January 2022

SVCREATES 2021 Annual Report

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Silicon Valley is a challenging place to live and work if your livelihood is not connected to our extraordinarily successful technology industries, success that has driven up housing costs, strained transportation systems, and widened the income gap. COVID revealed and exaggerated the systemic challenges for our arts ecosystem and exposed the creative sector’s vulnerability and the need to increase economic security, equity, and dignity for all cultural workers. Arts groups re-examined priorities, modified programming and business models, and demonstrated a deep commitment to their communities. We know that the quest for social justice has momentum, virtual programming is here to stay, and coalitions matter. Along with the rest of our ecosystem, SVCREATES took the time for deep reflection and is aligning our programs with our research findings, strategic priorities, and equity framework.


SVCREATES works to strengthen the resilience and relevance of small multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary arts groups and individual artists who bring our international community together, nurture the joy and creativity of the people who live here, raise the burning questions of our time, and drive social change.

Our mission is to accelerate Silicon Valley’s creative culture by building the capacity, visibility and accessibility of the arts.
Arts Ecosystem: The interconnected and interdependent network of artists, funders, venues, organizations, students, teachers, connoisseurs, and audience members who make up our creative community.


IN 2021 WE:

  • Supported 81 diverse local arts leaders through ongoing, facilitated peer roundtables
  • Awarded 77 operating grants to a diverse range of small and mid-sized arts organizations
  • Conducted online workshops, multiple town halls, and gatherings for over 500 artists, arts leaders, and creatives
  • Hosted a genARTS Silicon Valley month-long experimental exhibition space at Camino Brewing Co. with 31 participating artists
  • Engaged The Center for Effective Philanthropy to survey 97 current grantees and assess the success of SVCREATES’ grant programs
  • Adopted new, formal SVCREATES program goals rooted in equity, research, and values


Adaptability & Relationships
Throughout the past year, local arts organizations pivoted and modified programming to continue to deliver important arts experiences to the local community. And, in doing so, they acknowledged the value of the deep relationships with each other and with SVCREATES.

Red Ladder Theatre Company shifted its SVCREATES funded work with youth in the foster system (a partnership with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley) to provide asynchronous video programming, engaging the children in a series of interactive videos in the creative process, paired with hands-on art activities. Participants were able to remain actively involved in all aspects of the creative process and feel connected to others and to their artistry, even at a time when we could not gather in person for workshops.

SVCREATES grantee Mosaic America produced the Mosaic Festival Silicon Valley, a free outdoor six-hour experience. Approximately 1,500 people engaged with Silicon Valley's diverse cultures featuring over 35 arts groups, artists, city and community organizations, and culture bearers aimed at strengthening community, cultivating belonging, and catalyzing inclusion through inter-cultural and co-created art. This festival brought together a diversity of audiences and cultural disciplines encompassing cuisine, art and crafts, workshops, and healing practices. 


IN 2021 WE:

  • Advocated for arts funding at the local, state, and national levels resulting in increased resources for local arts organizations and artists
  • Featured 124 artists and art groups in Content Magazine, including a piece on how the arts informed the Google Campus Project in partnership with San José Spotlight
  • Partnered with San José State University and West Valley College to feature 24 "up-and-coming" photographers and fashion design students in Content Magazine  
  • Produced and showcased 19 artist profile videos on social media
  • Created 30 Content podcast interviews with cultural leaders and local artists
  • Awarded the genARTS Silicon Valley Movers & Shakers award of $2,500 to More Más Marami Arts

Back In-Person
In June 2021, Content Magazine celebrated the reopening of in-person arts experiences with participation in South First Friday in San Jose. In collaboration with Anno Domini and Kaleid Gallery, Content Magazine and its partners activated several blocks of San Jose’s SoFA district. The outdoor, in-person Pick-Up Party featured music, art, and San Jose's lowrider car club Low Conspiracy.

