We are partnering with the Applied Materials Foundation to encourage new ideas and strategies for audience engagement and to help fund the execution of those ideas.

Building off the content and inspiration of the Engage.Next 5.0 conference with Nina Simon and Kim Walesh on March 16th, the Audience Engagement 2018 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 or deepen connections and relationships with audiences. All funded projects must serve Santa Clara County.


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.


We plan 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:
  • Your organization’s primary purpose must be the performance, production, or presentation of arts and cultural activities that are open and accessible to all.

  • Have a 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 $100,000 may use a fiscal sponsor.

For all applicants: all funded projects must serve Santa Clara County.

Note: 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 assess and build relevance
  • 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

  1. Please read all guidelines and instructions before beginning the application.
  2. The application is a Google form with several sections:
    • Applicant information (and organization information, if applicable)
    • Eight narrative questions on the proposed project
    • Project budget
    • Upload section – required attachments include:
      • For organizations, a copy of the 501(c)3 letter or copy of fiscal sponsor’s tax ID number and contact information
      • For requests to work with a consultant/coach, a resume or bio, and a fee estimate
  3. In completing the application, remember that your application will be reviewed by panelists who may or may not know your organization or your work. Make it easy for panelists to read through and review your application. In your narrative responses, be concise; you may use bullet points.
  4. Submit your completed application (with applicable attachments) using the Google form at: https://goo.gl/forms/0hpc2tyqMNcAJ4jp2

Deadline: 5:00 pm on Friday, April 20, 2018.

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