SVCREATES is partnering with the Applied Materials Foundation and the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs to encourage new ideas and strategies for audience engagement, to help fund the execution of those ideas, and to provide training to share and nurture those strategies. Building off the content and inspiration of the Engage(dot)Next 4.0 conference on February 9th, the Audience Engagement Project Grants Program provides an opportunity for artists, creative entrepreneurs, and nonprofit arts organizations to apply for funding to support special projects that strategically broaden and deepen connections and relationships with audiences.


Audience participation in Silicon Valley continues to change and evolve. Anyone who has performed, produced, and presented in this region knows that new technology, increased competition, and the ever-changing population make audience engagement an ongoing effort. It is critical for the long-term sustainability in the arts ecosystem that individuals and organizations build towards the future by broadening and deepening audience connections and learn by experimenting and sharing with each other.

Fundable projects include those that experiment with work that goes beyond ongoing strategies or programming, such as pilot projects, use of new technology, and/or work with consultants.


SVCREATES plans to award grants to five to ten organizations and creative professionals in Santa Clara County through a competitive application process. Grants will be up to $3,000. Due to the competitive nature of the grants program, partial funding may be awarded.


Eligible individual artists and creative entrepreneurs must:
  • Live in Santa Clara County.
Eligible nonprofit arts organizations must:
  • Have a home base (primary business office or performance/exhibition venue/facility) located in Santa Clara County and have the majority of the arts programming (performances, presentations, exhibitions) take place in Santa Clara County.
  • Have a primary purpose of performing, producing, or presenting arts and cultural activities that are open and accessible to all.
  • Be classified as a 501(c)3 organization by the Internal Revenue Service or be a nonprofit arts organization with an annual operating budget under $100,000 using a fiscal sponsor.

A college or university may receive grant funding for only one application. There are no budget size limitations, but preference will be given to organizations with annual operating expenses under $2 million.

Expenses that are eligible include:
  • Fees to engage an outside consultant in order to build audience engagement capacity, such as marketing, social media, websites.
  • Program or activity costs for the specific audience engagement project.
Expenses that are NOT eligible include:
  • Projects which have received funding from other SVCREATES’ grant programs or directly from the Applied Materials Foundation
  • General operating expenses or funding to support ongoing staffing.
  • Projects which have already been completed.
  • Projects which support political or religious purposes, fraternal organizations, or institutions of primary and secondary learning.
  • Grants may not be applied towards endowment campaigns, the purchase of real property, tuition assistance, or debt retirement.
  • Grants may not be used to support arts activities that are fundraisers for non-arts related causes.

How to Apply

Please read all guidelines and instructions before beginning the application. E-mail the completed application (and other applicable attachments) to by the deadline of 5pm on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

If you have questions about the program or the application, please contact us at: Audrey Struve,, (408) 998-2787 x204