Our Local Arts Grants provide general operating support grants for small and mid-sized nonprofit arts organizations.


  • Promote artistic excellence while reflecting the dynamic, diverse, and innovative character of Santa Clara County
  • Recognize and encourage non-professional, volunteer involvement as an essential part of Santa Clara County’s cultural environment
  • Stimulate local support, particularly at the grassroots level

Awards and Categories

Each category, or “focus area,” is based on the applicant’s organizational mission and the primary work of the organization. Applicants may apply for a Local Arts Grant in one of four focus areas per grant year:
  • Access: Providing quality arts programming at affordable prices (eg. professional choral, instrumental, dance, theater, and presenting groups, literary centers, museums, etc.)
  • Advancement: Advancing visual or performing art forms, either through the development of new works based on traditional forms or through the creation of new art forms (eg. those who commission new works, those who present, exhibit, or stage work in new or experimental ways, etc.)
  • Participation: Offering hands-on education opportunities and arts experiences to the public in performing and/or visual arts through individual or group learning, ranging from beginner to high skill levels (eg. community-based adult or youth groups such as choruses, dance organizations, orchestras, and theaters, visual arts and arts education centers, etc.)
  • Preservation: Preserving cultural or ethnic-specific arts traditions through education, performances, or exhibitions that keep traditions alive, as well as offering opportunities to broaden and deepen cultural awareness (eg. ethnic dance, music, and theater, American traditions such as jazz and blues, historically informed or period-specific performances and presentations, cultural film festivals, etc.)


Applicant organization must:
  • Have a primary purpose of performing, producing, or presenting arts and cultural activities that are open and accessible to all.
  • 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.
  • Be a California nonprofit corporation with a 501c3 tax-exempt certification. Exception: Funding Level 1 applications (expenses under $100,000) may use fiscal sponsors.
  • Have been performing, producing, or presenting in Santa Clara County since July 2015.
  • Have satisfied all of the reporting and acknowledgment requirements of any previously awarded grants from SVCREATES and/or Arts Council Silicon Valley.
Applicant organization must NOT:
  • Exceed a budget (total expenses of last completed fiscal year) of $2 million.
  • Be a primary or secondary education institution.
  • Be a local government.
Note: A university or college may submit only one application, regardless of the number of independent arts programs/departments it may encompass. University or college requests are for project support (as opposed to general operating support for the university/college). We do not support indirect (or overhead) costs for university/college requests. Grants may not be applied toward support for political or religious purposes, fundraisers for other organizations or causes, capital improvements, the purchase of equipment or real property, or projects already completed.

How to Apply

Local Arts Grants applications are submitted online through the Common Grant Application. Applicants are also required to submit a DataArts/California Cultural Data Project (CDP) funder report for fiscal years 2016 (2015-2016) and 2017 (2016-2017).

Find complete information on how to apply in the Guidelines document, as well as useful documents and links, in the Resources section of this page.

A grantwriting workshop will be held on February 13, 2018. Click here to learn more and register to participate.

Local Arts Grants applications are due by Friday, April 6, 2018 at 5pm (Pacific).