Art & Culture

Applications now open for Arts Express Grant Program

This year’s program prioritizes artists as essential workers, with the Arts Council seeking to fund projects that demonstrate how artists are part of the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This article was contributed by the San Benito County Arts Council.

The San Benito County Arts Council is now accepting applications for their 2021 Arts Express Grant Program. Arts Express is designed to promote arts engagement, accessibility, equity, and diversity San Benito County. The goal of this year’s Arts Express grant cycle is to provide funding support to local artists, art groups, and art and cultural organizations through project-based grants up to $5,000.

Arts-based projects that address public health and safety, mental health and healing, education, community and economic development, and creative placemaking, amongst other recovery topics, are encouraged. Applicants may request project-based funding for the creation of new work; exhibitions and presenting; public art; arts education programs; community outreach or other community-based arts projects with a partner organization. This year’s program is open to San Benito County Arts-based nonprofit organizations & cultural groups, individual artists, non-arts community-based organizations who partner with an individual artist or arts providers, and arts-based for-profit businesses.

Additionally, there is a category for Teacher Grants, with requests up to $250 that may be used for art supplies, curriculum, guest artists or other allowable expenditures and do not have to have a specific “art and recovery” focus.

Grant applications are being accepted online at the Arts Council’s website with a deadline of Monday, April 5.

The Arts Council will also be holding a Virtual Grant Workshop via Zoom with Executive Director Jennifer Laine on Wednesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for applicants to find out more about this program and to ask questions about applying. To join this webinar, register online.

About the Arts Express Grant Program

In 2017 with support from Corbin, the Arts Council launched its Arts Express Grant Program to provide quick and accessible mini-grants to local artists and arts-based organizations in order to reduce barriers to arts funding and create economic opportunities within the local arts community. The program was expanded in 2018 with support from Corbin and a matching grant from the Community Foundation of San Benito County.

Since its inception, Arts Express has funded over 40 local projects, some of which include summer art and dance camps, after school arts programming, public art projects, and performing and visual artworks. Previous grantees include Mr. O’s Academy for the Arts, El Teatro Campesino, Spring Grove School, San Benito Stage Company, Terra Cultura, and Anzar High School. The Arts Council is excited to have ambitiously expanded this program and increase funding opportunities to local artists and arts and cultural groups to help meet growing community need.

This 2021 Arts Express Grant Program is supported in part with funds from The David & Lucille Packard Foundation, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, and California Arts Council.

For other information or to find out more about the Arts Council’s Programs, please contact the Arts Council at [email protected]636-2787 or visit them at

San Benito County Arts Council

The San Benito County Arts Council’s mission is to: *Promote diversity, quality and involvement in the arts for all residents in San Benito County *Encourage cultural and artistic growth and create opportunities for the production of art *Provide access to the arts through programs in the visual, performing and media arts *Establish a favorable climate for artists to live and work and for the arts to thrive