Arts and Culture Grantmaking

Please note: Central Valley Community Foundation has transitioned from OLGA to Fluxx for our online grantmaking system. Click the Fluxx Account Login button at the top of the page to log in or create an account.

Information Session - Webinar

The Webinar will be broadcasted live. You can watch it by visiting this page on Jan 27 at 11 AM. Afterward, you can watch the recording of the webinar here as well. 

Goals and grant range

The Central Valley Community Foundation has $54,000 towards Competitive Arts and Culture Grants that intersect with music and parks in Fresno County that foster innovative approaches for audience engagement and participation in the arts. CVCF will grants ranging between $10,000 and $20,000 dollars and are geographically restricted to projects from organizations serving Fresno County.


(These factors is required)
  1. Innovative projects or programs that reach/engage broader audiences in new ways or in new places. 
  2. Focus on audience engagement and experience
  3. Projects need to have a strong cultural emphasis

Selection Criteria 

(Selection criteria items below incorporate elements of collective impact and will cause the applicant's proposal to receive a higher ranking)

Projects that
  1. Share and/or engage broader audiences
  2. Take advantage of the pace, ease, and participation afforded by technology
  3. Demonstrates the strong rationale for proposed program and/or approach in the proposal
  4. The program has a clear, conceptual understanding of the indicators needed to demonstrate impact
  5. Proven expertise in the proposed field of work
  6. Link, align, and leverage dollars or resources for the Central Valley. 

2015 Arts and Culture Grant Cycle

Please note: This page is for archival purposes only. This grant Cycle has closed for 2015 to the right).

Fresno Regional Foundation (FRF) will be granting approximately $250,000 for the 2015 Arts and Culture Grant Cycle. Of that amount, $50,000 is designated to Pilot Projects for Engagement Pathways for organizations with operating budgets of $100,000 or less. The remaining $200,000 will be granted through FRF's traditional Arts and Culture grant cycle. Please review the separate Goals to Fund below. Organizations may apply for either FRF's Arts and Culture grants or the Engagement Pathways grants, but not both

Fresno Regional Foundation's Goals to Fund

It is important that the Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) we support are aware of and sensitive to the diversity of the Central Valley. Therefore, FRF will fund programs that meet one of the following Goals to Fund (All proposals must meet at least one):

    1. Support culturally relevant art forms that reflect and serve the Central San Joaquin Valley’s diverse population and that engage underserved communities. 

    2. Support arts and cultural activities that strengthen academic or life skills.

    3. Innovative projects or programs that reach/engage broader audiences in new ways or in new places.

    4. Support historical societies and arts, cultural, and public organizations in projects that capture the rich histories across the region. 

Selection Criteria

Fresno Regional Foundation values collaboration with other organizations and agencies for greater results. To this end, FRF has embraced the Collective Impact framework for collaboration in the social sector (to learn more about Collective Impact click here).We believe working together in this way will contribute to sustainable community change.

Selection Criteria below incorporate elements of Collective Impact and will casue the applicant's proposal to receive a higher ranking:

  • 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 through a shared vision, shared measurements, constant communication, and building on the services and strengths of other stakeholders
  • Share and/or engage broader audiences
  • Projects that take advantage of the pace, ease, and participation afforded by technology
Grant Amounts, Duration, and Geographic Focus

The Fresno Regional Foundation will grant approximately $200,000 in FRF Arts and Culture funding priority. Specifically for Goals to Fund#1-3, grant amounts range from $10,000 to $55,000 for a one-year period, and, due to donor restrictions, will support organizations serving Fresno County.

Specifically for Goal to Fund #4: Of the $200,000 in FRF Arts and Culture funding priority, $50,000 is earmarked for Goal to Fund #4. Grant amounts are expected to fall in the range of $2,500 to $7,500 for a one-year period. Grants under Goal to Fund #4 are open to organizations serving Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare, Mariposa, and Merced counties with a maximum of $25,000 specifically supporting organizations outside of Fresno County.

