SVCREATES recognizes the region’s finest artists who have demonstrated a commitment to developing their art forms and to enriching the greater Santa Clara County region with exhibitions, performances, presentations, and service. The SVLaureates and the Content Emerging Artist Award provides unrestricted cash prizes to support artists while they pursue their creative work.

The purpose of this program is to:

  • Recognize the artistic vibrancy and impact of our 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 vital and creative community

Awards and Categories

In 2024, SVCREATES will award up to three Content Emerging Artist Awards of $5,000 each. Awards will be presented at a public celebration in August 2024. All awardees will be featured in the August  2024 issue of Content Magazine.

Content Emerging Artist Award recognizes early career artists in all genres for artistic achievement and commitment to a path toward becoming a professional artist.

Genres include:

Visual Arts: including two and three-dimensional work that is created in the studio or in community spaces; including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture in all media, photography, video, mixed/multiple media, installation, new or alternative media and social practice art.

Performing Arts: including art that is presented for an audience on a formal or informal stage. Eligible applicants include artists creating work that is developed offstage, backstage, or pre-performance (choreographers, composers, stage directors, stage/set/costume designers). Or performers themselves (dancers, actors, spoken word artists, instrumental/vocal musicians).

Literary Arts: all written literary art forms, including poetry, prose, stage or screenplay.

Note: This program does not include architecture, landscaping, industrial/graphic/computer systems design, journalism/photojournalism, or other commercial activities.

An Emerging Artist is defined as:

  • An artist in the early stages of their career (not defined by age)
  • Demonstrating a commitment to their practice, working intentionally over the last 3-5 years to develop and promote a career as a professional artist
  • Having some evidence of professional achievement through exhibitions or performances in public settings
  • Being rigorous in their approach to creation and production
  • Having developed an original body of work with a clear identity
  • Taking risks and embracing challenges


Applicant must:

  • Be an artist in their 2nd-10th year of creative practice, post-student status (if applicable), with some track record of creating and presenting full work (not beginning artists), and artists who are NOT at a point in their careers where they receive consistent development and production opportunities and significant recognition, awards, and acclaim (not mid-career or established artists).
  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of the application deadline.
  • Spend at least five-ten hours a week on and may 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.
  • 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, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties) for at least one year prior to the application deadline, AND can demonstrate through professional history that artistic activity has had an impact on residents of Santa Clara County.

Applicant must not:

  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student.
  • Be a prior recipient of the Content Emerging Artist Award or Artist Laureate Award from SVCREATES or Arts Council Silicon Valley.
  • Be a current employee or board member of SVCREATES or have been employed by or served on the board of SVCREATES within the past 5 years.

Review Criteria

Content Emerging Artist Award applications are reviewed by independent review panels, composed of distinguished professional artists and community arts leaders, representing a spectrum of disciplines. Awardees will be selected on a competitive basis, based on artistic merit, artistic development, and audience/community impact.

Artistic Merit (30 points)

  • Artistic quality and originality of work
  • The artist has developed an original body of work with a clear identity/voice
  • The artist is rigorous in their approach to creation and production of their art form, developing mastery in their discipline

Artistic Development (15 points)

  • Continuity and exploration of the art form by the applicant
  • Commitment to pursuing artistic challenges and growth

Audience/Community Engagement (10 points)

  • Artist’s engagement with audiences and participation in the Santa Clara County arts community
  • Engagement may be demonstrated through regional activities such as presentation of works, teaching, public readings and/or performances
  • Artist may serve as a role model/exemplar to other emerging artists

How to Apply

Applications for the 2024 Content Emerging Artist Award are now closed!

All application materials will be submitted through SVCREATES' online application portalIf submitting your application online creates an obstacle for you, please contact Alyssa Erickson to make other arrangements (see contact info below).

Application requirements include: narrative questions, links to work samples hosted online, a resume, and a letter of recommendation. See the link in the sidebar to preview a PDF of the application in advance.

Letter of Recommendation: submit one letter of recommendation from someone who works in the arts and knows your work well. It is the applicant’s responsibility to upload the letter. Letters should be no more than one page, signed by the recommender and address the following questions:

  • What is your relationship to the artist? How do you know their work?
  • In what way is the artist an asset to the arts community in Santa Clara County?
  • Why should this artist be recognized as a 2024 Content Emerging Artist?


Email your questions to staff or contact us to schedule a phone call. Please contact: Alyssa Erickson, Program Director | 408-998-2787 ext. 204

Applications for the 2024 Content Emerging Artist Award are now closed

Application PDF for Preview Only

Key Dates:
Application Opens: February 2, 2024
Application Workshop: February 15, 5:00-7:00pm
Application Deadline: March 15, 2024 at 5:00pm
Award Notifications: May 2024

Learn More: 
For more information about the Content Emerging Artist Award Program and past Awardees click here.

You may email your question to staff or contact us to schedule a phone call.


Alyssa Erickson, Program Director
408-998-2787 ext. 204