Creative Community Thomas Fire Recovery Grants

Are you a Ventura County artist, musician, performer, writer, designer, cultural worker or arts teacher whose creative practice or career was impacted by the Thomas Fire or Debris Flow?

You may be eligible for funding. The Ventura County Arts Council and CreativityWorks have partnered to establish the Creative Community Thomas Fire Recovery Grant to provide financial assistance to artists who endured losses due to these disasters.

These grants are not just for those who lost their homes but for any artist or creative whose productivity or economic situation was affected by the fire.

The purpose of this grant program is three fold:

  • We want to help artists invest in their creative practices so they can stay in Ventura County.
  • We want to connect those with ongoing needs to additional resources.
  • We want to bring visibility to artists’ needs.

This grant is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council with additional support from the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation of Ojai.


  • Application deadline: August 1st, 2019, 11:59pm
  • Awards announced: September 2019
  • Award amounts: $250 to $2,500

Who can apply?

All working artists who reside in Ventura County and whose creative careers were significantly impacted by the Thomas Fire or Jan 9th Debris Flow are eligible to apply. We ask that artists who have been sufficiently remunerated for damages to please decline from applying.

DefinitionsApplication Preview Verification DocumentationEvaluation CriteriaEvaluation Process
  • Working artist is defined as an individual working in any artistic discipline or creative industry, including visual, literary, performing, music, folk, media or applied arts traditions. An applicant may be an artist who has adapted their practice for teaching, nonprofit work, healthcare, government or commercial applications.
  • A creative career is demonstrated through actively developing or professionalizing an art form through producing, presenting, promoting, or selling work or through teaching an artistic practice at the time of the fire (Dec 2017).
  • Significant impacts may include loss or damage of home or studio space, loss of body of work or supplies, loss of income or other economic losses, disruption of career, or other impact.
    • Household Status: (Single)(Married)
    • Number of Dependents
    • Current Average Monthly Household Net Income
    • CREATIVE CAREER: Provide a brief summary of your history as a working artist and/or creative career. Keep response to a half a page (approximately 250 words)
    • IMPACTS ON CREATIVE CAREER: What significant impacts did the Thomas Fire and/or Jan 9th Debris Flow have on your creative practice or career? Please be brief and keep responses to less than a page (max 400 words)
  5. CREATIVE CAREER VERIFICATION: (see Verification Documentation for options)
  6. LOSS VERIFICATION: (see Verification Documentation for options)
    • Option to submit Case Manager contact info in lieu of submitting documents
  7. UNDERSTANDING YOUR NEEDS ~ for data gathering, not part of the application

YOU MUST BE ABLE TO VERIFY YOUR CREATIVE CAREER AND THE LOSSES YOU CLAIM IN YOUR NARRATIVE. You may use discretion in choosing documentation that will verify your creative career and your losses in relation to the award amount that you are seeking. Below lists verification expectations based on your requested grant amount as well as ideas for the kinds of verification you might provide. Applications that do not sufficiently verify creative career or losses due to fire will be deemed ineligible.

GRANT AWARD REQUESTS AT $1,000 or GREATER: You MUST be able to verify your pursuit of a creative career at the time of the fire (Dec. 2017) and you MUST be able to verify that you have endured significant losses. We are flexible in terms of the types of verification, but they must substantially support the statements you provide in response to the narrative questions.

GRANT AWARD REQUESTS UNDER $999: You should be able to verify some aspect of your pursuit of a creative career at the time of the fire (Dec. 2017) and you should provide some proof of your losses. You may use discretion in determining how much you provide.


  • CV/Resume
  • Links To Online Presence
  • Business Licenses or Tax Filings
  • Check Stubs or Payroll Documentation
  • Reference Letters
  • Press Articles
  • Contracts
  • Lease Documents For Studio Spaces Etc

OPTIONS FOR VERIFYING LOSSES include but are not limited to:

  • Red Cross and/or FEMA case number *
  • Permission to contact recovery agency from which you’ve received support *
  • Tax Filings
  • Insurance Claim
  • Itemized Losses Reference Letters
  • Layoff notices
  • Proof of Cancelled Event
  • Photos, Video Etc

* If an agency can confirm your loss claims, you do not need to provide any other documentation

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Commitment to or history of a creative career.
  • Financial need for assistance
  • Material loss, financial loss or significant disruption of professional creative practice.
  • Sufficient documentation is provided to verify the creative career and significant losses.
Applications will first be reviewed for eligibility by the Ventura County Arts Council. All eligible applications will then be reviewed by a grants award panel consisting of community members, arts leaders and members of local recovery agencies.

How to submit your application

Follow the steps below to submit your application. Use the Application Preview Kit to prepare your application. Use the Online Application Form to submit your application. Next, upload any Verification Documentation, if necessary.

Step 1. Download Application Preview KitStep 2. Complete and Submit Online Application FormStep 3. Submit Verification Documents
Please read all of the following instructions before taking any action.

  1. Download the Application Preview Kit. This is a PREVIEW NOT THE ACTUAL APPLICATION. (See Step 2 to access the Online Application Form.)

  2. Read over the Application Instructions and Questions.
  3. Use the Application Preview Kit to prepare your answers to the application questions before proceeding to the Online Application Form in Step 2.
  4. Determine if you are required to submit Verification Documentation. If so, get those ready.

Please read all of the following instructions before taking any action.

  1. To access the Online Application Form, click on the button below.
  2. Complete ALL fields. Incomplete applications WILL NOT be processed.
  3. After you’ve completed the application, click on the Submit button at the end of the form.

Note: The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on August 1, 2019

Please read all of the following instructions before taking any action.

Note: If, in your application, you provided contact information for a case manager who can verify the losses mentioned in your application, you may skip this step.

Prior to uploading anything:

  1. Compile your Verification Documentation.
  2. Save all your files in the proper format (Only PDF or Word files accepted), and name them like this: [Your Name]_[Document Title].xxx Example: Tracy Hudak_Resume.pdf

If you have any trouble uploading Verification Documents, or need a different way to submit them, please contact Tracy Hudak at or (805) 340-2106

Note: The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on August 1, 2019


Thank you for your interest!

Any questions, please email or call (805) 340-2106



The Ventura County Long Term Disaster Recovery Group is a collaboration of more than 50 organizations working to address the unmet needs of residents impacted by the 2017 and 2018 wildfires including The Salvation Army, Local Love Project, Jewish Family Service, 805Help, United Policyholders, United Way of Ventura County.

Ways to Contact The Long Term Disaster Recovery Group

  • Complete our initial intake form:
  • Email is the fastest way to contact us: and provide your name, pre-disaster address and phone number so that an outreach specialist can be in touch.
  • Or you can also dial 2-1-1 and ask the specialist to connect you with a disaster case manager.

List of all available resources and programs for wildfire impacted residents (free and low-cost legal clinics, rebuilding seminars, insurance negotiation questions, rental assistance etc):

List of local free and low cost Mental Health Resources for fire impacted:

List of local free Legal Resources for fire impacted residents:


Please participate in the “MAKING IT’ FORUM SERIES: (Re)Building Creative Lives & Careers After the Fires