ValleyCreates Grants

Creating Connections Through Art and Creativity


Programmatic Intent
The goal of the ValleyCreates planning grants is to help strengthen and connect the diverse community of arts and creativity nonprofits in the Pioneer Valley, and to provide new opportunities for collaboration.

ValleyCreates Planning Grants seek to:

  1. Create meaningful change in the Valley through the arts
  2. Strengthen connections
  3. Foster collaboration
  4. Promote inclusivity and celebrate diversity

The Planning Grant is intended to provide grantees with time and resources to advance an idea to the point where, if selected, the applicants could begin implementation of their project in a timely manner. Planning grant grantees will have a period of 4 months to get their idea closer to an implementation stage. Activities over the 4 month period might include: information gathering, recruiting new partners, convening community members and potential audiences, and other activities that help advance the collaboration’s understanding of the project.

Implementation grants will be awarded through a competitive application process, and it is understood that not all projects will be able to be implemented based on the results of planning and research.

Available Funding
There is a total of $80,000 available for the ValleyCreates Planning Grant Program. Up to 10 awards will be made.

Funding Information

  • Grant range: Grant requests may be between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the size of the collaboration and the complexity of the project.
  • Projects will be funded prior to the project start date of May 1, 2019.
  • Duration of grants: Up to four months from grant award date; Project end date is approximately Sept. 1, 2019. Extensions may be considered upon request.

Funding Preference

CFWM will give preference to applications that incorporate the following:

  • New types of collaboration (cross-discipline; cross-sector, different relationship with existing partners)
  • Community engagement
  • Reaching new audiences
  • Engaging/reaching under-served communities
  • Artist involvement in the planning process (if artists will be part of implementation)

Grant Process

The application process for a ValleyCreates Planning Grant will have three distinct steps:

  1. Screening phone call with program officer
  2. Submission of video application (see below for video application details)
  3. Submission of online documentation (only selected applicants will proceed to Step 3)

Applicant Eligibility
In order to be eligible to apply as the lead agency for a collaborative grant, your organization must have been present at the Jan. 12, 2019 Arts Co-Creator event.
In cases with unusual circumstances to possibly receive a waiver from this requirement, approval must be granted from CFWM Vice President for Programs and Strategy. Inquiries and requests  should be sent to Nicole Bourdon at

ValleyCreates Planning Grant specific eligibility guidelines include:

  • Applicants must have 501(c)3 status to apply as the lead agency for a collaboration.
  • All applicants must apply as a collaboration of at least three entities. Members of a collaboration can be 501 (c) 3 organizations, fiscally sponsored organizations, individual artists or for-profits.
  • No organization in the collaboration can hold more than 50% responsibility of the project nor receive more than 50% of the funding.
  • Lead agencies must have their primary office located in the Franklin, Hampshire or Hampden counties and serve residents of the Pioneer Valley.
  • All applicants must schedule a pre-application phone conversation with Nicole Bourdon, ValleyCreates Program Officer, by February 8th, 2019 prior to consideration for this funding opportunity.  Appointments will open on Jan. 14, 2019 and close on Feb. 8, 2019.
  • Applicants must have been in operation under their current 501(c)3 status long enough to provide at least one full year of activity in the required financial documents.

To view overall eligibility guidelines for applicant organizations, click here.

Video Application Details

  • Applications will be in the form of an uploaded video. The video should have sufficiently clear audio and must address the following questions:
    • Name of the project
    • Names of the entities in the collaboration, what city/town each partner organization is located in, and the populations, however defined, that each organization traditionally serves.
    • Identification of the lead agency and verbal confirmation this organization is a 501(c)3.
    • What will be the role of each organization in the collaboration regarding the planning process (each partner should articulate their own role)?
    • What will the project you are planning for do?
    • What is necessary for your planning? What activities will you undertake and/or what are you trying to understand using this funding?
    • If implemented, why does this project matter?
    • If implemented, who does it impact?
    • The amount of money being requested for funding

Ineligible Grant Activities

Please click here to view activities that are ineligible for funding from any of CFWM’s grant programs.

ValleyCreates Planning Grants specific ineligibility include:

  • The hiring of permanent staff (a commitment of employment beyond the grant end date).
  • Use of funds to underwrite salaries for staff without any corresponding increase in hours to reflect additional temporary activities.

Additional Information:

Grantees will be required to:

  • Participate in an interim meeting convened by CFWM. A representative of each organization in the collaboration is expected to attend.
  • Each collaboration must submit a written report documenting its activities and the results of its planning by 30 days after the project end date; approximately Oct. 1, 2019.

Important Dates

  • Grant application opens: January 14, 2019
  • Pre-application phone call calendar opens: January 14, 2019
  • Pre-application phone call calendar closes: February 14, 2019
  • Grant submission deadline:  March 1, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. 
  • Funding decisions will be made by: early May 2019
  • Awards will be made by: early June 2019

Application / Materials & Resources 

–Application is now closed. 

–Event and planning materials

Contact Info

Nicole Bourdon, ValleyCreates Program Officer: