What We Do

SVCREATES’ integrated approach of maximizing the inherent strengths and power of our local arts community itself includes supporting and facilitating a network of peer support roundtables for arts leaders in our grant portfolio. Roundtables are intended to facilitate conversation, learning, and resource sharing between arts leaders, and build a network of peer support. 

SVCREATES began hosting these in Summer 2020 to provide specific pandemic-related mutual support. Based on the demonstrated value and the demand from our grantees, we have continued to host, facilitate, and modify each roundtable with input from participants for three years. Peer Support Roundtables are now one of our core programs and one component of SVCREATES’ stewardship model of support for the Santa Clara County arts ecosystem.

Participants are divided into roundtables by discipline and budget size, with a target of 12–18 participants each. These roundtables meet quarterly to discuss timely topics, learn from guest speakers, and collaborate to overcome shared challenges. The connections formed between meetings build partnerships, encourage collaboration, and resource sharing. In addition to these Peer Support Roundtables, SVCREATES also hosts an annual intensive SVMindshare leadership development program for arts executives to increase their leadership skills.

Who We Serve

All current SVCREATES grantees are invited to participate in the Arts Roundtable. The program is designed to support volunteer Board leadership, arts executives, and senior staff from arts organizations throughout Santa Clara County.

Why It’s Important

Our local arts ecosystem is characterized by a high number of small multicultural organizations operating on razor-thin margins and working with a vast network of self-employed artists cobbling together livelihoods through performance gigs and independent teaching opportunities. It is this web, this network, of small arts organizations, artists, arts leaders, and creative entrepreneurs that make our arts ecosystem vibrant. We know our arts community here in Santa Clara County is unique and has unique strengths and challenges. We want to embrace and build on those strengths. Over the past three years, we have witnessed the value of peer support networks — arts leaders supporting each other, sharing challenges and solutions, and developing partnerships. This web and mutual support makes us stronger.

What’s Been Done
  • Since 2020, SVCREATES has facilitated 20 peer support roundtables, serving over 200 arts leaders
  • Refined the roundtable model to include co-facilitation by peers and outside expert consultants, in both online and in-person formats
  • Fostered partnerships, leveraged resources, and encouraged collaboration through roundtable participation
    What’s Next

    In FY23, 84 arts leaders will participate in the program through seven different roundtables, each meeting quarterly.