2024 Constellations Folk Arts & Cultural Stewardship Grants

Eryn Wise
April 04, 2024


2024 Constellations Folk Arts & Cultural Stewardship Grants

UPDATE: This application period has concluded and we are no longer accepting applications. Thank you to all who applied and encouraged others to share their organizational work!

In partnership with the California Arts Council, The Constellations Culture Change Fund & Initiative, housed at The Center for Cultural Power, invites California-based organizations who are led by Cultural Bearers (CBs) and who are working through traditional and tradition-based forms and practices to apply to the 2024 Constellations Folk Arts & Cultural Stewardship Grants (3-5 grants total will be disbursed). 

The 2024 Constellations Folk Arts & Cultural Stewardship Grants are one-year, flexible, general operating support regrants for California-based organizations who work at the intersection of arts, culture and social justice, and whose work on cultural and narrative power building is rooted and in alignment with ancestral, Indigenous and traditional knowledge, values and practices with an intersectional lens and deep community roots. Applicants’ work recognizes the importance of combating threats of erasure through inherited cultural expressions and ways of knowing, and demonstrates accountability to cultural origins and community-recognized excellence.

Culture Bearers are embodiments of narrative, connecting our past to our future. “They represent an embedded presence in place, community trust and mutual support.” (Weaving Forward Report). They are cultural stewards and help us understand traditional ways of knowing and creating as paths to community health and healing. Traditional Culture Bearers come from and inform cultural communities of practice, representing generations of stewardship, and knowledge transmission. Tradition-Based Culture Bearers are based in the same cultural communities of practice, but engage as subject matter through a mix of heritage and new methodologies.

Folk and traditional art forms: The California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts define folk and traditional art forms as being “rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community and may share a common ethnic heritage, cultural mores, language, religion, occupation, or geographic region. These vital and constantly reinvigorated artistic traditions are shaped by values and standards of excellence that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community, through demonstration, conversation, and practice.”


Organizations who should consider applying are:

  • Organizations who are working at the intersection of arts, culture and social justice.
  • Organizations who are based in California only.
  • Organizations who are a 501c3 or have a fiscal sponsor also based in California only.
  • Organizations with an organizational budget ranging between US$50,000 to US$750,000 annually.
  • Organizations who aren’t themselves nor their staff receiving funding from The Center for Cultural Power/Constellations, the California Arts Council, or the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Living Cultures Grants Program, at the time of the regrant award (September 2024), nor has staff members who are part of The Center for Cultural Power Board of Directors, Constellations Board of Advisers or staff.
  • Organizations who have dedicated programming to build the power of BIPOC Traditional and Tradition-based Culture Bearers.
  • Organizations whose programmatic work, vision and values align with Constellations’ Narrative System.
  • Organizations whose board, leadership, staff and composition mirrors community base.
  • Organizations who are rooted and trusted in a community that their work is inspired by, uplifts, or advances.
  • Organizations who demonstrate commitment to centering the expertise of and collaboration with BIPOC, LGBTQI+, undocumented, and/or disabled folks. 
  • Organizations whose two requested endorsements are positive.

Based on our equity indicators, we will prioritize:

  • Younger organizations (under 5 years old).
  • Organizations with organizational budgets under US$300,000.
  • Unregistered and fiscally-sponsored organizations.
  • Organizations in underrepresented regions among the cohort, including Indigenous communities within the state of California.
  • Traditional and Tradition-based Culture Bearer-led folk art organizations.

Grant Award Range

The anticipated grant award range is $25,000 - $150,000 for one year.

The process: 

  1. Constellations initiates the call: The call for proposal is open for four weeks, from April to May, 2024 through the Just Fund platform. Constellations will hold an online virtual information session at the beginning of this period for at least one hour.
  2. Constellations staff screens proposals: Proposals are reviewed to ensure they meet eligibility criteria (listed above) and align with the Constellations’ Narrative System and values, from May to June, 2024.
  3. Constellations staff starts due diligence process: Constellations staff requests two community endorsements from endorsers provided by organizations in June 2024, for organizations selected to move to the panel review process.
  4. Participatory Panel review: Proposals and endorsements are assessed in full with reference to the eligibility criteria, equity indicators, Constellations’ Narrative System and key funding priorities by a peer panel made of Constellations Network Partners.
  5. Decision is made: Participatory Panel makes the selection of the 3-5 grants in August, 2024.
  6. Grants are distributed: Amalgamated Foundation starts the funding process for the selected organizations with award letters and a Memorandum of Understanding to be distributed and signed in September, 2024. Declination letters are sent.
  7. New partners join the Constellations Network: Selected organizations are welcomed to Constellations through an introductory call in October-November, are invited to join the Constellations Network of Partners and are invited to attend learning sessions, including narrative and cultural strategy. Public announcement takes place in November.


For questions about how to submit your proposal or the platform, please refer to JustFund's Help Center or contact info@justfund.us

For questions about the 2024 Constellations Folk Arts & Cultural Stewardship Grants opportunity, please use this online form. With the intention of ensuring that everyone has access to the same information, we will update a FAQ Document weekly every Monday to respond to questions received. 

Key Dates

Deadline to apply: 05/01/2024 06:00 PM, MDT  

Decisions Expected to be Announced: 09/16/2024  


Before you get started, learn more about how the JustFund Common Application™ works. Please ensure that all fields in your profile are up to date. As part of your application, your profile information will also be submitted and dated at time of submission.

Application Specific Questions

Application Specific Attachments

  • Most recent Organizational Annual Report (if applicable, or a comparable document that is already developed), and current Operational Budget (Current Fiscal Year) and/or Current Financial Statement.
  • Contact information for two organizations, networks or collectives who can endorse the work of your organization. Include the name of the organization, and the name and contact information of the main contact (email, phone number and website if applicable).
  • Links to any relevant Documents, Artwork, Presentations, Posts that showcase organization’s work.

Header image description:
A cream semi-circle bordered in black lies on top of a textured marigold background. Three logos are visible and all are multi-colored. They read, “Constellations Culture Change Fund and Initiative,” “The Center for Cultural Power,” and “California Arts Council A State Agency.” The pink text reads, “Call for Proposals” and the black text beneath it reads, “2024 Constellations Folk Arts & Cultural Stewardship Grants”

Additional Resources