Chalk It Up to Sacramento

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$7,049 raised by 122 donors

70% complete

$10,000 Goal

Chalk It Up was first established in 1991 through the hard work of local artists and community art supporters. As a non-profit arts organization, we are best known for the annual three-day chalk art festival over Labor Day Weekend in downtown Sacramento’s Fremont Park. The Chalk It Up Festival is a Sacramento tradition and a gift to the community, and we've kept it 100 percent free to the public for over 33 years with the help of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  

The Chalk It Up Festival promotes community pride, civic participation, and social connection.  Even with the rising cost of insurance, park rental, security, and rental equipment, keeping this festival free for the community remains a core value of the Chalk It Up board of directors.

Chalk It Up’s mission is to empower and support the next generation of Sacramento artists through targeted art grants for young artists and the programs that inspire them. 

Our Chalk It Up Grant Program offers grants to schools and organizations needing funding for youth arts education programs.  We fund mostly Title 1 schools on a biannual grant application cycle to coordinate funding with the Spring and Fall school semesters. Art departments in schools are typically underfunded. Chalk It Up Grants are often used to help an under-served school take a field trip and to purchase much-needed art supplies, allowing teachers and students to explore new mediums. With the help of community giving, we've given over $75,000 in grants to local schools and programs over the last 10 years. CLICK HERE to see some of the projects we've funded in support of the next generation of artists.

At the annual High School Self-Portrait Show, High School art teachers submit their top student works to hang in a gallery show with their peers.  Athletes have games, musicians have concerts, but student visual artists don't often get the opportunity to participate in events with the other local student artists.  We sponsor a gallery exhibit for a month and host a 2nd Saturday Artists' and Art Teachers' Reception open to the public.  Local artists and the Chalk It Up Board members adjudicate the show and awards and metals are presented at the reception. NEW FOR 2024:  Cash prizes for the award-winning student artists and grants for their teachers to purchase classroom art supplies.  A total of $6,000 was awarded in 2024, half to the student artists and half to the teachers to support their work!

Giving Activity


Our mission is to empower and support the next generation of Sacramento artists through targeted art grants for young artists and the programs that inspire them.

Because of generous donor and volunteer support, Chalk It Up is able to fund important school and community youth arts programs throughout the year AND throw the best chalk art festival around! New York Magazine recently described our beloved festival as "amazing!"


Unrestricted funds received from The Big Day of Giving allow Chalk It Up to respond nimbly to large and small challenges. Your support helps us fund our grants program for arts educators, host the annual High School Self-Portrait Show, provide cash prizes for the student artists, and bring youth arts activation spaces at community events.

Giving to Chalk It Up also helps us help us pay for Professional services such as:

- Bookkeeping services ($300 to $600 per month)

- Shared office space rental ($250 per month)

- Annual dues to Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce.

- Website, insurance, storage, subscriptions, and other necessary business expenses.

Another way to give to Chalk It Up is the gift of time. The annual Chalk It Up Festival requires an average of 200 dedicated volunteers to keep it 100% free for the community. We also need several volunteers throughout the year for our other programs, such as the High School Self Portrait Show.

Equity Statement

Our goal is to foster a vibrant and connected arts community where everyone, regardless of age, stage, shade, or shape, has the opportunity to participate, connect, and thrive.

As grant recipients and community partners with the Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture, we have folded their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity statement into our core values. That can be read in its entirety here:

Our Executive Director and Board of Officers continue to work through board studies and participate in the city's sponsored Inclusion for the Arts courses for leadership program.

Whether through continuing education and self-reflection, targeted outreach initiatives, or community partnerships, we will continue to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work. We learn more every day; we recognize our blind spots and try to do better. This work is never complete, and education and reflection have become part of the core values of the Chalk It Up Board of Directors.

Get Involved

View our current participation opportunities.

In-Person Volunteering

Festival Committee Volunteer

Chalk It Up Festival

Ongoing opportunity

Organization Data


Organization name

Chalk It Up to Sacramento

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Other, Funding: Unrestricted, In-Kind Donations, Volunteers

Demographics Served

Youth & Children, Low-income individuals/families, General population

BIPOC Leadership

Board Chair

Local Counties Served

Sacramento, Yolo


PO Box 162744
Sacramento, CA 95816

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Rancho Cordova, CA, US

West Sacramento, CA, US

Citrus Heights, CA, US

Carmichael, CA, US



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