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2014 Arts and Culture Grant Cycle

Fresno Regional Foundation will be granting approximately $200,000 for the 2014 Arts and Culture Grant Cycle. Of that $200,000, $100,000 is designated to Pilot Projects: Enagement Pathways for organizations with operating budgets of $100,000 or less, thanks to our partner, The James Irvine Foundation. The remaining $100,000 will be granted through FRF's traditional Arts and Culture grant cycle. Please review the separate Goals to Fund below. Organizations may only apply for either FRF's Arts and Culture grants or the Engagement Pathways grants, but not both

Fresno Regional Foundation's Goals to Fund

The Fresno Regional Foundation serves a dynamic and multicultural population. It is important that the Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) we support are aware of and sensitive to the diversity of the Central Valley San Joaquin Valley. Therefore, FRF will fund programs that:

  • Support culturally relevant art forms that reflect and serve the Central San Joaquin Valley’s diverse population.
  • Support arts and culture activities that engage underserved communities.
  • Support arts and culture activities that increase academic success.
Selection Criteria

The Fresno Regional Foundation values collaboration with other organizations and agencies for greater results. Demonstrating how your organization works with other stakeholders through a shared vision, shared measurements, constant communication and building on the services and strengths of other stakeholders will cause your proposal to receive a higher ranking. We believe working together in this way will contribute to sustainable community change. For more information on this Collective Impact approach please click here.

The following factors will be considered when reviewing your proposal:

  • Data supporting program impact
  • Programs customized to target populations
  • Proven expertise in the proposed field of work
  • Strong organizational capacity
  • Strong rationale for proposed program and/or approach
  • Integration with other programs, organizations and/or systems
Grant Amounts and Duration

The Fresno Regional Foundation will be granting approximately $100,000 in the AC Grant Cycle. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $55,000. Funding will be awarded for a one-year period.

Geographic Focus

Due to donor restrictions, these grants will be for organizations serving Fresno County.

Pilot Projects: Engagement Pathways

The Fresno Regional Foundation will be granting approximately $100,000 for Engagement Pathway’s Pilot Projects. Fresno Regional Foundation's grantmaking program will fund pilot projects and programs that integrate three distinct engagement pathways. The funded projects will culminate with several public presentations that create public pathways for easy access to new audiences that have been underserved by arts organizations.

  • Engage low-income and/or ethnically diverse populations that have been traditionally underserved by arts nonprofits.
  • Expand the ways community engages in the arts by making or practicing art, including the use of digital technology to produce or curate art.
  • Advance the use of diverse, non-traditional spaces for arts engagement, especially in regions with few arts-specific venues.
Focus of the Grants

The focus of these grants is to fund approaches that support how art experiences are developed for more audience relevance and creating art experiences that are meaningful to more people. An emphasis will be placed on supporting small micro-cultural groups and projects that bring arts to the community. These grants must be used to support prototype projects that attract and reach out to new audiences. Therefore, these grants will be designed to reach arts organizations, unincorporated groups, artist collectives and even individual artists who use a fiscal agent--all serving the Central San Joaquin Valley.

Eligibility (These factors will be required)
  • Organizations, artist collectives, community groups, and individual artists (with fiscal agents) with budgets of $100,000 or less. However, organizations with a budget over $100,000 will still be eligible to partner with smaller organizations or individual artists as fiscal agents.
  • Focus on audience engagement and experience
  • Projects will pilot new activities to deepen the engagement of participants in a new way
  • Serve micro cultural groups
  • Strong cultural emphasis
  • Data collection of participants and audiences
Selection Criteria (These are items that will cause the applicant's proposal to receive a higher ranking.)
  • Projects that take advantage of the pace, ease, and participation afforded by technology.
  • Projects that help Arts & Culture organizations become relevant in diverse communities.
  • Reach new audiences with first-time art experiences.
  • Art projects in rural communities
Grant Amounts and Duration

The grant amounts will range between $1,000 - $10,000. The funded projects will culminate with several public presentations that create public pathways for easy access to new audiences that have been underserved by arts organizations. The Fresno Regional Foundation will develop and host the public presentations.

Geographic Focus

The counties targeted include: Fresno, Merced, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare, and Kings.

