Frequently Asked Questions

Arts Orange County is the officially designated arts council for the County of Orange, California and the State-Local Partner.  Dedicated to the advancement of the arts within its local communities, ArtsOC is "the leader in building appreciation of, participation in, and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County." Although recognized by the County, ArtsOC is neither county-operated nor county-funded.

ArtsOC works to sustain, strengthen & advance the creative ecology of Orange County. To do this, ArtsOC advocates vigorously for the arts and arts education at the local, state and national level, we provide “behind the scenes” support services and programs that ensure local arts and cultural organizations and individual artists thrive, and we host annual events that engage the community, especially families and children, in the arts.

Arts Orange County receives funding from membership dues, fundraising efforts, grants, and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals. ArtsOC earns revenue from consulting fees, member services fees, project management fees and other contracted services from arts organizations, local government and business. ArtsOC also receives grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the California Arts Council, a state agency, to support programs in the community.

ArtsOC Membership confers a number of benefits which include networking and professional development opportunities, receiving timely communications about important arts developments and opportunities, and discounted advertising packages to promote events and programs. Members are also the direct beneficiary of ArtsOC’s significant advocacy efforts. Membership in ArtsOC renews annually.

ArtsOC is a proud advocate for arts education in Orange County.  Working collaboratively with partner organizations including the Orange County Department of Education and the California Alliance for Arts Education, ArtsOC helps establish and promote programs that sustain and strengthen arts programming in our local schools.

Arts Orange County does not have an ongoing grantmaking program to provide direct funding support to artists or arts organizations. However, during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Arts Orange County invited Orange County Community Foundation and Charitable Ventures to create together with it an OC Arts & Culture Resilience Fund to provide urgently needed relief to artists and arts organizations. In addition to raising over $200,000 in private money for this fund, Arts Orange County persuaded the County of Orange (District 3) and City of Santa Ana to contract with the Fund to manage $1,000,000 in CARES Act relief funds for artists, arts organizations and arts related businesses. Arts Orange County’s vigorous advocacy efforts also resulted in more than $6,500,000 in additional funds from various relief sources to assist Orange County artists, arts organizations and arts businesses.

Only ArtsOC member organizations are invited to participate (new members are welcome to be part of the festival). Detailed information about the Imagination Celebration can be found here. Membership information may be found here.

Arts OC can support your marketing efforts and help promote your cultural arts events through our free online events listing platform, SparkOC.com, and through our low-cost paid blast advertising package which includes an e-blast to our exclusive subscriber list, banner advertising on the SparkOC website, and social media posts. Members receive discount pricing.

SparkOC.com is a one-stop resource that connects community members with arts happenings in Orange County. This free, online portal features events, exhibitions, performances, public art, classes and workshops, calls for art, job opportunities, online/streaming events, and more!

All Orange County-based arts events are welcome free of charge on SparkOC. Registering for a username can be done with an e-mail address, and then submissions are reviewed by ArtsOC staff before going live on the platform. Click Here for instructions on how to register.