discipline including, but not limited to dance, theater, media, visual, folk, literary, and design. Projects must be accessible to the public. Engaging community members in the project – planning, development, execution or otherwise – is encouraged.

Creative Sonoma is working with teaching artists on arts education projects through a separate program and as a result, projects that are predominantly focused on early childhood through college arts education are not eligible for this grant.

Applicants are NOT required to raise matching funds for the project, however, additional funds including individual donors, sponsorship, grants, admission fees, etc., are certainly welcome as indication of community support.


  • Support innovative creative projects in communities across Sonoma County in response to the fires
  • Support the arts organizations, and through them creative individuals, in Sonoma County
  • Build Sonoma County residents’ sense of our shared creativity and how a community comes together after a shared crisis
  • Increase the visibility of Creative Sonoma

Grant Amount

Up to $5000


Applications will be accepted from 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organizations that are headquartered in Sonoma County. Cultural organizations* (historical societies, museums, cultural heritage organizations) may apply if applying in partnership with an arts organization. For-profit organizations and individuals are not eligible to apply for this grant. For extended details on eligibility, along with additional requirements and considerations, please carefully review the Guidelines linked below. 

*Qualifying cultural organizations include historical societies, museums, ethnic heritage organizations that focus on cultural expression through the arts, and those focused on the humanities. Please contact Creative Sonoma at 707-565-6134 if unsure whether a specific cultural organization is eligible to apply. 

Evaluation Criteria

  • Artistic Merit
  • Innovation and Creativity of Project
  • Potential Impact on Community
  • Community Partnerships and/or Alliances
  • Feasible Timeline and Realistic Budget
  • Completeness and Clarity of Application

Guidelines & Application

Deadline and Dates

This grant application closed on April 2, 2018. 



JUNE 2018: Walking Elephant Theatre Company – Thicker Than Smoke Project  A series of documentary theatre pieces created by school students who were affected by the Sonoma County Wildfires of 2017. Students conduct interviews with their family members and neighbors, create an original script, and perform live documentary theatre projects with the aim to heal and build their community.

JULY 14, 2018: Rivertown Revival – RISE Sonoma  “RISE Sonoma” is the theme of the July 14, 2018 festival in Petaluma this year. Commissioned artwork includes an interactive sculpture piece and a collaboration of music and visual art to provide artwork for the main festival stage. The goal of this year’s theme is to deepen our sense of who we have become as a community since the transformational devastation of the fires.

JULY 29, 2018: Santa Rosa Symphony – Sonoma Strong  A newly commissioned for orchestra by Santa Rosa native and U of MI professor Paul Dooley commemorating the impact of and recovery from the 2017 wildfires. “Sonoma Strong” premieres at the Symphony’s fifth annual Free Community Concert, a coproduction with the Green Music Center. (The piece is also included on the program for October 6-8, 2018.) 

SEPTEMBER 29, 2018-JANUARY 6, 2019: Sonoma Valley Museum of Art – From Fire, Love Rises | Stories Shared from the Artist Community  A multi-media presentation of community stories depicting the many facets of experience in the wake of the 2017 Northern California wildfires.  The three-month exhibition will preserve the stories and place a spotlight on the strength and resiliency that has been demonstrated in order to support the community’s healing process.

SEPTEMBER 29-JANUARY 27, 2018: Petaluma Arts Center – Rescued and Reclaimed | Healing Through Art  An exhibition dedicated to an artistic exploration of the aftermath of the fires, it will include found or rescued objects from the fires transformed into art — and will include a storytelling element.

OCTOBER 6, 2018: Museums of Sonoma County – The Fire Project Exhibition  Consisting of three parts: The Fire Collection, The Fire Wall, and an exhibition scheduled for fall 2018, The Fire Project is about memory, expression and our shared experience of the firestorms of 2017. The project solicits contributions from all of Sonoma’s residents and includes artmaking workshops.

OCTOBER 13, 2018: Art Escape – Sweet Home Sonoma | Rising from the Ashes  A collaborative creation, display, and event by residents of Sonoma Valley in recognition of our resilience and community spirit one year after the wildfires. Five art-making/creative writing sessions will be conducted across the valley where the public will paint 160 small birdhouses and insert their handwritten experience of the fires; these will be installed in front of Art Escape on Highway 12 for two weeks then distributed during the culminating celebration.

ONGOING: KRCB TV & Radio – Creative Second Responders  KRCB will produce two television and six radio short-length programs featuring local artists creating works in response to the North Bay Firestorm, either inspired by the disaster or drawn from their own experiences and struggles.  Each of the two television videos will feature three different artists (for a total of six) and each of the artists will be profiled in their own radio short presentation.

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