Unfettering Artists' Productivity and Impact


Investing in the success of small arts, cultural, and creative businesses in San José

The Creative Economy Fund (fka Creative Industries Incentive Fund) awards project grants to arts, cultural, and creative-based commercial businesses that are located in the City of San José and involved in the production or distribution of the arts, including manufacturers, service providers, presenters, and designers, among others. Funding supports projects and activities aimed at building successful arts, cultural, and creative-based small businesses in San José. For the 2024 grantmaking round, a total of $40,000 is available.

Grants of up to $8,000 will be awarded through a competitive grant application process. Competitive applicants will contribute to the city’s cultural vibrancy, demonstrate readiness for project implementation, grow and achieve greater financial resilience, and demonstrate economic impact(e.g., attracting visitors, generating sales tax, creating jobs) in the City of San José. Competitive applicants will also reflect the City’s diverse cultural communities and creative-based commercial landscape.

The Creative Economy Fund is an initiative of the City of San José Office of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs (OEDCA). The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), a nonprofit intermediary focused on the economic security of individuals in the arts, is partnering with OEDCA to administer the Creative Economy Fund. 


Application Opens

April 24 at 9:00 a.m. PT

Information Session

 images/pdf_icon.jpg Presentation Deck

Drop-in Q&A's

May 17 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. PT.  

May 28 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT.        

June 6 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT.         

Please note: These are not formal presentations, nor will they be recorded. The Drop-in Q&A is an opportunity to have your questions addressed by CCI staff in real time. So that everyone's time can be used efficiently, we ask that you review the grant guidelines, application preview, and Frequently Asked Questions in advance!

Application Deadline

June 17 at 11:59 a.m. PT

Panel Review

Week of August 12

San José Arts Commission meeting (per approval of recommended grantees)

September 16 at 5:30 p.m. PT


September 17 by 5:30 p.m. PT

Period of Support

September 2024 – September 2025


To be eligible for Creative Economy Fund consideration, businesses must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be a commercial enterprise, including small businesses (defined by the City of San José as businesses with 35 employees or less) and sole proprietorships (Note: businesses do not have to be brick and mortar; they can be online storefronts or nomadic enterprises);
  • Be based in San José;
  • Primarily provides a cultural, creative, or arts-related service or product; 
  • Be in good standing with the City of San José, evidenced through possession of an active San José business tax certificate (aka business license, business permit)* and fulfillment of OEDCA or any other City department’s funding requirements, if applicable; and
  • Cannot have a conflict of interest (family or financial relationships) with the boards, staff, and directors of CCI or OEDCA.

*Applicants will be required to upload a copy of their active San José business tax certificate. To register your business or renew your business tax certificate, visit the City of San José’s website here

In addition, businesses can apply only once. In other words, businesses cannot submit multiple applications for different projects. Similarly, individuals who own or operate multiple businesses may apply only once for only one business. We will not accept multiple applications from the same proprietor. This is so we can support as many unique applicants as possible in a competitive application process. 

Past CIIF and current Creative Economy Fund grantees are eligible to apply if a final report has been submitted to and approved by CCI prior to the deadline of June 17, 2024. Please note that first-time applicants may be prioritized.

The following are ineligible for funding consideration:

  • Nonprofits;
  • Individuals, organizations, or projects that will use a fiscal sponsor to receive grant funds if funding is approved;
  • Businesses that are not arts, cultural, or creative-based; 
  • Projects that are already funded through another Office of Cultural Affairs grant program; 
  • Projects that have already taken place (funding can only be applied to expenses accrued during the grant period); and
  • Incomplete Creative Economy Fund applications.


images/pdf_icon.jpg Guidelines 

images/pdf_icon.jpg Application Preview   logos/Word Doc Image Application Preview

images/pdf_icon.jpg Frequently Asked Questions

images/Excel icon Sample Project Budget (Project budgets are required; however, using the "Sample Project Budget" template is optional)

images/pdf_icon.jpg Submittable Quick Tips

Applications will be accepted from April 24, 2024, at 9 a.m. PT through June 17, 2024, at 11:59 a.m. (morning) PT.



CCI staff are here to help and listen. Please email us at grants@cciarts.org (include Creative Economy Fund in the subject line) or call 415.288.0530 for assistance. You may also schedule a time to speak here. For Deaf applicants and those with hearing loss, contact CCI using the California Relay Service—our staff are trained in making and receiving these calls.

If you need technical assistance (e.g., password or upload issues), request support at: https://www.submittable.com/help/submitter/. Submittable’s business hours are 9 am – 5 pm MT. They aim to respond within 24 business hours.


To browse profiles of past grantees use the search form here and select “Creative Industries Incentive Fund - San José” from the dropdown menu of Program options. You can also read the 2020 Grantee Press Release here and the 2023 Grantee Press Release here


The Creative Economy Fund is an initiative of the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Center for Cultural Innovation.