X Factor Grants support entrepreneurial and innovative ideas to advance the arts and creativity in Santa Clara County—ideas that are relevant and effectively presented to a panel of non-artists. 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.


The entire program—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.


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, 2020.
NOTE: X Factor 2016 and 2017 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

Do not submit applications before August 17th!

Submit a 75-word pitch (a summary of the proposed project) by 5pm on Friday, September 14, 2018 to alyssae@svcreates.org with a subject line that must read “X Factor Arts 2018 Pitch.” Be sure to send the pitch from the e-mail address that is preferred for receiving a reply.

Selected applicants must be available to attend both the Pitch Camp and Play‐Off events.
  • Day #1 | Tuesday October 9: A half‐day session that includes a Pitch Camp training session, one‐on‐one pitch mentoring with a coach, and Pitch Semi‐Finals;
  • Day #2 | Tuesday, October 16: The Pitch Play‐Offs ‐ finalists pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs during the late afternoon/early evening.
By 5pm on Thursday, September 20, you will be notified by email if you are invited to create a 5‐7 minute presentation; you will receive an email with additional instructions about Pitch Camp. Your pitch will be refined with your coach during Pitch Camp on October 9th at the School of Arts & Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza, and presented to a panel of judges during the Pitch Semi‐Finals that day.

At the Pitch Play-Offs, finalists will present a final pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs on the afternoon/evening of October 16. Four winning projects will be selected.

Finalists win $10,000 – If yours is one of 4 ideas selected, you will receive $10,000 to deliver that project.

If you have questions about the program or the application, 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 experience the Pitch Play‐Off session – October 16, 2018 at 5pm ‐ so you can hear first‐hand what effective pitches have in common.