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.


Teatro Nahual
Teatro Nahual will create bilingual sketches with musical and video components, called “Leyendas, Sueños y Realidades” (Legends, Dreams and Realities). They will be performed by three actors and one musician. The scenes depict popular legends. For example, the “Origin of the Corn” and a modern-day reality, with a social and political angle in “I am an immigrant, and I am bilingual.” These productions will be offered to bilingual schools around the Bay Area. Teatro Nahual has the purpose of bringing education and entertainment to young audiences by showing the richness to be part of two cultures.

Silicon Valley African Film Festival
SVAFF presents Sankofa – a living history/visual storytelling project. Sankofa will identify, document and celebrate the achievements of immigrant Africans in our County. From the restaurant owner to the parish priest, cab driver to corporate CEO, valedictorian to Olympian, poet to neurosurgeon; immigrant Africans contribute tremendous value to the rich social, cultural and economic fabric of our region. Sankofa presents a different narrative of the “immigrant” and opens windows to our common humanity.

Sangam Arts
Sangam Arts, in collaboration with Confederation of Ohlone People, will present “Hummingbird Circle,” a 4-hour free, participatory event at St. James Park. Culture-bearers will share the Ohlone way-of-life through storytelling, regalia-making, and dance. Audience members will learn about historical and living traditions by making grass-skirts and necklaces. Participatory finale dances will pay tribute to Nature, honor Ohlone descendants, and celebrate the gathering of past and current inhabitants of the land; creating a timeless bridge.

Corinne Okada Takara/BioJam
BioJam, is a program that engages teens in biofabrication design as a platform for connecting broader communities in biodesign conversations through art explorations that celebrate creativity and cultures. Housed in the Stanford Bioengineering Department and led by graduate students and local artist, Corinne Okada Takara, the program aims to expand community knowledge, confidence and curiosity as people explore free biomaterial art workshops developed by BioJam teens for local museums, galleries and community centers.


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 2018 and 2019 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 to Apply

The application period for the 2019 X Factor Arts Program has closed. Check back in August 2020 for updates on X Factor 2020!

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