X Factor Grants support entrepreneurial and innovative ideas to advance the arts and creativity in Santa Clara County. Through training and coaching, SVCREATES spurs organizations and artists to develop and test new programs and messages that resonate with potential donors and audiences and amplify mission.


X Factor Arts—Pitch Camp, Pitch Play-Offs, and X Factor Grants—is an investment and professional development opportunity. Our goal is two-fold: to help organizations strengthen messaging (pitch training) and to help organizations experiment with new programs (X Factor Grants).


The top four pitches will be awarded $10,000 grants to support the delivery and execution of the idea or concept. Click here to learn more about our 2017 and 2018 X Factor Grantees.


Open to:
  • Nonprofit arts/culture organizations
  • For profit cultural organizations
  • Individual Artists
  • One department of a university or college
  • Individuals and organizations must have their home base (primary business office or performance/exhibition venue or facility) located in Santa Clara County
  • All organizational budgets levels may apply but preference will be given to organizations with annual budgets under $2 million.
  • Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2021.
NOTE: X Factor 2017 and 2018 winners are not eligible unless they have fully completed and reported on their previous X Factor project.

Eligible projects include:
  • Creative Experiences & Artistic Initiatives: We are open to a range of ideas and creative experiences that you pitch. These can include all forms of art/creativity such as performing arts, visual arts, film, literary, and music. They could be new ideas, an evolution of something you are already doing, or a new element of your core programming.
  • Audience Engagement: A hands‐on activity to engage new audiences in a deep and meaningful way.
  • Educational Programs: Something that provides significant insight into your art form for adult or youth participants/audiences.
NOTE: The experience or program must take place in Santa Clara County.

How it Works


Submit your pitch (75-words max) by email to Alyssa Erickson at alyssae@svcreates.org.
  • Subject line must read: X Factor 2019 Pitch.
  • Use email address appropriate for ongoing X Factor correspondence.
  • Deadline to submit: September 6, 5:00 pm.
  • Your pitch should succinctly convey the who, what and why of your proposed project.

  • For example:
    City Lights Theatre Company will cast both deaf and hearing actors in a play not traditionally seen with deaf actors, creating a production combining American Sign Language and spoken English to build bridges between deaf and hearing artists and audiences.

    Internationally acclaimed but locally produced, POW! WOW! San Jose (PWSJ) returns for our annual week-long mural art, music, and culture festival showcasing local and international artistry in 5 different San Jose neighborhoods. Producing 20 murals in year 1 (2017), the essence of PWSJ brings free art to a public forum, creating galleries on the streets for all to see and for later generations to enjoy.


Selected applicants will be invited to create a 5-7 minute presentation for Pitch Camp (October 1).
    Presentations should be geared to non-arts professionals. During Pitch Camp, you will refine your presentation with your coach and then pitch it to a panel of judges, including community leaders, business executives and entrepreneurs, during the Pitch Semi‐Finals that afternoon. Additional instructions will be provided.

    Pitch Camp notifications sent by email: Thursday, September 12.


Selected applicants must be available to attend both the Pitch Camp and Pitch-Off events.
  • Day #1 – Tuesday, October 1, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm: includes Pitch Camp training session, one-on-one pitch mentoring with a coach, and Pitch Semi-Finals
  • Day #2 – Tuesday, October 8, 4:00-7:00 pm: Pitch-Offs – finalists pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and community leaders. Four winning projects will be selected. Finalists receive $10,000 to deliver their projects.

All events will be held at the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza.

If you have questions about the X Factor Arts program, please contact: Alyssa Erickson, alyssae@svcreates.org, (408) 998-2787 x204.

Learning Opportunities

Even if you do not submit a project or yours is not chosen as a finalist, we encourage you to join us for the Pitch-Offs – October 8 at 5pm. Experience first‐hand what effective pitches have in common and cheer on your colleagues. Click here to RSVP!