Cultural Arts Grants

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Cultural Arts Grant Applications

Each year, the City of Newport Beach distributes funds to arts organizations, enabling them to expand arts programs offered to the local community. To apply, arts organizations are required to meet the following criteria:

  1. Only arts organizations are eligible; we do not award grants to individual artists.
  2. Arts organizations must propose projects/programs for funding that directly benefit children and adults living in Newport Beach, and schools only within the City’s geographic boundaries. Collaborative events, such as public performances or programs implemented in conjunction with the City of Newport Beach are also eligible for grants.
  3. The Arts Commission funds only arts projects/programs which will be presented before the designated dates (to be announced), not general operating expenses.
  4. Because of COVID-19 related restrictions on public gatherings, arts organizations that received cultural arts grants during 2019-20 will not be required to complete and return their Cultural Arts Grant Completion Report until the arts organization presents the grant-funded programming.
  5. All applications must be typed or word-processed and complete with requested attachments. You may reformat on the computer as long as the font and pagination appears the same.
The Newport Beach Arts Commission strives to satisfy as many grant requests as possible. We encourage your submission, however, appreciate your cognizance of budget constraints as we work to address a growing pool of grant applicants.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, arts organizations are strongly encouraged to submit proposals utilizing 2020-21 Cultural Arts Grant funds for virtual programming.


12/01/2020      Application period opens. 
01/11/2021      Grant applications are due. 
02/01/2021  Subcommittee's recommendation is submitted to staff for inclusion in monthly agenda packet. 
02/11/2021  City Arts Commission approves grantees for recommendation to City Council. 
03/09/2021  Recommendations made to City Council. 
06/10/2021  Grant awards disseminated.
TBD  2019-20 Cultural Arts Grant Completion Report due. 
TBD  2019-20 Grant funds must have been spent or encumbered. 
01/14/2022  2020-21 Cultural Arts Grant Completion Report due. 
01/14/2022   2020-21 Grant funds must have been spent or encumbered. 


Cultural Arts Grants Awarded for 2020-21

(Recipients of the 2020-21 Cultural Arts Grants-Left to right: Clare Kiklowicz, South Coast Repertory; Deborah Wondercheck, Arts & Learning Conservatory; Leonard Simon, Arts Commission; Arlene Greer, Vice Chair, Arts Commission; Marie Little, Chair, Arts Commission;  Wayan Kaufman, Arts Commission; Maureen Flanagan, Arts Commission; Jennifer Backhaus, Backhaus Dance; Vina Spiehler, Baroque Music Festival; Erin O'Flaherty, Laguna Playhouse)

The City Arts Commission is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2020-21 Cultural Arts Grants are as follows: 

Arts and Learning Conservatory: $2,500

The Arts and Learning Conservatory will use their grant to help make arts education equitable and accessible to disadvantaged children through hands-on experience. Programming will be held at Ensign Intermediate School with the production and presentation of the school’s musical theatre virtual program. Multiple casts will allow more students to shine as they learn music and foundational vocal instruction, as well as acting and dance proficiency.

Backhausdance: $4,000

Backhausdance will use their grant to introduce a dance education partnership program called Dance Expressions: Creativity and Choreography, which will be held at two different schools in the Newport-Mesa school district—Corona del Mar Middle/High School and Back Bay Continuation High School in fall 2021. This in-depth residency project was developed to help students with the social-emotional impacts associated with distance learning during the pandemic.  

Baroque Music Festival, Corona del Mar: $4,000

The Baroque Music Festival, Corona Del Mar will use their grant to present a pre-recorded virtual presentation of A Bach Keyboard Extravaganza, featuring harpsichordist and organist Matthew Dirst. The film will be viewable online on multiple platforms free of charge, as well as in-person ticketed performances in the month of June. The grant will cover multiple costs such as the artistic fee, production costs, marketing and education outreach, and ticket subsidy.

Laguna Playhouse: $5,000

The Laguna Playhouse will use their grant for their Theatre for a New Generation (TNG) program, presenting a virtual production of The Outsiders. The TNG program targets teenagers and young adults through strategic partnership with Newport Beach high schools and community organizations that serve at-risk youth.

Pacific Symphony: $5,000

The Pacific Symphony will use their grant to fund the Class Act Music Education (CAME) program for elementary school students. This program will be offered at two schools in the Newport-Mesa school district, Anderson and Newport Coast Elementary Schools, for five months of the 2020-2021 school year. The theme for the 2021 CAME program will be Symphony at the Movies II – Myths and Legends. The program has been adapted for virtual learning with the use of online and digital student activities, as well as art workshops with Symphony musicians. 

South Coast Repertory: $5,000

The South Coast Repertory (SCR) will use their grant to fund their Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) program. Two family-friendly productions will be presented in different formats to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The two programs will be a free online classroom viewing of Red Riding Hood and a live outdoor production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, with a minimum of 6 ticketed performances at Mission San Juan. Both productions strive to provide a meaningful introduction to theatrical arts for young children, with the goal of serving at least 700 Newport Beach students, teachers, and families—the same number that SCR reached the previous year (2019-2020) through two in-person productions.