And in December, Content Magazine hosted a Pick-Up Party for Issue 14.1 "Discover" at Blanco Urban Venue in San Jose’s San Pedro Square, supported with funding from the City of San Jose’s Abierto program and featuring music, visual art, creative experiences, and performances by 14.1 featured artists, including music by Dox Black, Jack Pavlina, and Derrick Sanderlin. This party also featured the annual genARTS Silicon Valley Movers & Shakers award, given to San Jose based More Más Marami Arts.


IN 2021 WE:



In 2021, SVCREATES began a “listening tour” of Gilroy. In an effort to better serve the arts ecosystem in this historically under-resourced region of our county, we met with individual artists, and arts and community leaders, to form an advisory group of local creatives to help us understand the unique challenges and opportunities in the City of Gilroy. These initial conversations (mostly over Zoom) resulted in our first in-person Gilroy Arts Circulo, bringing artists and arts leaders together to begin to build a network to discuss strategies for advancing the Gilroy arts ecosystem.

Arts & Health
In collaboration with ICA San Jose, we created an impactful art installation that celebrates and honors healthcare professionals and shares the enduring stories of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project artists Peter Foucault and Chris Treggiari created “Timeline of Greatness,” a large-scale, digital multimedia installation incorporating a series of community engagements. This project includes utilizing 1,000+ vaccine vials to create a modular wall-mounted multimedia piece that will travel to community and vaccine sites throughout the San Jose area. The engagements and collection will act as a multimedia archive, charting the stories of COVID and the great work that was done to save countless lives and produce a vaccine.


IN 2021 WE:

  • Premiered the Business of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Business Journal (SVBJ) in May 2021  
  • Formed partnership with Joint Venture Silicon Valley to co-create and annually publish the local arts segment of their Index of Silicon Valley  
  • Launched regional strategy to collaborate with municipalities throughout the county and leverage public and private resources for local arts 
  • Piloted the ArtsWeb arts/business relationship-based service hub, providing eight initial arts groups and artists with coaching, technical support and custom designed consulting services


Business of Arts and Culture
SVCREATES commissioned national research firm Creative Community Builders to update our 2010 research study and map the landscape and characteristics of the Silicon Valley arts ecosystem 10 years later. In May 2021, we released the publication and hosted a discussion facilitated by SVBJ President and Publisher Mary Huss with Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Nicole Taylor of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and SVCREATES CEO Connie Martinez.

This publication is informing shifts in SVCREATES’ programming and resource allocations, and is being shared with the wider community to help civic leaders and donors better understand who we are as a cultural sector and what we bring to this special community. Presentations to Arts Commissions, City Councils, Chambers of Commerce, Rotaries and the like are underway as SVCREATES expands its reach across the county. We believe engagement and investment in our arts ecosystem requires a nuanced understanding of our region’s unique and beautiful complexity, and the value of the arts in overcoming our civic challenges. The full report is available online, here.



Marshall Jones, Vice President of Regional Sales at Prestige | Global Meeting Source – Chair
James LaCamp, Vice President of Finance at Coupa Software – Treasurer
Matt Ogawa, Human Resources at Facebook – Secretary
Tamara Alvarado, Program Officer of Local Grantmaking Program at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation – Member at Large
Janice Fry, Former Executive VP of Development at Sun Microsystems – Immediate Past Chair

Jaye Bailey, Chief Employee Relations Officer, Santa Clara VTA
Sean Cottle, Shareholder at Hoge Fenton
Roy Hirabayashi, Co-founder of San Jose Taiko and MALI Program Manager of School of Arts & Culture at MHP
Jennifer Hull, Nonprofit Management
Tim Leehane, Senior Manager, Product Management of Fire Tablets at Amazon
Victoria Phan, Product Marketer, Asana
Barry Posner, Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership at Leavey School of Business at SCU
Sheena Vaidyanathan, Public School Teacher
Toni Vanwinkle, Senior Director, Digital Workplace Experience at Adobe Systems


Connie Martinez
Tanuja Bahal
Alyssa Erickson
Daniel Garcia
Alyssarhaye Graciano


Zakiya Harris
Sarah Moore
Kristen Garcia
Stephanie Phe
Alexandra Urbanowski

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