We recognize the region’s finest creative artists who are seriously committed to developing their art forms and to enriching our community with their exhibits, performances, presentations, and service. SVLaureate awards unrestricted cash prizes to support artists while they pursue their creative work.


  • Recognize artistic excellence and impact of Silicon Valley’s finest local artists
  • Provide monetary support to encourage continuing development of the artist’s work
  • Spotlight the important role individual artists play in contributing to a vibrant and creative community

Awards and Categories

One $5,000 laureate prize is awarded in each of the five categories. (Any single prize may be split in case of a tie, and/or the review panel may decide to make no award in a category if its applicant pool is too small.) Award categories are as follows:

  • On The Wall: Art that is affixed to, hung on, or projected on a wall or flat panel/screen (e.g. drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, 2-dimensional mixed media, photography, film/video/animation, etc.)
  • Off The Wall: Free-standing or suspended art that can be viewed from all angles (e.g. sculpture of all media, kinetic/mobile works, installation, etc.)
  • On Stage: Art that is performed by the artist for an audience on either a formal or informal stage (e.g. dancing, acting, mime, spoken word, instrumental/vocal performance, conducting, etc.)
  • Off Stage: Art that is created or developed by the artist offstage, backstage, or pre-performance (i.e. music composition, choreography, stage directing, stage/set/costume design, all written literary art forms, etc.)
  • Emerging Artist: Art that is created or developed by early career artists in all genres. Emerging Artists are defined as:
    • Having some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment
    • Not yet recognized as an established artist by other artists, curators, producers, critics, and arts administrators
    • Rigorous in their approach to creation and production
    • Having a developing voice that reveals significant potential
    • Taking risks and embracing challenges

This program does not include architecture, landscaping, industrial/graphic/computer systems design, journalism/photojournalism, or other commercial activities. In addition to the awards for the categories listed above, we will select one honoree for the 2018 Legacy Laureate prize, a $5,000 cash award for lifetime achievement. The Legacy Laureate prize is not part of this nomination/application process.


Applicant/nominee must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age by the application deadline.
  • Spend at least ten hours a week on, and derive income from, the practice/creation of art.
  • Have exhibited, performed, presented, and/or published artistic work in a public context within the last three years. Exception: Emerging Artist applicants.
  • Be the principal creator/performer or the sole author of work(s) submitted.
  • Be a resident of Santa Clara County or one of several bordering counties (Alameda, San Mateo, or Santa Cruz Counties) for at least one year prior to the application deadline AND be able to demonstrate through professional history that artistic activity has had significant impact on residents of Santa Clara County.
Applicant/nominee must NOT:
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program of any kind. Exception: Emerging Artist applicants.
  • Be enrolled in a graduate program related to the specific discipline of this application. Exception: Emerging Artist applicants.
  • Be a prior recipient of an Artist Fellowship or Laureate from SVCREATES or Arts Council Silicon Valley.
  • Be a current or former employee or board member of SVCREATES, Arts Council Silicon Valley, or 1stACT Silicon Valley.

How to Apply

Artists may apply on their own (self-nominate) or apply with the support of a nominator for one of the five different award categories. (Applicants may not self-nominate for the Emerging Artist category.)

Applicants must use the application form and email the completed application (no hard copies), including hyperlinks to work samples, nomination letter (unless self-nominated), and any other required information as an email attachment. Artists are responsible for setting up their own webpages, Flickr, YouTube, etc. accounts. Please be sure to review all three resource documents completely (Overview & Instructions; Application; and Guidelines & FAQs) before submitting an application.

2018 SVLaureate applications were due by 5pm on Friday, November 3, 2017. Applicants were notified of award decisions in March 2018.