For Grantseekers

Haz clic aquí para información sobre nuestro programa de becas en español.

Fund Your Next Dream

Unlock thousands of dollars in grant funding for your next artistic project. When artists and organizations get the support they need, Santa Cruz County becomes a stronger place to live. 


When to Prepare Your Application

Our spring Cultivate grant cycle opens February 15, 2021. Please check back here at the end of January for the updated Cultivate Grant guidelines, orientation dates, and eligibility. Applications will be due mid-March 2021 and awarded in June 2021.


Find the Right Grant For You

Every year, we distribute $200,000+ directly back into our community’s artists, arts organizations, and creative projects in Santa Cruz County. There are three grant types; scan below and find the right opportunity for you.


Fuel Your Work With a Cultivate Grant

Make your creative dream a reality. Tackle your professional development goals or fuel your next arts or cultural project in Santa Cruz County. This grant funds up to $3,000, and is open to all Santa Cruz County artists and arts organizations.

Looking for Create or Develop Grants? You’re in the right place! We have combined these two grants into the new Cultivate Grant.

Guidelines for the spring 2021 Cultivate Grants will be posted by the end of January 2021. Reference the 2020 guidelines here: 2020 Fall Cultivate Grant Guidelines (English) / 2020 Otoño Guía del Programa de Becas Cultivadoras (Español)

Reference the 2020 application questions list here: Cultivate Grant Application Question List_Fall 2020 / Lista de Preguntas par Solicitar Becas Cultivadoras_Otoño 2020 (español)

Reference the 2020 budget template here: Cultivate Grant Budget Template

Log in to the application portal.

Applications open: February 15, 2021

Application deadline: Mid-March, 2021 (TBD)



Sustain Your Organization with a Support Grant

Get the operating support you need for your 501c3 or fiscally-sponsored arts organization in Santa Cruz County. Open to all arts organizations, regardless of budget size. This grant awards up to $7,000.

Check back here in fall 2021 for update guidelines for our next cycle. Reference the 2020 guidelines here: Fall 2020 Support Grant Guidelines

Reference the 2020 application questions list here: Support Grant Application Question List_Fall 2020

Log in to the application portal.

Applications open: Fall 2021


Get Emergency Support with a Community Relief Grant

Bridge the gap with emergency support for unanticipated and emerging needs as a result of COVID-19. Open to all Santa Cruz County artists and arts organizations, grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded until no more funds are available. A portion of these funds will be granted to individual Watsonville-based artists to support increased access to creative and artistic space. 

Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting January 2021.


  • Arts organizations funded by the Arts Council anytime over the past 5 years are eligible for a Community Relief Grant. Organizations who received a COVID-19 Relief Grant in April 2020 or a Support Grant in December 2020 are ineligible.
  • Artists funded by the Arts Council in 2019 or 2020 are eligible for a Community Relief Grant.

Please contact Grants Program Manager Nallely Martinez for more information.


How Grants Are Reviewed

Proposals are reviewed and scored by staff, board members and volunteers with subject area expertise. The Grants Committee considers these scores and makes funding recommendations to the Arts Council Board of Directors for approval.


Why We Fuel the Arts

We believe a stronger Santa Cruz County comes from a thriving creative community. Our objectives of the Grants Program are to:

  • support the creation and presentation of artistically excellent work
  • increase the success of artists and the sustainability of arts organizations
  • engage new audiences in the arts
  • expand equitable access to the arts (improvement of disparities in representation and access in the arts)
  • increase social impact through art (advancement of social and racial justice issues in our community)


Connect With Us

If you’re curious about something you didn’t see answered above, contact Nallely Martinez, Grants Program Manager, at 831-475-9600 x16 or