Grants Information Session Resources

2014 Arts and Culture Grant Cycle Handout (45 KB)

2014 Arts and Culture Information Powerpoint (1026 KB)

Collective Impact Video Collective Impact Video (15077 KB)

The James Irvine Foundation- New Arts Grantmaking Strategy The James Irvine Foundation- New Arts Grantmaking Strategy (6394 KB)

Flash Mob Presentation Ode to Joy Orchestra Symphony Flash Mob Presentation Ode to Joy Orchestra Symphony (112003 KB)

Arts & Culture Grants Committee

2014 Arts & Culture Grantees
  • Youth Orchestras of Fresno: $30,000 to expand our free Accent on Access Violin Program giving second- through sixth-graders the opportunity to experience “Many Hands, Many Hearts, One Sound.”
  • Fresno Arts Council: $28,000 Art and Common Core will provide training to area artists so that they will be able to coordinate with local schools and teachers in order to provide Visual and Performing Arts Standards and Common Core Standards-based visual art lessons in Fresno elementary classrooms.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County: $17,596 for sixty underserved youth from six rural Fresno County communities to learn to create digital photographs that represent their voice and community concern to be displayed at a culminating Art Show.
  • Arte Américas: $10,000 to support its largest community wide celebration of the traditional Mexican holiday, DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, November 1, 2014.
  • Creative Fresno: $10,000 to create portable murals that will be dispatched to existing events throughout Fresno with an art facilitator to lead, encourage, and entice citizens to help create a unique mural. These murals will then be displayed at Fresno Fair and FYI Airport.
  • Kings Regional Traditional Folk Arts: $10,000 to support new cultural music and dance classes to be offered to local children and youth by various recognized artist in the areas of Polynesian dance, Fiddle Bluegrass, Mariachi music and Mexican Folklore Dance.
  • New Conservatory Theatre Center: $10,000 to support Pride on Tour and YouthAware in Fresno County. Pride on Tour will present Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays on May 3, 2014, while YouthAware will bring anti-bullying and diversity education to middle and high school students during the 2014-15 school year.
  • San Francisco World Music Festival: $10,000 to bring master world music artists to the Central Valley for classes and concerts with local musicians and students, uniquely using the latest in no-latency technology to enable real-time remote classes, rehearsals, and performances through the internet.
  • Urbanist Collective: $10,000 to work with youth and their families to create four 8’ by 8' panels. The panels will be unveiled as one 8'x32' mural during a First Friday artwalk in downtown Visalia.
  • Visalia Opera Company: $10,000 to partner with the UCLA mariachi group to compose and present a mariachi opera to the Central Valley community. The mariachi opera will be a musical work combining the art of opera and mariachi music.
  • Bachrun LoMele: $8,500 An evolving, interactive, mobile confidence-processing booth exploring truth and meaning in art and life, and issues surrounding the collection and use of personal data. The project will create a street-roving, inside-out mini-gallery, by which secrets shared within it are rendered incomprehensible, and then publicly broadcast on the outside. An evolving, interactive, mobile confidence-processing booth exploring truth and meaning in art and life, and issues surrounding the collection and use of personal data.
  • Moving Beyond Productions: $8,450 Fresno native and author Gary Soto presents "In and Out of Shadows", a new musical about undocumented youth, to Fresno and Tulare counties.
  • What is "smart growth?"

    Smart growth is a better way to build and maintain our towns and cities. Smart growth means building urban, suburban and rural communities with housing and transportation choices near jobs, shops and schools. This approach supports local economies and protects the environment.

    Smart growth is development that is environmentally sensitive, economically viable, community-oriented, and sustainable. It is an approach to land use planning that promotes compact, transit-oriented urban communities that are attractive and liveable. Smart growth focuses on the planning and layout of communities and the efficient use of land to maximize community goals and avoid wasteful sprawl. It involves policies that integrate transportation and land use decisions by encouraging more compact, mixed-use development (infill) within existing urban areas and discouraging dispersed, automobile-dependent development at the urban fringe. Smart growth and sustainable development are often used interchangeably. Sustainable development is a strategy by which communities seek to balance environmental protection, economic development, and social objectives and to meet the needs of today without compromising the quality of life for future generations.

    Smart growth principles include the following

    • Mixing land uses 
    • Employing compact building design 
    • Creating a range of housing opportunities and choices 
    • Creating walkable, bicycle-friendly neighborhoods 
    • Designing distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place 
    • Preserving open space, farmland, and critical environmental areas 
    • Directing development towards existing communities 
    • Providing a variety of transportation choices 
    • Making development decisions fair, predictable, and cost-effective 
    • Encouraging community and stakeholder collaboration.

    Smart Growth Resources

    • Smart Growth Online - Website of Smart Growth Network with extensive information including news and useful resources. 
    • Smart Growth America - Nationwide coalition promoting a better way to grow; one that protects farmland and open space, revitalizes neighborhoods, keeps housing affordable, preserves scenic and historic resources, and makes communities more livable 
    • Smart Growth Implementation Toolkit, Smart Growth Leadership Institute - Set of practical tools to help communities grow smarter
    • Smart Growth, U.S. EPA - EPA's portal to extensive resources on smart growth and related issues
    • Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, EPA - Provides a straightforward overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits
    • Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (EPA) Smart Growth Implementation Assistance
    • Center for Livable Communities, Local Government Commission (CA) - National initiative of Local Government Commission in California. Developed the 
    • Natural Resources Defense Council, Smart Growth - Includes visions for how 70 U.S. communities could apply smart growth principles
    • Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities - Resource to assist funders and organizations interested in advancing more livable communities through smart growth policies
    • Futurewise - Statewide public interest group working to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland, forests, and shorelines
    • Local Government Environmental Assistance Network Smart Growth - Links to many smart growth resources
    • ULI and Smart Growth, Urban Land Institute - Resource for information, advice, and concrete ideas on implementing smart growth; emphasis on the development community
    • ICMA Smart Growth - Links to blog, documents, and publications about Smart Growth

