Arts play an essential role in enhancing life in our communities. The Packard Foundation believes that a healthy community should have an array of performing and visual arts organizations that contribute to improving quality of life for our local community residents. A thriving arts community also ensures that children have access to the arts, which has a positive effect on their development.
The Arts subprogram of Local Grantmaking supports community-based performing and visual arts organizations that:
- Provide quality visual or performing arts experiences for a community, and/or
- Provide arts education programming for young people.
We look for cultural organizations that serve as community anchors in the five California counties we fund—San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito. We also fund organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence and whose organizations have strong leadership and governance. Priority for funding is given to organizations in good financial standing with a diversified funding base that reflects a healthy combination of both earned and contributed income. Preference for funding is also given to organizations that have a high level of community participation, engagement, and support.
Funding through the Arts subprogram is highly competitive and a very limited number of new grants are made through this subprogram each year.
Except in special circumstances, we do not support endowments; capital needs, including renovations, equipment, and construction; debt reduction or benefits; fundraising events or primarily one-time cultural events; literary arts; or film and media programs.
In some counties, we provide support for arts organizations with smaller budgets through re-granting partnerships with arts councils or community foundations.