Guidelines and Application Instructions


Arts Access Grants provide project support for programming specifically designed to reach traditionally underserved audiences.

The Arts Access Grant program is made possible through a partnership with the County of Santa Clara and with support from the County Board of Supervisors. In alignment with the values of the County of Santa Clara, this grant program is driven by the need to increase access to arts experiences by high need communities throughout Santa Clara County.

Examples of alignment and access include:

  • Access to arts exhibitions and performances by County clients such as foster youth, social services clients, etc.
  • Art that thematically addresses County priorities such as intimate partner violence, anti-obesity, literacy, suicide prevention, etc.
  • Art supplies and instruction for clients of County programs such as The Hub, domestic violence shelters, etc.
  • Artistic programs serving high need populations and aligned with Santa Clara County values of inclusion, diversity, equity and heritage.

Grant Guidelines, Eligibility, and Evaluation Criteria

Santa Clara County-based arts organizations are invited to apply to the SVCREATES Arts Access Grant Program for projects and/or programs to be delivered between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. Grants will be competitive and limited by the available funding. Approximately 10-15 grants will be awarded. Partial funding may be awarded.

Grant Guidelines: 

  • Projects or programs will be arts experiences (eg. performances, exhibitions, classes) that are made accessible to one or more distinct audiences/communities.
  • Projects or programs should employ primarily Santa Clara County based artists.
  • Projects or programs should serve high need communities; applications must define communities to be served. High-need might include: Title I schools, low income neighborhoods, rural communities, social service agency clients, and others. Please refer to the examples of alignment and access above.
  • Competitive projects will benefit from a partner or advisor with expertise about or representing the high-need community to be served.
  • Project or program may be a renewal or expansion of an existing program or may be a new program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Eligible organizations will be based in Santa Clara County (eg. have a primary performance, exhibition, or office space in the county and serve primarily Santa Clara County residents).
  • Eligible organizations will have 501c3 status or a qualified fiscal sponsor.
  • Eligible organizations will have a minimum of three years of arts programming history in Santa Clara County.
  • Eligible projects/programs will serve Santa Clara County residents and take place in Santa Clara County.


  • For-profit organizations are not eligible.
  • Institutions of primary and secondary education are not eligible.
  • Local governments are not eligible.
  • Universities and colleges are limited to providing fiscal sponsorship for one arts program only. Grants may not support operating costs for the university or college, but must be applied to program and overhead costs of the applying entity.
  • Grants may not be applied toward support for political or religious purposes, fundraisers for other organizations or causes, capital improvements, lobbying, or projects already completed.

Evaluation Criteria:

Applications will be scored and ranked by panel based on the following criteria:

  • Project description and goals are clear and compelling.
  • Proposal articulates a specific high need community/audience to be served.
  • Proposal demonstrates authentic partnership or experience/knowledge of community/audience to be served.
  • Capacity of organization to successfully deliver the project; mission alignment with organization.
  • Project timeframe and budget demonstrate realistic planning to complete the project by December 31, 2024.


The FY24 Arts Access Grant cycle will open on September 22, 2023. Applicants will complete and submit applications through SVCREATES online application portal. A link to the portal will be posted on September 22, 2023.

  • Application requirements include a project description and goals, identification of project leader/director, and a project budget.
  • Grant request range is $8,000 to $20,000; budget may include up to 15% administrative/overhead costs.
  • Applications will be reviewed by SVCreates staff and a panel of community leaders.
  • All grantees must recognize the County of Santa Clara and SVCreates in collateral material.


  • Application Opens: September 22, 2023
  • Application Deadline: October 27, 2023
  • Application Review: November-December 2023
  • Award Notification: mid-December 2023
  • Grant Period: January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024

Arts Access Grantees

Application opens September 22, 2023

Applicant Info Session:
Monday, October 2 from 11am - 12pm
Register here

Preview of the Application (PDF)

Key Dates:
Application Opens: September 22, 2023
Application Deadline: October 27, 2023 @ 5pm
Award Notification: mid-December 2023
Grant Period: January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024

If you have questions about this program or application, please contact SVCREATES' Program Manager, Alyssa Erickson.

Alyssa Erickson
408-998-2787 ext. 204