    Fresno Metro Ministry $35,000 will establish a regional hub for multi-sector constituency networks in Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties. These networks will develop the Civic Infrastructure needed to influence city and county policies that reflect the needs and aspirations of broad and diverse communities for Smart Growth and Healthy Neighborhoods.

    Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability $30,000 Despite its innovative approach to planning, "smart growth" threatens to perpetuate under -investment in rural communities and does not go far enough to protect low income urban neighborhoods from displacement. This project will ensure equitable smart growth that increases investment and opportunities in existing communities of the San Joaquin Valley.

    Fresno City College- Child Development Center $21,000 seeks to host a mini-grant competition for local child care centers to facilitate the creation/expansion of their garden. By infusing the centers' curriculum with gardening and other nutrition-related activities these centers will make inroads against childhood obesity and related illnesses in the Central Valley.

    Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners $19,000 focuses on outreach to land use decision-makers in the Tulare Basin so that they are fluent in the language of natural resources and plan growth strategies sensitive to the importance, location, and temperament of the air, soil, water, and wildlife that affect us so profoundly.

    California State University Fresno Biology Department $24,000 includes the US Fish & Wildlife Service, CA Fish & Wildlife, and CSU-Fresno faculty and students. We will determine the management actions to reduce the impact of non-native fish predators on juvenile Chinook salmon in order to successfully reintroduce this important species to the San Joaquin River.

    Revive the San Joaquin $26,000 will engage our community in on-going programs developed to protect and restore our river. Baseline habitat assessment, water quality monitoring, and broad community involvement in riparian restoration activities will be combined to form site-based projects that can be sustained through community involvement.

    Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development, Smart Growth America, 05/2013 - Surveys 17 studies that compare different development scenarios. Aggregates comparisons of different development scenarios and determines a national average of how much communities can expect to save by using smart growth strategies.

    Smart Growth and the Greening of Comprehensive Plans and Land Use Regulations, by Patricia Salkin, Albany Law School,

    Smart Growth, TDM Encyclopedia, Victoria Transport Policy Institute - Focus on the integration between transportation and land use

    Evaluating Criticism of Smart Growth, by Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 09/10/2012

    12 Cities Leading the Way in Sustainability, by John Light, 01/04/2013, Moyers and Company - List includes Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle 

    How Smaller Cities are Taking the Lead in Sustainability Innovation, By Sven Eberlein, AlterNet, 07/31/2012

    It's Only Natural: Converging Trends Drive Sustainable Territories to the Top of Our Annual Ranking, by Adam Bruns, Site Selection magazine, July 2013 - Annual rankings for Top Sustainable States, Metros and Foreign Countries

    Smart Growth Reforms: Changing Planning Regulatory and Fiscal Practices to Support More Efficient Land Use, by Todd Littman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 04/24/2014

    Smart Growth Savings: What We Know About Public Infrastructure and Service Cost Savings, And How They are Misrepresented By Critics, 04/24/2014, by Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute

    Overcoming Obstacles to Smart Growth Through Code Reform, An Executive Summary of Smart Growth Zoning Codes: A Resource Guide, Local Government Commission (CA)

    Smart Growth Checklist (), A Checklist for Proposed Development Projects in Your Community, NY State Department of Transportation

    SB 375 and Smart Growth: Funders' Network Presentation (3444 KB)

    Smart Growth and Children's Health: Dr. Richard Jackson (2984 KB)

    Link: Smart Valley Places

    Link: Smart Growth Principles: SJV Blueprint Planning Process

    Smart Growth Information by Topic

    The following information is organized by specific subject areas that relate to smart growth issues.


    Economic Development




    Land Use

    • Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques: A Handbook For Sustainable Development, NH Department of Environmental Services
    • Land Use, Sustainability and Healthy Communities, California Local Government Institute - Handbooks, guides and other publications on a variety of land use and sustainability topics
    • Smart Land Use, Victoria Transport Policy Institute - Links to related articles 
    • Sustainable Land Use Code Project, Model Land Use Regulations, Capitol Region Council of Governments (CT), Clarion, 2014 – Includes topics such as solar, geothermal & small wind energy, inclusionary workforce housing, and mixed-use transit-oriented development

    Natural Resources


    Healthy Communities


    Environment Grants Committee