Pilot Projects: Engagement Pathways 

Through a partnership with The James Irvine Foundation, FRF will be granting approximately $100,000 for Engagement Pathways 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 communities engage 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
  • Grants will not fund existing projects
  • Projects need to serve micro cultural groups
  • Projects need to have a strong cultural emphasis
  • Data collection of participants and audiences
  • Participate in at least one public presentation developed and hosted by FRF in 2015 or 2016
Selection Criteria (Selection criteria 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

2015 Arts and Culture Grant Cycle Handout (98 KB)

2015 Arts and Culture Information Session Presentation (1533 KB)

How does FRF define Life Skills

Data Resources

2015 Grantees

  • Arte Americas ($10,000) Dia De Los Muertos Valley-Wide - Arte Americas seeks support to expand our traditional celebrations of DIA DE LOS MUERTO into surrounding cities of Madera, Visalia, Sanger, and Hanford by developing partnerships in these communities. Regional funds would support our efforts in technical assistance and programming in Fresno County.
  • Bachrun LoMele - Individual Artist ($10,000) Hide Out / Confidence Booth - A portable, interactive art installation, Hide Out creates a festive and lively venue for the exploration of incomprehension as a common life experience (whether as individuals, or by way of one’s culture) and, by playing with this premise, connecting people in Fresno with other regions throughout California.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County ($19,227) To Know My Heart, Know My Alebrijes - In this program we will work with 50 youth in 6 clubs (both urban and rural) to achieve the goals of self-awareness, self-expression (both written and creative design), and sculptural creation of fantastical beings called Alebrijes. Alebrijes come from a Latino folk tradition.
  • Break the Barriers, Inc. ($10,000) Ballroom Dancing for Veterans - Provide ballroom dancing for veterans and their family
  • Center for Lao Studies ($10,000) Between Two Worlds Traveling Exhibit Project - The Center for Lao Studies (CLS) proposes an interactive contemporary artistic exhibit entitled Between Two Worlds: Untold Stories of Refugees from Laos in California. The exhibit will travel to various cities in California that have significant Lao populations, including Fresno. This request is for the Fresno leg of the exhibit.
  • Creative Fresno ($12,420) Digital Mural Map - A Digital Mural Map documenting the murals of Fresno County that allows users to find and learn about the art and the muralist. We will advertise the Digital Map to the many travelers to our Valley and National Parks as well as local residents. A high-quality book will be produced and donated to educational libraries.
  • Fresno Historical Society ($7,000) Date and Interpret 19th Chinese religious altar from Fresno's Chinatown - The Fresno Historical Society is collaborating with Fresno State’s History Department on an exhibit that will showcase the early history of Fresno’s Chinatown. Grant funds will cover the costs of dating and interpreting the exhibit’s centerpiece: the 19th-century religious altar used in the city's Joss House.
  • JazzFresno, Inc. ($10,000) Expanding Jazz Education - This grant will provide 28 students the opportunity to expand and develop their musical skills by attending Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop summer jazz camp where they will have the opportunity to work with Gilbert Castellanos, a Roosevelt School of the Arts graduate and one of the country's top jazz trumpeters.
  • Kings Regional Traditional Folk Arts ($10,000) Folklore Concert Series - We propose to engage the immediate community as well as the region in a series of traditional folk art events. We propose to host a total of 12 events throughout the course of the grant term that would be open to the public and would introduce our new performance center to the community. Kings Cultural Center has been strategically working to not only develop, but sustain and expand the role of traditional arts in our community for many years. We have been able to build a community performance center that we hope is used for and by our community. This series of community events is designed to engage our community by showcasing local youth talent as well as opening the opportunity for new members to engage.
  • Mariposa County Arts Council, Inc. ($7,500) F/STOP: Participatory Photography Programs for Older Adults in Mariposa County - In partnership with senior advocacy agencies and care providers, the Mariposa County Arts Council, Inc. (MCACI) will expand the F/STOP Initiative, a photography-based program for Mariposa’s seniors focused on creating and sharing visual historical stories pertaining to Mariposa County.
