SVCREATES is partnering with the Applied Materials Foundation to encourage new ideas and strategies for creating relevant programming that is OF, BY and FOR our communities. To thrive and to create relevant programming local arts groups and artists look to focus efforts on expanding audience engagement, diversifying stakeholder communities, and increasing access to programs.


This program builds on the content and inspiration of SVCreates’ audience engagement conference, Engage.Next 6.0: Best Practices in Access, Inclusion, and Equity. It provides an opportunity for artists and nonprofit arts organizations to apply for funding to support special projects that strategically broaden or deepen connections and relationships with audiences. Eligible projects should go beyond ongoing strategies or programming.

Some examples of fundable projects include: pilot projects that engage audiences in the creation of new work; an audience participation activity in conjunction with a performance or exhibition; a new audience communication vehicle (print, online, or other); an audience feedback survey, etc.

While conference attendance is not required, preference will be given to applicants who attended the April 25th conference.

All funded projects must serve Santa Clara County.


Grantees may apply for up to $4,000. Due to the competitive nature of the grant program, partial funding may be awarded.

Review Criteria

  • Project supports/advances organization mission or activities.
  • Project strengthens audience engagement with new or established audiences through clearly articulated strategy and identification of target audience.
  • Project time frame and budget demonstrate realistic planning to complete the project by June 2020.
  • Proposal identifies what project success looks like and/or what you hope to learn through the project.


Eligible Applicants

Individual artists:
  • You must live in Santa Clara County or an adjacent county, and your project must serve Santa Clara County.
Nonprofit arts organizations:
  • Your organization’s primary purpose must be the performance, production, or presentation of arts and cultural activities that are open and accessible to all.
  • The home base of your organization (primary business office or performance/ exhibition venue/facility) must be located in Santa Clara County and the majority of your arts programming (performances/ presentations/exhibitions) must take place in Santa Clara County.
  • Your organization must be classified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service; OR, a nonprofit arts organization with an annual operating budget under $200,000 may use a fiscal sponsor.
  • There are no budget size limitations, but preference will be given to organizations with annual operating expenses under $2 million.
Eligible expenses include:
  • Fees to engage an outside consultant in order to assess and build audience engagement.
  • Program or activity costs for the specific audience engagement project.
  • Marketing or collateral costs for engagement activities.
Expenses that are NOT eligible include:
  • Cost for projects which have received funding directly from Applied Materials Foundation.
  • Cost for projects that have received funding from another SVCREATES project grant. (Please note: organizations who receive Local Arts Grants funding for general operating support may apply for this project grant.)
  • General operating expenses or funding to support ongoing staffing (but funding for additional hours for existing staff to implement the proposed project may be included.)
  • Projects that have already been completed.
  • Projects which support political or religious purposes, fraternal organizations, or institutions of primary and secondary learning.
  • Capital improvements, endowment campaigns, or debt retirement.
  • Real property.
**All 2018 Audience Engagement grantees must complete the 2018 Grant Report to be eligible for funding.


Applications must be completed online through SVCREATES‘ online grant application portal. Click here to get started.
If you have questions about the program or the application, please contact Alyssa Erickson,, (408) 998-2787 x204.