For Grantseekers

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Every year, we distribute $200,000+ directly to our community’s artists and arts organizations. Read below to find the right opportunity for you. Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on all of the Arts Council’s offerings.

How to Apply

  • Read below to decide which grant(s) you’d like to apply for.
  • Click “Learn more” under the opportunity you’d like to apply for. Then read the guidelines and FAQ.
  • We highly recommend watching a recording of an orientation, especially if it’s your first time applying for a grant from the Arts Council:
    Grants Orientation for Individual Artists: Watch recording | Download slides
    Grants Orientation for Organizations: Watch recording | Download slides
  • Submit your application online in the grants portal

Create Grants

Funding for arts and/or cultural projects open to the public in Santa Cruz County, up to $3,000. Open to Santa Cruz County artists, arts organizations, and non-arts organizations working in collaboration with an artist(s). First-time applicants are welcome to apply. Applicants may apply for multiple opportunities. 

*Looking for Cultivate Grants? You’re in the right place! The Cultivate Grant has been separated into two types of applications – project support (Create) and professional development support (Develop).

Develop Grants

Funding for professional development (activities that improve artistic skills or expand business and professional capacity) up to $1,500. Develop grants do not require a public presentation/exhibition. Open to Santa Cruz County artists and arts organizations. First-time applicants are welcome to apply. Applicants may apply for multiple opportunities. 

*Looking for Cultivate Grants? You’re in the right place! The Cultivate Grant has been separated into two types of applications – project support (Create) and professional development support (Develop).

Support Grants

General operating support for Santa Cruz County nonprofit or fiscally-sponsored arts organizations of all budget sizes, with awards of $4,000-$7,000. First-time applicants are welcome to apply. Applicants may apply for multiple opportunities. 

SPECTRA Grants

Matching grants up to $2,000 for teachers and schools to enhance their arts education programs.

How Grants Are Reviewed

Proposals are reviewed and scored by the Grants Program Manager. The Grants Committee, composed of majority BIPOC community volunteers with diverse arts backgrounds, considers the scores and comments and makes funding recommendations to the Arts Council Board of Directors for approval.

Grants Program Objectives

We believe that a thriving creative community is essential to a strong and vibrant Santa Cruz County. Our Grants Program objectives 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 racial justice and/or social issues in our community)

Questions?

If you’re curious about something you didn’t see answered above, or for technical assistance with accessing or navigating the Arts Council’s online grants portal, email us at grantsprogram@artscouncilsc.org:
Tamara Liu, Grants Program Manager
Maria Walsh, Grants Associate