  • New Conservatory Theatre Center ($10,000) YouthAware & Pride on Tour - To support NCTC’s delivery of Pride on Tour and YouthAware in Fresno County. Pride on Tour will present Katya: A One Night Stand on June 13, 2015, while YouthAware will bring anti-bullying and diversity education to middle and high school students during the 2015-16 school year.
  • SAM Academy ($33,787) Sanger Young Artist Studio Maker Mentors - The Sanger Young Artist Studio Maker Mentors will engage artistically motivated at-risk high school youth to explore their artistic interests, cultural roots, and career options through a community-based art studio experience. Students will improve school outcomes, job-readiness, communication skills, build social and cultural assets, and contribute to their community.
  • Shinzen Friendship Garden, Inc. ($7,500) Digital Visitor Interpretation Tool for Art, History & Culture of Shinzen - Audio and visual elements in a multi-media platform, accessible via smartphones and tablets, will provide greater engagement with the art, history and culture of the Central Valley's Shinzen Friendship Garden. Visitors to Shinzen may self-select what they wish to view, hear descriptions of typical elements of a Japanese Garden, and listen to interviews with the Japanese Americans who designed the Garden and discover the significance of the new legacy bonsai collection.
  • Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association, Inc. ($10,000) Project Music of Arts - To engage Southeast Fresno Community in the art of music. Teaching Salsa and Cumbias through dance classes and literature to the underserved community. Holding a concert in non-traditional venue and having a dance contest to attract participants.
  • Teocalli Cultural Academy ($10,000) Cultura en el Campo - This project is designed to bring quality cultural programming to the underserved Latino rural community in the Central Valley. We will create a parent advisory board to oversee the project which will include dance and music classes twice a week, four community workshops and performances in migrant camps at the end of the project, which will be broadcast via social media.
  • Teresa Flores - in partnership with Fresno Arts Council ($10,000) Experimental Quesadilla Lab - The Experimental Quesadilla Lab is a pop-up kitchen, recipe exchange and discourse propellant. It twists the traditional quesadilla by opening dialog about Chicano/Latino/California culture through the assemblage of participant-guided quesadillas. Each recipe is blogged, documented, and made available for recipe exchange revealing generational shifts, traditions and notions of culture.
  • THE BEAT WITHIN ($10,000) THE BEAT WITHIN, a program of the Youth Law Center - THE BEAT WITHIN conducts writing, art and conversation workshops in juvenile hall in Fresno County and beyond. Publication in the bi-monthly magazine is shared with participating youth and the larger community.
  • United Way of Fresno County ($10,000) Hmongstory 40 - Hmongstory 40 will unveil an exhibit in Dec 2015 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Hmong migration out of Laos in 1975. The exhibit will showcase the Hmong journey to California and highlight the community’s significant political, social, and economic contributions over the last 40-years in California.
  • Visalia Opera Company ($10,000) VOC presents - The Visalia Opera Company will present Bizet's, "Carmen" in an old lumberyard. The yard is a non-traditional space that can be utilized and transformed into an arts district for the community. The opera will be fully orchestrated and costumed. The set will be created with the use of digital art and technology.
  • Youth Orchestras of Fresno ($30,000) Accent on Accent Violin Program: Applying New Knowledge - Using the four years’ worth of experience and knowledge we have gained so far, we will focus on strengthening our program core and building for the future. Important to this year’s efforts: intensified teacher preparation, renewed emphasis on collaboration and citizenship, greater visibility in the community.

2014 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 area 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 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, FYI Airport, and other venues.
  • 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 for a street-roving, inside-out mini-gallery, by which secrets shared within it are rendered incomprehensible, and then publicly broadcast on the outside.
  • 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.


2014 Arts and Culture Advisory Committee

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