CREATE CA to Receive National Endowment for the Arts Collective Impact Grant


Award is Among Only Eight Made Nationally

Sacramento—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its second round of funding in fiscal year 2015 – 1,023 recommended grants totaling $74.3 million to arts organizations in all 50 states and five jurisdictions. Among those awards are only eight collective impact arts education grants including a $100,000 award to CREATE CA to embrace a collective impact strategy in the implementation of the “Blueprint for Creative Schools”

Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the NEA promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.

Collective impact is a systemic approach to achieving project success that includes cross-sector partnerships; shared goals, strategies, and measurements; an emphasis on data collection; and constant communication. The NEA recently adopted collective impact as a distinct project type available for funding at larger grant amounts.

Beyond the NEA’s application review criteria of artistic excellence and artistic merit, collective impact projects require a significant degree of commitment among diverse participants to work together. Project partners must break through the silos that traditionally separate professions to reach mutual goals that benefit a community.

“The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Funding these new projects like the one for CREATE CA represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”

 “We are honored with the news that CREATE CA will be a recipient of this grant funding and look forward to next steps in working together with our partners to realize the goals of the grant to make lasting impact in California” said CREATE CA Chair and Director of the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative, Sarah Anderberg. “On behalf of our CREATE CA Leadership Council and all involved in this coalition effort to benefit over 6 million California students, we are grateful for this amazing opportunity.”

CREATE CA teams innovative thinkers from multiple sectors of California’s creative economy, public and private, to rethink and produce an educational environment for all California students that features arts education as a central part of the solution to academic success. CREATE CA represents a coalition of five organizations including the California Department of Education (CDE), the California Arts Council (CAC), the California PTA, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) and the California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE), as well as five elected members from the field. CREATE CA most recently unveiled “The Blueprint for Creative Schools” and hired a full-time Program Director, Patricia Wayne. The next phase of CREATE CA will include building organizational infrastructure and an advocacy network, holding stakeholder convenings, planning action to address field-wide issues, and promoting the importance of arts education in California’s schools and the future economy.

NEA Director of Arts Education Ayanna Hudson said, “These projects, like the one led by CREATE CA are changing the possibilities for arts education by moving from many and isolated conversations about specific programs to a shared conversation about how to fundamentally transform an entire school district or an entire community by ensuring all students have access to an arts education.”

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to To keep informed or to be involved in the plans of CREATE CA, subscribe to the free newsletter.